How do we convince our dad to get professional help for our mom?

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My father thinks he can take care of my mom with severe dementia, but he is not doing a good job. She doesn't eat healthy or eat much at all. She has lost 25 pounds since last summer. She sleeps a lot and he leaves her alone at times for a few hours, saying the neighbors check in on her. My brother, sister and I can not convince him to get professional full-time help or any help at all. We are at our wits' end. Anyone else have this issue?

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thanks all, I will let you know how it turns out
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Weathermanbob,
It's understandable that you are concerned, but, I would do a few things before stepping in over dad. Have you spoken with your mom's doctor? I ask because if she does have dementia, she may be going to lose weight regardless of where she is. Some dementia patients lose weight, even when they eat plenty. Of course, she may also be depressed on top of the dementia and that's effecting her appetite and making her sleep so much. If she could get help for the depression, maybe, she'd feel better and dad would be able to care for her then. Does she take meds for depression?

I'd just try to figure out if having more help in the house would make her gain weight and not be sleepy. If after full exploration, you find that she really needs more care than dad is doing, I'd tell him flat out that it has to change and if he still resists, then file for Guardianship so you can make the decisions on her behalf. Dad's refusal to use good judgment would likely preclude him from being appointed. It's drastic, but, there is no way that I would stand by if mom wasn't getting what she needs.  If he was likely to be persuaded, I would think that he wouldn't be so stubborn about it. 

Please post as to what happens.
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Bob
I also wanted to mention that if you pick up some boost or ensure your mom might be better nourished if you can get her to drink it. Also I heard once that an egg a day can help keep an elder from becoming frail. My aunt who has Parkinson's is extremely thin and she has around the clock care. Sometimes it's (weight loss) part of the illness. Watch the YouTube videos by Teepa Snow and you can learn quite a bit of what to expect going forward.
Forgot to mention that you need to be ready for when mom ( or dad) has an event that lands them in ER. It's not uncommon for the caretaker to go before the patient. That's the time to make your move on getting extra care into the home or getting things addressed at home or getting mom into AL or Memory Care. Always make sure they go to rehab after a hospital stay and never take them home when you know they don't have adequate care. Make the hospital social worker help place them instead of just bringing them home. If he or she comes by the room when you aren't there your parent will probably tell them they are going back home regardless of their condition. Tell the social worker it wouldn't be safe. Just remember to come back here when something happens and look for your issue.
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thanks a lot
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Hi Bob
I understand how you feel. My husband was so upset with his dads high handed manner with my MIL. She had dementia and needed help. Turned out she also had cancer. He was so sure he could care for her and it was obvious she needed more than he could provide.My husband turned his dad in for elder abuse. He told his dad that he had done so. It was much todo about nothing. They came and visited and both Inlaws enjoyed the visit.... The agency told my husband that certain criteria had to be met before they could take action. She tried to take baths and got stuck in the bath tub. Two daughters and they were more focused on throwing each other under the bus than taking care of their mom. Elderly aunt would take them food. One sister wanted him to decide they would move to a facility. When my husband and I would visit and clean their home and cook for them, that sister would complain because it interfered with her plan to force them to move. Turned out that daughter had taken her dad to neurologist and knew he had severe dementia as well but was trying to reason with him. Didn't want to insult him. Thought his dignity should be respected. Never mind her mother. For that sister it was all about her dad. We wish we had been more involved. My dad was dying at the time. I had a young daughter at home. We lived a couple of hours away. Hindsight is 20 20. They are both gone now. Victims, after a fashion, of a hurricane. They died one month apart. You may have to file for guardianship to get anything done. But remember that your mom may not want to be away from your dad if it comes to that. It's hard to watch. If we had spent even a week with them in their home we might have been able to get a better handle on how to help them. Depending on your state (as the rules are sometimes different) you can ask your moms dr to order home health care for her. This is paid for by traditional Medicare if she has that. They will have a nurse check on her and will also have an aid come for baths. They will check her meds and refill her med box. Check her vitals, etc. Your dad may be afraid. He may have dementia as well. He may need help. My FIL did and we didn't realize it. We knew he had a form of dementia but didn't know what we didn't know. Also meals on wheels is available in many places and some senior centers offer baths and meals.
Try to get your dad away from your mom on occasion. Take him out for a ride or fishing or golfing or to watch a game. Whatever he enjoys or will agree to. Get your mom out as well. Give yourself a hug. It's a tough time. They probably both need your help even though it seems like he is the problem.
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Problem is we tried that and he was predetermined he didn't need help or thought it was too expensive.
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Bob, you might want to consider calling the Area Agency on Aging in your parents' county to get a "needs assessment" of mom (and dad's) needs.

It is probably best if one of you kids is there during the assesment.
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