How do you deal with regular unnecessary demands to be taken to the hospital?


My father moved into our home at the end of June 2018, just a bit over a month ago. He was very unhappy with his previous living arrangements and felt he was not getting the support he needs. Dad is 87 years old and has stage four Parkinson’s Disease. He uses a walker, sometimes a wheelchair if he is having a very bad day. He is also dealing with anxiety, sometimes quite overwhelming for him on an almost daily basis. He is on levodopa/carbidopa 5 times a day with a CR tablet at night. He is also on 50 mg of quitanapine and lorazepam 2 mg 2 times a day as required to ease the anxiety. He has wanted to be taken to the ER at least once a week. We took him the first time but his symptoms seem to disappear as soon as a decision is made to go, so of course, once we get there the doctor has nothing to address. Twice now, when I try to figure out what “I feel crappy” means, nausea? headache? pain?, he says he doesn’t know, if I ask what he would like the ER doctor to help with, he tells me to “read my POA” or “they can just kill me”. I ask him if he would like some acetaminophen or lorazepam when he obviously anxious. He gets angry with me when we tell him that the ER doctor needs to know more than “I feel crappy” so he/she knows how to help, and that the ER doctor won’t kill him. I’m not sure how to deal with this sort of behaviour to help ease his physical and mental pain. Any advice would be so welcome.

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I am not sure how "with it" your father is. My mom is pretty spry still, but we have almost monthly or bi monthly "emergency" situations. The first three times she ended up going and quickly learned that it cost her money to ride in an ambulance, she now insists she MUST go, but I must drive her since she cannot afford an ambulance ride. Like your father, once we get going she is immediately better. She is on a very mild anti anxiety med and her doctor won't prescribe anything stronger because she is elderly? Whatever that means. I am always afraid to say no to taking her, but sitting in and ER for three hours when I have a handicapped son at home who also needs my attention is irritating when there never turns out to be a problem. Mom's biggest problem is her crying wolf for so many years that it is hard to tell now if she is actually sick.
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Reply to Tluther

I think You need to look into some cannabis.
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Reply to Judyskid

Dementia goes along with Parkinson's. Has he been evaluated for it?
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Reply to JoAnn29

Ativan wasn't cutting it with my mom either for her agitation and anxiety. Xanax (Alprazolam) is doing a much better job and she's much more calm and relaxed now.

Just a thought.
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Reply to SueC1957
PracticePeace Aug 11, 2018
Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll raise it with the doctor.
I can empathise with this. My Father is now in care facility but same as yours at home. Convinced he had a dis ease that could not be found. Wanting to go to emergency at hospital. Wanting me to call doc cause he is " ill".
Mad with me when I said more information required. His doctor was sure it was linked to anxiety and attention seeking to get me to his home cause he was scared. This does not happen now as he sees medical staff in care facility.
Maybe the nurse coming in will be best solution. Good Luck. Know its not easy and you cannot win
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Reply to Patience13

You & only you decide whether a hospital visit is necessary mother can ask everyday to go because her back hurts or whatever...she had back problems all her life which she refused to fix anything when she was younger & healthier. I don’t feel a hospital visit is always best with all germs around & can pick up anything w compromised immune system. Unless it’s emergency like bleeding everywhere or fell & can’t get get picture?
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Reply to CaregiverL

You’re welcome, “Double P”. 😁. When my husband came home from 4 months in rehab, we had a visiting nurse, one RN and one LPN who alternated weeks. Since Hubby has heart issues, I was over the Moon to have them come. When their 3 months were up, we all cried! It was all arranged by the rehab hospital through his Medicare, so his GP’s office could also approve it for you. The world runs on paperwork so you and they will have to fill out forms. They’re usually provided by the VNA. Ours even ordered incontinence supplies for us. Boy I still miss them! Let us know how it works out. Between my mom and my husband, I was at the ER so much I got to know all the staff One time the doctor looked at me and said “Don’t I know you?” We had a good laugh over that one!
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Reply to Ahmijoy

He may qualify for Hospice if so he/you would have a Nurse that would come to the house to see him once a week. You would also have a CNA that would see him a few times a week. This might make him feel that there are more people tending to him and they are coming to him. Along with that you can call Hospice 24/7 with any questions or concerns and if needed they will send a nurse out.
If this is not an option you want to take at this time keep it in mind for later.
It is possible that he is stressed about the move. Do not know if it was a local move or a long distance move but any change can cause anxiety. If he moved away from friends and an area he knew well this may be causing more stress.
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Reply to Grandma1954
NicoleLR77 Aug 14, 2018
Or if he doesn’t qualify for hospice or he is not ready for that. Ask the Dr to order home care. Services include nursing, Physical and occupational therapy, home health aid, and medical social worker.
Sounds like it could be some sort of anxiety/panic attack that fades over time or with some attention/distraction.  I'd be wondering about a psych consult and tweeking the meds to a dose that helps.
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Reply to robinr

My mom (88/dementia) called EMT's one day and they took her to the ER - I did not go. I've heard it all before...waited until they called me to tell me what was going on - however by the time that happened mom had me on the 'no contact' list...long story short - once it was determined that she had no real medical issues - only mental issues - the verdict was to discharge her but I'd have to find her a place to live - no going back to her apartment to live alone under any circumstances!

Fast forward: She called one other time to go to the hospital as she thought when she awoke from sleeping and her arm felt 'numb' that she was having a heart attack/stroke and insisted on going.

Now I tell her that she should call her doctor's office FIRST. They have a doc on call - maybe he can talk her down? Since I gave her that advice she hasn't dialed 911 - at least not so far.

Sometimes you may have to just allow him to call his doctor's office and have the person on call chat with him a bit to discern 1)If there's really anything medically wrong or 2)If it's just, well the other issues - maybe they can say something to help calm your LO. In any case those ER visits are so often not helpful or useful - and many hours are spent waiting as the staff there only takes 'emergencies' (Bleeding, Heart Attacks, unconscious people)...everyone else waits...and waits...and waits...once they assess that you're not in immediate danger you're given the 'waiting room status' - sometimes not always the best way to handle it..but they have their pocedures/processes so they can take the true emergencies. Best to you for next time!
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Reply to SueGeo

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