Follow
Share

Sorry for the long post---My stepmother has Parkinson's and dementia and in October 2018 I moved in with my father to help take care of her because she started not allowing him to take her to the bathroom or give her a shower, etc. Since I have been here things have gotten drastically worse. She is 100% dependant for everything except walking. She walks around and talks nonsense to herself all day and night. She has had a few major seizures and has minor ones frequently throughout the day. She refuses her medication. We switched to liquid to try to put it in ensure or other drinks, or applesauce, but usually she can taste it and won't drink it. Some days she eats, but never very much. I have tried discussing options with my dad for assistance but he refuses to admit he needs help. I am a mother of 2 and work full time and am in school so I cannot provide the amount of help he needs. He is 73, diabetic, has had heart issues previously and now he is never sleeping because she is never sleeping. Anytime I bring up having a caregiver come or assisted living places he immediately gets defensive and says he can take care of her himself. Sometimes he loses his patience and gets mad at her for not being able to feed herself or pouring her drink out because she literally is just gone mentally, and he says he isn't going to let her become an invalid, even though he knows that's where this road leads. I am going to be moving out in the next couple of months and just wonder how I can make him see he needs professionals. She won't let me shower her either anymore and I refuse to forcefully take her clothes off and make her shower. He does it, but she fights back and he ends up looking like he got into a fight because he is on blood thinners so he bruises and bleeds very easily. I've never dealt with these illnesses before and just feel at a total loss. I don't know what to expect or how to help and need some guidance. Any advice or stories that relate would be much appreciated.

Find Care & Housing
Allyssa,

Such a pretty name.

It’s completely obvious that you care deeply but it definitely seems like she needs professional help. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report

Have you considered why your father's judgment is so poor and why he's blind to the level of care that his wife needs? And, why he's ignored the recommendation of his wife's doctor, that she needs alternate care? It may be more than denial. When a person is oblivious to the dire need of a loved one and they actually stand in the way, I'd seriously wonder about their competence. Cognitive decline is not just about memory loss, but, poor judgment despite drastic consequences.

I would consider just how involved you want to get into this matter. Because, it could be a long term commitment on your part. Even, if you got your step mother admitted to a MC or SNF, your father would have the option of having her come back home, the minute you turned your back. I'd get a consult with an Elder Law attorney to see what your options are to get legal authority. They can explain what evidence you need, the costs, the process, etc. and why your father is not able to take that role.

I'd also inquire about the duty you may have if you move out, knowing MIL's condition and the fact that father cannot care for her. I'd ask for guidance on how to relieve yourself of any obligation. Notice to APS might be appropriate.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Sunnygirl1
Report

I hope you find a way to get dad to place her. For both their wellbeings. Im sure the stress of it all must be a lot for you. Then moving, you will be wondering more and worrying. Its too bad older folks hate home health because it could be of vast support. I wish you luck and prayers. Things have a way of working out. Cant a doctor order her to be placed? Where its not a decision or choice for dad? Another evaluation may be a good route and speak to someone about details before visit. If a doc legally orders it, then it will be done im assuming. How you explain it all to the doctors office can make them realize that its immanent that your step mom be placed immediately. Best of luck:)
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Dianne38
Report

Before you leave hire a caregiver for a couple of hours so you can take your Dad out to a movie. He probably doesn’t want help because he feels guilty, but tell him it’s okay to take a break. Spend some lighthearted time together. He needs it. You have been wonderful.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to ACaringDaughter
Report
AlyssaTucker Feb 27, 2019
Thank you! I've tried to get him to go to car shows or something but he won't. The most I have gotten him to do is go to breakfast with his friends almost every morning during the week before I leave for work. It seems to help, but not enough!
(1)
Report
Hi, Alyssa. My heart goes out to you! Man, talk about being between a rock and a hard place! It seems no matter what you do, you're going to feel as if you've done the wrong thing. I think you have to acknowledge that there is no easy choice. But I think you do see that there is a right choice. Yes, he is going to know it was you, if you report the situation to Adult Protective Services. But he is the one who is forcing your hand and giving you no option. Perhaps there is one other choice before that, and that is to tell him straight up, Either you get some help (one way or another, either in the home or out of the home, based on a doctor's assessment of her needs) OR you are going to report. His choice. Then follow through.

I'll be praying for all of you. For you to have the courage to do what needs to be done, come what may, and for him to love her enough to come to his senses and do right by her.

Because calling the authorities may hurt like the dickens, but imagine how you'll feel if you don't. Blessings to all of you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to DesertGrl53
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Feb 26, 2019
I was thinking the same thing. Someone is going to end up being hurt.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
This might call for some VERY VERY "Tough Love"
Unfortunately it is a catastrophic event that makes people see what is needed.
Could you contact your local Senior Services, Senior Center or Adult Protective Service and explain that your Dad needs help caring for his wife and he refuses help. They may step in and tell him that if he does not accept help they will have to take over the situation.
I know this is a very drastic move but it sounds like your Dad may be one of the statistical ones that I read about a Caregiver dying before the person they are caring for.
And I know it would probably break your heart to make a call like this but it is like calling the police on a friend that is leaving a bar drunk but refuses to give up his keys. It is that or you watch the "train wreck" in slow motion.
Sometimes you gotta hurt the ones you love. (Your dad ever spank you saying...this is gonna hurt me more than it will you? )

Good luck keep us posted.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report
AlyssaTucker Feb 25, 2019
I have definitely thought of this type of action, but haven't been able to do it. I guess I was hoping her doctors would do something like that, but they haven't. I know it is the right thing to do, but I also know he would know it was me since I'm the only one around and he would never forgive me
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
Can you tell dad that Medicare needs an assessment and take her to geriatric behavioral health?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Segoline
Report
AlyssaTucker Feb 25, 2019
I don't have any kind of legal say or POA or anything, so I don't know if they would allow me to bring her. Also he takes her to every appointment she has since he is retired
(0)
Report
I forgot one thing my Mom's assisted living partners with a hospice company which Medicare covers which allows the resident to remain in their apartments its a new concept that many facilities are adopting which avoids them having to go to a nursing home if a resident exhausts all assets they pay basic room and board and will accept Medicaid
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to ruustyk
Report

You are in a very hard place my Father had alzheimers has since passed but my Mom refused to put in a facility she was in her 80's at the time he was very strong one night she was trying to stop him from going outside but couldn't she had to call my cousin to help. I told her at that point I am POA that if she didn't put him in a facility she would die before him from lack of sleep it was no longer an option luckily she's easy going and did it she is now 95 and living in assisted living close by. When you contact a local home care support company like Home Instead or Visiting Angels they initially send out a social worker I'm wondering if you spoke to the firm first perhaps an outsider that specializes in these types of situations could help Ideally she needs to be in an assisted memory care facility but it is very expensive if private pay my Mom's is $72,000 a year non memory care but this is Illinois some states are less I believe also each state has senior advocates that can help along with support groups that meet weekly. This is one of the most difficult journeys one goes thru at times it is very hard to balance time for yourself I have been Friends with a woman for 20 years who I considered my BFF she has disappeared no long calls because she cant deal with my situation which trust me I didn't drone on but I don't have siblings so I am the primary caregiver her Mother is much younger but someday she will go down this road it hurt but I have other Friends that I've gotten much closer to and a wonderful Husband this journey changes you in a lot of ways hope I could be of help.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to ruustyk
Report
AlyssaTucker Feb 24, 2019
Thank you for sharing your experience! We live in California, but both my dad and step mom retired from union jobs and have excellent health care and retirement plans. Medicaid setup an appointment for a caregiver to come but my dad called them and refused it because he doesn't want a stranger in his house. It may sound awful, but because I am moving out soon he will really be all alone with this and maybe that will make him realize he really can't do it alone. He is a stubborn, prideful man and that is what is making this more difficult.
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
She needs a Nursing Home. She is past an AL. She also needs an evaluation. If you can get her to a doctor, have the doctor tell Dad that he cannot take care of her alone. Whatbwill happen if he has a bad heart attack or worse.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report
AlyssaTucker Feb 24, 2019
The doctors told my dad last year that she needed to be placed in a facility, but he refuses. That's the hard part. He is so stubborn that he will kill himself trying to take care of her. We have tried reasoning with him and explaining the "what-if's", but he will not take anyone's advice, even friends of his who have dealt with similar things.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter