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My father is 90 years old, has severely arthritically crippled hands, can't even move himself around in bed. I know that he needs regular hydration and turning to avoid bed sores. So how long can I safely leave him on his own, assuming I make sure he drinks all he can before I leave him to run errands?

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Thank you all for your responses. We've come to the realization that he is better off staying in the nursing home where he has been since the beginning of December.
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dlh3354 --

Your explanation seems more caring and rational than my hospice social worker's challenge that the police would have me incarcerated for neglecting an elder person (my husband.) When the time came that I knew my husband could not be left alone, I saw to it that someone was always with him.
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NEVER, EVER!!!! If he is left alone and something happened you may very well be charged w/ neglect. If you were in his shoes how long would you want to be left vulnerable and helpless?
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I love that one Jeannegibbs! Excellent take on it.
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How long would you leave a helpless baby in a crib while you ran out to the store?
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Zero seconds!
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Do you have a neighbor who couldsit with your dad while you ran errands? Even if you just had a teenager in the house, someone there in case of an emergency. Good luck
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Bob's social worker threatened me with police action if I left him alone. I later checked the law here in Florida, and learned that the social worker was either uninformed or lying. The law here is against intentionally leaving a person alone, knowing it will harm them. However, I believe a nursing home is the best solution.
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In my opinion it is too much of a risk to ever leave him alone. There could be a fire or other emergency at the house when you are out. I have friends who went out shopping on a Saturday afternoon and came back to their house ablaze. Their dog perished in the fire. You could be detained by weather, or a car accident. A friend of mine left her Girl Scout troop for what was supposed to be 5 minutes to go down the block to pick something up and wound up in a car accident so I know that things like that can happen. In the case of the Girl Scouts there are always 2 adults when they go on an outing, so the kids were never in peril. I have taken care of a son who is developmentally disabled for 26 years and before his death, my elderly dad for three and I would never leave either one alone. Try to find some respite care. Believe me, I understand your need to get out and do things but your dad deserves to be safe as well. As the saying goes better safe than sorry.
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There are a couple of options in this case and without knowing specifics about your dad, seems like 24x7 adult supervision may be necessary. That said, churches, other community run services, friends, other family, or private duty home care can provide you relief. For the cost of a nursing home you can get A LOT of in home care to give you the break you need. If resources are an issue, call your local county office and social worker and get evaluated for county based services. If your dad is a veteran ask to speak to a veteran service officer and see if they have options for him, either a veteran home, or the Aid and Attendance benefit.
Technology could potentially be a short term fit. Make sure he has a emergency response system and or install a "nanny" cam that would allow you to see your dad while out.
The fastest solution is to call a home care agency and set up services. That will also give you time to explore your other options.
Good luck.
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A couple of years ago I went to stay with my 90 yet old uncle so he could be cared for in his home (as he wasn't exactly thriving in the nursing home). He was bedridden shortly after returning home. We had the help of hospice- a health aide three times a wk and a nurse weekly. I was basically the only one caring for him otherwise. My uncle was fully coherent with no memory issues, etc. I would go out for maybe an hour or two every few days for groceries (and his coffee brandy that he said helped his digestion). Hospice people (social worker etc) didn't have any problem with it. No one threatened to report me. It would of course depend on the mental status of your father.
Is he in a hospital bed? Can you put the rails up while away? Does he have one of those mattress pads that moves air around to help prevent bed sores? Medicare covered all of this.
You need to get a break from care or you will be no good to anyone. I found even a short trip to the store helped.
Again it more so depends on his mental status. My uncle was completely alert and knew I would be back shortly. If you have hospice as part of his care and he might qualify at his age; my uncle "just" had COPD and lived two more years with hospice care.
Is there someone you can call or text to let them know you are out and when you get back? If you haven't done so look into Hospice they may have other options available to you.
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Although your father can't move himself around in bed, he may be at risk for falling out of it. My late husband Bob, 76, was confined to a hospital bed in a good nursing home. He suffered from Alzheimers and serious conditions of lungs and heart. Although supposedly immobilized, he climbed over the bed's side rail, went to the bathroom, and fractured the femur in one leg. He died four months later. The medical examiner told me he determined that the fall was the cause of death. A nursing home is still a safer choice than having a volunteer stay with him.
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I am taking care of my grandma ANC she us on hospice. My church along with my sister come and sitting with her for 1-2 hours m-f so I can have a break, run errands etc. I can't leave her alone. If you can afford hire someone a couple days a week. Ask church if you belong to one fir help or family. You Ned to have a break and to get things done.
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Zero minutes. He needs 24/7 care in a Nursing Home. Should the police or social worker show up and he is alone, you will be cuffed and stuffed.
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