Mom has had early-onset Alzheimer's for three years. She has miraculously fought its progress despite very poor short term memory. Recently her long term memory has been slipping. Time is short. This is going to get harder soon.
Dad is disabled with chronic back pain. He takes a mild common RX pain killer that he regularly goes off of due to its negative side effects. For years he has done this, going off it at the most inconvienent times like on vacations. Then he becomes grumpy, more depressed, and talks compulsively about his pain. Everyone is sick of hearing about it, especially because he isn't treating it. Then he apologizes and bashes himself. Rinse and repeat for years.
He is also depressed. It runs in the family. I have tried sensitive sitdowns and sarcastic barbs to get him to get onto antidepressants and try other pain killers. His response is evasive, his tone guilty. He says he will, but he never does. I got him a new doctor once and he missed the first appointment, clearly feeling guilty. Then he hemmed and hawed for a few weeks and never went.
He is terrified of negative drug side effects. Any drug we mention that is working for somebody we know, he looks up its side effects on the Internet and then refuses to try it. He'll say he's going to ask his doctor, then he never does. I tell him the last thing he should care about at his age in his situation are side effects. I tell him he's going to die from depression and suffering before any medication side effect kills him. He claims he is trying to stay alive longer to help Mom. Yet he's not helping Mom being this way.
What should I do? They cannot afford assited living and it's too early for that anyway. We have a chance to move them in with us for a few months, the point being they need to rent their place to save money and we want to enjoy what little quality time Mom has left since they are out of state. Despite what you read above, they are easy to live with (we tried several weeks recently), aside from Dad's grumpiness and refusal to treat himself.
It has reached the point where I think dad is failing in his duties. He is not taking care of himself or making good decisions for the both of them. Maybe this is just him aging. He seems overwhelemed by his life and Mom's situation. Despite her diagnosis, our constant impression is that she is doing better than he is emotionally and in many ways intellectually. But I think this is a side effect of his years of failing to treat his pain and depression.
I was thinking I could make it a requirement of them living with us that Dad try new pain killers and, hopefully, antidepressants. I think that is only fair given Mom's situation and the sacrifices we are making to help them.
What would you do?