I need advice on what, if anything, I can do about my mom's lack of care for my dad.
My dad is in the mid stages of Alzheimer’s. He has been diagnosed and is on meds. My mom is his primary caregiver. Two sons live within 2 miles of them, I live about 20 miles away. I’ve accepted my siblings are going to be of no help, that is ok.
My worry is that my mom is not taking good care of my dad because she is in denial and mostly doesn’t want to have to deal with it.
Neither my mom nor my siblings are willing to read or watch any of the info I have sent them, which I have read and watched first. (Teepa Snow videos and a book that was recommended here, along with online support groups). I realize I can’t force them but I’m worried about my dads health and well being.
My dad, along with Alzheimer’s has: a shunt in his head because of excess fluid, a left knee replacement, a left shoulder replacement, neuropathy (sp) in his feet, and is a fall risk. He falls at least once a month.
Here are the issues I find concerning:
Mom and Dad went on a 3 week vacation to Australia last year. Mom slept almost the entire 18 hour flight home without ever making sure my dad got food or drink or got up to use the restroom (she already has him wearing pull ups and would rather just let him go in those than help him go every few hours). By the end of the flight my dad was incoherent and barely conscious. Even with oxygen he couldn’t remember anything about where he lived or who he was. They thought it was a stroke and he spent two days in a hospital in California and my 2 brothers had to drive down from Oregon to bring them home when he was discharged. Thankfully it wasn’t a stroke, he was severely dehydrated, hadn’t eaten and was getting sick so it created a perfect storm I guess. Since it wasn’t a stroke my mom thinks the entire situation was no big deal.
Last month they went to Hawaii for 2 weeks. The first day there they went on a coffee farm tour (super uneven ground) and he fell and broke his collarbone, they waited 2 days to go to a hospital.
He has started having visual hallucinations but they don’t upset him at this point.
The kicker happened a couple of days ago. Apparently they were at Home Depot and since my dad didn’t want to go inside my mom left him in the car without the keys and locked it. She was inside for an hour! My dad could not open the door and even a stranger in the parking lot tried to help him and he still couldnt figure it out. He was about to use their emergency tool to break the car window from the inside when my mom finally came out. It was probably at least 90 in the car. And the only reason I know is because my dad brought it up when I saw him.
She also just bought a new bed for their guest room so she can sleep in there because he wakes her up when he gets out of bed to go to the bathroom, and he has fallen several times already. She has to call one of my brothers to help get him up because she can’t do it by herself. She has no plan in place to alert her when he gets out of bed if she is sleeping in a room across the house.
She also still lets him drive even though he shouldn’t because it is convenient for her to have him run to the store for her or take himself to church when she doesn’t want to go.
They are resistant to having someone come in because my dad doesn’t think anything is wrong with him and my mom can’t admit they are at a point where they need help.
My question is what do I do? She does the 24/7 caregiving and it’s hard and I don’t want to diminish that. But I don’t know how to help her since she refuses to get educated about anything. She spends hours on her computer playing solitaire, looking up recipes etc so she has the time to learn she chooses not to. What are some suggestions to get them to get a caregiver. They have plenty of money to pay and I doubt they will ever qualify for Medicaid.
I am 35 with a husband and 2 kids. My husbands job means he is away from home for several days in a row and it’s never the same days each week and includes occasional weekends and holidays so I can’t be the free caregiver that my mom and siblings have assumed I will be. Thanks for letting me have a place to let out my worries!