Is family division ever avoidable?
It seems the more one tries, the more division occurs. My grandfather turned 90 this year. Up until he had seizures in July, he was still driving (which he really shouldn't have been) and living alone (great grand daughter moved in for a place to stay, not caretaking...even though she was great company and he loved it.) Since then, he has not recovered to his previous baseline. Swallow tests showed he was aspirating everything (most likely has been) so they stopped food and water. Feeding tube was put in to give nutrition. He actually agreed (after he disagreed.) By choice, the only two family members that had taken care of him were my brother and I. He did legal and I did medical for over five years now. His daughter, that was never constant in his life allowed him to come over to her house, but that was the extent of responsibility. My dad is passed. My other siblings/cousins either never saw him or only a few times a year. His great grand daughter was a great source of joy and would go to lunch with him.
Once he had seizures and feeding tube, he went to skilled care. Since my brother and I are POAs, it does come down to us, but I was in communication with daughter because I felt it right. During his 100 days of skilled care, opinions were formed that he should be at home. At this point, the view diverges that 1) he can take care of himself at home and 2) he should die with dignity at home. That is confusing... can he care for himself or is he dying? How can they have both views at once? So, we tried to share his actual medical information so they would be informed and either they didn't read it or they did and their idealistic views of elderly at home got the best of them.
The reality is this: his seizures has left his dementia much worse. Yes, he has moments of being him, but he is in no way the same. He is on a feeding tube so he can get nutrition. He did not recognize the tube or that he wasn't eating for a while (now that he does, I do think it's time to consider comfort care.) He isn't permitted to walk on his own bc his walking is so unsafe. Yes, he CAN walk, short distances, but by observation, it is tenuous. He doesn't participate in much at the nursing home. He doesn't watch tv. He chooses to just lay there. I'm told it is common with advancing dementia.
As by the suggestion of his daughter, we had the dept of aging do an assessment. They, with no question, suggested he stay in nursing care. The risk of his safety is too great.
Even with all this evidence that he cannot ACCEPTABLY, take care of himself, some family still thinks he should be home. Here is the kicker... without 24 hour care! His daughter says she is "a phone call away" and his great grand daughter that has had a challenging life up to her 21 years and is in her phase of smoking pot, is supposed to be his primary caretaker? I moved two hours away and the other involved brother works and takes care of grandpa and his mother-in-law. We told those folks that if he went home against medical advice, insurance may stop. No acknowledgement. We said, if we had a solid, written plan of one or two peoole to take on his care full time and was presented to dr, he may release... no plan was even attempted. We asked if they provide regular family volunteers, maybe coukd make a plan, no such luck. Nothing. They weren't there for him all those years, and they aren't there for him when it comes to actual responsibility. It's like they just want him home with no concern for his well being to pacify some image they want to maintain. Many that were not involved for years still haven't been while in nursing care. And with no exaggeration, he gets more visitors, attention and care than he'd get in a month at home, even if he was more mobile.
I do care what others think. I want folks involved for grandpa's sake, but all my wishes won't make it real. Now, having to decide to keep him in nursing care and with the rules of medicaid... things need to be done, the house needs to be resolved and nasty, nasty words come from these mouths, even the great grand daughter. My brother is killing him, we are incompetent, we are profiting. Digusting words. I've come to the point where I react to such foulness, which inflames the situation, but I'm tired of the voluntary ignorance. They dare take away the devoted years I committed to him? How csn anyone with brains and a working heart turn the the ONLY people this man relied on?
Is all this inevidable? Are unhealthy people just going to stay in the cycle of unhealthiness and inevitably try to bring down everyone around them?
I'm not the thick-skinned person, so dealing with all this has been so emotionally challenging.