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My father hasn't been formally diagnosed with dementia, but doctors are saying that he is showing signs of early stage. He is suicidal, and has attempted twice with a knife. My mother is his primary caregiver, but she can no longer take care of him. I am not in a position to move into their home right now (but I would) and take care of him, but he needs around the clock care. My sister is an RN and she says he can't go home again, after a thwarted suicide attempt sent him to the hospital with a broken hip. He wants to be home, to die at home. How do we tell him that he needs to be in a place that can take care of him, that he can't go home? Is it too soon to put him in a home for proper care? Or is it an option, considering that he is suicidal? He's 71, and in fast decline. I'm so lost.

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I'm sorry for your loss, even sorrier for what the end of your father's life put him and all of the family through. Wishing peace of mind to all of you.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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So sorry for your loss. May you find peace in knowing that your father finally got his wish and is now at rest.

Do look into a local support group for yourself and your mother. And we're here anytime you need.
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((((((hugs))))) My deepest sympathies on the loss of your father, This all has happened so quickly. It must very hard on you and your mother, Hoping you can find some time for peace and rest with all the activity this next week, Take care of yourself.
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Inaneone
Im really sorry for the loss of your father. Peace for you and your mom.
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My father passed away tonight. Thank you all for responding to me. My heart is with all of you struggling through this. Bless you, all.
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worriedinCali Mar 12, 2019
I’m So sorry for your loss.
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My father passed away tonight. Thank you all for responding to me. My heart is with all of you struggling through this. Bless you, all.
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I would not put your mother through that. I was an abused child, and I've been advised by multiple people that abused children should not personally tend their abusive parent/s. The opportunity to abuse is very present, and a very stressed caregiver could do something in frustration. Now apply that to abused spouses- verbally counts. I'd think it is the same, especially if he's already being verbally abusive. He could even mention something he makes up about your mother to a mandated reporter who knows she was/is abused, and she could be investigated.

The only way I would allow him home is if mom were not there to be his verbal punching bag. Does he have the $ to pay for private psych workers 24/7, while the family only visits the house? Is the setting worth that sacrifice, to strip your mother of her home when it is he who abuses?

So no. Don't allow him to come home but instead put him where he needs to be. That may be a geriatric psych unit. Tell him he can come home once his meds are straightened out and he's recovered enough from the surgeries to go home. That day will never come, but you will not destroy the little hope he has left. And more importantly, it will protect your mother.
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I should add- his health is bad, has been for a decade or longer. He's had multiple heart surgeries, hip replacement, thyroid removal, congestive heart failure and COPD. We believe he has only months to live, if that. The onset of dementia is making it 1000 times worse. He's a very thin, frail shell of the 260lb man he used to be. He may fight us about being in assisted living. He can not take care of himself though, he is dependent on my mother. She's had enough. Their marriage was not a happy one, and the dementia has caused him to bring up things from the past that she does not want to talk about.

We want him to die at home, but because he is suicidal, we may not be able to let that happen. He is only strong enough to get to the bathroom and the kitchen by himself, but he may be bedridden for the rest of his life now. Even if he was able to walk again, I don't think home would be a good place for him. Is home dementia care for someone who is suicidal an option? Has anyone had to go through this?
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JoAnn29 Mar 10, 2019
No, I don't think home Hospice would accept a suicidal person. And they are not there 24/7 so Mom would be responsible for most of his care. I also think he is beyond an AL. Ask if the hospital offers hospice. Or have him transferred to LTC on hospice.
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One reason why assisted suicide should be legal in all 50 states
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anonymous888845 Mar 10, 2019
He begs for death. Not a day goes by that I don't wish for the same thing. I wish NY would pass the law already.... but even then, they want to limit it to terminally ill patients who are, without a doubt, given a set amount of time to live. My father will not be allowed to die with dignity.
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If dad's in the early stages he has most of his thinking abolition left. If he recovers enough to go home, would it be possible for his wife to go to an assisted or independent living situation before he makes another attempt? I can sympathize with his predicament but also with yours. If he's still in his right mind (except for suicidal ideation), he could live alone.
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I certainly don't think it's too early, the broken hip alone can be something than requires either permanent NH care or a long stint in NH as many elderly patients, especially ones already in decline never fully recover and can go down hill even more rapidly. The Dementia I think may be a real contributing factor to his possible lack of full recovery, there can be so many factors that become more complicated as a result. But even without that, if he is suicidal and no one was able to get a handle on that after the first attempt it is far too much and could even be dangerous for your mother and you really have to think about her. In his more lucid moments he might even accept that he has to think of her and his desire weather constant or periodic to do himself harm is at the very least going to be emotionally horrible for her. Should he succeed she may feel guilty and responsible for the rest of her life and of course there is always the chance he will harm her physically not meaning to. This is a good opportunity though, your sister is right, he will have to go to rehab and likely longer term rehab with his hip so you might ease him into permanence by choosing one that then offers AL and or MC residency after he is done with rehab if you can find one.

That said, maybe getting your dad a Geriatric psyc eval while he is at the hospital could help with his depression and suicidal tendencies (no doubt he has had this but maybe there is more they can do?) but if you have tried all of that, medication even if called for, does he have other medical or physical issues that make him feel the end is near or want to to be? Is he in his right mind so to speak or altered when planning and trying to carry out suicide? Part of me can understand the desire to pass at home before having to be moved to a NH but he doesn't live alone and your mom isn't on board with what he's doing so it isn't all about him and his wishes. It's such a hard thing to understand and live through, I'm so sorry your family is having to go through this.
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