Hello, 5 years ago my Dad was diagnosed with Dementia brought on by diabetes diagnosed in 1992 (he has many secondary conditions as well). Both my Mom and Dad are 67 and my Mom is the primary caregiver. After their retrement 7 years ago and up until recently they have lived the life of the Snowbird (6 months in Canada and 6 months in Florida) My Dad is very dominant and is resistant in his willingness to comply with a healthy lifestyle to reduce the side effects of his medications or of his poor diet and the lack of even the most basic of exercise (ie walking to the car vs taking the scooter etc) and I think over the years it has just been easier for my mom to let him have his way because he can get quite angry if she pushes him. So his eating habits and physical hygiene are always a point of contention for us. She just lets him do whatever. She insists that can handle it and him so we have always let her have her way. I want to believe she can manage and that she handles him 100% by herself in Florida with no support what-so-ever. She tells be they are very happy.
They have recently arrived home after a few complications (which we tried to handle or help her handle but she ignored advice and it was only made worse) but yesterday my dad had a paralyzed right arm and spent the day in emergency with my Mom at his side. It turned out he hadn't had a stroke at all but they suggested rest and a follow up. They were both EXHAUSTED and spent the night tossing and turning which often happens when my Dad has been in the hospital where he is confused ad overwhelmed (and hugely frightened I am sure). So no one slept and he had a terrible headache to boot.
So here's where it gets interesting: I spoke to my mom today and advised her to take it easy and STAY AT HOME. I would come by after work to get laundry and bring food. I asked her nicely to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay at home. Rest and try to take it easy. Dad had a busy day before and no sleep so she shouldn't try to go anywhere.I know she is burnt out from yeterday too. I recieved a call from the doctor that Dad should return to the hospital for another follow up test and Mom said she would take him. The appointment was at 10 and by 1230 she flies in the door of my home where I work saying Dad had fallen on the front steps of my house and that she was in shock because she had been in our village and at the laundry mat (WHAT THE HECK??!!!) and she had fallen too and both her arms felt broken. Even though she had driven to the house from downtown.
Needless to say, I was very upset. Dad was fine thank goodness since he broken a leg doing that same thing (even though the steps are safe!) last year. But the ambulance took mom to local hospital 30 minutes away. I'm waiting to hear from them/her and am very worried.
So now my poor confused Dad is sleeping on the couch having a nap and I am wondering what in the world I'm going to do with the both of them if she can't take care of them. They live in a mobile home in both Canada and in Florida.
I am asking for advice because I have two high needs children (one in competitive sports and one with Aspergers and autistic disorder) both of which take up most of my time when I'm not working to keep a roof over our heads. My wonderful husband while very supportive, is very frustrated because my parents don't follow any of our advice EVER. If we say :stay, they go. If I say that's not good then she does it. I feel angry because for 20 years since my Dad's diabetic diagnosis they have ignored medical advice and my offers of help and when these crises occur (there always is one or ten when they are in Canada) then I am expected to pick up the pieces and put my children and marriage under pressure. I want to be a good daughter and be there for them but don't want to be stuck picking up the pieces ALL THE TIME. I am resentful that once again we are in crisis because she failed to use common sense. I don't have one more ounce to give and our home and my work environment is not conducive to having my disabled parents here 24/7. I am 43 and can't spend my last few remaining sane (because you know I'm going to lose my mind from all this) fixing problems they won't let me prevent,
Should I be worried she is unwell too? Is this inability to see sense an indication she has some mental deterioration too? I mean who takes a possible stroke patient to the laundry mat? Around town? She gave him 1400 mg of Acetaminophen today by accident! She hasn't taken his blood sugar since October. Is she caring for him well enough? And what about her health? I know he's difficult but when do I say enough is enough? They live on her Teacher's pension so they don't have a lot of money and neither do we, My brother and I have been estranged for 10 years and he lives in Hong Kong. They do speak occasionally but he is far removed from the everyday.
Am I wrong to be angry and upset? What can I do? Any suggestions and advice?