Mom cares for Dad but she has broken both arms. What do I do?

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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?

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She drove to your place of work?? Are her arms really broken or just banged up? Good luck with this.. I agee she may need any eval also
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You may or may not know, but there are any number of posts and threads on here with the parents doing all kinds of maladaptive things with their lives, but still deemed legallly competent to do so, and the kids are left to wait for something bad to happen. Well, it has happened.

Dad should not be home alone. Mom has in fact failed as a caregiver and yes, most likely because she is becoming mildly cognitively impaired and does not realize it, so just keeps doing what she has always done. Why she DROVE to you rather than CALLING is another thing to think about here as well as the things you mentioned that make very little sense. Two Tylenols on one occasion (I'm guessing she had 650mg and gave two, which is 1300) isn't going to hurt him, but could if he got that regularly more than 2-3 times a day. Feeling angry and upset is understandable, I mean if they had not been such hard-headed sticks in the mud they might still have their health and their brains. But, now they don't. Sorry to be blunt.

Use this as the chance to get them out of the trailer into assisted living, and get it near you, so the crises, though hopefully less frequent, will not involve repeated out-of-town emergency travel. The social workers and/or discharge planneres wherever Mom is SHOULD help you, but they will need to be asked to get involved and they will need to know what has actually been going on, from you, and not just from Mom who will likely not fill them in fully truthfully or at all truthfully. Mom needs a couple of things - a mental status assessment, ideally as part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment, and a bone densitometry and treatment if it is low; all adults with even relatively low-impact (i.e. not a car wreck) fractures needs this done. Get the important papers in place if they aren't already. Your options to do all that may seem expensive now, but things are not going to get better and letting them return to living on their own will be at least as bad and probably worse.

Sorry the inevitable is happening to you and yours. And don't feel too bad about it, most of us on here didn't see it coming at least once in our journey.
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As you say, enough is enough. They are both incompetent to care for themselves. Talk to social worker at the hospital and tell her what you've told us. DO NOT VOLUNTEER TO TAKE THEM INTO YOUR HOME. They need professional care. Obviously, you are "just"the kid.
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You have two options. Either get them into some kind of managed care (not sure what you have available in Canada) or leave them to their own devices and refuse to be the Superwoman who rescues them every time they make another foolish decision.

If they don't see the need for care (which sounds like what they'll say based on all that you wrote), then I'd just tell them that you can't put your own family at risk and let them figure things out for themselves. Sometimes you have to play hardball to get people to take care of themselves.

It sounds like your parents have always been irresponsible and made poor choices regarding their health. There's no reason you have to jump in and save them from themselves every time. You're only rewarding that poor behavior. Good luck and please come back and let us know what happens. I'm 63 and can't imagine being in the shape your folks are in! They're still both very young to be having all of these issues (in my book anyway).
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They are both in need of intervention. Talk to the Social Worker at the hospital.
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