Mother refuses to allow 5 children to help her in caring for father at home. What do we do? - AgingCare.com

Mother refuses to allow 5 children to help her in caring for father at home. What do we do?

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My 77 year-old father has multiple health concerns and has just recently became helpless - cannot walk, turn over in bed, or feed himself. My mother is caring for him at home and says all their children work so she doesn't want to ask them to help because they are unable to take time off from work. She is recently recovering from eye surgery and is insisting that she needs help but wants help from public services/places, not family. What should we do? Just make a schedule with the 5 kids and tell our mother what days we will be there?

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Thank you to everyone who answered my question about adult children helping our mother with our father's care. Very helpful suggestions and I will focus on giving physical assistance for now since my mother is limited in what she should be doing. I plan to involve my other siblings in plans to help out also.
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You can help in so many ways besides hands on caring for dad. Do her cooking, shopping, cleaning, bill paying, car maintenance, lawn maintenance, assist with dr visits, go to the pharmacy OR stay with dad while she does some of those things. Sometimes it's good to get out even for a little while. Make sure one or more of you have DPOA for each parent. Make sure mom keeps her own appointments and does no lifting as probably directed by her dr following her eye surgery.Help your mom find help as has been suggested so she can manage his care but not have all the responsibility. Two of you will need to visit at the same time. One to sit with dad and the other to go over things with mom. You might consider a camera. All of you, including mom, need training on how to turn your dad etc. Is he expected to get better or will he be going on hospice? Home health through Medicare will send a nurse in once a week and an aid to bathe him up to three times a week. The home health can take blood as ordered by the dr. Also therapy can be ordered to get him up to sit in a chair or work his muscles and help train family members. It's commendable that your mom wants to handle his care but it is amazing how many it takes to care for one person who is bed bound. If dad is able to use it, a buzzer or a phone or bell is useful to signal that he needs help. Will he be in his bedroom? Does he have a tv in the room? Can he see outside? Would he like a grandchild to come over and read to him? Start with the basics considering his situation and you'll be able to adjust as you go along to what's appropriate for him. Communicate with mom that you want to help and that if she becomes exhausted that the five of you will then have two parents to care for. It could be helpful if one of the family spent the night so that your mom could call for help if she needed to. It will take on a life of it's own, so to speak, and you will soon see what is required. So let her get in all the help she can to help her with dad while you and the family keep her household running smoothly and watch over them both. Good luck and let us know how it's going.
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Help her line up the outside services if she hasn't already and just visit a lot. You can see for yourselves what gaps in care there really are, if any. And you can see if Mom is burning herself out due to guilt or just really not wanting to burden the kids.
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I think your mother's being very considerate of the family, and she's also opening the situation to outside assistance. Go for that. More often the case is that one spouse doesn't want outside assistance.

Start calling the county offices, Senior Centers, and get an idea of what they can offer. In the case of the county, it might be just occasional nursing. The Senior Centers may have information on home care agencies.

How the family can help (so you don't feel left out and do feel as though you're making a contribution), is to create lists of everything that needs to be done. Each of you can contact different care agencies, then pool your observations and shortlist a few to interview.

Believe me, that would be a MAJOR help to your mother. Calling and getting info from agencies can be time consuming, and of course, they're all the best if you speak with one of their marketers.

You can also when calling Senior Centers is ask if they have home care expos. In my area, the better managed and run centers have them annually, generally in the fall. The Area Agency on Aging also holds annual caregiver expos - they're massive, and have a lot of participation. I take a little rolling luggage carrier and fill it with handouts, then sort them later for future use.

You can get information not only on home care agencies, but also on transportation and other sources of assistance.

Since your mother has recently had eye surgery, I would first focus on getting physical assistance for your father as too much movement or improper stance might affect your mother's recovery. You can work on cleaning, household and yard assistance later.

And that's another aspect: itemize what household and exterior chores need to be done so you can find sources for that. If your NC area has winter snow and storms, start contacting snow services so your parents walks and driveway will always be accessible for EMS if necessary.

Either ask neighbors or make arrangements with your siblings to get the mail and take out the garbage so your parents don't have to do that. These can easily be done after work, so your mother can feel comfortable that she's helping you to help her, but not interfering with your jobs.

Plan some weekend respites; you can alternate so each of you has a chance to visit. You might want to bring meals with enough extras that can be frozen so your mother doesn't have to cook as much during the week.
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Get her the help, NOW.
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I would respect Mom's wishes to let her hire caregivers to come in to help.

Many of us usually have the opposite problem when one parents refuses to lets strangers from an Agency into the house to help the both of them.

Later down the road, when Mom needs more help and it becomes to costly then you and your siblings could help.
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Do you know if they qualify for home health care services? I'd find out what is available and if it's feasible to provide around the clock care for your dad at home, even with some help. A senior taking care of a completely bed bound person sounds outrageous to me, but, perhaps others here can give you advice on how she might manage.

If it's determined that it's not feasible to do it her way, I'd explain to her that dad's needs have to protected. I'd get legal advice on how to proceed and then I'd do it. Also, does your dad's doctor know what condition he's in and how he's receiving care? Maybe, he can advise your mom what dad really needs.
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