My 93 yr old failing and stubborn father won't accept help with my 90 yr old mother with dementia. Please help!

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Mom is total care. My 90 yr old mom has had dementia for 10 yrs. She basically sits in her chair all day, gets up to go to the bathroom with assistance and to the kitchen table with assistance. She is clueless (sorry if that sounds harsh) to any of the issues in the house. My 93 yr old dad, has had 3 heart attacks since October of last year. His kidneys are already living on borrowed time and he doesn't follow the doctors orders of catheterizing himself every 8 hrs because it's too much work. He also figures that since he can urinate a little on his own, it justifies not following directions. He spent four days starting Easter evening at the hospital with a major UTI because of his not following directions. He has since had diarrhea before his hospital stay and continues to lose weight daily. He has lost 7 pounds this last week from not eating or drinking. He is so weak, he is either in bed or on the couch, quite often letting mom fend for herself. She has already fallen once because he wasn't helping her. He is stubborn to the core and refuses help.


He has been making choices like leaving shattered glass all over the kitchen floor for 24 hours and not cleaning up the bathroom floor after not making it to the bathroom in time. My mom walks barefoot in the condo most of the time. Dad doesn't like being told that his choices are putting mom in harms way. The above examples are just a few of the many bad choices he has made. He can handle it. NOT


My oldest brother refuses to take charge. My other brother and I are pulling our hair out with worry for what is going on. My oldest brothers wife goes to my parents 3 afternoons a week to make sure mom at least gets a shower twice a week. It is getting harder and harder for her dedicate her time to helping mom when she also ends up cleaning up the kitchen and bathrooms since my dad does nothing but leave everything and not clean it up. She gets paid big money for what she does. My oldest brother isn't willing to do what is necessary to become POA, and his wife makes big money those afternoons she is there, makes us wonder if his unwillingness to take over is in fear of losing that income. They refuse to have dad declared unfit because that is "just mean".


Life tasks aren't happening. Major safety issues are happening. Dad's physical health is in major decline. We are questioning his mental, even though he is aware of the day, month, who is president, etc. His common sense is gone. My SIL organizes all of his meds because he is on 12 everyday and when he was in charge, he would decide he doesn't have a problem anymore and just not take that med, which caused several hospitalizations. Uugghh


I'm at a loss. What can I do.... legally? It is affecting me physically and mentally. I need help.

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nsnoekums, when it comes to Power of Attorney, only your Mom and Dad can appoint someone to be their Power of Attorney. Unfortunately your Mom is at a point in her dementia where she no longer can understand legal documents. And if your Dad is declared unfit, then he also can no longer do the same.

If there are no POA's, then it makes me wonder if there are Wills, as usually those legal documents go hand in hand, along with Medical Directives.

Only thing left to do is get Guardianship for both parents, and that can be expensive. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/how-to-get-guardianship-of-elderly-parents-140693.htm

Yes, many elders can be extremely stubborn because they are grabbing onto the last sense of independence. And your Dad doesn't want to admit he can no longer take care of your Mom. It is pride in his case.

Usually what we need to do is wait until there is a serious fall or an illness that would require hospital stay. Hospital to Rehab to Assisted Living or long-term-care depending on what your parents can budget. If they don't have the ability to be self-pay, then one can apply for Medicaid for help.
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I would say have a family meeting where no one needs to “take charge” so to speak, but a solution needs to be found. It’s obvious to me, in reading your litany of impending disasters, that they can no longer live on their own. It’s hard to believe that nothing really major has happened to them yet.

If no one has POA for them, that also needs to be done. You will meet resistance at every turn, especially from Dad. It’s possible that he too is suffering from dementia, as the ability to make the right choices is often a symptom. Their doctors can help you handle this transition or point you toward someone who can.

Your first responsibility is to have this meeting to decide the best course of action. I would strongly advise against bringing them to live with any of you in your home. They both need 24/7 observation, supervision and medical care. Apply for Medicaid if needed. Tour facilities to find out what’s available in your area. You all need to work together to find someplace for them where they’re safe. Living alone with drop in help from their stressed out kids is no longer an option. Let us know how it goes.
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