My dad doesn’t want me to supervise him while he’s in the restroom or taking a shower, of course I’m standing outside just in case he falls or needs help. He is extremely weak and wants to be left alone. He isn’t eating, he sleeps 24/7, he lives with me and I only see him 3 times a day because he said he would let me know if he needs anything. He has fallen 6 times in the past, all these times he fell, he failed to talk into the baby monitor to let me know he needed to go to the restroom. I had to put a hidden camera in his room. When I give him his last medication, I knock, walk into his room and his room is pitch black my brother, husband, and his brother has advised me to leave him alone and respect what he asked for, his independence. Tonight is the 4th night he goes to the restroom without being supervised. I can’t sleep!!!!!! I’m scared he might fall and get hurt what should I do? The nurses and therapist have told him he is very fortunate to have a daughter like me to care for him. If they only knew what I’m going thru😔 he stopped doing his exercise in bed, he lost interest watching tv or listening to music. If he’s awake he stares at the room until he goes back to sleep.

Respect his wishes. Discuss with him what his wishes are. If he falls and breaks a bone he is not a candidate for surgery and his bones will not heal well.
If he is not on Hospice I would hope he would accept that.
I suggest putting a light in his room that is motion activated so when he gets up to go to the bathroom he will not be in the dark. If you could get him to use a walker that would help. Place a walker in the shower so he can use it to steady himself. Or a shower chair. (I used to buy used walkers for the shower for my Husband to use. He would not use grab bars, he would hold on to a walker.)
The hard part of this is realizing the fact that your dad is dying and as safe as you want to keep him you can not stop the disease process.
Just give your dad a hug, spend time with him and tell him you love him, you will miss him and thank him for being the dad he is.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Grandma1954

So sorry for you my dear! I just went through similar with my Dad. He was stage 4 lung cancer with brain mets. These men are stubborn, and yes, there should be some respect for his wishes, however, it has to be balanced with his safety. Maybe remind him that he could lose his ability to walk if he takes a bad fall..? My Dad was wheelchair bound after a fall (possibly a stroke, or maybe hit his head, I will never know) but we hired a PSW to do the toileting. He didn't want me to do that. As Grandma said, you cannot stop the disease. He wants to hold on to his independence as long as he can, and I don't know him, but my Dad would rather have fallen and died quickly than to have to go so slowly. We gave him flashlights so he could see around him when he woke up in the dark. A motion activated light is a good idea. Another thing, is I kept asking for his advice - it helped him feel like he was still the man he'd always been. Hugs to you! It's a tough road you are on, and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Reply to cinderblock
GB2112 Jul 29, 2022
I second the motion-activated light. My mom was falling at night getting to and from her bed and the potty chair next to it. I bought an inexpensive plug-in motion activated nightlight for her bedroom and it decreased those episodes dramatically.
My mom used to get up multiple times during the night. She refused to use diapers to her dying day. I bought a battery operated motion alarm that was under $25. I hid the transmitter on the floor under her dresser, and the alarm chimed softly in my room whenever her feet hit the floor. I also got her a short bed rail which helped her get herself in and out of the bed. A motion light is another great aid. You do what you can, and the rest is up to the Divine.
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Reply to NYCmama

It sounds as though your father is trying to limit his own life – he is not eating, sleeping most of the time, and not interacting with you. Is that what the males relatives are seeing, when they tell you to ‘value his independence’? If he is still drinking fluids he will live for several more weeks, and ‘not eating’ is sometimes not literally true. Have you talked to him about ‘end of life’? If he is religious, a visit from a pastor might help – even if he is not religious, many pastors have lots of experience with end of life, and can help without too much ‘Bible’. A Hospice evaluation might also help, to explain things to you and to offer support to both of you.

One trivial thing – my gadget-minded husband recently bought a bedside clock that had the option to display the time on the ceiling, in what's called a 'seven segment display'. To my enormous surprise, I’ve found it fascinating when I am awake in the night. '8' is the only digit that uses all 7 segments. I see how the segments are tailored to look best, which of them work well upside-down, which digits I like and will wait for. It occupies me, changes every minute, and often sends me back to sleep by blocking out my other thoughts. And it was cheap! Your Dad might like it too.

You have my very best wishes at a difficult time for you and your father. Love, Margaret
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

Sadly, your father is dying of advanced lung cancer and his wishes are to be left alone. As hard as that must be for you to do, you must honor his wishes and leave him be. Get him a commode for his room, a nightlight as sp suggested, and some snacks that won't spoil for his bedside table. If he will agree to hospice, get them on board to administer comfort care like morphine to keep his pain minimized. I urge you to speak to him about hospice to see what he says. They will be a Godsend to him if/when he's in pain and needs help. They will bring him a hospital bed and supplies, too, free of charge and paid for by Medicare. They will help and support YOU, too, most importantly, and try to coach you through this terribly difficult time you are faced with.

If dad winds up falling one night on his way to the bathroom, call 911 and have him transported to the ER for care. Of course, he will have to agree to be taken by the EMTs. :(

My deepest condolences over what you are going through; this must be tremendously stressful for you to feel so helpless. Sending you a hug and a prayer for peace, for both you and your dear father.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to lealonnie1

Talk to his doctor. Maybe it's time for hospice care for your father. Hospice care is paliative care that makes a person comfortable but doesn't try to fix anything. Hospice care would make equipment and home care available. He may prefer a male aide (out of modesty) to help him go to the bathroom, shower and dress. All the best to you and your father.
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Reply to NancyIS

I’m wondering if your father made his intentions clear to all the male relatives, who haven’t told you because they think you might be upset or might not be willing to go along with it. Having a clearer idea might actually help you. I’d talk to them about it.

Hospice is a very good idea. If father isn’t in pain now, he is likely to be at the end (both like my own mother), and it’s good to be prepared in advance.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

You may learn more by easing up on him. The men I have known that age do not like being hovered over and told what to do.

Let him take charge of his life, while he still can. If he falls he falls. He will know it’s his fault. He’ll admit he was a dumb**s.

You may find he’s more receptive to some help if you follow his lead and stay as calm as you can. Try to remember that he’s an adult and in charge of his life, even though the decisions may not be the ones you would want him to make.

He may not have much time left here. Please try to enjoy the time you have together. Create some good memories, not ones of anger and frustration.
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Reply to BeckyT

Lung Cancer took my mother. I was adamant that she would be permitted to die at my home, under my care...........................then I had to go back on my word and release her to the professionals. She was up all night smoking and then started burning her skin, clothing and cancer scarf: with two babies in the house, my plans had to change. Even though she refused to let anyone, but me, bathe her, I had to give up the caregiver moniker in my last trimester of pregnancy. I had to place her with the professionals and I am most grateful that they kept me posted multiple times on some days and immediately upon the onset of her coma (a huge blessing that removed pain from her reality). The only advice I have is that you get some grief counseling and start the process of letting go.
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Reply to ConnieCaretaker

Caregiving 101
Night lights, a lighted pathway.
Provide a urinal bedside, with a lid.
Provide comfort care to the best of your ability.

So sorry that your Dad is so very ill.
Not many will know what you are going through.
My Dad passed of lung cancer. Things said by others during that time are still in my head.
People close to you, "brother, husband, his brother" are also going through similar, but have chosen a "hands off" stance, and told you to do that. Well, that's not you, is it? Your concerns are valid.

Your relationship is with your Dad, follow his wants and needs as close as possible. You are the one doing the caregiving it seems. Try not to impose your will on him while keeping him safe if you can.

Talk to caregivers here who may understand. Ignore any comments that don't fit.
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Reply to Sendhelp

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