My father won't get out of bed and is refusing care. Do I just let him be? -

My father won't get out of bed and is refusing care. Do I just let him be?


My father was placed in a care home 4 months ago. He was still walking then. He has a little bit of dementia, but is very stubborn and angry about being there. He was a life long alcoholic and also abused Vicodin. The NH where he is dried him out. Now Dad won't participate in activities, refuses to do physical therapy, and now won't get out of bed. He reads all day and refuses to do anything else. I try to explain to him that he needs to get up or soon his muscles will atrophy and he won't be able to walk. He can still stand using a walker and walk a few steps. I am frustrated and so is the staff of the NH. Dad has always been an angry and controlling person. He is 86, by the way. Do I just let him be? What would you do if you had to deal with this situation? I try to encourage him to get up, to try walking, to watch tv, to socialize with other residents. All he wants to do is read and block everything out. He doesn't get up to use the bathroom, just uses the depends like a diaper. I would appreciate any suggestions.

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After my father’s stroke, while he was in ICU, he was having horrible tremors and other symptoms that were not stroke related. I called his doctor and said that he was probably going through withdrawals from alcohol (which can kill a person!). He treated him for that and later my dad had to be placed on an antidepressant. He has been sober now for about 10 years (because his 24/7 caregivers won’t give him alcohol). Your father should be seen by a geriatric psychiatrist knowledgeable about alcoholism. It made a huge difference in my father’s life. He went from a controlling, raging alcoholic to a sweet old man. Due to his stroke, he is in a wheelchair. I would address his mental health first before trying to get him to walk.
Helpful Answer (3)

JoAnn said it all.

The only thing I'll add is that your dad is probably pissed about being "dried out". My dad was an alcoholic too and that was the last thing he wanted to do. The booze is THE most important thing--coming 1st above family, job or anything else.

You said he's always been an angry and controlling person. He is no different now. He's angry at being denied booze and controlling the situation by purposely not doing what everyone wants him to do. He'll show you all. The only one he's really hurting is himself. If he doesn't care, don't get upset about it (if you can). He's only been there 4 months. Give him a little more time to adjust (especially without the alcohol and drugs). Can the NH have someone come in to talk to him (therapist)?

Don't make a big deal out of him not cooperating, as he will use this against you. I wouldn't even bring up the consequences of not cooperating. My dad even snuck booze into the board and care home. He was warned that he could fall and bleed out. (He took blood thinners.) He didn't care, so how could I be too worried.

Resign yourself that he will do things how he wants to.
Helpful Answer (4)

Not much you are the staff can do. Once a person is a resident of a AL or NH the state considers that their home. You cannot restrain him or make him do anything. The staff have ways to work around this to get residents moving but when a resident is adamant, they can't force. It's considered abuse. For your peace of mind you are just going have to let him have his way. If using a Depends as his toilet doesn't bother him, don't let it bother you. Just visit and do what you can. If he is miserable and abusing verbally leave and tell him you will be back when he is in a better mood. They really don't want to be alone. He may come around and he may not. That is his choice not yours.
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