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I'm new to caregiving and I've started reading "How to care for aging parents" too late, because a series of surmountable crises have come up - but neither my father or I were fully planned/prepared. After a stroke (mostly mild and recovered from, but activity and speech are diminished) and most recently a stumble-related fall resulting in hurt arm possibly broken hand and broken foot - I am having difficulties communicating with multiple doctors and meeting all of his needs - prior to surgery, am concerned about after care. Does anyone have recommendations for getting referrals for healthcare case workers to help navigate this situation? Difficult getting direction from primary care physician.

Also my Dad doesn't want to really discuss giving me power of attorney, has anyone used/set up or obtained a health care proxy? If so - is ther a best way to do it/pros/cons?

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Trespaws: I'm glad that this forum was able to assist you. Best of luck to your dad! Many of us here have been through it all/seen it all. Don't hesitate to ask questions.
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Glad the surgery is behind you...will he be going to rehab?

My mom has aphasia from a stroke, and also developed vascular dementia. She has been very much helped by seeing a series of geriatric psychiatrist who have prescribed antianxiety and antidepressant meds which have made her fear and agitation less pronounced.
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Thank you all for your comments, advice and information. My Dad had surgery on his foot yesterday, and while at admissions at the hospital, they indicated they didn't have the form that he could sign for me to be able to call in or discuss his recovery after the surgery (in lieu of a health care power of attorney) and I cried out of frustration. I told them of the form their own health system said they would have, and they had never heard of it. Thankfully a great group of nurses and the admissions staff gathered their resources and helped me not only track down the form (good for only this procedure), helped me with other issues that had arisen over the past three days - that I was getting endless "circle" answers for. Sometimes things do work out.

I have had a list of things to address and have been tying names/directions/phone numbers to them - an attempt at a game plan - for now if not long term.

Getting my dad on board is going to be a process. He is competent but has speech issues. He passed all of his ST benchmarks so insurance will not cover additional therapy. His biggest issue is aching joints (severe pain that exhausts him), occasional stroke fatigue, and a very stubborn streak to keep things the way he likes them even if it doesn't serve him or his health. I am starting a process I should have a decade ago. But lists and what I'll call one step toward progress - have buoyed me for this week. I can see that This forum will be an asset for me in the time to come.
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Trespaws: You will have to TAKE THE LEAD HERE. Your dad is no longer to make decisions.
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(and am passing on to you) is to try to read up on your elder's specific ailment. Sorry- I hit send by mistake.
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Trespaws: Yes, I easily set up DPOA for my late mother and had it notarized. It was very easy as the local "one-stop-shop" also had based there a notary public.The one thing I could have probably done better (and am passing on t
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This doesn't answer the question persay, but my experience is the louder you are and the more adamant you are the more attention and information you'll get. All of the above replies have good resources to start with. But if you're anything like me the panic and anxiety has set in and you want answers NOW. I pestered the hell out my dad's pcp office and his insurance case manager. I left multiple frantic messages. I called his insurance nurse hotline a gazillion times and let them know repeatedly I am new to this and what DO I Do!!! I am sure they thought I was a freak from the Netherlands. Frankly I didn't care and felt it was their job to help me. Every single person I talked to I let them know I was new and ignorant and needed help. And I felt no one was communicating effectively to get the best help possible for my father. If you ask, most of the times they will start to get the message, but you have to ask and ask often and ask everyone until someone gets it.
It helps a little too, venting. Hang in there! Keep on and know it'll get easier with time and a little hollering. Don't be shy. "Give em' h3ll!" dont give up and know you aren't alone.
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From your description, it sounds to me like he's not ready to admit that he needs help. I don't know how competent your dad is, but if he's still competent enough to make decisions I'm not sure how much more you'll be able to do if anything. I don't know what all may be going through his mind right now, but it sounds to me like he wants to maintain his independence. It sounds to me like he may also need some speech therapy and maybe some other therapy to help him regain whatever functions he lost in the mild stroke. As for the broken bones, I don't know whether or not he was ever treated, but it sounds to me like he may have osteoporosis. Usually if a person consumes a lot of caffeine based beverages, they get osteoporosis at some point after the caffeine has leached enough calcium from the bones, which causes broken bones. Osteoporosis is nothing to ignore, nor are broken bones.

Have you ever looked into in-home healthcare for him? This may actually be a very good option. A friend of mine had in-home healthcare which seems to be much cheaper than being in a facility.
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A geriatric care manager can advocate for your father and help you keep track of all the details. You can search for one by ZIP code at the Aging Life Care Association website (aginglifecare.org) Usually this service is private pay, and their fees/rates do tend to vary.

If you don't have the means to pay for it privately, your Area Agency on Aging may offer these services. Additionally, there may be other community service organizations that offer the care management or case management for older adults. For example, here in the Kansas City region, Jewish Family Services offers case management for free or reduced cost. (You don't have to be Jewish to use their services.) Dad's insurance company may also have case managers available - it couldn't hurt to ask and do a little research.

If none of these work out for your area, search for a "nurse case manager" or a "case manager." Usually case managers are social workers or nurses. Some home health agencies might have one on staff, too.

It's very proactive of you to be asking for help! Your father is lucky to have you!
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You can contact your local Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in your state. They may be able to direct you to where you can get an "Advance directive" or living will most people are familiar with. If you need to make financial decisions, then you will have to contact an elder attorney or one that assists with elder law.
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What is the nature of the difficulty you are having getting information from your father's PCP?

Is it that...
the PCP doesn't know the answers
the PCP declines to answer your questions
the PCP is maintaining confidentiality in the absence of alternative instructions from his patient
the PCP is maintaining confidentiality on the specific instructions of his patient..?

I suppose what I want to know is - as far as you can tell, does your father want you to act as his advocate or not? You could perhaps do worse than put that question to him verbatim.
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Dad doesn't want to discuss? He's had a stroke?

What part of " this is an emergency" does he not get?

"Dad, you've had a stroke. The next one might leave you unable to communicate your wishes. Let's make an appointment with this eldercare attorney, otherwise, the state is going to decide how you get cared for".

Sorry i haven't answered your question. I wouldn't do caregiving for an elder who doesn't trust me; it's a recipe for disaster. Suggest the lawyer as poa.

You can google "geriatric care managers".
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