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My dad is a navy vet living in AZ. Recently he was hospitalized with UTI and this went septic. I live in Maine and I have sister that lives near him however she is not able to get him "onboard" for a visiting care worker. I believe my dad is either suffering from dementia or possibly another UTI . I am riddled with worry and not sure where to turn. Any one have some useful info I can work with?

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Without other information, he's an adult just like you and can make his own choices. We have to be careful we don't prematurely try and take away their independence. Yes, its for their own good but put it this way...do we always do whats best for us? Anyone of us need to lose weight but we still over eat and don't exercise? Perhaps not drive as carefully as we should? Have a few too many drinks? Not ask for help whe. We should? I'm 53 and i am guilty of all of these. Why do we expect our parents to be different?

Try different approaches. And it still might now work. We haven't been able to convince my stepdad to get a hearing aid. Not even with pointing out he wouldn't hear mom if something happened to her...he believes he would. So we got mom a fall detection life alert.

Just keep in mind how YOU would feel if one of your kids became concerned because you fell, forgot something, etc and tried to convince you to get help. I am 53 and get irritated with commercials and scenes in TV/movies where it shows younger people thinking we (starting at least age 50) can't do or think for ourselves (esp the one for...i think its ensure where the daughter got it for her mom). They feel the same way. Maybe instead of either telling your dad he needs help, or asking if he needs help, talk to him about what its like to get older. Is it scary? What would he have done differently at your age. Or...he needs to feel needed...if you see something that needs to be done he isnt doing or could use help with, ask him to teach you how to ________ as you have the same problem and don't know how to do it.

For care at home, is it really necessary (do the doctors suggest it?) If so, having it is just part of the recovery plan (and thats what we told my mom/stepdad). If not, it might not be really necessary.
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The VA can help quite a bit. there are programs that will get people into the house several times a week.
Depending on his condition(s) and when he served he may have service connected disabilities and depending on the % he may qualify for residing at a VA facility.
contact the VA and ask about what he may qualify. He may also qualify for a pension that would enable him to pay for additional care givers.
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thanks to all!! I will be leaving for Az on Monday and will be using the great advise you all have provided. I am so very thankful.
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Great advice about getting things in order, in case he does need someone acting on his behalf soon. I might first try to figure out if it's the UTI or dementia that is going on. A urologist should be able to figure it out and treat appropriately. And if no UTI, how does he seem?

Was he functioning okay before the UTI?

Have you been around him much since this started? I might schedule a trip so you can be with him around the clock for a couple of days to get a close look at the situation. It might help you see just what the situation is and how fast action might need to be taken.

It helps to actually see how things look in the fridge, clean laundry, unpaid bills, medication compliance, etc. Often in the phone call they just say things are fine.....which may or may not be the case.
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You're also dealing with a Vet who may have the stoic attitude that he can handle his own care and life and solve problems himself. That can be a strong motivation and support belief, but it can also prevent adult sibling from intervening.

Is he getting any care through the VA? If so, your sister or you could contact his primary care doctor who coordinates the VA care and perhaps make an appointment for him, then notify him - the VA generally sets appointment w/o prior contact with the Vet. Even if neither of you have HIPAA authority, you can initiate contact w/o asking questions as to his health care. Or send a letter, quickly.

Getting in on board with VA care would be a good idea, especially as the VA (in our area, and from what I've read nationally as well) is taking a more proactive role in addressing problems developed by Vets. Some of this is directed toward mental issues, but intake as I recalled it addressed issues of depression, etc.

And I agree with Windy; find a way to get him to see a urologist.

Do you have any bargaining chips you or your sister could use? I.e., does he depend on you for transporation, grocery shopping, etc.? If so, you could gently explain that while you want to support him, you also want to ensure that that support addresses needs which are new to both of you, and that you can't be a willing participant in some aspects of care but be shut out of others.
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I agree with Windyridge, it usually will take a crisis or two or three before a parent will finally decide they need outside help. My parents were extremely stubborn, could be the generation [they were in their 90's] who feel they can still manage on their own. But in the meantime they are driving us crazy with worry.

Do either you or your sister have Power of Attorney over Dad? Just curious, if not and your Dad doesn't have someone as his POA, time to get him to an attorney to have one done.... assuming your Dad can still understand a legal document. A POA will be helpful later down the road.
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Many of us are in similar circumstances careing for elderly parents. I'm 3 states away from my very stubborn and failing parents. They are hanging by a thread and refuse to let me bring in any home care, cleaning etc.

In my case and many others it will take a crisis to effect any change. Meanwhile we can only do as much as elders will allow. We all find ourselves in the swamp of legal competence but practical incompetence. My folks have terrible judgement but no court or APS would intervene at this point.

Get him to a urologist for the UTIs. It can really make a difference. His doc can also do a mini mental test to check for dementia.

This is a common topic on this forum. Hopefully others will share their experiences.
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