What are my options when my mother is my dad's sole caregiver and she is neglecting and verbally abusing him?

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I'm not sure what else to do. My mother (a recent recovering alcoholic who is still Addicted to prescription meds) is the primary caregiver to my dad (stage iv lung cancer with brain metastasis). He has outlived his prognosis of 6 months to 1 year to 5 1/2 years! His quality of life has changed significantly and my mom refuses to cope - she feeds him whatever is easiest or takeout, let's him sleep till noon or later, won't make the effort to cook the healthy meals when all the resources are there (I have help from elder services for food shopping and cleaning) as well food shopping myself. He has been ordered by the doctors not to drive yet she continues to let him time and time and again and gets caught. She's putting his life in jeopardy and I'm at a loss as to what to do. I stayed there for almost 2 months until she basically drove me out and I'm scared for my dads life. What are my rights? I've reported her for elder abuse but that was useless.

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Anamsiew, something I considered after re-reading what you wrote is that you may be expecting nutritious food and living a certain schedule will help. My mother did that with my father, who had very little appetite. He was very close to death, but she felt like if he would only eat more and drink more water, then he would be able to live longer. My father really only wanted light foods because his body was shutting down. There was no amount of healthy food or vitamins that were going to save his life, because it was near his time. I can actually understand your mother and sympathize with her as she is watching her husband slowly pass to the other side. I would be tempted myself to get in there with her and throw support her way, knowing that there was no cure for my father. It is totally in God's hands, no matter what your mother serves him for dinner.

I also let my parents sleep as long as they want. It's not like they have a list of things they have to do. Old people's lives can be pretty boring and they sleep a lot toward the end of life. Thank goodness for TV with my mother! It helps keep her entertained so I can work and do things I need to. Your mother must be doing okay if your father was given a few months and he is still alive 5.5 years later. He must not want to leave his life just yet.
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Dear anamsiew,

I hear your concern for your dad. Have you tried talking to him? Is he OK with your mom's behaviour? If you are still concerned you could contact Adult Protective Services. Or talk to the social worker about your options. Are you able to move your dad to your home?

I'm sure things have not been easy for your mom either. Like the others have said, she could be burned out or even depressed herself. She probably is coping as well as you can given her own challenges as a recovering alcoholic.

In hindsight, I feel Ike based on what you are saying, I, too would be considered guilty of elder abuse. My dad almost starved to death after rehab from a stroke. Three months of taking 10 pills a day and he had no appetite. Once he got home and we were able to change his pills, he was able to eat again. I would let him do whatever he wanted. Sleep in. Eat all his favorite foods. Watch TV. I was so desperate for him to eat, I would let him have restaurant food almost every day. In hindsight, I do feel I made a mistake. But he was also grumpy and giving me stony looks. I didn't know what to do sometimes, but just take care of the surface issues. No offer help from siblings, friends or extended family.
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I agree, CeeCii. I wonder if she is at that "what does it matter, anyway" stage. Caregivers can reach that stage where they know they are just waiting. They are living in survival mode. Anamsiew, the only thing I can think of is to have someone come in so your mother can take some days off for herself. It may just be that she is burned out. Tell us a bit more and people may have some better advice about good things to do.
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I don't think your mom has 100% control over you father like that. Not eating a healthy diet doesn't define elder abuse either. To me it seems there is something deeper going on that has you feeling like your mother is sabotaging your dad's safety?
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Anamsiew, has your Mom's difficulty to cope been recent or did it start back when your Dad was first diagnosed? Such a diagnose is so very stressful on a marriage. Your Mom probably was and still is scared. And she is probably being angry at your Dad for putting her through this. I know it's not fair for your Dad.

Your Mom wants your Dad to be the way he was before the diagnosis, thus the reason she has him drive. And the reason she cooks what she does.

Your Mom may not want to do this, but seeing a talk therapist might do her a world of good. She can get off her chest everything that is bothering her, and get suggestions on how to manage her fears. The hard part will be finding a therapist who accepts Medicare. Best to get someone who is close to your Mom's age, and it is easier to relate.
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