What to do when your parents don't want to leave their home, but can't care for themselves? - AgingCare.com

What to do when your parents don't want to leave their home, but can't care for themselves?

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My mother and father still live at home by themselves, my mother drinks constantly and will not bath or comb her hair. My father smokes like a dragon-he has COPD and Emphysema. He buys alcohol and beer for my mother. He should not be driving, but my older siblings tell me that I should leave them alone. Because they are old and set in their ways. The house is filthy and getting worse everyday. I want to keep them safe, but as I said before my older siblings think it is best to leave them at home to do as they please. They are both sick and refuse to go the doctors. Can someone give some advice as to how I can convince them to let home health come in and assist them? Advice please....

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Take a step back and leave them to their own devices. If you can't do that, call APS and let them take charge of the situation. Don't put your, health, sanity and your future self at risk by taking them into your home to take care of them when something does happen. I agree with Sunnygirl to talk to an elder attorney to know your rights when there is a crisis. It never hurts to have your ducks in a row because when something does happen, they probably will need 24 hour care that you can't provide in your own home. Whatever you do, take care of yourself and protect yourself first.
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Have you been around your mom enough to know if she is okay mentally? Do you think that she's competent to make her own decisions? If so, the options are limited, but, I'd watch to see how she fares in that environment. If she's not able to look out for herself, then, your dad may not be taking proper care of her. Since, it seems that they both may end up needing care and being opposed to it, I'd consult with an Elder Law attorney in their jurisdiction. They can explain the law and what options you might have, if they do become unable to make their own decisions.
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Countrygirl, what you have with your parents is a very common problem. As one gets older they want to hang onto every little of independence that they have left, even if it means they are living alone in a house.

Usually what we need to do is to wait for a medical emergency, or two, or three before we can take action. If an illness gets to a point where one needs to call 911, then that parent will have a short stay in the hospital, then into Rehab, and hopefully in Assisted Living [if that is within their budget] or a skilled nursing home.

Then there will be the worry of the remaining spouse.... either they are eager to move to senior living, or you once again have to wait for a medical emergency.

As long as one's parents are clear minded, there isn't much we can do. Except not enable them to keep living in their house. Like be at their beckon call. Otherwise they would have no reason to move.
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