Problems with a step-mother. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Problems with a step-mother. Any advice?

Follow
Share

My dad seems to be between stage 4 and stage 6 with Alzheimer's disease. My step-mother does not seem to understand the importance of having him see a specialist. I scheduled an appointment with her and my dad at a geriatric assessment center. This assessment requires two visits. One with a social worker and the second with a psychiatrist. After the first appointment my step-mother went to a PCP appointment with my dad. She said the PCP suggested the same tests would be done that he already did and adding another doctor to the doctors he already sees, would confuse him. So, she canceled the second appointment I scheduled. My father has no POA or medical powers created. His PCP will not discuss my dad's health with me without a HIPPA form signed. Does anyone have any suggestions to ease my frustrations? I feel my step-mother's actions are harming my dad's wellbeing.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
8

Answers

Show:
I can understand your frustration. It is true that multiple appointments with different people can increase the confusion in someone with dementia. It's also important to get a good diagnosis, if his PCP can do the same tests then you have to weigh the pros and cons. Is he capable of stating his wants and needs? If so he should complete an advance directive/living will. What kind of relationship do you have with his wife? Can you sit down with her to discuss dad's dementia/treatment? If so, it's better to work together than apart. Remember what's important here, not you and not her, just your dad. You both have that in common. It can be tricky when there is discord within a family. If you can prove she is not acting in his best interest, then you may want to speak with an attorney. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Did your stepmother ask you to make the appointment at the geriatric assessment centre? Did you at least consult her beforehand?

I would tread carefully. Your stepmother may be in denial about your father's dementia, or it may be precisely as she said it was and she is acting on the advice of your father's PCP - with whom you are entitled to disagree, but that's a different matter. They attended the appointment with the social worker, did they? What was the outcome of that?

When you say your father seems to be at Stage 4-6 of AD, is that your own assessment or a professional one?

The thing is, it may be that your stepmother is working well with your father's existing healthcare team, that your father's care plan is well in hand, and that they therefore don't agree with your prioritising the specialist input. I personally would have thought it helpful, but they may not. Your stepmother and your father's doctor between them do have the right to make these decisions.

That's not to say that I don't sympathise with your frustration - and, indeed, extreme irritation when a perfectly good idea, of his seeing a specialist, appears to be rejected. But are there any particular treatments or therapies that you would want your father to be getting that he isn't already? Are you unhappy with any specific aspects of his care or his living arrangements?

The fact is that you're not in charge and you'll have to work with her if you want to stay involved. If I were you I'd take this one on the chin and keep talking to her about what help she would like you to contribute.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

My Dad has Alz, 4+ stage.He needs 95% assistance to function daily.I placed Dad in temporary memory care at a very reputable nursing home the day before my Mom had double hernia surgery.I got POA for her to me the week before her surgery was scheduled.My Dad was her POA but couldn't make decisions for her.I found a geriatric case manager that works with an elder law firm. I made the appt. & she helped me a lot. However, my Dad already had wills, living wills, POA done. They are out of date. She is now redoing the wills with current laws in place.He will be private pay til I get him in VA Home. There are still fees that will be due but hopefully somewhat less. The atmosphere will I hope be different-better because he is a veteran of WWII. My Mom will also qualify to enter the VA if & when needed. The geriatric case manager had a small booklet that has a world of info.Also the COA has a great site on line & helpful people.Once you contact them there is alot of info but you will still need to research everything & try everything to see if it fits your situation.It took me at least 5 yrs. to start making my Mom realize we were losing my Dad mentally.The last 2 yrs. took a toll on my Mom or she may have not needed this surgery. Her health declined but she couldn't see it.My parents have been on their own for so long just as I have but somehow they or you may never think it can happen to you..but I'm going through it.It is really hard.I haven't been home for more than a couple days at a time in so long.It costs a lot just to leave my Mom for that period of time.She isn't recovering as quickly as she would like nor I.For every positive stride made theres always a step or 2 back.I do have 2 siblings but they are out of state.
One did come & hung around & did help for a few months so I could get everything in place.The other still works & has their hands full with their own family issues.I don't have all the answers but I have learned alot.This site has been helpful.You take care.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Is there a will, trust, living trust, POA (medical and/or financial) in place? If not, or if yes and it is some years old, suggest that you want to protect both of them and be sure the MIL is financially protected in terms of assets if something happens to your father. Even if they prepared a trust a few years ago the laws have changed and you could contact the law firm and ask them to send a letter to their address requesting an appointment to review documents and update everything to the new laws. This is your open door opportunity to get a handle on being legally or financially in charge. Do you have siblings? Are they any help or will there be issues with them? That needs to be considered. Once you have the new documents, including HIPPA authorization, you are in a better position to direct dad's care.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

caring for my father, living at home does not clarify if your living with him in his home?
Do you have any POA authorizations
Why don't you have a HIPAA in place?

Seek help from Alz assoc 24/7 and see a elder affairs attorney and get your legal status and relationships in writing
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

caring for my father, living at home
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree that she's probably acting more out of fear than anything. It's awkward whenever two people are trying to guide the welfare of one person. Since her approach is so good, why not ask to go to those appts. she replaced yours with? Try not to engage as to who cares for him more, it's a losing battle. Explain that as he's your dad you simply insist on being involved for your own peace of mind. As others here always advise, contact your local agency on aging - together with your dad's wife if possible - to have a third party advise what kind of medical visits are most appropriate?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Pursue Guardianship, and in the petition include the detailed information, such as the appointment she cancelled. That would constitute neglect on her part. She is frightened and in denial and not showing good judgment. She may be on the edge of dementia herself. See a lawyer soon.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions