Follow
Share

I'm still a bit confused about this and I've been at it almost 1-1/2 years. Am I supposed to be available 24/7 as guardian? My attorney says 'no' but it seems more often than not, I am expected to be even though my dad doesn't live with me. I don't feel like I'm having much of a life lately and my life is becoming more and more consumed by my dad which is a problem for me. I am losing sight of myself.

Barb's right, hire a new geriatric care manager. Your dad is likely to be more obedient to a person he's not used to controlling and who has an air of authority. He needs to be on controller meds if he's dangerous - and he is, no question the way you describe these rages. If your manager wants someone there while he's at the ER, tell her to hire someone!

I believe that allowing him to have more than $4k cash and continuing to allow him to call the shots with money is a violation of your guardianship duties. The first thing I'd do is hire the new manager and have her arrange for him to be admitted to geriatric psych for med balancing. As soon as he left his AL room, I'd be tearing it apart looking for the cash that's probably not there - we'll count that lost. And I'd be packing him for the nursing home. Next step is to put your name on the checking account - no problem with a guardianship paper in your hand. Put the pension on direct deposit just like social security payments. Then sell the house & vehicles - again, something your court will have no problem allowing for his continuing care.

We used pickers to get rid of the good stuff in mthr's home. You can use an estate company if you'd like - they can combine a small estate with a larger for a bigger draw.

The courts gave you guardianship power to do all these things so you would take care of his needs because he's *incompetent*. You handle the finances and hire someone to get him the medical care he needs. He's bullied you long enough. You don't answer to him, you answer to the courts.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to surprise
Report

What do you mean "the care manager would never go for that"?

This is someone you've hired, yes? Not the care manager of the AL?

Babs, I feel for you; but it sounds like you are letting other folks tell you what you can and can't do. Maybe I'm reading this wrong.

YOU are the guardian; yes, apply to the court to sell the house.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report
Babs75 Jan 16, 2020
The care manager (private care manager) wants someone with him the whole time he is at the hospital. I guess to get messages correctly from the doctor as dad is not capable of relaying that. Two times in two weeks they call and tell me he's going to the ER. I was heading to the gym both times (bad timing). Yes, working out was my priority at the moment because that's my stress believer but I think people would feel that was a bit selfish of me not to run to the hospital to be with my dad so that's why I went.

I believe that the AL errs on the side of caution and calls the paramedics anytime something happens. One time, they called me in the mid morning and said that dad was a little 'off' so they called the paramedics. I asked if he had eaten yet. They didn't think so but I suspect they gave him his meds on an empty stomach (he usually eats breakfast about 7 and pills at 8). I told them to give him some juice (he's diabetic but it doesn't seem to bother him much). I told them that dad is 'off' some days and I've seen it many times and not to worry. I think they were a bit taken aback by that answer. Dad was insistent with the paramedics that he not go to the hospital so they didn't take him. I got there 2 hours later for my regular Saturday visit and he was fine.

So with regard to selling the house --- He really isn't capable of making decisions on what to keep and what to sell/donate. There are many, many years of momentos of he and his wife (not my mom) that I would definitely not get rid of but the rest of it is stuff that was hers when they got married, knick-knacks and stuff. I have a great estate sale company picked out of we need one but he might not have enough stuff. What do other people do? Do you include your parent in these decisions on what to keep and what not to keep? He goes to the house enough that he would see if something was moved or changed inside.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
I have skimmed answers so this may have been answered.

When Mom was in AL in 4 straight months she was taken to the ER for falls. Not once did she break anything. I was there because of her Dementia. I told the AL that I wanted a call before Mom was transferred. Not in any of the falls did she hit her head. But I felt they were not giving her time to see if anything was broken. But she was in pain, my answer was "don't you have pain when u fall? And it turns out u didn't do anything. So give her time for the pain to go away. If she broke anything you will know. When she went to LTC I was told that they will send out if a head injury. Other than that they monitor.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

So, dad reacts violently. So?

You are his GUARDIAN. You are in charge. If he reacts violently to you in AL, he gets taken to a psychiatric facility where they will figure out what meds will keep him calm.

You can't be guardian of someone you are afraid of. You can't be an effective guardian if you are doing things that are ultimately not in his best interest because you're afraid he might react.

The house needs to be sold. Hire a geriatric care manager to handle the emergencies.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report
Babs75 Jan 16, 2020
We have a care manager. She manages the extra caregiving he gets 3 days a week, keeps track of his doctor appt schedule, gets to him appointments as necessary, etc. and she works with the assisted living facility. I work full time and am unable to do this Mon-Fri. She will do the after hours stuff but she has a toddler at home. I tell her no because I feel bad and think it's more important that she be with her family in the evenings. If I say no, then they insist someone be in the ER with him. The hospital told me the other day that really, it's OK if I want to leave and send him back to AL in medical transport. The care manager would never go for that.

And dad still thinks he can go home someday. I have told him 'no' over and over and I get so tired of hearing it every time I am with him. I give him the same answer every time, "call your attorney, I can't and won't help you." I do bring up selling the house. He flies into a rage and he is definitely unable to make decisions about what to get rid of. I haven't talked to my attorney about getting permission from the court to sell (we have to apply for that) but the place is beautiful in the spring and summer. It is set back in the woods. He still 'manages' his friend with the yard work, gutters, etc. I I do think I'll head over there one of these days and get all of his old WWII pictures out of there before something happens to them. Irreplaceable.....
(2)
Report
I fully agree with the suggestions above that rely on you making difficult changes to the way you ‘control’ you Dad rather than him (and everyone else in sight) ‘controlling’ you. However I am trying to think of easy practical things to do, while you reconstruct your head and lifetime habits. Check for the money in a common ‘druggies’ stash place – in a plastic bag in the toilet cistern. Get the addresses for all bills changed to your address, both house address and internet address, sending all of the creditors a copy of the guardianship order in order to authorise it. Cancel his credit cards (or provide a debit card that you can top up when it’s spent) – on line purchases and scams could add a whole new dimension to your problems. Cash his pension check and provide him with the amount of cash that he needs between visits, with more if he runs out. Put more locks on the house doors, (justified by the squatter/damage issues), and give him the wrong keys. Cancel the Alert contract that is no longer needed, so that isn’t an option.

You say “I've chosen to pick and choose my battles”, but you have picked so few that he is ‘living in a dream world’ like Babs’ father. It can amount to enabling the dream, which I am sure is not what you want to do. You have the authority to win all these battles, and you need to use it. Is he still driving, and is it safe? Should he be moving to a higher level of care, whether he likes it or not? Or a more helpful AL and Care Manager? Just do it!

I am quite sure that it’s easier to write this stuff than to do it, but at least think about small easy steps. Best wishes, Margaret
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Report
Babs75 Jan 16, 2020
As far as 'picking and choosing my battles', my dad reacts violently. 1-1/2 years ago when I had to take his car keys (he had been driving 6 months with no license - refused to give it up), I had to physically take the keys from his pocket (kept them on his person 24/7) and luckily my niece was there to call 911 because he would have hurt me if we hadn't gotten the police there which resulted in handcuffs, a ride in an ambulance and a week in the hospital where family was not allowed to see him. This past fall when he freaked out in the middle of the night that there were people outside his window wanting to kill him, he ended up in the hospital with dehydration and had to be restrained in his bed because he was so violent. He is on numerous anti anxiety meds and they are carefully monitored, but certain things send him over the top and losing control of his pension check is one of them. It would create such a scene at the AL that he could risk getting kicked out when I absolutely don't want. I tread carefully. But yes, he is living in the 'dream', wanting to go back to his house. However, his memory is getting worse, he continually repeats the same story over and over, and yesterday when the caregiver took him to his house for a visit, he thought someone had broken into his garage and unplugged the battery charger from his truck (a truck that he never drives) but I have found out from his friend, that they did not plug it in before they left the house Saturday but dad doesn't remember that.
(0)
Report
Babs, where I am almost everyone I know has cancelled their landline, because it’s so much cheaper to stick to the mobile that they want to have anyway. (We are in a valley with no mobile reception, worse luck, or we would too). One easy thing would be to tell AL that you have cancelled your own landline, and that they will have to call the mobile number.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Report

Babs75, you've already gotten good advice to which I'll just add that you're serving your dad in two different roles, i.e. legally as his guardian and conservator and separately as his daughter. I did the same for my dad, so I know first-hand that these different roles get tangled and there's nothing inherently wrong with that unless it starts to frazzle you -- then you have to separate the two to regain your strength and sanity.

     My guardianship and conservatorship guide provided by the court says that as guardian I was, as examples, supposed to "...make sure that my dad had clean clothes, proper food, transportation, medical care, a place to live that meets at least minimum standards for health and safety, and is not victimized." And as conservator, I was supposed to "...manage and protect my dad's assets and make sure his bills were paid." There was no legal requirement for frequent visits or personally handling each and every detail that arose and which could be reasonably handled by others, e.g. a care facility's staff and/or a care manager. As my dad's son, I chose to visit him daily and personally handle the vast majority of details, but it took a toll on me and my family and if I had it do over again, I would probably take more time off and not be quite as invested in every care detail. We caregivers need to seek a good balance in our lives for everyone's long-term benefit -- by the question you've asked, I think you're on track to achieving a better balance.

Best wishes and kudos to you for all you do for your dad.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to bicycler
Report

One thing you might remind yourself: Would your "younger dad and/or mom" have wanted you to be treated this way? I know my "younger" parents would be heartbroken over what they've put me through in their old age.

My dad was in a memory care facility for almost 3 years, nearby. I did visit most Sundays for about an hour, but if I had something "fun" planned (which is rare these days!) I would go do my thing. I know that's what my "younger" dad would have wanted for me. My dad's mom was in a nursing home for several years in another state and he only visited her twice, so I reminded myself of that, too. Would your dad have been at one of his parents' beck & call, or was your dad busy supporting his family/home or pursuing his hobbies/interests?

One thing I learned from this site, and it's so true: at this stage of the game, all of the options are bad, it's just a matter of finding the least-bad option.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Upstream
Report

You've gotten some good advice, and I won't add to that -- I just want to say that I doubt any of us think you are being selfish. You absolutely have a right to your own life! Asking these questions, and trying to find a better way . . . .that's not selfish, that's self-care. It's the old thing about, if a plane is going down and oxygen masks drop down -- you have to put the oxygen mask on your own face first, before trying to help someone else.

Deep breaths, listen to the wise advice here, and poke around on the forums some - read some other people's experiences too, you'll pick up some good ideas, but you will also pick up some encouragement! {{{hugs}}} you are doing great!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to calicokat
Report

It sounds like the AL is not the right level of care for your dad.

I would get an independent needs assessment done and then I would move him into a facility that can meet his level of need.

I would tell that care manager that you are in charge and she/he will not order you about. If they are not comfortable with that than you have just issued their termination.

I would also have a meeting with the powers that be at the AL and find out why they are not calling the correct number, repeatedly and then they make a circus out of it by calling the care manager, that gets paid hourly.

Everyone is in control but you and that needs to come to an end.

You are the guardian, that gives you some power. Maybe your husband can help you assert yourself with the new rules. Starting with the AL calls you on the appropriate number or they get the bill for calling in the care manager. And if you say that transportation by a medical transport is how he is getting home, that is how he is getting home.

Listen to your attorney, they know how to protect you and what you are required to do.

I would be finding new options and make sure that they know who is in control and it isn't them. Including your dad. Once a month bill paying and that is it. He is abusing your good intentions and he needs to be reeled in.

Sit down with someone that can help you see the situation and make a list of what this situation should look like and start implementing the changes to put you back in control. Maybe you need to get good and angry to see how all of these people have been walking all over you and figure out how to stand up and end this insanity.

You can do it! Great big warm hug!

ps: put everything in writing and make sure that you have proof of delivery. I would point out that the AL calling the wrong number repeatedly sends up red flags, if they can't get the number right what else is off the rails. Putting it in writing is more likely to get results, they can not say they weren't aware. You have written proof that they were notified of the problems. I send everything certified return receipt, then I have the federal government showing proof that it was delivered.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report
Babs75 Jan 14, 2020
Your advice is OUTSTANDING. I had to laugh a bit at the first sentence... when the doctor in the ER saw him, he made the statement, "He's in assisted living?" My dad is living in a dream world and I'm sure I will be the same way. He has told me he wants things the way they were -- to live in his own home with minimal care as we all would at that age. I asked him last night how that was going to work with these hospital visits becoming more frequent. What if he was in his home and fell where other people weren't around? He said he would press the button on his monitoring device. I did not remind him that he never wore it at home when he lived there and that if he fell and knocked himself out, he would not be able to. Reminds me.... we're still paying $50 a month on that thing. I need to go to his house and return it.......... My dad has a friend who helps with the yard work once a month. He consumes himself with maintaining the yard like he used to when he was mobile even though he can't do the work himself anymore. Maybe that's what keeps him going but I am afraid of squatters moving in or something bad happening to the place when no one is there several weeks a month. And then there's the money hoarding. When he moved to AL, I had all his mail forwarded to me. His pension check is off limits. He insists I not cash it. That it is his. I've chosen to pick and choose my battles so we 'negotiate' how much I can have for the conservatorship account (he also has other incoming money sources that I deposit) and he keeps the rest for expenses. But he has other money that he stashes and won't let me have. Several thousand dollars at last count that his been floating around for a few years. At last count a couple months ago there was $4000 locked in a drawer in his AL room. We had a battle, I ended up tearing the envelope so I let go. Now I don't know where he's stashed it. I went so far as to go to his AL a couple weeks ago after dark and check the trunk of his car (he doesn't drive anymore but the caregivers take him places in his car). We had reason to believe that's where he was stashing it but it was not there. The money is unaccounted for and my lawyer is aware, as is the AL and our care manager. I know he has put it somewhere but I don't know where. I had the AL talk to him and he told them that it is 'someplace safe'. Maybe he took it back to his house.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
My dad lives in assisted living. He is 93 and has dementia. I go there every Saturday afternoon for several hours (which has its own set of problems -- my husband gets mad I am never available on Saturday.) I work full time. We had to move him out of his house in September when he had a hospitalization and the doctors said he could no longer live on his own. I would love to sell his house but dad is totally against it. I have been involved in his care for 5 years now and guardian/conservator for 1-1/2. In addition to AL, he insisted on having his caregiver company bring people in 3 days a week to keep him company and get him to appointments. (they used to be at his house 6 days a week) plus we have a care manager who manages the appointments and makes sure we have care staff scheduled. I have 3 other siblings who do nothing and are able to go about their lives without being 'on call'. I believe they are merely in line for their inheritance. The AL always errs on the side of caution and calls the ambulance if something happens to dad. They always transport to the hospital and this is becoming more common -- 2 times in the last 2 weeks. The AL gets upset if they cannot get hold of me, although they always call my house, I am not home, and they have been told many, many times to call my cell first. My attorney has told me to tell them to leave a message that it is perfectly OK for me to call them back. Then they call the care manager who calls may cell and I need to drop everything and go. Two times in two weeks I have literally been in my car, on my way to something I need to do for ME and have had to divert to the hospital. I was so angry and upset and stressed out last night that I was near tears and the nurse knew it. She did end up telling me that it would be OK if I left and sent him home with medical transport but the AL and the care manger would totally not go for that. The whole time we were there, dad was whining and whining and WHINING about EVERYTHING, complaining they weren't being fast enough (it took 4 hours) and telling everyone there that he has to figure out how to move back to his house, and on and on it goes. He insisted on being treated in his clothes and refused to take them off. I finally told him in a quiet voice to quit whining, that it won't make things any faster, and to please let them do their job. Please, no one judge me or tell me I'm being selfish because I am not but I literally cannot plan anything anymore and I had really hoped once we got him to AL that I would be able to back off from him a bit but so far, that hasn't happened. I am really thinking of telling him I cannot visit this Saturday. I'm not sure how many of the people in his AL get weekly visits from their kids so maybe this isn't the norm anyway. My visits normally are because he has all the bills associated with his house that he insists on paying from his personal checking account so I take them there and help him write the checks. I suppose that could wait a week. I feel as though my life is being consumed by my dad. It is continual and non-stop and getting worse all the time. I had thought that AL would help that but it is not. Pulled too many directions right now!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Babs75
Report
Tothill Jan 14, 2020
Babs, you have guardianship because Dad can no longer made rational decisions. If the house needs to be sold, then you sell it.

You can pay the bills for his house, Dad may still want to do it, but again as Guardian you can take on these tasks. If you want Dad to feel he has some control and let him pay his bills, then I would set up a schedule based on due dates and only meet 2x per month to handle the bills.

Put you foot down with the AL. A great many people do not have a family member nearby. They can deal with him, that is what they are paid for. Who cares if the AL and care manager do not like the idea of using medical transport to get Dad back there after a ER visit. It is not up to them. It is not your job to personally drive him back.

You are allowed to have a life and come first. If you get a call that Dad is on his way to ER, tell the caller you will be there when you can, but you are not available for the next 4 hours or whatever it may be. There is no rule that you have to cancel your own plans.
(4)
Report
Hi Babs
I think as a guardian or DPOA we begin to feel like a mother to a new born. We always have our listening ears on in case of a problem. But we do have to set boundaries and stick to them.
Without knowing what the issues are I would try to not respond to things that can wait until the time you have scheduled.
Lets say you have decided that you will deal with all things dad from 10 to 12 each morning. If he calls at 3 pm that he is out of milk, don’t respond or bring him the milk until the next day between 10 and 12. Put as much off until the allotted time as possible. If he says well I wanted the milk for breakfast, ignore that. He can have it when you get it there. That sort of boundary is what I’m referring to. Take back some control of your life by setting boundaries.
I took my mom her supplies and food once a week. All things were done that one day per week. Figure out what works for you. Also realize that you have the authority to hire someone else to run the errands. Perhaps it’s time for a helper?
The only person you need permission from is yourself.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter