Is it really safe and in the best interest of the elderly for one person to really do it all?

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I have been thinking lately about discussions on here and how many caregivers are often sleep deprived, not eating well, not going to the doctor as often as they should to take care of themselves and how many have the stress of a horrible financial situation. After being hinted at (strongly) by a couple of people concerning my FIL and where he will go after rehab time is up (will it be our house, hint, hint and why not) that got me to thinking about how many people are mislead, guilted and outright lied to about caregiving and what it will entail.

I saw my mom go through this off and on for 15 years, so I already knew the sacrifice it takes but I have been thinking about the people out there who honestly had no clue what they were getting into.

I have told nurses and family members that my FIL needs a team of people to help him. That there is a reason nursing homes and hospitals do not let one nurse stay 24/7 and that people need to get some sleep, eat, bathe and have a mental/emotional time out. Needless to say, this is met with a half-hearted grunt.

I am really beginning to think that when elderly patients go into doctors visits, the doctor (or nurse collecting the info) needs to ask: who is taking care of you, do they have help, how often? If you are in charge of giving someone medication and you are sleepy, sick, etc. will you make a mistake? Considering 30% of caregivers die before those they are caregiving for, is it healthy for the caregivers? I would guess not.

I remember a gentleman I knew whose dad had jaw cancer. He was slightly upset because the family wanted to take care of his dad after his hospitalization but he had to go to a nursing home for recovery. The reason? Insurance would not pay for the additional required IV treatment if he did not.

I am wondering if in some of these extreme caregiving conditions, if it would be better off for the seniors and their caregivers if there was no option to stay at home. If seniors are told: "no, there is no running one person into the ground, affecting their health and finances. The only way for insurance to continue to pay your medications, treatments and office visits is if you are in a facility. If you cannot pay, you will be given the option of Medicaid."

I know there would be every civil rights group screaming something at the top of their lungs, lawsuits a plently, etc. but in most cases, wouldn't it be the safest thing to do for both parties involved? Your thoughts?

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I know this is an odd question and I am thankfully an only child but why do people with crappy siblings give them reports on their parents? If I had sole responsiblity of my parent (financially, emotionally, mentally) and I had a sibling that didn't care, I wouldn't contact them. I would unlist my number so they could not call me and I would return any mail back to sender.
If my parent passed away, I would then obtain an attorney to send them the notice.
My uncle treated my mom that way. If she passes before me, him or his family will not be notified.
Life is too short to waste on certain people.
If mom or dad insist on having contact, pack their bags, attach a note like they do for kids and put them on a plane and tell the sibling: "go to the airport, our parent is on their way,". I had to do something similiar for my grandfather. My mom was caregiver for both my grandparents and she got very sick and needed to be hospitalized. My granddad was supposed to go back to his home via my uncle and then he called and cancelled. I finally called my uncle and my grandmother and told them, "if he calls you, ignore it. Come anyway, you all are killing my mom. Pick him up by that weekend, and I mean it." He was picked up and my mom lived.
If a parent insists on phone contact with their less-than wonderful child, put a phone in their room and let them talk away. Just stay out of the conversations.
I honestly think a huge portion of caregivers suffer from Stockholm Syndrome and are convinced they must emtomb themselves with their parents like the slaves who were walled up with a dead pharoah. This is one of the main reasons that many times one person struggles to do it all and yes, maybe a doctor should step in to force the hands of adult children who just can't see it or the children refuse to agree to share responsibilities if they are able.
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Well at least your brother is a little bit smart, not wanting to do what you do! You have a hard life. God bless you.
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WELL MY MOM IS 87 YRS OLD, SHE CANNOT WALK BECAUSE OF A STROKE SHE HAD WHICH SHE DIDNT NO AT THE TIME SHE THOUGHT IT WAS A SEIZURE SHE HAD BUT WE FOUND OUT LATER ON IT WAS A STROKE, SHE KEEPS FALLING SHE HAS NO BALANCE ON HER FEET, THEN SHE BUSTED A BLOOD VESSEL IN HER BRAIN, THAT IS WHY SHE HAS BEEN IN AND OUT OF NURSING HOMES AND HOSPITALS, THEN THIS LAST FALL SHE HAD SHE BROKE 2 CERVICAL BONES IN HER KNECK 1 & 2 TOP OF SPINE BY THE HEAD. MY DAD HAS PASSED ON IN 2004, AND I DO HAVE POA AND SHE HAS LIVING WILL,AND A TRUST. WE ARE LIVING WITH HER AND WE DO WANT TO KEEP THE HOUSE THE HOUSE WAS PROMISED TO ME ONCE SHE PASSES ON IT IS IN THE WILL THAT SHE HAD MADE UP WITH HER ATTORNEY AND HE IS TRYING FOR ME TO KEEP THE HOUSE ALSO. AND I DO NOT NO WHAT TO DO ABOUT ALL OF THIS, NO FAMILY WANTS TO GET INVOLVED BUT IF I DO SOMETHING THAT THEY DO NOT LIKE THEN I GET A FLASH BACK FROM THEM AND I KEEP ON TELLING THEM IF THEY DO NOT LIKE WHAT I DO THEN CHIP IN AND HELP AND THERE ANSWER IS ALWAYS I DO NOT WANT TO GET INVOLVED AND MY BROTHER HE IS IN NEW YORK AND IM HERE IN FLORIDA AND HE KEEPS TELLING ME THAT HE CANNOT COME DOWN HERE TO HELP, THEN I TELL HIM WELL THEN YOU TAKE MOM AND HIS ANSWER IS I DO NOT WANT TO GO THROUGH WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH.
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mwah - many of us have been in your situation, myself included, but you need to state what you want: just support, ideas solutions or what?

If you want us to comment on the situation, we need more information. How old is mom? What's been wrong with her that she's been in and out of the hospital 6 times? Has dad passed on? Do YOU have powers of attorney (which, or if not, who has them?). Is there a will, a trust? Are you living in your mother's home with your husband and do you have children also? Do you depend upon living in the home? Plez answer these questions and include any other information you think may be relevant. If you just wanted to vent, that's OK too.
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I HAVE BEEN TAKING CARE OF MY MOM FROM DAY ONE, AND IT IS VERY TIRESOME, AND STRESSFUL, BUT NO ONE IN MY FAMILY WANTS TO HELP OUT AND SHE DOES NOT WANT TO GO INTO A NURSING HOME ANYMORE, SHE HAS BEEN IN AND OUT OF THEM 6 TIMES, AND EVERYTIME SHE COMES OUT I AM THE ONE THAT HAS TO TAKE CARE OF HER, MY HUSBAND WORKS ALL DAY SO HE AINT HOME HE IS HOME AT NIGHT AND HE HELPS ME OUT, AND WHEN I TELL MY FAMILY THAT I MAY PUT HER INTO ANOTHER NURSING HOME ALL HELL BREAKS OUT, THEN THEY TELL ME I CANNOT DO THAT TO HER, AND IF I DO THAT THEN THEY TELL ME I HAVE TO MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE BECAUSE SHE IS NOT THERE.
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Excellent question, Joyce. Again, enough money seems to be the answer to a lot of these problems, such as caregiving...the subject of this site.
If you can afford outside help, and I mean high quality, trustworthy help, then go ahead and pay for it. It will relieve you and the "team" of 24/7 caregiving. Good luck.
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Thank you for all the responses. I am an only child and have seen what many of you have mentioned about siblings leaving it to one child to handle.
I have also seen so many seniors in my family and extended family who had very few plans. They relied so much on one person and let their other children slide. My personal experience with this happened when I was 14. My grandmother was staying with us and my mom was helping her. Then my mom became extremly sick. My grandmother was one of those individuals who required the promise of "never going into a nusring home." (I have learned as I got older, this proclamation doesn't work for everyone equally).
My mom was hospitalized and found to have renal failure. She had close to 50 pounds of fluid, her bowles had locked up, menstrual cycle stopped, she was jauniced, vomiting and just about dead.
I called my grandfather (who was one of those individuals who was OLD from the time he was 60 on and therefore couldn't have any real pressure on him) and told him what was going on. The response? "Well, I guess it's in your lap now." No mention of him actually taking care of my grandmother or her going to her son's house.
Now, if rules had been in place to actually ask: by the way, who is taking care of your grandmother and if another family member doesn't step up, she goes to a nursing home -- many, many problems would have been taken care of.
I think a lot of caregivers are looking at these situations from purely emotional means. We are conditioned in society to never question financial implications, stress on marriage, job, etc. because it appears as if we have less love for the person who is needing caregiving.
I would never adovacate to stop medications, but that for insurance to pay, the person must be placed into assisted living or a nursing home. Plus if medicare or medicade pays for this. In a nursing home or assited living setting, there are more workers to interact with the patient. Too many abuses have happened with caregivers hired off the street to help the family and even with visiting nurse agencies. We came close to having to get a restraining order against one nurse where my FIL is concerend. No problems with odd nurse behavior at the facility he is at -- one reason because other people are around.
And of couse, elderly patients will want to stay in their homes. But when you have dementia, alzheimers or other serious medical conditions, can you make a clear decision? Can family caregivers actually make a clear decision and look at the larger picture without all the emotion attached? I do not think that most can. Even my own mom could not. She was still doing and doing while she was dying herself. And paying a caregiver does not lessen the wear and tear of stress on the body from doing the job 24/7. That is why I was thinking doctors should be involved for all parties concerned and if there is a nudge to get families to make decisions, then something needs to happen.
I just wanted to give some background on what happened to me growing up, so you all wouldn't think I was coming across as heartless.
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correction...

I chose not to put her in an HMO because I didn't want another layer OF DOCTORS I'D have to deal with.
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Ahhh, Soylent Green, people crackers. Uh huh.

Yes, it IS about being forced vs making a considered choice related to each patient. Even though my aunt had let her supplemental insurance lapse and it was quite costly with all of her newly discovered medical conditions (and where I couldn't get her a new supplemental policy without significant waivers), I CHOSE not to put her in an HMO because I didn't want another layer I've got to have to deal with.

If I had a choice, which I did financially (as my and had some funds) in this case, l would never choose inserting it another layer of bureaucracy in the care of any elderly patient, dementia or otherwise.
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Is it safe or in the best interest of the elderly person to be cared for by one person? No it probably isn't, I know it is not in the best interest of the caregiver to become so worn out and dead dog tired from trying to appease an irrational person all day.

I know you can make mistakes with medications when you are ill or extremely worried. I found out I had gone into renal failure and was wondering if I was going to die and yet I was continuing my mother's care. I then realized that I had switched her morning and night medications. There was nothing life threatening, but what if there had been? That scared the heck out of me!

The problem is I do not want to be FORCED to put my parent into a nursing home nor do I want to be FORCED into a nursing home at any age. It becomes nothing more than warehousing our old and sick. I have been in several of them as a visitor and it is extremely sad and the care is not what it should be. I would rather put a gun to my head and kill myself than to have to live that way and I promised my parents that I would NEVER put them in a nursing home as well.

What does need to happen is that more help be given to those who are giving up their lives to care for their loved ones. It would be far cheaper for our government to pay for additional help than it would ever be to warehouse an elderly person in a nursing home. It would also be nice if we received compensation (which will never happen unless your parent is on Medicaid) or at the least given credit towards Social Security so that when we are 65 we have no income because we have spent the last 20 years caring for sick relatives.

It would also be nice if each child was required to help in the care of the sick/aging parent rather than just leaving it all to one child to handle on their own, unfortunately however they do not want to share in the caring but are willing to share in any inheritance that might come their way.

So, No it probably is not in the best interest of the elderly person or the caregiver to have one person do everything. NO I DO NOT WANT THE GOVERNMENT STEPPING IN AND DEMANDING THAT EVERY SICK/ELDERLY PERSON BE WAREHOUSED OR THEY WILL NOT RECEIVE NEEDED MEDICAL CARE.

I am sorry but it makes me think of the old movie "Soylent Green."

No, No, a million times NO!
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