Should I have my father put in a nursing home? - AgingCare.com

Should I have my father put in a nursing home?

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My father fell in march and broke his shoulder. He laid there for 4 hours before he was able to call anyone. 2 weeks ago he had surgery to fix that and 2 days after he was home he fell again where he laid for 24 hours before I found him. He was taken to the hospital because he was talking off the wall and saying things that made no sense. They gave him vitamins that his body had depleted and blood and many other things. They ran all kinds of tests and they finally sent him home after a little more than a week and after walking one time the day he was released. He is still having problems with understanding things but the doctors sent him home anyway. He is an alcoholic who is NOT going to quit drinking. I am his only child and myself and his sisters do not feel like he should be home since he lives alone, but don't know what to do. We can tell that he can't understand things that require much thought. He is also on a lot of medications and has gotten them confused and mixed up before. I'm very concerned because I know that even with home health care that he's going to fall again. It's not a matter of if but when that happens. He refuses to stay with me and will not go into a nursing home or rehabilitation center willingly. Should we try to have him put into a nursing home or just wait for this to happen again? Also, he had several TIAs a little over a year ago and had to have carotid artery surgery and he has 2 artery that are 40-60% blocked. We don't know what to do at this point. If we did try to put him into a nursing home he wouldn't go willingly and we don't know how else to do it. He has an advance directive but he can speak and act clear headed unless its something that requires thought. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Also, he is on medication for depression, anxiety, and pain so mix those with alcohol or if he doesn't remember when he last took them and that could be a recipe for disaster.

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I ache for you. Alcoholism sucks. I like Christina's idea about a buddy, but you would need to control the money. What about an "I've fallen and I can't get up" button? How many times has he been to an alcohol rehab?

Maybe give him one last lecture. "How do you think your life will end? You will either overdose and end up on the floor in a pool of vomit, or break a hip and lie here for 24 hours unable to get a drink. You may not care what happens to you, but think about what it will be like for me. You're my Daddy, and I want you to be safe. I don't want to have to walk past you like a bum on the street." Be kind of hard on him, just this once.

When that gets you nowhere, you should accept with sadness but not guilt that all you can do is to be there to pick up the pieces. He is dying and you can't save him. As Joycews says, free will is just that.
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With advanced alcoholism, he definitely has burned out a lot of brain cells:(
He will not last in a nursing home. Can't you picture it? He could not play by their rules. How about another guy to move in with him as a companion? He must have some drinking buddies he likes to hangout with? Or someone who can check on him every day at least once.
Most important, he needs his independence, yet to be safe. Bless his heart:) xo
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A few questions:

How old is your dad?
Does he drive?

Once he stops driving, he won't be able to buy drink anymore unless there is a corner store.

Can you afford in home care?
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Just because he is placed in a nursing home doesn't mean he won't fall -- it just means he won't lay there for 4 hours without anyone knowing. My dad was in a rehab unit at a nursing home and had dementia and other health problems and he fell (at one point needing to be taken to the hospital to receive stitches). Their solution? Matress that goes directly on the floor. My dad was miserable but there were limited options outside of restraining him in the bed or sedating him. I am an only child too and I hear ya. :)
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I honestly don't know whether its because he's older or because of the drinking and I couldn't honestly say that I knew he was falling solely because of being elderly. I agree and me and my aunt have talked about this a lot and both said that we have to just let him be and I'd he gets hurt again just know that we have done all we can, but it's just hard when I know that If he was in an assisted living or nursing home that it wouldn't happen. He isn't going to quit drinking but I have made it clear that if he falls again that he will go to a nursing home because I can't continue to take care of him and his house as well as my own house, kids, and husband. Thank you so much for replying and your advise.
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While reading your post I kept thinking about mixing the pills and alcohol and how that spells disaster and then read your last line. I think one question to address: is your father falling because he is elderly or is he falling because he has had too much to drink? Perhaps a nursing home or physical rehab is not the answer but rehab for alcoholism.
I have seen TIA's effect different people different ways. My mom had one and is sharper mentally than most people my age and I know another woman who has had several and completed a doctorate degree after age 80. However, add alcohol and pills to an already fuzzy brain and it is no wonder he cannot think.
If you do not have medical POA, you may need to petition the court to get that but it doesn't mean if you place him somewhere, he won't walk right out if he is able. Sometimes there is little you can do when they will not help themselves. Unless he quits drinking, your options are limited. One of the hardest lessons our family has had to learn lately is free will is just that. Good luck and hugs.
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