Having trouble deciding if I should voice an opinion? - AgingCare.com

Having trouble deciding if I should voice an opinion?

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My Dad is rapidly loosing his mental abilities and his physical health is deteriorating along with them. My sister is his medical proxy and she makes it very clear that she is the only one who should talk to the doctors so my brother and I are often left in the dark. Mom is no help because she pays little attention to Dads medical details. I'm doing my best to let that go and just take each day as it comes but Mom mentioned that Dad has water on the brain and last Sunday I was alarmed at how frail and out of it he was. My sister has not been forthcoming with information but we are trying to arrange a conference call to include my brother so I am hopeful that I will have a better understanding of Dads condition after that. I think my Dad probably does not have much time left and if that is the case I am thinking of suggesting a nursing home or possibly hospice if his prognosis is less than 6 months. I don't think Mom is able to care for him properly anymore. I know Mom is against any idea of Dad being taken out of the house and I suspect my sister feels the same although I don't know for sure. Hopefully we will cover that in the conference call. Meanwhile I am worried about how his care is being handled.

Mom is is primary caregiver. I try to get over there once a week to bring a hot meal and do small chores. I also call in every day. My brother stops in from work at least once a week and my sister is there more often, she works part time right now and has more free days than we do. Still Mom is alone with Dad most of the time and although she is doing her best there have been medication mix ups, a couple of falls...that sort of thing. My sister is the person they seem to trust the most right now because she is a nurse so it is her they listen to. The problem is I think she is in denial about how bad Dad is. She is actually taking both my parents to work at at their flea market booth every Sunday, leaving them there then picking them up at the end of the day. Dad is so weak he can barely stand and he is too confused to converse. I have so many reservations about this I can't even begin... My question is do I voice my concerns about Dad being home alone with Mom and being brought to the flea market or do I just keep it to myself. My sister does not handle being questioned well at all. Do I keep my mouth shut to keep the peace or say what I am thinking. Help!

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In all honesty Patrice I don't know why they are going. At this point my Dad can't even complete a sentence when I ask him a question. He is incapable of dealing with customers in any way. As for the money, profit is marginal at best. They often pay more for the booth than they bring in. I think Mom is giving mixed signals, she complains to me about going but my sister seems to think it's what she wants.

The whole thing is crazy and there is so much more to the train wreck that my parents business has turned into I can't even begin to explain. I have already decided to let this go but thank you for your thoughts..
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Trying, I read that your mom does not really want to go the the flea market. Have you asked your dad about it? if you honestly feel that it is too much for him, I would try to find out why they are still going? Does dad think mom likes it? Do they need the income? My parents went to church early every morning and breakfast. Not only was this out faith based but it was also social. I finally had to sit my dad down and explain that both church and breakfast were too much for my mom (I found her putting on her makeup at 9pm so she would be ready in the morning) . This was not easy for my parents to give up since they had been doing it for years. After many discussions about God would understand, it was decided that breakfast would be more beneficial to both mom and dad. After a while my moms dementia progressed, they had to give that up too. Decisions and choices that are made as our parents age may not be ideal for all involved, but may be needed under the circumstances.
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Irish, you don't have to take me seriously and with all due respect, I didn't ask for an opinion oh how I prioritize my efforts or time.
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Tryingmybest, Sorry you can forego your church program one Sunday to see exactly what is going on, that is a ridiculous excuse, you co-teach a program at a church, you tell them I have a family situation and can't do it that Sunday. A church should certainly understand that....priorities.

Sorry, I have a hard time taking you seriously when you make a silly excuse like that.
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You are on the right path. Perhaps your mom is not evading and more just overwhelmed . I know with my parents that it got to the point that they would not actually get all the doctor was saying and exactly what doc was saying meant. I haven't read all the posts but I would ask if you can get all doctors reports sent to you. If you don't undetstand what you are reading, then ask your questions from there.
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just wanted to say it's not too late to put things in writing after this conference call to follow up. Confirm what you heard, thank people for information, ask follow up questions and tell them you are interested in hearing more at convenient time. What also works is a very to the point email or voice mail where you have a single question or concern or possible idea to help. Easier to answer one question Keep a copy for yourself. I find it took a while to find out how to communicate with different family members.
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Thanks Nojoy3 and everyone else who responded. We had the conference call last night and most of it focused on my sister and brother planning to file for guardianship of Dad. My sister did give limited info on Dads medical condition it appears he has Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, dead brain tissue and brain atrophy supposedly caused by numerous small strokes. It's not alzheimer. I asked about treatment, a shunt in particular and my sister said the determination was it probably would not help but more testing needs to be done. I also asked about hospice and she said he has nothing terminal so he does not qualify but she said his time MIGHT be limited. No explanation beyond that. I don't know anything about qualifying for hospice except it needs to be a 6 month prognosis, at least that's what I heard.

It's hard for me to talk to Mom she evades so many things and tells me to ask my sister. I can talk to her about me speaking with the doctor but I'm not sure she can give me permission. It's worth a try though.
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Why not politely voice your concerns to your Mom privately. Let her know your very concerned about your Dad and feel like your in the "dark" regarding his condition. Ask your Mom if she would mind you going along the next time your Dad went to the doctor or would she mind if you spoke with the doctor (she'd probably have to sign a consent so he could talk with you). Let her know how much better you'd feel if you knew what was going on.
Your plan for a conference call sounds like a good idea, but you still may not get the info you need if it's just with your sis. It's hard to make educated suggestions when you don't have all the facts and it sounds like the only way you'll get that is to talk with your Dad's doctor yourself.
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Put your concerns in writing. It's helpful for you and other family members who may or may not be seeing what you are. It's more neutral and organized and people can see what you are thinking. Your concerns are valid and without more information you feel frustrated. You sister is probably overwhelmed and it is difficult to find the time and patience to explain what is happening in detail to others. Putting your concerns in writing will give her time to think about what she can tell you.
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Will do Babalou :)
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