My parents are both 90. My mom has early dementia and my dad is pretty good. They currently have AM care Mon-Thursday and refuse anything else. My mom is very strong and stubborn. Without the aide she doesn’t take medication or eat. She makes sure my dad doesn’t either. I am trying to have her accept an aide to cover the rest of the week. She says that I am degrading her. She is verbally abusive to me and did throw items at me recently.

My dad is passive and doesn’t deal with conflict.

I am an only child and I have to call them 4-5 times a day when there is no aide. It’s so hard! What do I do? I have arranged for an aide this weekend because they are too much.

Stop calling them when there's no aide. If they can't manage, they can't manage, and that will lead to placement in a place that will manage for them.

Don't take abuse. Her dementia has progressed to the point where mom needs to be in a facility and have 24/7 care. Find one. Get their doctor to recommend it.

Stop thinking you have to do it all. You're an only child, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your life for folks who didn't plan well enough for their old age.

Now I've given you the plan - will you do it? Because a lot of people don't, and guess what? Then it gets worse. I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy to be on the road where you're currently going. Time to head it off at the pass.

I wish you luck.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to Fawnby
TinaMarie27 May 18, 2023
Head it off at the pass? I wish I was one of those people, but I’m not. I don’t know how not to care for them as I love them so very much and shudder at the though if not knowing what’s happening at least once a day. Not being judgmental at all, it’s just that I don’t understand how some can be this way.
I think the 'stubborn parents' might be a new forum on its own!

We watch our LO's getting old and unable to take care of themselves. They, in turn, want to be as independent as possible (usually).

How much of that independence is 'fake'-meaning they are being shored up by MANY outside entities, Aides, housecleaners, food delivery, neighbors--sometimes it's literally taking a village to sustain that which is simply NOT sustainable.

We're right there with you, my MIL is now end stage Hospice, and while she THINKS she's in a NH--she's not--she's being propped up by her 3 senior citizen kids. I am sure she has absolutely no concept of the sacrifices being made by so many people to ensure that she can live at home. She can only 'see' herself and has no clue she is putting out so many other people in her quest to be HOME.

Since you are dealing with BOTH parents, that is a blessing and a curse. Moving them to Assisted Living at this point would be infinitely preferable to moving them to a NH at some later point. We missed the window of opportunity to do that with MIL when she was in the hospital last year after a nasty fall.

Easy to say, super hard to do. We 'failed' at it. I hope you're taking care of yourself. Even tho I am not hands on CG for my MIL the stress of my DH being there many, many hours a week is taking a serious toll on our marriage.

BTW--my mom threw a couple of things at me, in anger. I just walked out the door. I do have my limits. Luckily a plastic bedpan doesn't weigh much and didn't hurt when it hit.

Sounds like you either move both parents to an apartment style care center or you ride this old horse until it drops. And takes YOU down with it. Having physical/emotional problems yourself is a symptom of the situation.
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Reply to Midkid58
BurntCaregiver May 11, 2023
Nothing gets a senior a one-way ticket to a nursing home faster than neing stubborn.
I have just been through this. My advice is to get in your car and begin to look at a few AL places. Talk to a few of their marketing people. Look seriously at the finances—the situation might be much better and more doable than you think. Ours was.

You say you call all the time—are you out of town?

The AL facilities I saw were very nice, offered just what we needed.

The hurdle to get past with my parents (and I couldn’t place mom till dad was gone because of this) was that they wanted fantasy life, and not reality. They wanted good health, kids who lived next door and mowed their lawn every week...a life that didn’t exist anymore. And they refused to deal with the reality that other decisions had to be made. Then as they slipped into terrible health, and dementia, it was too late to make the decisions in a rational way—and I had to force a move after dad died and mom kept falling, unable to get back up.

Just go look! I know it’s overwhelming. Start the process—it was more doable, better possibilities out there than I knew.
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Reply to WearyJanie
Way2tired May 18, 2023
Good advice. Have a few places picked out. So if she ends up in the ER and can’t go home , you know which ones to check if they have a room available.
Well, my answer would be, it is time to place them as they are no longer independent you are filling in the gaps. If you call them 5 times a day there is something very wrong here.

If you do not have the DPOA I would do everything in my power to get it.

You are entitled to your own life, only child or not. You are in way over your head.

Don't give up your life for them, they will be gone and you will have wasted years of your life taking care of them.

My mother is in assisted living, my mother is in memory care, my brother and I are taking care of them by having them where they are, they are safe, being well fed and given their medications as prescribed.

Admit that you cannot do this and move forward making a plan to regain your life. It is what it is, it will only get worse.

Sending support your way.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to MeDolly

I was an in-home caregiver for 25 years mostly to elderly people. I now operate a homecare agency.

Please show this to both your father and mother and I want them both to know what I have told countless seniors just like your parents who refuse care or are stubborn and obstinate.

Nothing gets a senior a one-way ticket to a nursing home faster than being stubborn.

Now, some advice for you. STOP calling them 4 and 5 times a day. It's time to start calling once or twice a week.

If your father and yourself need to understand that the person with dementia IS NOT in charge. You both stop obeying your mother's commands and do not allow her to decide anything other that perhaps choosing what flavor of ice cream she wants for dessert.

Take a step back. When your mother becomes too much for your fathet to handle he will reach out to you. Then the two of you can start looking at care options for mom and him.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to BurntCaregiver

If your parents only have AM care Mon-Thurs, then what's happening during the afternoons and evenings and the other three days of the week? You say she doesn't take medications or eat if the aide isn't there (and makes sure your dad doesn't, either???)?

You wrote this in May 2022:

"My dad also prefers to be nude because he says it’s uncomfortable and easier to go to the toilet. Then he started soiling himself. The breaking point was when he went out to get the paper nude!! The neighbor saw him and actually was very understanding. Their are kids on the block that could have seen him! His doctor evaluated him. So since then we have an aide that dresses him every day and every day she has to monitor his dressing and hygiene."

The "aide that dresses him every day" is actually only there Mon-Thurs? And what happens when the aide is NOT there? Is he still going naked and soiling himself?

If your parents are being left on their own when there is no aide there, can't you see that they need to be in a facility?
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to CTTN55

You get aide in there or they suffer the consequences (falls, etc).
You do what you need to do for their well-being.

Yes. It is hard and it will continue to be hard until you make other arrangements.
Do not call 4-5 x / day when no aide there.

People with or without dementia can be stubborn. With dementia, is / she could be 'worse' due to brain changes (dementia / confusion) and fear due to losing independence (as) she is already 'strong' and 'stubborn.' She'll go down fighting til the end. The KEY is for you to:
1) take control
2) Be compassionate and clear with setting boundaries
3) Tell her "I understand you do not want (caregivers / aides) ..." then do it anyway. You do not ask her or abide by your mother's 'wishes.' You get aides in there. Period. Have aides call you for updates.

You do not mention housing. It sounds like it is time to consider assisted living facilities. Be sure to have all your legal authority in place. And, have MD document dementia so you can legally make decisions.

You need to think over the longer term - perhaps they both have another 10 years... What are your plans with their home? Are you going to pay for 24/7 caregivers moving forward?

Gena / Touch Matters
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to TouchMatters

I agree with having to lie sometimes to get things done . I decided to think of it this way . Dementia is a poison to rational decisions . Lies is the antidote .
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Way2tired
ptreyesbunny May 18, 2023
I don't think of it as lying. I think of myself as an actress saying her lines in the play called my mom's dementia.
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Do they ever call you? I’d stop calling. You are propping them up which is leading them to think they are independent. They know how to reach you if they need you …

If after even 1 day without hearing from you numerous times they don’t call - I think that’s telling and proof that you’re the one suffering here by your own choice.

It’s hard - but they aren’t going to acknowledge they need help because they don’t - they have you. Take yourself out of the equation.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Lmkcbz

"Nothing will get an elder a one-way ticket to a nursing home faster than being stubborn" BurntCaregiver

In someone who suffers from Dementia, one of the first things to go is the ability to reason and to be reasoned with. So don't even try Maybe time for both parents to go into an Assisted Living. Mom will get the care she needs and Dad will have the socialization and some independence.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29

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