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My 75 year old father is currently living at home by himself. He is frail and has difficulty walking. He can care for himself for the most part, but hormone therapy and radiation treatment for a moderately aggressive form of prostate cancer has made his mobility more difficult. He has had 2 episodes now where he cannot move himself. He did not use the alert pendant he has because he thought ambulance would show up despite me going over the use of the device that would begin by contacting a neighbor to check on him especially if he can tell the operator what is wrong. I am not sure he could have even pushed the button when he tells me how weak his body and even arms were. I can't bear the thought of him lying there without anyone to help him. My brother seems to think if he can care for himself in every other way we should let him stay home alone. My brother travels a lot for work, his wife is helpful but has a 2 year old to care for. When my dad called me at work telling me he couldn't move himself this last time I called her to ask her to go to him. She asked me if I thought it was a real emergency or if she could finish her breakfast first. I don't know if it's me overreacting or them in denial. I have children, a job, and a husband and I can't go running over there at a moments notice. I gave everything I had when my mother was sick with an aggressive cancer a year ago. I am still buying back my retirement for lost work. I don't have it in me to be on 24/7 call. My 8 year old daughter panics because she thinks I am leaving again like I did with my mom. I can't put my family through that again. My father's situation is not as severe, but my fear of hurting my family is. I want my father to come and live with me or my brother. Even if it's just for these next couple of months to finish his treatment, but I am only 95 pounds and I'm not even sure I could provide for his needs being lifted if he becomes that weak. Am I overreacting?

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jdh789,
Since your loved one is feeling so fragile from radiation therapy to the point of being unable to push the button on the emergency device and having two episodes where he couldn't move himself, and you're worried that he would be laying there helpless, he needs 24 hour care assistance. Rest assured that there are plenty of resources available to help and alleviate caregiver burnout. Agencies like VNSNY are fully equipped with all necessary resources and have of numerous programs that help the patient while allowing family members to continue working and fulfilling their primary family obligation needs. Programs range from Medicare Service Assistance, to Medicaid long term care (MLTC), to private pay, to hospice care, etc. There are many skilled personnel that are available to help no matter how complex the patient needs may be. But your loved one does need 24 hour care given the circumstances.
Regards,
Renata Gelman, ADON, RN, BSN
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If you bring him to your home, it will be even more difficult to get him into a nursing home. He won't want to go. I would, in your situation, put him in a NH while he recovers and regains strength from the prostate situation. Then if he can return home, let him. Otherwise keep him in the nursing home. I know from experience how hard it is to do all the care at home. It disrupts your life and if you have a little girl at home, it will be really difficult for her. Yes if he is a veteran with a good discharge, he can get into a VA home for just his pension and his Social Security. That is what they take. I have my brother in law in a VA home. I do have to pay for meds and health insurance from his savings.
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24/7 live in care is not covered by Medicare. You have to pay out of pocket. Now if your Dad served his country V.A. will pick up some but hardly live in help 24/7.
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In Vegas where we live , we had 24/7 care for my daddy ,it cost 9 grand a month.
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He may not need 24/7. It sounds like his situation is due to medical treatment, and therefore might be temporary. He can go into a nursing home while the condition lasts, Medicare cost, and then come out again. In-home support services like home health aides, physical therapy, and occupational therapy can also be called in on a relatively short term basis, bus can be renewed if he declines. You really need to talk to his doctor about the situation, as either service requires a doctor's order.
I had in-home nursing, PT, and home health care for my Dad when his situation first turned difficult. This was followed up by private-pay companion care for four hours/day, seven days/week for over two years. Recently this changed to live-in care on a private arrangement rather than through an agency, which was going to be more affordable for him.
If he is a veteran and has less than $80,000 in funds, the VA has some benefits that will help pay for assisted living. They will more readily pay for this in an Assisted Living Facility than at home for some reason, but you might be able to get some help there as well.
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Um, not EVERY nursing home is a garbage can for the elderly!!!How can you say such a thing???!!!My mom is 100% Russian & VERY stubborn - we asked her constantly do you want this do you need help with that - answered with a big fat NO! I asked her because I wanted to respect her wishes, dignity, & I respected her enough to follow her wishes. I couldn't force anything on her! I really resent also the implication that I "forget" my mom's in that stupid nursing home - I SO wish she HAD accepted help so she could't ve stayed either in her home or at least assisted living, but that didn't happen & now she's "content" in the nursing home - my heart BREAKS EVERY time I think about her in their - I just got finished crying for the past 10 minutes - ugh - jdh789 I can't tell you what you should do - do what YOU think is best.
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I have just gone through this myself with my dad. I must tell you that it was the hardest decision I ever had to make in my life. But it know now that is was the right one! When your gut is telling you that they are unsafe, it usually is. Please follow your heart and let your dad know that you are doing it because you never want him to be alone again and someone will always be there to help him when he needs it. God forbid he falls and no one will know that. I have had two friends of mine who both lost their parents by them falling and they did not find them until they came home from work. They must have had a stroke and if you know anything about strokes the quicker you get medical attention the better your chances of survival. We installed cameras in our home to watch dad during the day while at work. If you think you cannot put him into Assisted living then get cameras at sams or costco and this will ease your mind tremendously. Also get meals on wheels as they will come every day and they can check on him. Hire a caregiver for just a couple hours each day to be sure he is fed and has his meds and is ok. My best advice after having to go through this is just to do what your heart and your gut tell you. I did after many tear filled days and I know now I made the right decision.
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jd - you know from your heart and mind that you can no longer care for your father like you did with your mother. You got burned out with your mom. And it also affected your family. Now you know the true reality of 24-hr care. You know your limitations. You are setting boundaries. People gave you several options. Before even allowing your conscience to overcome your decision, please look into all the options given above - well, except for the ones that said for you to take him into your home. Once you have researched and discussed it with your husband - objectively, not emotionally, then go from there. Know this, when a parent moves in and needs 24/hour care - it DOES affect the family dynamics. Yes, your daughter would learn some things. Question is - will she learn that grandpa comes first in everything? Unless you can afford Reliable caregivers to come when you need them (daughter's school programs, dance recitals, etc...), they will learn to resent you and grandpa. When you all decide you need time away from him and caregiving - like a weekend getaway - will you be able to find someone to come over and take over? I'm not against him moving in - I just know how very difficult it is to care for bedriddens 24-hrs a day/every day. The stress when cg on Saturday doesn't come and you have to be at work by 830am. The calls I had to make before I finally gave up, walked to my bro of next door - and told his grown up kids that bedridden grandparents need to be babysat until I get back home. I am just giving you a Word of Caution. I, too, strongly agree that you hop around this site and read other caregiver's who brought their parents to their homes. And those who took them to NH. There are all pros and cons of either decisions. But atleast you researched and know what will happen in either case. I wish you well in your decision making.
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Maybe a 24/7 live-in home health aide would work for your dad. Medicare might help pay a portion of the cost.
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TerriM, I do not believe you. First of all you said before it you had one person with Down's syndrome now you have multiple people with Down's Syndrome ? And it is person first. Not Down Syndrome kids --it is kids with Down Syndrome. You should know that. And , when I asked you from another post how you did it , how you were able to watch that many people with a person with special needs-something I am trying to figure out because I have a teenager with special needs and am trying to take care of my Mom part time and it is very hard -you never answered me. I think you are full of it, lady!!! And it is not nice to come on here pretending to be someone you are not. Or on any other site. Just sayin'. Cut it out.
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