Mom had a severe stroke, rehab a fail, now home to be cared for by dad (He insisted--80yrs, mobility, memory and hearing loss). I'm their only child and have come home with them for now but can't stay for more than two weeks. He won't let me help at all, as if trying to prove that he can do it all himself. She has NO movement or speech and sleeps mostly but when awake seems to be aware. After this I'll be an hour away. One day in, I'm starting to panic. Talk me off my ledge but please don't tell me to get her removed from home.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
What about a hospice evaluation? That might be a short cut to the right kind of help at home.

You could have to get brutal with your father, a bit, judiciously. If he wants to fight on for your mother at home until her natural end, he must have adequate support from qualified people. If he continues to reject that, then her needs will necessarily be neglected because they are beyond the scope of one unassisted caregiver - even if that person were not an eighty year old man - your mother will be considered at risk, and APS will take her away AND prosecute him for neglect of a vulnerable elder. He will lose everything that matters to him.

He's trying to prove he can do it all because he is afraid people will take her away if he can't do it all. He needs to understand that NO ONE can "do it all" and that the opposite of what he thinks is true. If he accepts appropriate help, he is far more likely to succeed in keeping her at home.
Helpful Answer (13)

So, your mother, who had severe stroke, dementia, bedridden, was cleared to leave rehab to be in care of 80 plus, senior who has mobility, memory and hearing issues? Hmmm.....that's pretty wild.

Well, no doubt your father thinks he can do it all for her. How is he doing? Most of the time, it takes 3 shifts of people to care for a person who is bedridden and needing total care. Can he afford or be willing to have outside help come 24/7? If not, I'd likely consult with an attorney to see what the options are. Your mother is helpless. I'd ensure that she be taken care of and I'd take whatever legal measures I had to to make that happen.

It sounds like your dad isn't thinking clearly. I've known people who are totally bedridden, have magical thinking that they are able to live alone. They have lost all sense of reality and live in a land where things magically happen. Her doctor may be of help as well, if he prescribes additional care. Maybe, they could move somewhere together, so they both can get care. Also, Hospice may be of some help, but, they don't stay in the home around the clock.
Helpful Answer (10)

Start talking about keeping them both together.
Tell him you will be looking for solutions.
Ask him what he wants.
Let him talk this out without giving him advice.

That should be a start?

Do they have any pets?
Helpful Answer (10)

Yes, let him do it ALL. That is the only way to find out if he CAN do it and to fully inform him that he is able. It sounds to me as though you may soon be called home to consider placement, as your Mom will, I am sure, be followed up on. If they find the beginnings of bed sores, and so on, you will be notified that she is endangered. I would let them know at work what your situation is, and hope they are supportive. What are the options for her to have some in home care? What is the plan of those who discharged her to the care of your Dad and what is their followup. If there is no plan then this is an unsafe and endangering discharge that could result in disaster. Who knows you will be leaving? The followup folks? Her own doctor? Be certain everyone is aware, and aware that in your own opinion this is an unsafe situation over which you have ZERO control. They may need to intervene and that is better done by THEM than by you.
Helpful Answer (10)

I am applauding your dad. What a man.

Most of us are stuck with dads that think we were born to be their personal servants. So hats off to your dad.

Have you talked about palliative care for mom? Maybe having a different set of eyes can help avoid any unnecessary crisis.

Is he amicable to a housekeeper or meals on wheels? Any service that would leave him in complete control with some of the weight removed? We have a service called mobile meals and I wish I qualified for them. It is 2 meals per person 5 days a week and you pay at maximum 40.00 weekly. Sliding scale for those that need it.

Encourage him to accept help, it is early days and he needs to think about what would happen to mom if something happens to him. So he needs to take care of himself to ensure his continued presence for his wife.

Let us know how it works out.

Helpful Answer (10)

One thing you might want to try...Can dad wrap his head around the idea of a " laundress" or a " maid"? Sometimes using terms for domestic help that our parents have some context for can help them acclimate to having " strangers" in their home.

There was a poster here long ago who was able to get her parents to accept help by introducing them as the laundress, the cook, the maid.
Helpful Answer (10)
Beatty Jul 2019
Yes! I've had success with 'maid' 'chaperone' & 'chauffeur' too. My folks are not upper class & now have a chuckle over having 'staff'.

Had to break through their 'family only' mindset first though.
Thanks so much everyone!! Thank you for the support. I feel loved. Even those of you who answered "get her out of there" when I said please don't were spot on. Thought you might appreciate an update, although the story is not yet finished. The home health nurse came and wouldn't take her on. Said it was too dangerous for her to be there with him and that I should take her to the ER! So I sent dad out for something and called for an ambulance. They came but wouldn't transport her because they thought she might not be an admit leaving them with a bill that nobody would pay. I finally had to leave them there together alone (earlier than I planned), crushing what was left of my heart, before my mind was gone. My dad's "bad" behavior became clear to me over the days I was there. He has dementia! Once the blinders were gone, it was so obvious. I can't (and can) believe I didn't know. He thinks things are going well and can't figure out why the nurse quit him. He still thinks he needs no outside help except if he wants to be away from the house. And thinks he might be able to take her along with him... I learned that I am not strong enough (physically or mentally) to want to try to change her by myself so I won't be able to be that help. Adult Protective Services has been contacted by the nurse and myself. I also sent a strong note to Dr prior to her 1 week post skilled nursing discharge appointment set for the day after tomorrow. I am incredibly sad that mom would be uncomfortable or hurting in any way, but had to let this play out as it will and hope that the system works as it should. Thanks again. Further update to follow...
Helpful Answer (8)

If dad won't allow you to help--there's the outside chance he will accept paid "personal assistants'. I worked in elder care and my clients preferred that I was called a personal assistant--all in the wording. I WAS a caregiver, but in the works 'personal assistant' there seemed to be some level of independence.

BArring that, do they have neighbors who can keep and eye on them for the next couple of weeks and keep you in the loop? Since it's just you, that's a HUGE burden.

Sadly, it's not unlikely that one or both of them will fall, set the house on fire or do something that will attract the authorities. Then you will have more 'help'.

You can't fight a stubborn old man. he has to epically fail before he will accept help.
Helpful Answer (7)

Sometimes you just have to let things run their coarse. He is obviously trying to convince you that he is superman and thus holds all the power and can do anything. He is not human, don't you know! Since you do not want to place her, then all you can do is try and let him accept some help caring for her, eventually this will all come to a head, and most likely they both will have to leave their home. A rubber band only stretches so far before it breaks. Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (7)

Accepting outside caregiver was also hard for my mom. Whenever caregiver came and mom was disagreeable, I introduced her as my friend from Wisconsin. Mom grew up in Milwaukee and had many pleasant memories of her childhood. This worked well nearly every time the caregiver came. It gave them something to talk about and reminisce.

In your case when the caregiver arrives, she would introduce herself as your friend from, where ever, and she is there to help YOU with things you need done.

There are many therapeutic white lies that an outside caregiver can use.

I also had the thought about asking the doctor about hospice evaluation. Don't tell dad that is what it is. Hospice would provide additional services to help mom, dad and you.
Helpful Answer (6)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter