So I have an amazing, 95-year old-grandfather who lives on his own, still drives, still grocery shops and tries to do everything on his own. Also, his brain is still fairly sharp. The issue is none of the family is able to convince him that he would be better off at an assisted living community or at least he needs someone to come a minimum of 3 times a week to help him with groceries, laundry and light housekeeping. He gets around on a scooter and is on oxygen most of the time. His living conditions are not the best, lots of trash, spoiled food, goes out in dirty clothing and we do not believe he bathes regularly. He recently fell multiple times in a week at his home and finally had to call family for help. Turns out this was not his first time to call 911, but he didn't let any of us know. What would be ideal is for him to loose his driver's license, but there are no accidents reported (though he obviously hits things by looking at his vehicle) and he continues to pass the vision test. We all have tried in so many ways to convince him to let us bring someone in to help. My next step is surprising him with a meeting with a visiting angle consultant because when i told him I was going to do it he got very mad. Issue is no one lives close enough to visit every day usually just once week. He is the most stubborn man I have ever met and so proud to do everything on his own. My question is at what point do we need to call someone to force him? Is there an organization to force him? Does he have to have a bad fall and go to the hospital? Has anyone just ever hired someone without them knowing and have them show up? I respect that he wants to die at home and we have the resources to allow that to happen but unfortunately i don't see that happening for a few more years and he gets worse every day. Any ideas of what others have done would be great. Thank you in advance for reading.

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I think you'd be less frustrated by acknowledging that trying to change him not only isn't going to be effective, UNTIL and/or UNLESS he's ready, and that forcing him into anything will only alienate him.

Remember, it's the family's opinion that AL would be better for him. It isn't what he wants, and you do have to respect that, as well as respect that it's his life, to live the way he wants to, even if it's not safe.

I'm in a similar situation, but have learned to choose my "battles" carefully, and I've given up on getting my father to go to AL. He'd be absolutely miserable and would give up and die quickly. He wants to be free, in his own home. He wants to walk down the street to visit neighbors and interact with them and their families.

He wouldn't have that option in AL. Sure, he'd be much safer, and also much more bored being around only other older people. He wouldn't be able to enjoy the children in the neighborhood, the seasonal decorations, interacting with the mail carrier.

We've discussed this and even though I still drop hints, I know that he'll stay in his own home and the only way I could get him to AL would be to override his own judgment and desires. And I won't do that.

I also won't when I get older. I'd rather die in my own home than in a starchy facility with a lot of other older and sick people. (No offense intended toward anyone whose parent is in AL; some people can enjoy it. I'm not one.)

So, ask yourself whether you want your GF to go to AL b/c it's the family's impression it would better for him, or if you think that's the best thing for him, including taking away his freedom to still live what he probably considers a good life.
Helpful Answer (27)

SO-o he doesn't want help. Try for little changes that will help but don't look like it. When someone visits, bring a dish of whatever that you made and thought he might enjoy. Something that can EASILY be reheated. Some homemade soup for example. And didn't you get confused and bought more bananas and already had some at home, could he help and take a few?
At 95 he is part of the depression era generation, waste not want not. Invite him out for a meal at a diner so he gets a nutritious meal. A saturday afternoon event, so to speak. Can someone (in small steps) eliminate dangerous spoiled food from his frig? I did this at my MILs each visit. I didn't get there often but did what I could.
My 93 year old uncle was exactly as you are describing. The nieces/nephews ultimately set up a schedule for weekly visits with some meals and groceries. It is hard to turn down some delicious food items! He too was proud but loved the goodies. Stop asking and just start doing things --- a LITTLE change at a time.
Helpful Answer (23)

If he is still competent, there isn't much you can do until a crisis hits. The next time he calls you because he fell and needs you to pick him up, you can go over or call the paramedics. Afterwards, ask him if he wants to stay at home or go to a nursing home. If his house is full of trash and rotting food, having a cleaning lady come twice a week would help. State that the paramedics might report the state of his house and his falling will put him in a home and it won't matter what he wants. To remain safely at home, he must hire a cleaning lady at least twice a week, he must have an aid or two come in three times a week to help him out.
Helpful Answer (19)

What's needed is to stop asking him to make a choice about AL - I've worked with cognitively disabled and elders 30 + years and most cannot think ahead, it's not a series of rational plans and decisions - and to me, that's the piece of "your values" that can be a lot more helpful if it's adjusted.

More immediate supports can be more attractive, and lower key, even if you want a major decision made. Visit with him, and use a caregiver agency that uses older caregivers. More familiar with the hollowness of words that come from plans on paper - that's the older generation - they want to play "Host", not care receiver.

Transition plan is what makyes the difference. Hire people on different initial basis, when their real job is to allow your father to get used to them. Like hire a caregiver, but don't make a WHOLE plan for his care - just have her start as a "cleaning lady", for an hour and the rest of the time, visit with him, have tea. Or have someone help with an outdoor job, then sit and have tea.

It doesn't take as long as one would think. I did that, was caregiver who sat with 96 year old, independent fellow, similar attitude. I listened to his stories and showed my delight in his resourcefulness and ability to innovate. And I left. Downplayed the whole care perspective, said, I don't know if he'll want help or not. And came back, visited, helped gently with a small task he started to do. AND I agreed with his mistrust of the healthcare system - I agree anyway, for I find their expectations are designed by researchers, so instead of working in praise of a very capable old man, they are worried about answering to their supervisors who barely know the fellow.

When the fellow began to accept that I was there as a helper to HIM, not to the goals seen by family or services - and I laughed at his wonderful jokes and stories - but also kept alert to doing small things - when it was simple - he began to rely on me. One day he found his electric garage door was open when he woke in the AM. He was paranoid about neighbor vengeance, and sure this was a prank from a particular neighbor opponent. I told him I thought that unlikely, but that I agree, it needs to be fixed right away, and I stayed late that day, standing on a ladder in his garage fiddling with the control device as he read me the codes that he had stored in his wallet for decades..... We got the door closed, and I just said, "good" - for I knew that if I had left that job undone when i left him, his paranoia would have been triggered into crisis.

He came to see me as his "right hand man", even if I was a 60 year old woman, but I had owned my own home alone, and knew the challenges of upkeep, so I helped with many tasks. After he had accepted me, my Care Manager made the arrangement more formal, and a couple of weeks later, another stable caregiver was added, and for 3 years, we lived there overnight and handled care tasks through his decline.

Many care agencies know of these issues, and plan to work with them. And sometimes that resistance has meant that a caregiver just sat outside for their shift, while the client never let them in! Trying different approaches, and writing down what worked, because SOME caregivers could persuade him, others were shut outside. I was a fill in for a woman - and sat outside, until one day as the woman refused me entry again, I said, sure, I understand, but can I use your phone to call my company? My cell is not working. Allowed her to be "host" not care recipient. Once inside, I used the phone, chatted a bit, noted her nice home and chatted some more - turns out her internet had stopped working, so I said I'd try to fix it.

By the end of that day, she had accepted me, and I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom before I left. The next time I came, she might not remember - and it's just a repetition, accept, be glad to see them, follow their lead, and gradually add a bit of help. It's all a transition process, not planned in advance on paper, without the initial period of a month or two, of trial to add bits of help.

Fact is, once a place has been gradually organized for them - the brain injury people write labels on the outside of drawers - if you remove clutter, don't throw it out, but put it in a "later consider box", and they agree, then hide it from sight so they forget about it - but keep it, in case they get worried or suspicious, so they can review it again, always going along with them to support their ways of self organizing, laugh with them at the difficulties, and help by making some small change, which you are willing to undo, if they don't like it. That approach lets them experience small changes, and get used to them, not be asked to say yes or no ahead of time.
Helpful Answer (19)

My husband's father, age 90, in the advanced stages of diabetes and suffering from early dementia, sounds much like your GF. Even a 10 day stay on a respirator in the Intensive Care Unit was not enough to persuade him to live in our home in a specially designed senior apartment. He wants to "live on his own terms." His own terms include: 3 hypoglycemic episodes (dangerously low blood sugar) and extreme diabetic nerve pain as he is no longer able to remember how to take his medications, a traffic ticket for speeding thru a school zone (he didn't realize he was in a school zone), backing into his garage door (he didn't realize the garage door was still closed), and driving into a ditch, damaging his car substantially, backing out of the ditch and continuing to drive to the golf course where his golfing buddy pointed out the damage to his car. It surprises our family that his insurance company continues to issue him the policy.
We live 8 hours away. My husband's sister lives 1 hour away. Our solution was that Sis would stay with Pop 3 days a week, cleaning, cooking, and tossing out all the sweets he has purchased while she was not there. He gets aggravated with her presence and often asks her to leave. We all know its because she prevents him from eating sweets. Also, my husband filled out forms at the DMV asking them to request and review health information from his doctors as to his failing eyesight, numb legs, and inability to control his blood sugar. Pop failed the eye test, but has filled an appeal. It can take as much as a year for this process.
It is unfortunate that some elders early dementia prevent their seeing the logic of a change of residence, whether it be moving in with family or assisted living, or in your case, just some additional help a few days a week.
I wish I could offer a solution. Just know that you are doing the best you can in a very difficult situation.
Helpful Answer (11)

jnana43, it will not be easy to bring into your Grandfather's home a caregiver. Some elders welcome it, others will refuse big time. The secret is to bring in someone who has a lot in common with Grandfather, that way they would have a lot to talk about.

Whatever you do, even if Grandfather finally gives in and wants a caregiver, is for you to pay for this cost. Such cost should be paid for by your Grandfather.

Many of us here had to wait until there was a serious medical issue, such as a fall that requires hospitalization. But don't be surprised if Grandfather wants to return home even against his doctor's advice. Usually it takes several serious medical issues for the light bulb moment to happen.
Helpful Answer (10)

What you have said speaks volumes about your views and values, rather than your 95yr old grandfather. Let him live his life how he chooses - there will come a time, and I'm sure he's aware of this, when he needs to accept help, but right this minute that doesn't appear to be the case with his current lifestyle and need for independence.
Helpful Answer (8)

In your situation, you have to get creative. You can choose from many of the great ideas given here so far. One idea at a time, and give your grandfather time to get used to each idea. If you can get the family to rotate on a weekly basis to bring groceries and clean a room at a time, he might accept that idea. Eventually, you may be able to get a caregiver or someone in his neighborhood or from his church to join in as a part of the rotation to get your grandfather used to someone who isn't family.
I was able to do that with my very stubborn aunts and mother. My neighbor started helping my eldest aunt on a limited basis until she needed more help and eventually passed. Then she helped a bit with my next aunt. Finally, she first helped my mother when I was out of town, and now she helps her on a weekly basis in addition to what I do. My mother was resistant at first, wanting me to do everything, but you have to be gently firm and explain that you can't do everything.
If you continue to be concerned about your grandfather's safety and health, you may have to assign someone to go to his doctor visits and/or schedule a wellness check. If someone is his POA, you may have to get him/her involved, or get one designated.
Good luck!
Helpful Answer (6)

I think you or another family member should just help him clean up his house and check on him every few days. Also get him some kind off call alert system or make sure he carries a cell phone with hi so he can call for help if he falls. Just do things to show him love and support. I just don't think that people should lose rights just because they age. He hasn't been in a bad wreck yet and is passing his eye exams and you say his mind is still sharp. Therefore just love him as much as you can while he is still on this earth, and support him in a non-controlling manner.
Helpful Answer (5)

I am 98 live alone Facebook active, use a cane no wheel chair, socially ACCEPTED AFTER I SHAVE, a Board member of a Symphony, Chairman of another Board, even travel overseas alone. Do not punish the old man till he evidences lack of cognizance and is incompetent. Keep him happy in his old age. Measure the patient do not accept that every old person needs a nursing home.
Helpful Answer (5)

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