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My papa will be 82 this year and he doesn't act his age. He still thinks he's a young man, which is nice when it comes to some things, but not with others. Either way he's a stubborn old man, but I love him anyway.


What's concerning me is for the past year now he has been having what seems to be ulcer flare up's off and on. The first one was at the end of February 2018. It took him about a month or two to get over it and get back to his normal self. I wasn't as worried about it because he could still eat and drink while keeping it down, even though it would hurt him. He didn't go to the doctor or to the hospital because he's stubborn and doesn't want to go. So I'm not sure if it's an ulcer at this point or not.


Now I'm getting more worried. He got sick last night after dinner and threw up most of the night. He couldn't lay down because he says it hurts. Today (1/9/19) he's been throwing up anything drinks (even water) and he won't try eating anything. So I would think his stomach is empty, but he told me the he had been throwing up what looks to be coffee grounds, which I looked up and google said it was coagulated blood. Scary. He still can't lay down and if he does drink anything he says it burns, plus he's pretty pale.


I haven't talked to him about going to the doctor or the hospital because I know he'll say no and will just yell and scream making things worse. I can't call the ambulance because I know he will say no and they won't take him because he seems to be in his right mind. I really don't have any idea what to do.


I don't know if this is really a question or not, but I've tried everything and he still won't go to the doctor. I'm worried at this point things will take a turn for the worst and I won't know what to do.

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Document Everything, so you have it if you should ever be questioned about his care (of himself) in the future. That way there will be record of how you tried and tried to convince him of getting medical care, as well as enlisted other people's help( his daughter).

While I see of no reason why anyone would consider you medically responsible for him if he is of sound mind, it might come in handy when/if he should eventually seek medical care for this gut issue in the near future, which I hope that he does.

I am sorry you are having to deal with his stubborness, it is clear that you really for care about your GranDad. I would continue to Try to get him in to be seen and keep the dialog going. Tell him something like "you are worried that the powers that be" could come back at you, and that you could "get in trouble", and that his refusal to get proper medical care could land you in trouble with the Police or APS, doing this is called a "therapudic Fib" (often used with older folk in their best interest), which might make him think twice and push him into action, so you aren't held responsible should something seriously happen to him (even though I don't believe you would be), again this is where your doccumentation will come in handy, plus helpful to the medical team when evaluating him for future care, ie: his symptoms, when did they start, his complaints, how often, pain, fever, your attempts at convincing him to seek treatment, etc...

You could also read up on bleeding from the stomach, and educate him in conversation on what "might" be happening to him whe he vommits up "coffee grounds", and that Serious reprocussions can happen and Very quickly if he continues to ignore these type symptoms, as it doesn't take long to "bleed out" and fall into unconciousness from severe blood loss, and also, Not All of the blood from a stomach or intestional bleed will be vommited up and out through mouth, as he very likely could be losing blood out the other end and you don't know about it.

Watch for signs of weakness and dizzyness as well as passing out on his part, also pale skin, shortness of breath and rapid heartrate, all signs that he has an active "bleed", and cannot oxygenate his heart and brain, as well as the rest of his body sufficiently. Especially in old age, we do not replace our Red Blood Stores as quickly as when we are younger, so even small amounts of blood loss add up quickly, when we are older.

Good Luck, and I wish him well!
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mhansen1994 23 hours ago
Staceyb thank you so much for the advice I hadn’t thought about writing things down. I will definitely start doin it right away.
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I have trouble getting my daddy to the doctor. I tell him the insurance needs you to go to the doctor so your insurance can be current. Normally at a yearly physical they just ask questions like any problems, sicknesses, flu.. etc. and check blood pressure, lungs etc. not really hard stuff. But its his insurance he should have a physical every year.
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mhansen1994 Jan 14, 2019
Hgnhgn I would like to say he does but sadly he does not. It doesn’t matter if he’s healthy or not he still REFUSES to go to the doctor. The only time I ever remember him goin to the doctor was once when I was maybe 11 or 12. He was so sick with a sinus infection he fell when he tried to get out of bed. My grandmother was here at the time and thanks to her, he went. She gave him two options. 1. Stay like he was and she’d call an ambulance. Or 2. Someone we get him into the car and go to the hospital. Of course, he picked option 2.

Trust me I have tried to give him those two options but I’ve been told he’s an adult and he’ll do what he wants. If I call the ambulance he’ll tell them to go to hell and he won’t be going. And if I try to get him in the car to go to the hospital he won’t go anywhere with me until he feels better.

Even his daughter has tried to get him to go and he still refused. If he went when she was there I would have been surprised said there was probably something else I could have done, but considering he wouldn’t go while she was here, then there is nothing we can do. His daughter and I agrue a lot about anything and everything. So when she tells me she agrees with me, there is no way of getting him to go, you know there nothing you can really do about him not getting help.
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For sure you are not failing in any duty toward your elder. You are doing what you can and your reasoning seems sound.  You know this man better than anyone on this forum, so you can see the situation better than we can.  I presume you have talked to him about bleeding ulcers, offered to get him to the doctor or hospital, so he does know he has options, but it is his decision (and legally he sounds competent, even if this decision is not prudent).  If he won't get medical help, and he is competent, I don't see what you can do and I do agree trying to force some people into doing anything is only going to make them more stubborn. You would have to watch for any opportunity to make a suggestion to get help.  Keep in mind that some people are terrified of a long slide into death and getting treatment for something like this may seem to them to be opening that door.  They truly want to go like a snuffed candle.  However, as other posters have pointed out, there is a possible legal issue for you here. There was a terrible case in California some time ago when a young woman ended up in jail and under indictment when all she did was honor her great aunt's insistence on no treatment and letting nature take its course.  I suspect that this is still somewhat a murky area - so many of these issues are because people are living longer with serious medical issues and there really is not much settled law. And there are people who simply cannot comprehend the attitude of an elder who wants to be dead if they cannot continue living a fairly normal life.  So they feel they have to intervene when they are confronted with what seems to them to be "crazy".  Terrible situation for caregivers caught in this. But advice to protect yourself is good advice. Has your elder put down their wishes on paper, so that you have something to protect yourself with?
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mhansen1994 Jan 14, 2019
Thank you rovana for trying to understand my side of things. Yes, my papa has put down in writing exactly what he wants in his medical treatment (if there is any
whether there will be treatment or no treatment). He has told me over and over what he wants and I am respecting his wishes. Of course, I would like him to see a doctor though, to at least cover my end of things, but has it had be said time and time again he will not go. He tells me I will be fine because he has refused medical treatment while he’s in his right mind. I do think he has that mind set if it’s his time to die then he will die because he has had a good life. I also think he’s worried if he goes to the doctor there will be something even worse then a stomach ulcer. He wants to die (when it’s his time) but he doesn’t want to know what will be killing him. Again thank you for stepping into my shoes.
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To be honest, I am completely worried about updating on here now. At first I was feeling really good about my decision to find help and support on here. Now I’m not so sure.

I do understand you people are trying to help and I thank you but someone over stepped the line. I get you probably think I’m not doing everything I can but what you will never understand is I’m not a caregiver. I am living with my papa because he’s getting up in age but he can still do everything on his own. This man gardens, does yard work during the summer until it gets cold, he goes camping, fishing, and hikes. He also takes the dogs out every single morning for a walk wheather it’s snowing, raining or the sun is shinning. I am here because he doesn’t want to be a lone and I am happy enough to still be here. So I am not here to be a caregiver. At 82 years old the most stubborn man in the world wants me here to be supportive and help him with everything he needs help with, which isn’t much.

As for not doing my duty as a grandchild that right there my friend was unacceptable to say and I don’t care if you didn’t mean to “hurt me or make me feel bad”. You didn’t, but you sure made me mad. This man raised me since I was was a little girl and adopted me just before I became a teenager. He taught me how to ride a bike and swim. He staid when most of the important people in my life left. And you know what, he didn’t have to do these things. He is not my biological grandfather. He is my moms stepdad. He wasn’t even married to my grandmother at the time. He didn’t have to say yes when my grandmother called and asked if he’d take me because I wasn’t being cared for right. But you know what? He did without hesitation and we’ve been together ever since. If it weren’t for this man I don’t know where I would be today. Yes I understand I could do more but I’m not going to take someone saying I’m not doing my duty as his grandchild. He means the world to me and it hurts enough knowing I can’t make him do what I want him to do. It’s not like I’m not doing it because I don’t want too. I’m doing it because it’s what he wants. I respect him enough to know if he thinks he needs to go to the doctor he will tell me and we will go.

If you people were in my shoes you would understand I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got. I have done everything. I have even called his daughter for help and she has done the same thing I have done. She couldn’t get him to go see a doctor or go to the hospital. She did tell me she’s glad I’m here and she understands how stubborn her dad can be.

If you had lived with this man your whole life you would understand why I haven’t pushed harder. You would understand I’ve done just about all I can, now all I can really do is just wait and be there when he tells me he’s had enough of the pain and wants to go see a doctor. This man takes the cake on stubbornness and that is no joke.

Someone asked what would he do if I forced him into doing something he didn’t want to do. I’d probably kicked out of the house. I don’t want to leave him because I don’t want anything bad to happen to him and I’m not there. Not many people check on him not even his own children. If I wasn’t here and something happened to him I’d never forgive myself. That would be my fault because I could have been here for him but instead I pushed too hard before he was ready and got kicked out of the house.

For all of you who have been helpful thank you. For the few who have been rude I understand you didn’t mean to be but next time try to be in someone else’s shoes before you say someone isn’t doing they’re duty as a grandchild because someone will take offense to that even if it wasn’t meant to come out that way. There are different ways to handle different people. Sadly this is the only way to handle him.
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BarbBrooklyn Jan 14, 2019
Mh, I'm trying, in my answers, to PROTECT YOU from suspicion if something bad happens to your dear grandpa.

I'm sorry if I overstepped. You asked for advice. I, and many others, thought you wanted to hear from us older folks who've been down this road with obdurate elders.

Best of luck to you.
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I’m not a doctor, but in the best case scenario I think he may have a bleeding ulcer. And dear caregiver, I don’t want to hurt you or make you feel bad, but the truth is that I don’t think you are fulfilling your duty as his caregiver or as his grandchild.

Believe me, I KNOW pretty well what it is to be dealing with extreme stubbornness, but I think you are missing the degree of importance this has. Have you tried telling him that you did research and you found several potential explanations for his symptoms and they are all very concerning and life threatening? Even if that ends up being an exaggeration, maybe fear works. Also, do you know any doctor friend or any doctor really that could come to his house and make it clear to him that he needs to go be seen and examined properly? Or lastly, next time he says to you or you see him vomiting or with obvious pain just CALL 911. Tell him you did afterwards. What is he going to do? Seriously, what can happen if you do? Will he not open the door? No, you will open the door. Will he get mad at you? Yes, so what? He will get over it but you may have saved his life!! Will he not trust you letting help him in the future? Once he sees that what he had was no joke, or once a doctor tells him to be thankful for his granddaughter that brought him on time (ask a dr to tell him, explain the situation) he will be ok with it. He is stubborn, not stupid! You said he is pretty smart and able, right? Trust that.

You are not the grandchild anymore, you are the one in charge. That is a change not easy to digest and realize, but it is the truth.

Really hope both of you are ok and that you find the encouragement and wisdom to know exactly what to do and when! A hug!
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MHansen, worst case scenario: Grandpa dies in his sleep. It is an " unattended death" so there will be an investigation into how he died. They discover he had a treatable medical condition.

Your are the adult who was with him when he was vomiting coagulated blood. The coroner asked why the heck didn't you get him medical attention by calling 911, at the least. " Oh, he wouldn't let me", you say.

Do you think that's going to sound like a reasonable thing? Do you stand to inherit from him? You could be opening yourself up to A LOT of grief.

Please, PLEASE call 911 and let it be documented that he refused medical care. Those EMTs can be very persuasive.
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Mhansen, I can understand that if I were nearly 82 I wouldn't want doctors poking me with sharp objects and telling me what to do, either. But he is missing the point, which is that if he gets examined and treated *now*, he will likely avoid much more interference and risk further down the line.

Only you know how this will go: but you've tried telling him how worried you are and pleading with him and it hasn't worked. How about if you tell him he's being an idiot, and if he really doesn't want doctors meddling then he needs to get this sorted before he's so ill that he won't have any choice? Having a death wish when you have an incurable degenerative disease is one thing; but dying needlessly because you won't accept straightforward treatment for a specific condition is just daft.

Meanwhile, you are absolutely right to respect his autonomy, and you can't force him to accept medical attention. But there is nothing to stop you from seeking medical advice, and I think you should. With any luck, you'll encounter a doctor who'll speak to your grandfather over the phone and talk him round.

Do you think he's afraid of what they might find? If so, it is important to reassure him that no matter what it is you will strongly support his right to make decisions about treatment - but to do that intelligently he needs to know what he's dealing with.
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Can I suggest that you get some aloe vera juice and see if that helps with his pain. You can buy it just about anywhere, I use apple juice with it, it is not very pleasant to drink but does help. 2oz to start with 2oz of apple juice, increase or give more frequently until it helps. If he gets no relief from this, he should be seen by a doctor.

I know it is frustrating to deal with stubbornness and he does have the right to refuse medical care.
But as his caregiver, to protect yourself, you should get him to the er or urgent care and have him tell them so it is documented that he refuses care.

How are you holding up?
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Hello everyone. I’m sorry I haven’t update. I just didn’t think I’d have so much support and feedback. I want to thank you all for that first of all.

Now for the past few days he’s been doing ok. He stopped throwing up and has been eating off and on. We didn’t go to the doctor/hospital because no matter what I did he still wouldn’t have it. I’ve just been waiting and watchin him constantly to make sure he’s doing better.

Tonight (1/13/19) he’s have stomach problems again. He’s not throwing up and he can keep his water down which I see as a good sign. He just hasn’t ate much because he says his stomach hurts. He’s had a lot of water and some popcicles and keeping them down. I’m sitting up with him right now, as I write this, because he can’t see to lay down.

I’m gonna try again tomorrow to see if he will go to the doctor. He is such a stubborn old man. He keeps telling me he doesn’t know what to do and he tired of hurting. I tend to tell him to go the doctor but he ends up telling me he doesn’t need to go to the doctor he can take care of himself.

So here in a few days I’ll update you some more. Hopefully we’ll get somewhere by then. Thank you all again for your feedback and support.
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4 days and counting......
Wishing for an update.
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Mhansen,

I am afraid this is an emergency leaving no room for arguments with your dad! Time to take on the role of the adult child or the parent if you wish, and just do what is right and necessary. His symptoms are not the result of just an indigestion or something else simple, there is something much more serious going on and if I were you I would most definitely protect your father above anything else; protecting him takes full precedence compared to respecting his wishes.

And I am afraid you may have a misconception, if you call 911/ambulance they won’t just turn around and leave if he says ‘no’, they will deal with the situation and I’m pretty sure he will go to the hospital. Interestingly, elderly people react better to third parties’ input. And I’d advise that once he is at the hospital, you should take the opportunity to run all tests that he hasn’t had done in who knows how long.

My mom also refuses to be seen by doctors but if an emergency like yours (Yes, unfortunately you’ve an emergency in your hands I am afraid) presented itself I would not hesitate one second in calling an ambulance or taking her to the hospital, and my mom knows it.

Best of luck and please let us know how things are.
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Did you get him to the hospital?

How are things going?
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Sounds like internal bleeding....call 911....NOW.... let him scream or yell, the EMT”s will deal with it!! You certainly dont want to be charged or accused with elder abuse or neglect. Let him be stubborn, but PROTECT YOURSELF!!!
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911
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Do not leave him alone.
Observe the vomiting, maybe get a sample.
You will be calling 911.
Let him yell.
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Call 911. Let the EMTs try to convince him.

He is bleeding internally
You want to cover yourself so as not to be charged with neglect
Call 911 now.
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I would be very concerned. If it were me I would tell him he either needs to see a doctor or you are going to call 911.
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Riverdale Jan 9, 2019
I was going to say the same.
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