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I have written about my Dad quite a bit in here and each new day brings more news about his treatment and my Dad closer to death. He has dementia and has fallen and broken his hip. He is 89 and his wife who just turned 70 never walked with him. He had fallen several times in their Mobile Home Park. The paramedics were called several times. They've been married for 6 years and she got everything that could be signed by him, signed over to her. He has come to me in attempts to set him up with a Divorce Lawyer twice. He needed me to also drive him there and back, and I readily agreed, especially after he told me that she hit's hard. These appointments were like for the very next day on both occasions, but somehow she found out about both of them, probably by grilling him about his whereabouts as I live right around the corner and he stops by when shuffling down the street with his dog. So on both occasions I had to cancel the appointments because she would drive him out of the park and not return until dark. They went up to Lake Tahoe once with my Brother and his Wife, apparently to celebrate my Dad's 89th B-Day. My brother said once there she discovered that they had forgotten my Dad's Med's which included his eyedrops for his Glaucoma. Her excuse was, " we packed our own bag's ".


My Dad told us boy's that he married this woman because he was worried about growing old alone and being as she was younger, she would take care of him. She said he was diagnosed with Alz's. 2 years ago, he told me 4 years ago that he had dementia. But she was finishing his sentences for him before they were married. So I really don't know when he actually started to lose his memory faculties. I do know that now he is in trouble. As I mentioned earlier, while walking alone he fell and broke his hip. He was at Kaiser and had surgery, he then got transferred to a Post- Acute Skilled Nursing Home. I had to do some prodding with staff members as she told them his boy's were not to know where he was being taken. He made her POA before they were even married. I walked into their house right when a man with a briefcase was leaving. And she proceeded to tell me a POA was just something they should have because they went camping a lot, miles away. She said it would be good to have in case something ever happened to my Dad, then us boy's would not have to drive or fly all of the way out wherever they were to bring his body home. She said it would just give her the legal right to send his body home and save us the hassle. Being naive about a POA, and being as my Dad was happy at the time, we thought nothing of this POA thing. I am quite sure my Dad knew nothing about what he did then, and I know for a fact that he doesn't know now. In the first place, it's elder abuse to allow a person with Alz's. to be alone, much less walk alone, and a person who is 89. After the 2nd attempt at getting him to a divorce lawyer the very next day I saw him shuffling along and asked him how she found out about the appointment. He said he didn't know and told me that someone stole their phone. I asked stole your phone? And he said yes, they broke into the house and stole our phone. Well no one breaks into a house to steal a phone. They didn't get a new one for several days. So she's alienating him and what if he get's hurt? Because she has knitting classes and he says she takes 3hr. naps everyday. That's neglect. The hitting also.


Now, he's still recovering at the SNF and I get a phone call from the Dr. there. He say's my Dad's White Blood Cell Count is way up and he could die because they don't have the equip. there to take test and the wait for results would take time. He needs to go to emergency right now. But, my Dad's wife isn't answering her phone and all decision's on my Dad go through her. Oh, so that's what that POA really is. Surprise! But I'm kin and I say move him and they do. Found out, and this was only 7:00p.m., she was sleeping. So now he's back at Kaiser and in just 3 day's his health is really declining fast, but nobody seems concerned. I went into his room tonight took one look and said, "why is he getting worse"? They said, yes he's declining fast, it's because he won't eat and at times spits out his pills. I said well can't you force feed him or tube feed him. She replied " THAT'S THE FAMILIES WISH'S ". She has caller ID and won't pick up when I call, so I had my brother call and she say's she can't afford to have one put in and he talked to her about suicide once. So she's fine to just let him waste away. She doesn't have any income, my Dad worked Union for over 40 years, so he still has healthcare through his pension and collects Social Security. Is the hospital allowed to go along with this. Can she actually get away with killing my Dad? A couple of days before my Dad fell my bro. was at their house and said my dad's wife was having a new chandelier put in over the dining table. But she can't afford to save her husband?Help

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Hugs to you BlueMoon22, at this difficult time. POA does not convey healthcare decisions, but being a wife does. Both of you are scared right now, try to just commiserate while you respect his wishes. Play his favorite music, hold his hand and reminisce to him about your best times together.
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Go in peace, my friend. Let us know. Vent anytime!
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Thank You for all of the great answers. I really appreciate the concern and advice, this is why I registered with this site. Yes my Father will die soon, hey he made it to 89. It is the Hospitals belief that his resistance to eating and the spitting out of his pills is his way of saying enough. Just let me go. Thanks again! I guess writing is my way of dealing with this. I'm glad I have this site to allow myself to vent my problems to others who have already been in my shoes. I Love You Dad.
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First - Call hospice to see what your options are. I don't know about where you live but in Arizona the POA holds all the way no matter the family dynamics - unless the family is willing to petition to the courts for guardianship of the incapacitated loved one because the POA is not doing his/her job and is not putting the best interests of the loved one first. And petitioning costs money. Also, depending on how the POA was drawn up, there could be some wiggle room for you to work with but you'll need a copy of the document to review what it actually says. For my mother's POA, it listed both me and my father as her POA (either one of use could make the decisions). My father is deceased. If your father's POA has some language in it that lists something about decisions in agreement between POA and immediate family, this could be something you can use in your favor. It reads like, though, your stepmother made sure this wasn't even an option. Second - I know this is such a stressful situation for you because you love your father so much and you want what's best, but I think you and your family need to think about his quality of life because his dementia will not improve. If he's not wanting to eat, I think you need to consider what he's telling you. I understand dementia patients are not all there but I do think in some small way they do know what they want but just don't know how to express it. If your father were to recover from this incident, what's next for him...heart attack, stroke, cancer...it's not a pretty picture of the road that may be ahead of him. My mother is slowly declining from vascular dementia, in addition to suffering from other significant issues that impaired her quality of life. I go to bed every night hoping she'll die in her sleep - because I love her so much that it pains me to the core to see her suffer so slowly with no upside to her situation. Her future?? Multiple strokes until she's a vegetable, cancer, surgery for this or that, pneumonia, loss of eye sight, loss of hearing, more physical pain than what she has now, and the such. I don't want this for her. Yes, I'll be devastated when she actually does pass, but her suffering has ended and this gives me peace as I work through the grief.
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I'm sorry you're having to go through this.

Your stepmother is incorrect about the POA. POA ends when the person dies so her having POA will have nothing to do with your dad's body once he dies.

I understand your desperation in wanting to see your father get well but someone can't be force fed and you'd be hard-pressed to find a Dr. who would insert a feeding tube. Your dad isn't going to die because he's stopped eating, he's stopped eating because he's going to die.

I agree with Babalou's suggestion about contacting hospice. I'm sure the rehab facility can refer you to someone. Hospice will look out for your dad's needs and make sure he's comfortable and they have a lot of experience with family dynamics.
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I'm so sorry that your father is so ill.

I don't believe that feeding tubes are ever a good idea in dementia patients; they tend to pull them out, and the patient's body may be shutting down as part of the dying process.

Is your dad on hospice? That would be a blessing for you all, especially as your father seems to be resisting treatment.

I have to assume that your dad knew what a poa was when he signed it. Again, I'm so sorry that your dad seems close to death. Dementia is a fatal disease and the surgery to repair his hip fracture may have accelerated it. It sounds as though it's time to let him go in peace. Please don't stir things up with his wife; that will only make a bad situation worse.
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