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Well, I guess I am mostly here to vent. My dad is now 91, more stubborn then ever to see the doctors he needs to see, and in denial of each and everything wrong with him!! And.........it is driving me crazy that his assisted living has no social worker on or off-site. He will see his primary who sees patients at the assisted living on Tuesdays, but her care is adequate at best, and she is not a geriatric doctor, although she has much experience working with the elderly. My dad is so stubborn that she won't argue with him anymore about seeing the specialists he needs to see, and he is having more problems, in addition to worsening present problems. And, if he needs to see his primary any day other than Tuesday, he is out of luck.

His deafness is getting worse, yet he won't go back to the place where he got his hearing aide many months ago. He must have PD, and if not, some kind of neurological movement disorder, saw one [idiot] neurologist and refuses to see another (which I'd make sure is top notch this time). There is scarring that is evidence that at some point he suffered a heart attack. He can just barely move or walk with his walker. He stops about every two feet along the way to the dining room. And the list goes on.

I cannot idly stand by while his body is "wasting away." I cannot accept the fact that he refuses to see the doctors he needs to see. His dementia has caused him to be totally unaware of things, totally unreasonable about his care,difficulties understanding many things, and is totally unaware when my mom gets sick. They each talk at the same time and neither hears the other. (had to add a little humor to this)

My latest idea is to hire a private care manager, actually an aquaintance of mine for years, and have her give an assessment of both of my parents' present conditions, and a good idea of what add'l care they need, and maybe an idea of when either of them will hae to move into a nursing home. They do have a live-in aide who is wonderful, but as my dad requires more medical attention, living where he is now will not adequately provide him with proper care.

I was going to type up a bulleted list for the care manager to read and discuss with me prior to the two of us meeting with my parents. I cannot say much in front of my dad, because he will pick up on it and butt into the conversation in a negative way.

I have been advised by my own therapist to do whatever I can, and just let it be, but I know by doing it that way, his life will be shortened. Sometimes I think, though, that I care too much, but I can't help myself from my inner, gut feelings.

I know that many other caregivers are in my same position, and I don't get how they manage to get a psychiatrist to assess their parents. And, I don't know how the care manager I will be getting will have the right approach for dealing with my ever-demanding dad.
Wake up each day with a positive attitude and accept who you are. Like my mother always taught me, "tomorrow is another day."
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Hi Spencer:

Sounds so very familiar... It is hard to get past their stubbornness! You are an angel to care so much for them.

I think your plan sounds great regarding the care manager. Let her handle your dad and don't stress out about it. It may be that by hearing her assessment, he may come around to seeing a doctor.

Good luck with your latest plan and know we are here for you. Keep us posted!

Hugs, Glenda
Welcome Spencer,

I hope you are feeling better now that you were able to vent some amongst others who understand.. It isn't easy when parents are set in their ways and closed to discussing what they would like in their end stages of life.

However, I think you know that he will not change.. at this stage, he is not about to have surgeries and to be poked etc It would be great to have a proper diagnosis.. and if possible for the problems to be treated.. but at this stage, it is wise to ascertain if this is what he would truly want, or if it is what you are wanting to keep him alive for you.. perhaps your family etc. What does your mom say about it all? Have they have spoken with each other/

I think that bringing in a care manager would be helpful for you in particular so you can learn of the resources as well as steps that you will need to take as the future grows upon you.

If we can help in anyway, please don't hesitate to reach out and ask.. we are here for you.

Blessings in all you are doing... stay calm, surrender the things you cannot control or change... allow yourself to go with the flow as well.

gail
My main complaint about my Dad's medical care at present is lack of coordination of his medical needs. He can only see his primary once a week at his assisted living facility. This is no longer adequate. He has had 2 back-to-back episodes of cellulitis in one leg, where there has been for quite sometime edema from under knee to ankle, and sometimes may affect his foot. He is still on his second dose of antibiotics, but since the doctor was not on-site this past Tuesday, his care for this has been neglected as the dr. never followed up since her last visit with my dad. If she couldn't make it, she should have, at the very least, contacted the nursing staff and advised them accordingly - add more days to his antibiotic prescription which would have ended today, or whatever. I am the one that contacted the dr. yesterday. No apology or even concern from her about my dad, as if she completely forgot about it or just plain didn't care. She did order 7 more days of the prescription, but only when I TOLD her she had to extend the prescription!! At least to hold him off until she can visit him hopefully this coming Tuesday. She had said that if the cellulitis and edema were totally gone, he would have to have a surgeon lance his affected leg. I am very unhappy with her lack of care for my dad and the obvious lack of coordination of medical needs from the assisted living facility itself. He is declining rapidly in his ability to walk even with his walker, is so stooped over, and has a lot of other symptoms.

I tried to hire a care manager that I personally know and explained my mom and dad's health and other issues, and she told me I shouldn't waste money on using her services when there's nothing she can do. Maybe when I told her how obstinate my dad is, she decided not to do a thing.

Shouldn't I still find yet another care manager to at least do a health assessment for both my parents. I don't even have a grip as to what exactly is wrong with them, and I am trying to ascertain more specific information.

I am doing my best to relax, but I am so determined to find out more about my parents' health and have someone act as their care manager. My parents can afford this, and it would benefit me in so many ways, making my life so much better and making me feel that I have a grip on their problems. Otherwise, I feel like I am slowly drowning, when I should feel quite the opposite.

I do have a CPA who has reviewed the lease my parents have with their assisted living regarding the possibility of them staying there when on Medicaid, or if the facility has the right to kick them out when they can no longer provide all the needed services.

A few DEEP breaths, and I will be fine. I even bought myself a guided meditation tape to help me relax.
Hello Spencer...

I am sorry it has taken so long for anyone to respond.. the irony is that people read these posts but they remain in the background. I can totally understand your frustration and am at a loss as to how to guide you.

Surely the ALF must have a social worker that you can speak with on premises.. You can also go to the chief administrator of the hospital... Didn't your father have his own doctor that might come out to see him or that you could bring your dad to? Another thought is to have him go to the emergency room.

I think you would feel better if you knew truly what was happening... whether or not his body was just failing quickly.. if there is something else involved that you haven't been told which prohibits invasive treatment, etc.

I don't know where you live... but if there are any senior programs around, they may also have social workers etc that you can connect with.. Did your friend who is a care manager give you a reason for not helping... is there someone else she can recommend?

It is good you are going to working with guided visualization to help you... when you are stressed, it's difficult to make informed decisions and to sometimes even think clearly... I can feel your unease... please keep us posted...

richest blessings.

gail
Thank you Gail for your latest reply. As I still consider what to do for my Dad, I just found out that he has lost 9 lbs. in a month, and I just can't find pants to fit him! He spirits are good, he seems happy and not really uncomfortable, but there are so many of his problems that have never been totally explored, such as the anemia of general causes that he has, which has a cause, but can only be found out if he goes for further testing. His primary did mention that he might have had mini strokes, and she ordered a cat scan at the hospital. This test may provide a lot of information and be helpful. I am going to mention to him that instead of going back to the same neurologist again, Dr. Nijhawan recommended that he see someone else for a second opinion, and see what happens. If his will remains to be so strong, I just don't have the strength to fight him, or I will get sick. Now my mom's dementia has gotten worse with more confusion. Every week I see changes in both of them, and I do plan on sending their doctor outlining what problems need to be addressed. They haven't had a "good" physical for quite sometime and that certain needs to be done. So, I will just see what happens, and if need be, I can find another care manager or social worker to assess my parents' needs at this time.
Thanks for asking about my dad. I've been doing lots of thinking planning these days, and today was a great day for me to take action. I found out that another doctor on-site is a board certified geriatric doctor plus has 2 fellowships, ..... compared to their present doctor who is a board certified internist that works with older people. So starting immediately they have the new doctor which might better serve their needs and communicate with me also. If he urges my dad to see a neurologist that would really be great.

FYI there is no social worker at the ALF either onsite or offsite. However, I also called a geriatric psychiatrist to come evaluate my parents which will take place tomorrow in their apartment. I didn't tell my parents a word about this as most times they have no idea of what I am saying anyway.

From there, I also found a Jewish Family Services that can provide a geriatric social worker to do their evaluations - including medical, mental & behavioral - and I would receive a written care plan. Do you think I should get this particular evaluation done shortly or later on? I certainly don't want to do it too close to their psychiatrist appointment! They are getting more & more confused and my dad can't hear anyone most of the time. Refuses to get his hearing checked again at the hearing aid place. Will work on that in due time. I might be able to get someone from a hearing place to come to the AFL.

I am getting there, to a place where I feel my parents are getting as close to a perfect place as possible. And it makes me feel so good inside to be so proactive and assertive.
Hello Spencer... you sound good... and you have really advocated well for your parents in the given situation... it's important that you feel you have done everything you can to support them. How they both may respond may be totally different then what you would want... partly because of their confusion etc... but sometimes, you just can't change the "what is".... this is something you could also be reaching out for support from these professionals for as well... please keep us posted... richest blessings

gail

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