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Treasured Social Butterfly

Re: Very needy parents won't accept care! Advice?

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Message 1 of 11

@am54885493wrote:

After my Dad died I made it a point to spend more time w my mom, at that time she was reasonably well. As time moved on I could see the signs of decline but rather than turning into the “parent” I remained the daughter. I asked her advice on daily living things, we shopped where she wanted to shop, we ate a bunch of spaghetti at her favorite places, she maintained a measure of control. And then, it got worse and worse. Even at her end of life I remained her daughter, getting outside help for bathing and all those things that embarrass a proper lady.  The blessing was I knew her so well, I knew what she wanted and I knew what she didn’t want because we talked about everything on our outings. I didn’t feel I was making the decisions, i didn’t feel I was forcing anything, I felt I was fulfilling her wishes.


Great response!!

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Re: Very needy parents won't accept care! Advice?

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Message 2 of 11

You may have to actually spend time with her. Just relax with her for a few days. She will open up and tell you her real needs. She may also tell you how she wants her needs to be met. Even if you don't agree with her, allow her exercise some freedom in decisions concerning her life.

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Very needy parents won't accept care! Advice?

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Message 3 of 11

This is a very tricky subject. But, it has a lot in common with any other "relationship" problem. The first thing to recognize, is that each person is an individual and that they have their own perspective of things. When someone objects to a legimate offer of help, the best thing to do, is to try to understand what that objection is based on. You might be surprised. Everyone has their own life to live, and no one can live that life for someone else, regardless of how well intentioned. The best thing to do, is to understand/restablish what exactly that relastionship is all about. Otherwise, you're driving blind.

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Re: Very needy parents won't accept care! Advice?

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My mother did not drive and my husband and I did not live in even a nearby town. We made sure she received as much of my father’s VA benefits as possible and the highest SS she could receive. We also tried to get her to move near us but when she wouldn’t, we made sure she had all of the transportation she needed. 

When we were in town we took her shopping for food, clothes, etc. I tried to schedule as many of my trips to see her as possible to correspond with her doctor visits. I simply didn’t give my mother a choice of whether she accepted my help or not. 

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Re: Very needy parents won't accept care! Advice?

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Message 5 of 11

I tried to think what it was like to become dependent and so I asked my mum who was a widow, deaf and at 87 needed help. She had been a caregiver herself and made preps for herself but still when she faced needing help it was hard to admit and accept  as fear about losing independence more and more, in privacy personally such as needing help with showering, or bathing, other personal needs, and financially, being treated as if you are a child, are stupid, and trying to  still keep dignity even if shown serious help needed. Becoming  a burden was nothing she ever planned for. Although she never drove a car due to her deafness, she was independent but as she aged, shopping, cleaning and all the other aging needs showed up . To those who lose their ability to drive, and or live alone or have to move, can be very emotionally tough and fighting it happens. It is truly a death of their life as they have known it. Imagine when it is YOUR time, as it will happen to you if you live long enough and so telling them you want to help and asking them how for you too are aging now.

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Very needy parents won't accept care! Advice?

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Message 6 of 11

The important thing to remember, is that "care" is very subjective; it's in the eye of the beholder. It's best to try to see things thru their eyes, even if they don't have the best eyesight. And don't confuse "coersion" with "persuasion". And if all else fails, it's okay to say that you can't deal with it.

Don't be like the Boy Scout who tried to "help" the little old lady across the street when she wasn't going that way.

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AARP Expert

Re: Very needy parents won't accept care! Advice?

3,264 Views
Message 7 of 11

@am54885493wrote:

After my Dad died I made it a point to spend more time w my mom, at that time she was reasonably well. As time moved on I could see the signs of decline but rather than turning into the “parent” I remained the daughter. I asked her advice on daily living things, we shopped where she wanted to shop, we ate a bunch of spaghetti at her favorite places, she maintained a measure of control. And then, it got worse and worse. Even at her end of life I remained her daughter, getting outside help for bathing and all those things that embarrass a proper lady.  The blessing was I knew her so well, I knew what she wanted and I knew what she didn’t want because we talked about everything on our outings. I didn’t feel I was making the decisions, i didn’t feel I was forcing anything, I felt I was fulfilling her wishes.


That sounds so lovely. You followed her lead. That is awesome. Not everyone can do what you did so seamlessly. But what a great goal: to continue with your loving role as adult child, and do the rest of your monitoring in quiet and with respectful subtlety.

 

I applaud you. And thanks for sharing. 

 

Jane

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Re: Very needy parents won't accept care! Advice?

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Message 8 of 11

After my Dad died I made it a point to spend more time w my mom, at that time she was reasonably well. As time moved on I could see the signs of decline but rather than turning into the “parent” I remained the daughter. I asked her advice on daily living things, we shopped where she wanted to shop, we ate a bunch of spaghetti at her favorite places, she maintained a measure of control. And then, it got worse and worse. Even at her end of life I remained her daughter, getting outside help for bathing and all those things that embarrass a proper lady.  The blessing was I knew her so well, I knew what she wanted and I knew what she didn’t want because we talked about everything on our outings. I didn’t feel I was making the decisions, i didn’t feel I was forcing anything, I felt I was fulfilling her wishes.

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AARP Expert

Re: Very needy parents won't accept care! Advice?

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Message 9 of 11

@reneeo724780 So glad you posted! Sounds like such a frustrating and difficult situation and kudos to you for caring and TRYING to help from a distance when you have your own health issues to deal with. Give yourself credit for choosing to care...

 

As always, Jane has some great thoughts and I agree wholeheartedly - especially in regard to finding someone who your Dad trusts and/or listens to. There are so many tough things about your situation. Having the right person convince your Dad to receive assistance is essential - IF there is anyone. Our parents are of the generation that generally listens to doctors and does what they say. So if you can make contact with the doc as Jane says, that may help. My Dad's doc was the one who told him he didn't think it was a good idea for him to drive anymore...but my Dad knew we were in agreement. Since the doc said it though, he listened. He was angry for a day, but he listened and said ok then we are moving somewhere that has transportation. 

 

It wouldn't hurt for you to put a call in to the local Adult Protective Services offices to talk with someone there and explain your situation and ask what the options are. If you are afraid they would act on it before you are ready (they may have to if neglect or elder abuse is suspected), you could call just asking for general information about what they do. It may give you some ideas. 

 

Also there may be some help in this article for you! When Aging Parents Won't Receive Help Graciously 

 

Hope you and your brother are making some progress! Let us know how things are going...

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert 

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Re: Very needy parents won't accept care! Advice?

3,978 Views
Message 10 of 11

@reneeo724780wrote:

Hi all, my first time posting here:

 

I'll try and be brief. My parents are both 80 in upstate NY. I live 3,000 miles away. My brother is 5 hours away and works FT, he has money but is busy. 

Father is a retired teacher: smart, stubborn, mean, life-long abuser who takes care of my mother, who is sweet, passive and has early onset dementia, poor short term memory so can't care for herself (can't cook, doesn't clean, needs supervision but knows who everyone is and has ok long term memory). My father is now ill with much pain, and their situation has deteriorated severely: the house is full of clutter, no one is cleaning much, hardly any decent food in the house, no one removing snow, no calls to repairmen when needed, and house clutter is a falling accident waiting to happen not to mention a fire hazard. Dad won't let anyone in the house. Tried to keep my brother away who finally visited for 1st time in 1.5 years. I have not been in 2, I have a chronic illness that keeps me busy.

They are getting plenty of calories but their nutrition sucks, both have heart problems and not in good shape. My father is isolating both of them as his pain and brain fog worsens, and he absolutley refuses to have any caregiver or housekeeper come to the house. When we hire/ send them / send friends / send help from the church he puts on a a bold pretense that all is well and turns them all away. As an abuser he has pretended mental wellness his whole life, he is an expert. The only times he leaves the house now is to get groceries and see the MD. Mom does not drive.

My mom deserves better. They both need help. We are sending them Meals on Wheels, but he will refuse them. What legal recourse or ? do we have when he still has so much control, but is setting them up for a major accident/ disaster/ health crisis?

Many thanks for your thoughts, especially anyone who has been through similar. We are considering an elder care lawyer.

Renee


Hey Renee,

When i was a geriatric care manager, i had a friend/colleague who worked in Adult Protective Services. And she had case after case just like this one, with variations on the theme: dear but stubborn old folks who want their privacy and begin to deteriorate while people try to help. You or your brother COULD anonymously call the APS, and my guess is that your dad will not let them in the door. What might happen is that your dad, or your mom, breaks a hip. Then one of them will go to the hospital. And you and your brother swoop in, busy-ness with illness or life notwithstanding. You hire someone to clean or do it yourself. you stock the pantry and fridge. you mow the lawn and fix the plumbing or replace the washing machine that went kaput. 

     I hope the situation doesn't come to that.

     An elder lawyer will most likely tell you that people have the right to make bad decisions. In order to declare your father incompetent to manage his own health decisions, you need two doctors to look at him within a brief period of time (i think it's within 30 days but it may vary by state.)  And declare him incompetent. Very hard to pull this off.

     He does go to the doctor, though, right? One thing you could do is reach out to the doctor and maybe schmooze with his nurse. And express your concern for his mental and physical health and that of your mother's. And they might not tell you much because of privacy rules, but that doesn't limit what YOU tell THEM. Send a fax, preferably hand written, and it will find it's way to your dad's chart, so the doc will pay attention. You can say something like:

 

Dear Dr. ____

My brother and I are concerned about how our parents are doing. I believe that they present as capable senior citizens, but they are... not bathing... live in squalor... (you tell the truth and the whole truth here.)  We just want to make sure you have a well rounded picture on how they are.

 

Feel free to contact either of us....

Sincerely,

Renee

 

You might be able to set up a dialogue. Also make sure the doctor's office has your contact info in case one of them does end up in a hospital. You are next of kin. That accounts for something.

 

You certainly have been lovingly tenacious in your attempts to help. I wonder. Is there ANYONE your father listens to? A minister? A fellow soldier if he's a veteran? My dad, when he had a stroke, was stubborn as all get out until a psychiatrist who was also a retired Colonel ordered him to take Zoloft. And by golly he saluted and did as he was told.

 

Write more?

Jane

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