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  1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

JCC Coping with Elderly Parent Issues [Support Thread]

Discussion in 'Community' started by Pensivia, Mar 13, 2021.

  1. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne Celebration Mistress of Ceremonies star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    So a day of cleaning. My uncle was pretty useless, except for loving my aunt, but the one thing he did was to read and there is a full library we need to decide what to do with. I have sorted out a room that was filled with layers of clothing. I think they had started to sort and get rid of, but with their hazy brains they couldn't make a system and they weren't physically able to just throw it out. Now I have everything sorted in bags with labels on what's in them. My sister has also agreed that we should try and find someone that simply empties and cleans the apartment, so that we don't have to do it. There is a lot of stuff to just throw out, we think some of the art they have might be valuable but we brought that to their new home. I also really need to take a shower because their old apartment was covered in dust.

    We had a nice afternoon in their new home helping them to get everything sorted, I even had the chance to take a walk with my aunt along the river. She is not allowed to go out by herself so she was happy to get a longer walk in the surroundings. All in all it looks like a nice care home, the staff has been so kind and friendly (even gave us coffee and buns when it was snack time) so I am sure that they are being really well taken care of, they do look physically better than when I met them in May as well. At the same time I can't help but agree on what one of the guys from the moving company sad. "it's a sad place". I am really happy that my aunt and uncle have each other for company, there were some other people living there who simply looked liked they roamed the corridors more like ghosts than living people,
     
  2. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin (2007-2023) - She Held Us Together star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    If you think any of the books might be valuable (first edition, etc) you could try to get a book dealer to look at the collection.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2023
  3. Rylo Ken

    Rylo Ken Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2015
    high praise to you Obi Anne for making this happen. Assisted living is the only viable option, so no matter what they're where they need to be and you get tons of positive karma for taking care of your family.
     
  4. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne Celebration Mistress of Ceremonies star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    The books are not valuable, my husband is a book collector and he has gone through it. My uncle is simply a man that likes to read a lot and didn't care about anything but the content. I am a bit sad that we couldn't find the collection of Lucky Luke albums though, I always read them when I was visiting and would have liked to bring them home. And here of course is the problem that my uncle's useless son will get the first pick of the books and he might take some that we would like to have. Also they are not so far into dementia that we can just take their stuff and bring it home, we have to ask. I tried to nicely say that I wanted one of my aunt's cooking books, and that was a no even though they get the food from the home and aren't allowed to have knives around their little kitchenette in their rooms.
     
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  5. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin (2007-2023) - She Held Us Together star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Your uncle sounds like me - I love to read and my place is full of books. As far as I know I don't have anything real valuable but I do have a first edition of the original Star Wars novel (paperback).
     
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  6. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Oct 4, 1998
  7. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Well, I had to call 911 on my dad on Thursday. As I shared, my mom kicked him out months ago due to his drinking, and he wanted to live in my basement and that’s something I couldn’t really say no to. I came down to the basement after work to talk because the day before an neighbor spotted like his car was broken into, and my dad was still refusing to lock his car because his car key battery died, but he was illogically refusing to get a new one. But he said he didn’t feel good, annd I asked what was it, and he said he thought he had a stroke, because he couldn’t move his left hand well enough to hold or grasp anything. His feet had also been swollen and seemed to have poor circulation. It’s more likely it’s nerve damage from his drinking. Or he fell and doesn’t remember or doesn’t want to admit it. But he refused to let me take him to the ER or urgent care. So after trying multiple times to convince him, like 4 different long attempts, and trying to get my cousin and sister on the phone to convince him, he was still like “leave me alone” “don’t call anyone” “I don’t care if I die tonight.” And he seemed to poop himself again. But yeah, so then I called 911. He got angry at me that I did, really angry, but even if he refused to go with them, I hoped they’d at least measure his vital signs. But because I told them 911 operator that he was talking like he might be suicidal, it was like 4 cop cars who showed up first. Then 2 fire trucks. Then the rescue with EMTs. Even though I said that wasn’t necessary. It was overwhelming. But after hearing him argue for a while he did allow them to take his vitals, and I guess his heart rate was abnormally high around 160. So they were able to convince him to walk to the rescue. The cops asked me exactly what he said, and asked if he said if he planned to hurt himself, and I said no just that he didn’t care if he died and was acting like he hoped he died. And they were frustrated saying that then they wouldn’t be able to force him to go anywhere, so then the police left. My dad was still super angry at me when he walked to the rescue. I told them I’d say inside the house for now. But then like a half hour later, the rescue left too. But no one came back to tell me anything or call me. I didn’t know if he agreed to go to ER or actually was having a stroke or heart attack or if he left the rescue and just didn’t come back into the house (he was threatening to run away basically if I called 911 earlier). And so like an hour later I called the police dispatch number, and they then said he was transported to the ER and which hospital. But that was so weird. So I called a few times throughout the night and early morning asking for updates, and they were doing many tests including CAT scans and heart ultrasounds and blood work and EKG and X-rays. And in the morning he was transported from ER to a hospital bed. I’m just exhausted.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2023
  8. Luke02

    Luke02 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2002
    @Ghost That sounds awful beyond words; I am sorry to hear you went thru that. Hopefully, you got some rest, and your dad is getting the care he needs.

    My parents finally decided to let the person who my brother and I recommended redoing their master bathroom so they have a stand-up shower instead of a tub shower along with a jacuzzi they never used. Of course, they didn't agree to put in a chair, but the contractor told us he will design it so it will be easy to put in when and if most likely it's needed. This all should have been done a few years ago but my mom fought us on it because she thinks it's our way of putting them in a nursery home. We keep telling her, "no mom by making the house much safer for you two, we are keeping you out of the nursing home".
     
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  9. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Queen of the RPF, SWC, C&P, and Pancakes & Waffles star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    @Ghost I’m sorry you had such an ordeal. My stepdad always fought us over going to the ER the times he had clearly had a stroke, it’s impossible to reason with anyone determined to stand their ground like that. I hope you get some answers soon on what is going on with him at the hospital. Try and get some rest.

    One of the dementia patients I do crafts with passed yesterday. It’s hard to believe she won’t be there when I go next week, she always remembered my name and she loved when we would paint.
     
  10. Happy Sando

    Happy Sando Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 23, 2023
    @Ghost Just wanted to add, don't absorb any of the anger and frustration that was flying around; you did everything right.

    Hope your father's as okay as he can be, and that you're able to rest up this weekend.
     
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  11. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Can I ask for advice about dealing with elderly parents on behalf of my dad? His dad, my grandpa, is getting worse and worse mentally. He's 87.

    The thing is, he's physically in great shape. But he can't remember anything.

    The scariest incident is one we're just hearing about. Apparently the other day he started to get on the off-ramp of the freeway. Luckily a highway patrol car was parked on the ramp and pulled him over then redirected him.

    But this is really scary for us that he's still driving

    On the other hand, he lives alone at his house and is gonna be really stubborn about anything to do with giving up his independence. He doesn't realize how bad his mind has gotten just in the last year.

    Anyone have experience with anything like this?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2023
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  12. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Queen of the RPF, SWC, C&P, and Pancakes & Waffles star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Yes, and it was really difficult. My stepdad didn’t want to give up driving and even after several strokes he was determined to drive.

    Could you dad contact your grandpa’s physician? They might be able to help you or have ideas on how it can be handled with your grandpa. Also, if he’s having trouble remembering then he could definitely “misplace” his keys. Just make sure to also take the space set if he has one.
     
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  13. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    I mean the issue is because he lives alone he needs a car for errands. He's cheap as hell even though he's rich, or else I'd suggest he order groceries and such for delivery. But he will never do that.

    My grandpa's doctor is also my dad's doctor so my dad definitely has his contact info... But HIPAA will rightfully stop the sharing of any of his personal medical info. I think my dad has been going to the medical appointments with my grandpa much of the time though.

    I dunno, it's just shocking. Because my grandpa is in excellent physical health and is very active, mows a ten acre lawn on the tractor twice a week for instance.

    But his mind has not kept up with his body. He just can't focus or remember anything. He doesn't have any official diagnosis of dimensia or anything....
     
  14. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Queen of the RPF, SWC, C&P, and Pancakes & Waffles star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    It still should be brought to his doc’s attention. Maybe your dad could let the doc know prior to the next appointment? He wouldn’t be asking for medical info on him, he would just be giving the doc concerning details to hopefully figure out his memory issues.
     
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  15. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    That's absolutely correct. HIPAA is a one-way valve. It prevents the doctor form disclosing information about a patient. There is nothing that stops a patient's family members from sharing collateral information with the doctor. In fact, that's often extremely helpful. Another option if you're really concerned--and which may be prudent given the trend here--is to just see if your grandfather might be willing to sign a release that would allow your doctor to share information about his care with your father.
     
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  16. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Well, in fairness, given the crazy stories you hear about people ordering three apples and getting 30 tins of anchovies, it's a valid concern.

    Yes, this sounds right. Expressing concern and asking the doc to factor it in to future appointments, plus the doc may have a way of flagging your granddad to the DMV. Maybe you can get a driver, like in Miss Daisy, to come once a day to drive him around on errands. Bonus, it's company for him. And the release of medical info form is fairly routine; I had to sign one when I was facing surgery, so that the doctor could talk to my brother while I was still out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2023
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  17. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    @solojones I'm not sure what services you have in your area, but here we have an Office for Aging that coordinates or has information about various programs to assist the elderly. One is called Senior Helpers, and it's made up of folks 55 and older who will run errands for people, help with light housework, offer companionship, and various other tasks that aren't nursing or medical. Someone like that could drive your grandfather on his errands. There is a fee for their services, but it depends on the individual you hire.

    I have a call in to the OfA to find and hire a home health aide, someone who will help with nursing and other personal care tasks like bathing. My mother is 87 and her health seems to be rapidly deteriorating, but she refuses to go to the hospital. We've had an ambulance at the house twice in a week because she's fallen (the EMTs assure me that they receive a large number of these calls because of course people want to stay in their own homes). I live with her and will be asking my boss to be allowed to do some of my work from home. He's very supportive, so I think this request will be granted. However, I do want someone to come in regularly and make sure my mother eats and gets to the bathroom, etc. when I'm not here.

    I admire and sympathize with everyone who is going through their parents' end of life phase. I think this is one of the toughest jobs we'll ever do.
     
  18. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne Celebration Mistress of Ceremonies star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    And my mother's phone has apparently died, my sister went home to her when she didn't answer. She has had a "senior" smartphone, but I am actually thinking about buying her a cheap samsung instead. It's cheaper and I am not sure that there is much difference if I switch to the simple mode on the samsung phone.

    I of course also have the joy ahead of me of trying to install a phone without access to her old phone or accounts, I have found her google account and I told my sister to make sure that her tablet is charged, she never uses it but I installed it for her less than two years ago so I am hoping that it has all the account information she needs.

    edit/ she doesn't really use her phone as anything but a phone but it needs to be a smarthphone since Sweden is such a digital country and she needs something where she (I) can access her health care services, tax services, bank services and so on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2023
  19. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne Celebration Mistress of Ceremonies star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    The phone installation went fine, the one issue is not because of my mother but because of the digital infrastructure in Sweden. Basically we have a digital ID that you have on your phone. Now her old ID is of course on her dead phone (and yes it is truly dead), and in order to install a new ID on her new phone she needs to have access to her old ID or the highest class of proper ID (meaning a passport or a national ID card but the driving license is not enought). Since my mother hasn't travelled since before the pandemic her passport had expired, so now I need to book a passport assignment for her. Ironically you can't book the passport without a digital ID, but at least there you can book for someone else so I can do that using my ID. And also ironically the driving licence is a valid identification for getting a new passport, that she needs to get a digital ID because the digital ID doesn't accept driving licenses as valid.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2023
  20. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    There's a growing awareness that digital exclusion is a major problem. Governments tend to be lacking but it is starting to get some attention, especially the assumptions made about what people can and can't do.
     
  21. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne Celebration Mistress of Ceremonies star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    During the pandemic there were a lot of talk about how the age group 70+ had increased their digital knowledge and usage. I am sure that for many it was like with my mother, it's not the person who is 70+ who is doing stuff online, it's a child or a grandchild who is doing it for them.
     
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  22. Lady_Belligerent

    Lady_Belligerent Queen of the RPF, SWC, C&P, and Pancakes & Waffles star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    For me it’s only after she’s made a total mess of everything and either won’t tell me, or tells me once it’s a nightmare to unravel.
     
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  23. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I think memory issues are a thing, too. You can set things up and explain them, but if your parent isn't using them on a regular basis, they probably have trouble remembering how to do stuff. (Heck, *I* have crib sheets for stuff & new processes that I have to do). My mother is fine reading apps on her phone, but her laptop intimidates her, even though we set it up to be as easy as possible to navigate.
     
  24. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    I empathize so much with all the frustrating ins and outs of these kind of logistical issues of elder caregiving, especially when it comes to maintaining a parents' necessary online transactions/communications etc. I had to go through a lot of bureaucratic hoops back in '21 when I first took over all my mom's affairs, and that was even though she had a longstanding legal "Power of Attorney" document (that she had drawn up years before her decline started) that gave me the legal authority to take that role! It's a lot. We eventually had to have an entirely new (and much longer/more detailed) POA document drawn up since there were a lot of things (including related to managing someone's else digital communications, etc.) that had not been included in the original document (which had been drafted way back in the 1990s).

    I also heard a segment on NPR years ago about just how much time is sucked away on a daily/weekly basis for people now that all that "account management" stuff has been shifted online. There are so many tasks* that are now the responsibility of individuals (vs things that companies had to initiate or even do for their customers/clients etc) because of the way the internet has enabled people to do them. And then when you add managing the needs of another adult's life (often with frequent and complicated health care interactions and monitoring as just one part of the needs) to one's own, it can feel overwhelming at times, so [:D] to everyone here who is going through it!

    *tasks that may often seem "small" in isolation, but when combined with every other seemingly "small" task of that kind, can easily drain hours from one's week/month....
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2023
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  25. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne Celebration Mistress of Ceremonies star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 4, 1998
    On a good note, I tried logging into my mother's bank account online, and it works. Apparently some time she has signed me on as trusted to do that, so now I can pay her bills using my computer and using my electronic ID, which makes things easier so that I don't physically need to have her phone just to check in on her economy.
     
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