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#292610 - 06/22/09 11:46 AM Might have to intervene
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Guys,

My dad and stepmother are in their late sixties. And not in the best health. I call there yesterday to wish my father a happy fathers day. My step mother answer and I could hear her crying and I asked what was the matter. She said her knee was really hurting her. And it has been for years and I was told by my wife she is going to have a knee replacement surgery. At this time she is taking care of my father whom has had 3 or 4 surgeries in the last four years due to prostrate cancer. And most recently had half of his lower jaw removed because of a tumor growing on it. He has bouts of dizziness because of the antibolics that he had to take for a bad infection from one of his surgies. So he has very limited mobility.
What makes things difficult is the fact the either or them will be honest about what is going on. And I live on the opposite coast from them. So what I do hear about what is really going on is from my siblings and that is usually not until things are real bad. As is the case now.
They live in a 4 bedroom tri-level which is way to large for them because they are no longer able to keep it up. They also have 4 poodles that my brother just recently told me are using the bathroom all over the house. And my parents are not cleaning it up. My brother told me last nite that his wife will no longer go into their house because of the smell.
I just got off the phone from talking to my step mothers best friend and she has also comfirmed what my brother has been telling me. She has offered to help my step mother with cleaning up their house but my step mother refuses any help. Also she told me that my fathers wounds are not being properly taken care of. That he is basicialy dresing them himself. She told me that his wounds need to be change 3 or 4 times a day and she doubts that this is being done.
I have been talking to my dad the last few years about his need to down size but he conitually refuses. My wife and I have offered to have them come stay with us so that my wife can make sure his wounds are properly taken care of.
So I am going to talk to my siblings about forcing the matter. So that he gets the care he needs. Whether it be with one of us or a nursing home.
I am at the point I am thinking about calling the social services in North Carolina to investigate their living environment in order to make something happen.

I am wondering if anybody on this site has had to deal with this problem and how they dealt with it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Mike


_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#292616 - 06/22/09 12:31 PM Re: Might have to intervene [Re: michael banks]
cstjude Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Ah Mike, I'm so sorry. I just went thougth this with an elderly aunt. It sounds very familiar. Involving the authorities might be an important first step because your parents' capacity to care for themselves will need to be assessed before the therapists and physicians can decide the level of support they will need. That determination shapes the options for the family and helps folks make informed decisions about where primary care will be given and who is responsible for delivering care.

That process takes time, thgouh. So in the short term, some of the solutions we pursued as a family were: collectively hiring a house keeper to come in and attend to cleaning the house once a week. The dogs can be adopted out among the family and come to "visit" your parents regularly. Meals can be prepared in advance in a collective "cooking bee"; meals that only need heating up. And nursing care might be available to assist with the bandaging or wound care. In our case some of us who were available to do so took first aid training to learn about wound care in partnership with the physician.

It's a heartbreaking experience, though. I won't lie to you. It's hard to see people you care about falter and fail. This time comes all too quickly. The good news is that once my great-aunt was in a place where she felt safe and her needs were attended to, she gained a lot of ground and "came back to us" in a way no one really expected was possible.

Make something happen, by all means. My only advice is educate everyone involved on the bureaucracy and what to expect.

Be well,

C.

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C.
Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

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#292618 - 06/22/09 01:16 PM Re: Might have to intervene [Re: cstjude]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Thanks Jude,

I have found a agency in North Carolina that maybe able to provide some help for them if they qualify. worth a try.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#292625 - 06/22/09 01:30 PM Re: Might have to intervene [Re: michael banks]
cstjude Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
They are lucky to have you in their corner advocating for their care and dignity. I dearly hope it works out well and soon. Will you keep us posted?

C.

_________________________
C.
Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

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#292660 - 06/22/09 07:45 PM Re: Might have to intervene [Re: cstjude]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Mike,

Thankfully my parents were both competent to take care of themselves right up to within just a very few days or weeks before their respective deaths so I have not had to encounter this on a personal level. I do however have some basic knowledge of the difficulties this presents to the family due to the fact that for a number of years my wife and I owned a long-term care facility.

Your idea about contacting social services can be a good one depending on the scope of purview for the agency in question which varies from state to state and even county to county. Here in Oregon our county has an agency called "The Department of Aging and Veteran's Affairs" which does a decent job of seeing to the kind of thing you're talking about.

I would also suggest consulting with a lawyer who specializes in geriatric law as well. He/she will be able to steer you around some of the common pitfalls you might encounter. I know it costs but hopefully wouldn't take more than a consultation or two to get things headed in the right direction. Splitting the cost between yourself and your siblings should lighten the load.

Be prepared for the eventuality of your parents digging in their heels with some degree of resistance. This is where the combined help of the county/state AND the lawyer will be invaluable. Hopefully it won't come down to it but in many cases such as this the children have to go to court to force a Declaration of Incompetence along with a Power of Attorney to one of the children.

Good luck and I hope it goes easy rather than difficult,

John



_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#292693 - 06/23/09 01:20 AM Re: Might have to intervene [Re: WalkingSouth]
TJ jeff Offline

Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3365
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
Mike,

I wish i had advice for you - sadly I don't - but... I sure do have empathy for your situation - the situation with my own folks has had some pretty rocky stretches the last couple of years and I fear it's only going to get worse (so I'll probably be asking you for advice down the road)

Quote:
I have found a agency in North Carolina that maybe able to provide some help for them if they qualify. worth a try.
I hope they can help

_________________________
Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

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#292786 - 06/23/09 09:30 PM Re: Might have to intervene [Re: TJ jeff]
friendinneed Offline


Registered: 06/04/09
Posts: 107
Hi Michael,

My mother-in-law is 90 and we are facing a similair situation here. I just want you to know that I am pulling for you and sending along some extra enouragement. There is no easy choice in this regard and you have a diificult decision as a family to make.

We are not in agreement here about Mom. My wife and I too want to move her down here with us. We both have worked in nursing hom,es and seen the horrors. Our other family members want to place her in a home. Mom will have none of eigher. She is staying put.

Its a heart breaking situation. I feel for you and your family. Please let me know if I can offer any emotional support my friend.


peace,
Shaun/friendinneed


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#292844 - 06/24/09 12:48 PM Re: Might have to intervene [Re: friendinneed]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
My own mother is 77 and while she is still relatively competent she lives alone and my sisters and I are having some questions about her ability to continue to do so over the longer term. She has recently begun talking about selling her San Marino house and becoming a snowbird, perhaps staying near my little sister and I in the summer months then in her Santa Barbara condo in the winter. But the handwriting is basically on the wall, as no matter what she decides to do it won't last for another 7 years. Whether she can continue to drive herself to the grocery store or her church is becoming an increasing concern for us kids. Even these days she can't drive herself at night.

In you case there should be some senior social service agencies that could provide some part-time nursing home-care so that your dad's medical dressings could be changed by a professional and his medical condition monitored. There might be some cost there but it should not be tremendously expensive. If you folks live near a larger town or larger city, there ought to be a "meals on wheels" program that would deliver prepared meals for a minimal cost too. And there are often County agencies that might send a care person over to help with cleaning. You could talk to my wife about her experiences with care agencies available to assist with her parent's care in Monroe, Michigan. Her parents are in their mid-80s and need near-constant care, which is a lot less expensive continuing to live in their own home than any kind of assisted-living place or nursing facility would be.

Here in Denver the cheapest assisted living places are $3000/month per person and a home-care nurse is $20/hour, though the County will pickup half of that. And the County also delivers 2 meals per person per day for $4.50/meal too, or they offer a hot luncheon daily at our senior center for donations. You can most likely find homecare workers for $10-$12/hour too. In my wife's parent's case, she has a homecare worker who does laundry, cooks dinner, and cleans who spends 3 hours in the evening @ $10/hour 5 days per week, and a nurse who comes over for an hour in the morning 6 days per week who cooks breakfast and makes sure that her parents get their medicine too. The remainder of the time has been covered by my wife and her family though.

Hope that you are able to line-up enough in the way of senior care to relieve yourself of some of the worry. Our parents getting to the point where they can't live by themselves without help is a problem as we get older. Hope that your experience with this fact of life isn't too draining.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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