Lifelife

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 11:20 PM

Has anyone here had to take control to make important decisions from their parents?

We have been going through this for the past two days.

The short version:

Yesterday morning we get a call at 8AM from my wife's father saying her mom is in a bad way but that "She can sill speak". This sent us into an absolute panic. They live about 100 miles from us and are about 80, give or take. Of course we drop everything and I drive like an utter madman the 100 miles because we think it may be the last chance for my wife to see her mom. (FWIW I made the trip in an hour and 20 minutes)

Anyways when we get to the ER we find her in bad shape, but not dying. She has emphysema and COPD. ATM she also has the flu, and pneumonia. My FIL tells us she has been this way for two weeks.

We realized we needed to take medical Power of Attorney and manage both of their care.

Has anyone else faced this and how did you handle it?

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Has anyone here had to take control to make important decisions from their parents? (Original post)
Currentsitguy Mar 1 OP
Shkreli Mar 1 #1
KAT Mar 1 #2
Louie Mar 2 #5
His Daughter Mar 2 #3
Currentsitguy Mar 2 #12
His Daughter Mar 2 #18
Currentsitguy Mar 2 #19
His Daughter Mar 2 #20
Currentsitguy Mar 2 #21
Louie Mar 2 #4
Squeek Mar 2 #6
Louie Mar 2 #8
Squeek Mar 2 #22
Currentsitguy Mar 2 #13
Jardinier Mar 2 #7
Louie Mar 2 #9
MedusasRage Mar 2 #11
Currentsitguy Mar 2 #14
MedusasRage Mar 2 #10
Currentsitguy Mar 2 #15
MedusasRage Mar 2 #16
Currentsitguy Mar 2 #17
Ravenquills Mar 2 #26
Squeek Mar 2 #23
Squeek Mar 2 #24
Currentsitguy Mar 2 #25
MedusasRage Mar 2 #27

Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 11:21 PM

1. 'tis an ugly business. I'd say just do whats best, don't sweat the fallout.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 11:56 PM

2. Yes. Try to allow them as much autonomy as possible.

Consult with their doctors, and any other people in their day to day lives to see what they really need help with and what resources are available.

I have horror stories that are funny now, but approach with love and respect and everybody will be OK. Best of luck, it is not an easy time, but it can be a positive experience. It can also get expensive fast if they have not planned/prepared in advance so getting some sound legal advice is warranted as well.

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Response to KAT (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:14 AM

5. Very sound advice!

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:04 AM

3. Dad did it for mom, I did it for Dad

In both cases it was cancer, and both knew it was coming. Being in the medical field helped tremendously

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 10:51 AM

12. I'm sure it did

I'm not in the medical field but have been closely associated with it for years, so I do tend to have a bit more knowledge than layman.

If I may as you a basic medical question; can low blood oxygen levels cause mental sluggishness and confusion?

Her blood O2 keeps dropping to the mid 80's and it seems as if she's really not "there" when it happens.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #12)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 01:43 PM

18. Hypoxia (technical name) can do just that

Read up on it at Wiki or WebMD.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 01:51 PM

19. I will

Thanks. It just seemed as if when her levels went down she became more confused and combative.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 01:58 PM

20. Fairly typical. Dad called it going fudely...he hated it

As a person who prided himself on his intellect it was most embarrassing. He wore an oximeter around his neck. Went back on the O2 (which he hated) anytime things dropped.

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Response to His Daughter (Reply #20)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 02:03 PM

21. That's the problem we are having

She is what I believe you medical professionals call a "non-compliant patient". She hates the oxygen and has not come to terms with the fact she is most likely going to need it for the rest of her life, so she takes it off when no one is looking and ends up getting herself into these situations. Hence the reason we are taking over.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:14 AM

4. Been through it, it's never easy.

We siblings had to think of our parents as a single unit, because they had been welded together after 60 years of marriage. Taking dads driver license away, after he injured a pedestrian, was a very tough step. They naturally want to keep their independence. Luckily I lived only a few miles away and could help with the yard work, shopping etc. Some of the conversations are difficult, like after-life arrangements, but absolutely necessary. Luckily we didn't have to move them from their home and into a facility, though we had a live-in caregiver for dads last year. My brother had power of attorney and handled the financial end, I handled the driving for shopping and doctor appointments, our sister came by and cooked for them every weekend. Working together as a team, we got through it. I hope you have some help in this, and wish you and your family the best.

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Response to Louie (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:30 AM

6. This is what we did

after Mr Squeek's dad died and his mom was living on her own in the mobile home they shared.

Three kids...everyone pitched in to do laundry, take her shopping, make repairs, etc.

Even some of the grandkids stepped up and pitched in, one was going to nursing school, so she took over doing mom's meds each week, filling her pill dispensers.

After mom broke her second hip and it was apparent she could no longer live on her own at the age of 93, she came to live here with us.

That was a HUGE eye opener for us, as we had no idea that her mind was as bad as it was. She was experiencing "sundowning", and showing signs of dementia that we actually got to witness. We never saw those things before because, for some reason, she was very good at hiding them. Even after she came here and we saw the signs and told the family about them, I'm sure they all thought we were liars because she was capable of acting perfectly normal in front of other people. But it didn't last long, as more and more she descended further into dementia and others saw it too.

It was one of the hardest jobs I ever did.

Mr Squeek and I were with her, holding her hands when she passed away, six months after breaking her hip.

She was getting excellent hospice care from some wonderful nurses, and it's a shame that everyone couldn't have as serene and peaceful a passing as she had.




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Response to Squeek (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:50 AM

8. Dementia is a tough one!

As my dad was struggling with his health issues, my widowed aunt, who had no children, was slipping deeper and deeper into dementia. Us nephews and niece were her only family, and we had to take care of her as well. Luckily she was well off financially, and we got her into a beautiful facility. So sad to go visit her, and show her photos of us together so we could explain who we were. She died 4 days after my father.

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Response to Louie (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 02:59 PM

22. Dementia really sucks big time!

I'm scared of it myself... I wouldn't want to burden my family if my mind ever went like that. Just freakin' shoot me, OK?

Same thing that you went through with your aunt, showing her photos...we had to do that too.

Only time I cried when Mom was still alive here was when she forgot who her middle child was (Mr Squeek). I guess I felt too much how it would hurt if my own mom didn't recognize me.

It's a cruel disease

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Response to Louie (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 10:52 AM

13. Unfortunately it's just us

Both my wife and I are only children, and they about 100 miles away. I suspect we are going to be doing a lot of driving back and forth.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:41 AM

7. Not really taken control, but successfully interfered ...

a few years ago my mother was telling me something disturbing about my dad’s condition and she could not seem to grasp the seriousness of it. I was panicked and also appalled by my mother’s indifference (I think it was the beginning of her dementia) My parents are a good 5,000 or more miles from me so I contacted my dad’s much younger brother and he called my dad’s doctor. The doctor went to the house along with a nurse and they called an ambulance for my dad. My dad was in the hospital for a month and they saved his life.

My uncle has discreetly stepped in a few times since, with my blessing but against the wishes of my bossy controlling sister. It’s so difficult when you have a family member who wants full control of people just for the sake of power, but who is not as clever as they like to think they are.

As it stands now, my dad is in good hands in a nice care home and my mother is being fully controlled by my sister, which she seems fine with.

Last year my husband and I saw an estate planning attorney and made our wishes clear. There’s a family member whom I don’t trust with any power of attorney matters.

Good luck.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 12:57 AM

9. One thing I would add, sometimes this goes on for years.

From the time my mom first got sick until my dad passed away, was 10 years. An entire decade, where they needed almost daily assistance from their kids. These things operate on their own schedule, best to be prepared for a long haul.

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Response to Louie (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 07:14 AM

11. This.

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Response to Louie (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 10:54 AM

14. We are

Or greatest desire is for quality, rather than length of life.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 07:13 AM

10. We went through this with my husband's father.

We lived close by and the only other sibling lived in another state. One thing my husband tried to do was to always give his father at least the perception that he was still in control. For example, he would go get the mail and sort it out, giving his father all the junk mail to go through while he kept the bills and so forth to take care of himself. His father never knew the difference and would spend an hour sorting through those magazine subscription letters and what not.

He also would go to doctor's appointments and sit behind hid dad and either shake or nod his head as his dad answered the doctor's questions!

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Response to MedusasRage (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 10:55 AM

15. For the time being

We are going to be going to her doctor's appointments. I love my F.I.L. but we just don't think he is asking enough or the right questions.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 11:35 AM

16. My FIL would complain to us about how he felt then tell the doctor everything was fine!

Stubborn old WWII vet!

When he got to be too much for us to care for and beyond what home health and even privately hired caregivers could do, we found a wonderful Veteran's home here in Kentucky. It's a facility all Americans could be proud of. Anyway, there was tank in the lawn that he could see from his window, and he kept wondering who in the neighborhood got a tank! He had no clue where he was but he was treated well and content. We were lucky in that regard.

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Response to MedusasRage (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 11:39 AM

17. Well at this point he is in fine health

he's 82 and is still at the job site several days a week supervising concrete pours. It's just that for all of his married life he was completely dependent on her for most of the basics, so we just aren't sure how well equipped he is to take the lead now.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #17)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 03:40 PM

26. From your wife

He is 81 today darling but i am sure at this point he won't mind an extra year LOL. and yes it is true my mother has always handled the finances and the household so he is a bit lost. The main thing is getting her to understand that he resistance to taking oxygen is unfair to him...I think we are there but i suspect the next few years will be challenging....

I thank everyone here for sharing their advice and stories it does help. I am sure we are both going to have a lot of questions going forward.

to all and kisses to my man!

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Response to MedusasRage (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 03:05 PM

23. Oh yeah...

He also would go to doctor's appointments and sit behind hid dad and either shake or nod his head as his dad answered the doctor's questions!


We did that too.

Especially when the nurses would show up here at the house and ask questions.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Original post)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 03:12 PM

24. One thing I wanted to mention...

If you're dealing with a parent (or someone else) who has dementia, NEVER argue with them about their reality.

You will not win, and you'll only upset the patient.

I found that out the hard way.

When Mom was in the hospital after her broken hip surgery, she swore up and down that one night she went to this huge party with the night nurses and some other patients up on the sixth floor.

Nice, except the hospital was only five floors.

The nurses and family tried to talk sense into her. It didn't work.

There were other similar incidents here at home where she would swear she had gone to a football game. Oooookay. Then she kept telling us about a little boy sleeping in her bed with her.

We just said, OK Mom and let her believe those things that gave her comfort. It's the best way.

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Response to Squeek (Reply #24)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 03:31 PM

25. Well this is what we want to determine

We aren't sure it is oxygen deprivation or early signs of dementia. We suspect the former as 2 weeks ago they were here for a visit and she was perfectly fine.

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Response to Squeek (Reply #24)

Thu Mar 2, 2017, 04:26 PM

27. My FIL told us the "midget nurse" was "sweet" on him.

We just looked at each other because who really knows, right? Well here she came and while she was petite, she was not a dwarf, but to his credit they did have his bed jacked up pretty high.

And then there was the time he told us we needed to leave because the warden wanted all the prisoners downstairs at 5:00. The man had never been in prison in his life!

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