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Topic When to take the keys? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By walkingwounded On 2015.07.07 09:48
Mom has been Dad's caregiver (he's an amputee) for years. After a fall due to her PD, she's struggling to move independently & seems to have a few cognitive issues. They did a head CT and found nothing wrong there. However, I'm starting to notice her sense of direction is getting poor. I don't want to take away their independence, but after listening to her story last night about having to detour and getting lost, this question is coming to mind. Her MDS only said "it's a personal question". I'm the only surviving child. I feel overwhelmed caring for both of them, but can't seem to convince them to get some home health care or help with transportation. It's only going to get worse, between the PD and Mom needs back surgery too, that she'll need skilled care for afterward, and I'll have to care for Dad while she's gone. It feels like they fear running out of money less than they fear death, but they don't seem too concerned that if they get in a wreck, others besides them could get hurt. I'm also starting to want consent forms signed, so that the docs can speak to me. How do I bring all this up to them, without seeming as though I want to take over everything?

By ResistanceFutil On 2015.07.08 16:15
It's difficult being a caregiver-spouse, I can't imagine having two independence-loving parents to ease into an acceptance of current and future limitations.

I hope you can go with them to doctor appointments and get in that loop. My husband's doctor had my husband's driving abilities tested by an occupational therapist, who gave her professional opinion. That's an option. The other option might be an end-run to their auto-insurance company and ask the insurance company's recommendation.

If they can't provide their own transportation that's a whole new set of problems. There's really nothing I can offer - I think everyone who reads your post is either looking at this situation in hindsight or as a future issue.

When my parents were alive, we just pestered my parents to move to an assisted living type facility. When my mother became paralyzed, nursing home was the only option her husband would/could consider. Our pestering and their move happened about 1 year before it would have been "too late." There was nothing graceful or delicate about mine & my siblings' approach. I wish you the best. Obviously you want what's best for them.

By Mary556 On 2015.07.09 04:14
Peace be with you, WW.
A year ago my PWP Mom had a sudden fall; she was in hospital for four overnights then transferred to a rehab facility for several weeks. If your mother goes to a rehab or SNF after her surgery, they will ask for those types of papers upon admission... living will, medical power of attorney, etc.. So this would be the logical time to help your parents get their documents in place, if they have not already done so. Phrase it as an offer to assist them with necessary preparations. Unless they have authorized you to speak with their medical providers, you will be left in the dark under HIPAA privacy regulations. You would call the nurses station to ask how your Mom is doing and would be told, "Sorry, we cannot speak with you."
Ask your folks what their wishes are and offer to help them navigate.
Best wishes for you and your loved ones.

By Mary556 On 2015.07.09 04:31
Re: help with transportation, a couple days ago someone referred us to Always Best Care...
We have not tried this service yet but probably will soon. My brother drove for 9-10 hours today to take my elderly parents for an unexpected short-notice visit to their PCP. My two sisters are always very generous with their time as well. My siblings all live at a distance and I do not drive. Hopefully this will work out well.

By walkingwounded On 2015.07.09 18:32
It's already worse. I'm not going to be able to be a caregiver, at least for a few days. I've got to have BOTH breasts biopsied next week. It's like God's intervening for me and saying, enough already!

I've been to most of my parents' appointments in the last year, and they have the papers on file for medical power of attorney, IF THE NEED ARISES. Oddly, though, their PCP still wants those consent papers. I've had to call that office lately to let them know that after her last MDS appointment, she thought she needed to start taking an aspirin a day again, even though she's on blood thinners now. This HIPAA stuff is ridiculous sometimes. I've gotten to where I just tell them they don't have to respond to me, just listen and put in her notes. When my Aunt was dying of cancer 2 months ago, me just being one of her emergency contacts was even enough to get her hospice care set up.

By Trusting On 2015.07.18 01:20
My husband finally agreed to take the driver evaluation (through the VA) and we all agreed that if he could pass it then we would be quiet about his driving. He didn't pass. They strongly recommended he not drive. A few weeks later he received a letter that he needed to turn his drivers license in. I think this was the hardest part of PD that he has had to go through. He feels trapped at home even though I take him were ever he needs to go. Your mom and dad probably don't want to worry you more than they need to but you should bring this up with them at a calm time.

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