Completely OT - elderly parents etc Completely OT - elderly parents etc
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  1. #1

    Ddraig Goch

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    Default Completely OT - elderly parents etc

    Sorry its not exactly contractor-related. Although as a contractor, client is less likely to let you disappear for weeks to sort personal stuff out. And of course they're definitely not going to pay you...

    I know its OT but it is a serious thread so please...

    Didn't realise until recently how difficult it is with an elderly parent whos struggling mentally.

    Dad is 82 and physically has been ok. Hes always been a bit cantankerous but I've just put up with it.

    He was ill a few months ago with a chest infection. It cleared up but hes still got a slight cough. But its affected him very badly.

    Hes absolutely convinced that there is something seriously wrong with him. In the last few months, hes probably called the GP out 20 times, phoned an ambulance twice, been admitted to hospital on his insistence twice (they sent him home each time). About 30 doctors/paramedics have told him hes fine.

    BUT they all just pass him on and no-one has sat him down and considered his mental state. Such is the NHS.

    He wont give me permission to speak his GP. He wont listen to me when I say hes getting a little stressed and needs to talk with his GP. In his world, there is no such thing as mental illness.

    Of course, no diagnosis, social services wont do anything - I've tried. Life can be tough...

    Anyone expereienced anything similar?

    BTW - I'd let him crash with me for a bit but, as I've sure I've mentioned before, I've got a wife whos ill anyway has family in to help her when Im not there. It'd pretty much mean I'd have to quit and look after them both.
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  2. #2

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    Step 1, if you think he has got mental issues, discuss with your siblings about getting lasting power of attorney. No, this isn't just about money, but about making sure that if things get worse, you (or your siblings) are legally allowed to make decisions on his behalf. Health & welfare LPA is more important right now, although getting property & financial affairs is probably worth it too.
    The big issue is that you have to get him to agree to it and to understand that it would only become effective if he was unable to make decisions himself.
    Step 2. Look at the cost of going for a private consultation. Sure, it's going to be a £100s, but weigh that up against him not getting the right treatment.
    Step 3. You're not alone in this one.
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    Sorry to hear.

    My Father-in-law is 89 and in a dementia home. He lived with us for three years with my wife caring for him until she couldn't manage any more. My wife is also ill. He's been in a home for two years now. He's well fed, warm and not in pain. Does he get agitated and angry sometimes? Well, yes, but he's well cared for and my wife visits every other day. All things considered we couldn't do any more for the old man.

    Things were quite difficult in his last six months with us. He was as irrational and angry as you'd expect. Sounds like your father might be suffering the early stages.

    As frustrating as it is, it's not their fault. If my Father-in-law could see himself now he'd want to be put out of his misery but that person has long gone.

    All you can do is your best, don't feel guilty. Practical advice - if you can, get a Power of Attorney in place now before you have to.
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  4. #4

    Ddraig Goch

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    Quote Originally Posted by WTFH View Post
    Step 1, if you think he has got mental issues, discuss with your siblings about getting lasting power of attorney. No, this isn't just about money, but about making sure that if things get worse, you (or your siblings) are legally allowed to make decisions on his behalf. Health & welfare LPA is more important right now, although getting property & financial affairs is probably worth it too.
    The big issue is that you have to get him to agree to it and to understand that it would only become effective if he was unable to make decisions himself.
    Step 2. Look at the cost of going for a private consultation. Sure, it's going to be a £100s, but weigh that up against him not getting the right treatment.
    Step 3. You're not alone in this one.
    Already talked about POA - nope wont agree.

    Hes talked about the private thing. BUT hes waiting for tests at the hospital anyway (not that theres going to be anything I think). I just dont see what value this would add - apart from getting his hopes up.

    Hes not going to pay for private tests etc in a million years. Or let me pay.
    Rhyddid i lofnod psychocandy!!!!

  5. #5

    Ddraig Goch

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lockhouse View Post
    Sorry to hear.

    My Father-in-law is 89 and in a dementia home. He lived with us for three years with my wife caring for him until she couldn't manage any more. My wife is also ill. He's been in a home for two years now. He's well fed, warm and not in pain. Does he get agitated and angry sometimes? Well, yes, but he's well cared for and my wife visits every other day. All things considered we couldn't do any more for the old man.

    Things were quite difficult in his last six months with us. He was as irrational and angry as you'd expect. Sounds like your father might be suffering the early stages.

    As frustrating as it is, it's not their fault. If my Father-in-law could see himself now he'd want to be put out of his misery but that person has long gone.

    All you can do is your best, don't feel guilty. Practical advice - if you can, get a Power of Attorney in place now before you have to.
    Yeh know what you mean. POA seems like a plan.

    Nah I know its not his fault for any of it. Its tough sometimes to not get angry though when you're trying to help and hes being extremely stubborn.
    Rhyddid i lofnod psychocandy!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by psychocandy View Post
    Already talked about POA - nope wont agree.

    Hes talked about the private thing. BUT hes waiting for tests at the hospital anyway (not that theres going to be anything I think). I just dont see what value this would add - apart from getting his hopes up.

    Hes not going to pay for private tests etc in a million years. Or let me pay.
    Sorry to hear that. Maybe you asking to set up POA isn't right? Could a friend, lawyer of long standing , doctor suggest it to him?

    Luckily my father is practical, still healthy (mainly) and he set up POA its not uncommon but as mentioned above life will be much easier with it, but I'm glad he organised it.

    Brother in laws mother ended up with Dementia, some times she is completely lucid other times her brain has gone for a walk. She is now in a home and at least she is safe, fed & warm.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by psychocandy View Post
    Sorry its not exactly contractor-related. Although as a contractor, client is less likely to let you disappear for weeks to sort personal stuff out. And of course they're definitely not going to pay you...
    Haven't we established you're a BAU disguised permie? Presumably they'll give you some kind of family leave?

    Quote Originally Posted by psychocandy View Post
    I know its OT but it is a serious thread so please...
    Whoops, sorry! The old man is struggling with continence and cognition issues so you have my sympathy.

    Quote Originally Posted by psychocandy View Post
    Didn't realise until recently how difficult it is with an elderly parent whos struggling mentally.

    Dad is 82 and physically has been ok. Hes always been a bit cantankerous but I've just put up with it.

    He was ill a few months ago with a chest infection. It cleared up but hes still got a slight cough. But its affected him very badly.

    Hes absolutely convinced that there is something seriously wrong with him. In the last few months, hes probably called the GP out 20 times, phoned an ambulance twice, been admitted to hospital on his insistence twice (they sent him home each time). About 30 doctors/paramedics have told him hes fine.

    BUT they all just pass him on and no-one has sat him down and considered his mental state. Such is the NHS.

    He wont give me permission to speak his GP. He wont listen to me when I say hes getting a little stressed and needs to talk with his GP. In his world, there is no such thing as mental illness.

    Of course, no diagnosis, social services wont do anything - I've tried. Life can be tough...

    Anyone expereienced anything similar?

    BTW - I'd let him crash with me for a bit but, as I've sure I've mentioned before, I've got a wife whos ill anyway has family in to help her when Im not there. It'd pretty much mean I'd have to quit and look after them both.
    Two ideas:

    1. Speak to Help the Aged for advice.

    2. Sit down with him and listen to him, rather than expecting him to listen to you (not having a go, it's tough). Understand what his fears are and what is important to him. Don't offer solutions. Is he worried about having to move into a home? Is he lonely? What is worrying him about his health? Is he finding it difficult to manage around the house or to get out of the house?

    My granddad lived 10 years as a widower and wouldn't admit he was lonely, and was determined not to do anything about it. And he was terrified about moving into a home. After much gentle encouragement he eventually agree to try a day centre. And he loved it. Got himself a girlfriend and they went on cheap long holidays over the winter months to Spain to hotels that catered for people in his position. Eventually downsized to a bungalow. He had plans to move onto sheltered accommodation when needed, but he died first aged 91. When we cleared out his house, he had a less than full pack of condoms hidden away in a drawer (in date). The point being, he needed help to think through what he wanted out of life, not what everyone else wanted for him. Good luck.
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  8. #8

    Ddraig Goch

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladyuk View Post
    Haven't we established you're a BAU disguised permie? Presumably they'll give you some kind of family leave?



    Whoops, sorry! The old man is struggling with continence and cognition issues so you have my sympathy.



    Two ideas:

    1. Speak to Help the Aged for advice.

    2. Sit down with him and listen to him, rather than expecting him to listen to you (not having a go, it's tough). Understand what his fears are and what is important to him. Don't offer solutions. Is he worried about having to move into a home? Is he lonely? What is worrying him about his health? Is he finding it difficult to manage around the house or to get out of the house?

    My granddad lived 10 years as a widower and wouldn't admit he was lonely, and was determined not to do anything about it. And he was terrified about moving into a home. After much gentle encouragement he eventually agree to try a day centre. And he loved it. Got himself a girlfriend and they went on cheap long holidays over the winter months to Spain to hotels that catered for people in his position. Eventually downsized to a bungalow. He had plans to move onto sheltered accommodation when needed, but he died first aged 91. When we cleared out his house, he had a less than full pack of condoms hidden away in a drawer (in date). The point being, he needed help to think through what he wanted out of life, not what everyone else wanted for him. Good luck.
    Know what you mean. Tried this. His only fear, or so he says, is that he's ill and cant cope on his own.

    Hes not worried about going into a home - says hes fine anyway. He just says he needs the doctors to listen to him and give him the right tablet.
    Rhyddid i lofnod psychocandy!!!!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by psychocandy View Post
    Know what you mean. Tried this. His only fear, or so he says, is that he's ill and cant cope on his own.

    Hes not worried about going into a home - says hes fine anyway. He just says he needs the doctors to listen to him and give him the right tablet.
    Sound awful, would the doctor be willing to prescribing be a Placebo? Maybe treating the 'symptoms' would prove a calming effect...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by psychocandy View Post
    Know what you mean. Tried this. His only fear, or so he says, is that he's ill and cant cope on his own.

    Hes not worried about going into a home - says hes fine anyway. He just says he needs the doctors to listen to him and give him the right tablet.
    Does he go to the doctors on his own? Or does someone sit in with him?

    It doesn't have to be you and sorry to say some doctors do not like relations sitting in but are fine with friends' or acquaintances.

    Anyway having chaperoned people at different doctors sometimes the doctor needs to be told straight -"X is worried that this will cause [name of serious problem]" As a chaperone you aren't really allowed to say anything else.

    This is normally enough for the doctor to explain exactly what they think the problem is, and if applicable why they are using a wait and see approach.
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