Anybody have advice/experiences to share in regards to an elderly parent losing their ability to function, yet being entirely uncooperative about doing anything about it?
Right now, we’re struggling to get my dad to the doctor. He doesn’t want to go. We’re trying to get his house to be a little friendlier to his inability to move around, and trying to convince him to put bills on autopay so there’s nothing to forget, and the power won’t get cut off. Again, not very cooperative.
He’s got two dogs he never lets out, and he cleans up after them some if they go to the bathroom in the living room but two of the back rooms were a mess, and we’re going to have the carpets replaced (that in itself will be a challenge . . . his house is very dirty, and crammed with crap). My sister will be putting pee pads down in one of them (already is, and will presumably continue to do so after the carpet is replaced) and is now checking on him daily. He really needs to be in some sort of nursing home, but he is adamant about not having that, and I’m fairly confident all that will accomplish is to kill him quicker. And right now, he’d have to cooperate on that. And he won’t.
My Uncle Don had him doing the accounting for his building company for about 30 years, and now needs information for taxes, and my dad is being uncooperative there as well (and likely does not know where it all is). He has about sixty or seventy baskets in the house (in desk baskets) spread all over the house, filled with all the paperwork from the last few years. Nothing particularly organized. He grows very hostile if someone tries to start going through it, however. Ultimately, I guess that battle will be up to me. Not looking forward to it.
Looking around for an Eldercare lawyer to consult that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Also trying to get my ducks in a row as to what sorts of contacts we’ll need. In addition to getting the carpets replaced we just found out he needs a working tub, so we’re likely to replace one of his tubs with a walk-in shower or walk-in tub. Additionally, he could clearly use some strategically placed grab bars. And he definitely needs someone to come in and radically reduce the clutter in the house, but is stubborn about it.
My father at least had the foresight to put my sister’s name on one of his bank accounts, so there’s some access to money (I think the idea was to have money to cover funeral and other related expenses, though, not to provide assisted care, but there should be enough money to cover some of the fixes that have to be made to his house, among other things). But nothing else is planned for. So, good lord, do your children a favor and assume there may come a point where they need a lot of help taking care of you, but you’ll be hostile to letting them, and provide for it. I could do with a list of accounts and bills and necessary numbers and whatnot right now.
My mother, fortunately, is younger, in much better shape, and has planned her estate out to the nth degree. So, I’m likely only going to have to go through this once but still—sheesh, what a pain in the ass.
At some point soon, I need to do a little planning to try and make things easier if I kick off unexpectedly. List of bills and accounts and URLs where I pay them and logins and passwords, that sort of thing. Or I’m going to end up like my dad.
So the lesson is: get your kids set up to take care of your before you start getting dementia!
Any wisdom would be appreciated. Thanks!