The appointment is scheduled for tomorrow after learning of lab test results that likely will confirm rheumatoid arthritis. She has been experiencing diffuse joint pain and stiffness. She states that lab tests are high for potassium and erythrocyte sed rate. My dad won’t drive her (he’s not compassionate at all).

I recently took 2 half days off work to take her to medical appointments and my work load is too busy to take off.

To top it off my husband died of Alzheimer’s one year ago and I still have trauma associated with that.

A while back I suggested that she consider home health service, but she has refused that idea. Dad refuses to sell their home and move to a smaller home (Mom does all of the housework).

With Mom being 85 and Dad 87 things will only get worse I’m afraid. My son helps some, but he has significant health problems as well. My daughter won’t help. I’m all she has. I sure could use some advice and support. Appreciate it.

So sorry for the loss of your husband .

And poor mom having to do all the cleaning .

A wise social worker told me “ Stop helping .” You are propping them up to stay in their home that they don’t need anymore .

Time to talk about them hiring help in or going to Independent living apartment .
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to waytomisery
czechchick Apr 24, 2024
Hello wayto
Yes, I do need to stop the propping and change my perspective on things. I talked to Mom a few weeks ago about home health and or cleaning services. My son even offered to help but she declined. Mom wants to downsize, but Dad won’t. She does all the work so he has no pressure to change. With her diagnosis, polymyalgia rheumatics, she will have to make changes. Thanks so much for the input!
In my town, we have a free faith-based service with volunteers who drive seniors to medical appointments and stay with them to drive them home. It isn't denominational and anyone can use it. Check around and see if there's one like it near your mom.

Lots of people in their eighties drive themselves to appointments. Encourage mom to remain active, and don't encourage her dependency. (I realize she has health problems that make things difficult for her, but so do a lot of other people.)

Also, if you're all she has, how did that happen? Did she dump her friends because you'd always be there? She doesn't get to refuse home health if that would help YOU. Tell her that. Be firm. As for your dad, what a jerk!

My mom had a series of "companions" in her old age. These women helped the elderly. It was their job to drive them to appointments, help them dress, and so on. They don't do anything medical. Maybe you could find someone like that for your mom. Again, she doesn't get to refuse anything that would help YOU.

I'm very sorry for the loss of your husband, and I hope you find help for mom soon. SHE DOESN'T GET TO REFUSE ANYTHING THAT WOULD HELP YOU!
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Reply to Fawnby
czechchick Apr 22, 2024
Thank you for the reply Fawnby!
Mom doesn’t have a support system because Dad is an abusive alcoholic. This has been the case during their entire marriage. Mom doesn’t mind driving, it’s just that her mobility is lacking due to joint pain and stiffness. I hope she can bear the medical news she will hear tomorrow. I do think she is developing dementia also. She has always been very active and independent. I hope medical treatment will give her some more relatively active years. There is a senior center in their small town that might be a good resource. Thank you for the helpful advic!
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Hi, CC. You seem to wish your father were driving instead of Mom. Is that because he is simply a better driver, or because he is feeling more well? Is there any Uber, Lyft, cabs, or driving services where your Mom is?
Is an in person visit necessary for mom or could she as well keep her appointment through zoom.

You are correct in imagining that this is going to get worse. I think it is important that you don't enable bad decisions by doing the driving and attempting to do care that puts off recognition that more help is needed, and at least a better central location, perhaps downsized to efficiency. I can't know how their general condition is. Many do well to their 90s, but one may not do well and if this is the case then the other would have difficulty giving care.

It may be time for the difficult conversation that starts "Do the two of you have plans?" Your prime imperative in that conversation is that you really cannot help them a lot with care at all, and they should now be thinking of a safer placement for themselves.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to AlvaDeer
czechchick Apr 22, 2024
Thank you AlvaDeer~
Dad isn’t a better driver, it’s just that Moms mobility is limited due to the stiff joints and pain. No uber etc available in her area. I didn’t want her to get the bad medical news when she’s alone, but he wouldn’t be much comfort anyway. I feel guilty that I can’t be there. The zoom idea is a good one…I forgot about that and will suggest it to her. Yes, that talk will have to take place whether she likes it or not. Thank you for the very sound advice.
Let's take a breath here. You're working yourself up unnecessarily. Your parents are living their lives and you need to back off. Don't get on your daughter about not helping and please don't guilt-trip her about that.

Your parents are stubborn and not fully independent anymore. It's likely they will have to learn the hard way on accepting the help they need. Hopefully, the lesson won't be a catastrophe like a serious fall or accident that lands them both in a nursing home in order for them to make the changes in thier lives they need to stay safe and out of a care facility.

Please do what MeDolly says in the comments because she is right. Don't jump in to prop them up because this encourages their delusion of still being totally independent.

They must accept that they aren't totally independent anymore and that you are not the only person in the world who can help them. They have to learn how to accept help on the terms it's offered on and this is for their own good. Putting yourself on self-imposed guilt trips will accomplish nothing other than driving yourself crazy.

I did homecare for a long time and have seen every family dynamic there is. Please tell your parents what I have told countless seniors and their family members who were stubborn about accepting help.

-Nothing gets a senior a one-way ticket to a nursing home faster than being stubborn.-

This is a fact.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
sp196902 Apr 23, 2024
The dads an abusive alcoholic - from OP's posts below. More than likely he gets a power trip off not taking mom to her appointment. Too bad mom never got the courage to leave his ass. And I agree OP should not get worked up and feel guilty about this dynamic between mom and dad that has been going on for as long as they have been married.
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I too am sorry that you lost your husband to the horrific disease of dementia. I lost mine with vascular dementia in 2020.
Why doesn't your mom request that from here on out she just has telehealth visits either by phone or via Zoom on her computer?
Most if not all doctors offices now offer that as an option ever since Covid.
She can just let them know that she no longer is comfortable driving herself.
She can also call Senior Services to see if they have any volunteers to drive her to her appointments and back. Or if she has a Shepherd Center in her city I do know that they offer free rides to doctors appointments for seniors.

And your dad sounds like a real ass. Either that or he is afraid to drive himself, and if that's the case then by all means keep him off the roads.
Best wishes in getting this issue figured out for your mom.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
czechchick Apr 22, 2024
Funky, My condolences on the passing of your husband. It is such a forever life changer. Zoom visits would be a great option. The senior center might be a good resource. You’re right, my Dad is an ass..always has been.
I lost my husband in 2001, to Stage 4 colon cancer. It was pain I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. You've got a few HARD years ahead. Your parents are stubborn and have their own problems you cant solve.
How much have they helped YOU since you lost your husband?? I didn't see it mentioned....

You have been given good advice here. TAKE IT.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Dawn88

You will get lots of good info here,

First I want to say I'm so sorry, for all this, loosing your husband's had to be awful.

When my dad passed, and I started taking care of my mom, I thought my kids would help out a little as just visiting would of been helpful, knowing she had company. I have 4 boys, they didn't at all. And at first I was annoyed. Then I realized this isn't there problem, I can't ruin my relationship with my kids over my mother.

Everytime I take my mom out she buys things for my grandson, her great grandson. There must be a closet full of toys. It breaks my heart, but I stay out of it. I'm not going to ruin my relationship with my children for my mother.

If your son wants to help that's awesome, but it's your daughter's choice to help or not. So please don't let that come between you .

Good luck and I'm sorry.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Anxietynacy
czechchick Apr 22, 2024
Hello Anxiety
Thank you for the condolences. I wish it weren’t so. You have some good advice about family involvement and expectations and I will heed your good advice. Thank you so much!
You cannot live their lives for them, they are making their own decisions. Let it be, don't jump in and prop them up, they need to see that they are no longer independent, you being their crutch will only extend their fantasy.

Forget the guilt thing, if she wanted someone to go with her she could ask a friend or neighbor, you are overthinking this entire matter.

I am sorry for the loss of your husband, might be time for you to get your life back together and to stop trying to live vicariously through your parents.

Wish you the best.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to MeDolly
czechchick Apr 24, 2024
McDolky….thank you. I needed a dose of reality. I have always been the one to take care of everyone else and not myself and I’m tired. I still have things to finalize due to my husbands death (sale of a house 2 hours away) and not making much headway due to long work hours. Thanks again!
"My dad won’t drive her (he’s not compassionate at all)." I hope you remember this about dad when the time comes that he needs help and treat him how he treated his wife and your mother. Karma doesn't exist unless we make it happen ourselves and your dad deserves a good dose of karma in his life.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to sp196902

Not sure if I would want to have an alcholic take her either.

Call your County Office of Aging. See if they provide senior bussing. Mom would sign up for that to take her to appts. Also shopping. Our service has outings. There may be other resources she can take advantage of.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29
czechchick Apr 24, 2024
Good evening JoAnn
I like your suggestions and if they won’t take advantage of the services they will have to make do. My son offered to do tasks around the home for a nominal fee and they declined.
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