A little backstory, I am caretaker for my grandparents. My grandmother is in the hospital at the moment so my grandfather is home alone at night after he goes to bed (which isn’t a big deal, he doesn’t ever get out of bed). My grandmother has my younger siblings living there. Not really living but they run in and out at all hours of the night. They’re trash basically. I’m very surprised they’re not in jail yet and I wish they were because they’re honestly a waste of space to put it lightly (sorry I’ve just been dealing with them for so many years and I’m tired of it).
My grandfather is on honey thick liquids because he was aspirating his drinks and it looks like that is going to be permanent. Anyone and everyone that comes in the house knows about it. I have signs taped near his drink thickener stating how much to put in the case I’m not there. They know it’s serious because they have seen him choke.
Anyways, because she is in the hospital we set up a motion sensor camera to keep an eye on him (he knows about the camera). Tonight I witnessed them come in and give him 1: normal water not thickened and 2: half a cup of alcohol. All while having a conversation with each other saying “he doesn’t want that jelly $h*t do you” (referring to the thickened liquids) and calling me names while giving him the regular drink. My grandfather accepted the drinks as he gets confused easily.
Is there anything I can do about this? About them knowingly putting him in harms way?
No they don’t pay for my lively hood nor will I be homeless when they die. I am married with my own family and am taking care of my grandpa in the best way I can.
I am sure my grandfather doesn’t enjoy the thickened liquids. I tasted them myself to get a sense of what he was doing. However I will NOT be ignoring medical advice and giving him regular liquids just because he is elderly. That is not excuse. This is to help him and keep him healthy and safe. If he didn’t NEED to be on them, we wouldn’t be giving them to him.
As for my original post, I saw some responses that suggested to contact APS. THAT was the kind of response I was looking for. Who to contact. As I had no idea
There are posters who posts once and never return. So, on the forum’s end, it’s all speculation about what is going on.
Most of us here know how difficult it is to be caregiver. Many of us have dealt with difficult parents and siblings.
Please feel free to ask questions, state your concerns and stick around for responses. Hopefully someone can help you move forward in your caregiving journey.
I hope everything works out well for you and your family.
All anyone can do now is speculate about the situation.
More information is needed to assess what is really happening.
I agree with you. It all depends on the person and whether or not allowing them to have a regular drink is worth the risk.
I bought my father all kinds of tropical fruit nectar-syle drinks. He liked some. He liked real milkshakes too. Not room-temperature Boost or Ensure that a nursing home gives their residents. Real 1950's diner-style milkshakes made with ice cream. I used to make them for him.
The point I was trying to make was that I understand where the siblings are coming from about their grandfather and what the OP expects him to drink.
Did you ever try to drink thickened water? It's the most disgusting thing in the world. It's like drinking phlegm.
I guess it all depends on what the grandfather's quality of life is and whether or not he can ever recover from his health conditions or even improve.
When a person is going to be on soft, mechanical diet and thickened liquids for the rest of their life, they usually have no quality of life. That's why I say let them have what they want to eat and drink.
If not much then I am sure this happens with her there as well.
IF grandma does not have much control over your siblings either it might be that neither of your grandparents are safe.
You could contact APS and say that you are concerned for the safety of your grandparents.
You do not mention grandma in your profile. What is she in the hospital for?
Is it safe for her to continue to care for grandpa when she is discharged? Will she be safe with your siblings running amuck in her house?
Do you have the authority to tell them at the hospital that to discharge her to home would be unsafe?
Where are your parents in this whole mess?
If your grandfather has to have thickened liquids for the rest of his life, he will soon have no quality of life if he hasn't gotten to that point already.
Have you ever tried a glass of thickened water? It's like swallowing a cup of phlegm. It's absolutely disgusting. Your siblings are right.
Let your grandfather have whatever he wants. It was the same thing with my father. The NH insisted that he be on thickened liquids. I gave him soda and juice and he was fine. The last thing he could still enjoy was a glass of iced sweet tea. He loved sweet tea. So he had it.
Your grandfather will likely get dehydration that will result in UTI's because he's not drinking enough.
Let him have his drinks if he can still enjoy something. If he drinks slowly he'll be all right.
You are trying so hard to make things go right. There needs to be a responsible qualified caregiver with boots on the ground 24/7.
Hire one. Be one. Or take gf out of there.
With younger siblings involved who seem to be criminals and trash according to you, you are fighting a losing battle to secure safe care for your grandfather, as long as grandmother is in the hospital and sick. Taping signs is not a solution when others deliberately ignore that. There are too many persons involved in his care and welfare that disagree to be safe for him.
It could get worse when grandmother comes home and the burden of care for her falls to your grandfather. She could be the one enabling the siblings in their lifestyle.
(It has happened).
It is not about the one incident involving alcohol and non-compliance with the care plan to give thickened liquids.
It is knowingly putting him in harms way.
Have you read up on being a "mandated reporter"?
That is now you, "knowingly putting him in harms way". You have observed it on the camera and need to take action.
Place him in a respite facility by calling his doctor if you cannot be there 24/7. There is no guilt that you cannot do it yourself. It sounds like he cannot be alone, the persons there act as criminals, and I would guess you all are waiting to decide what's best for grandfather because grandmother could come home anyday?
Not a good plan.
When this happened to my family, a responsible member removed him to their own home temporarily. This was AFTER the spouse came home from the hospital. He was never able to return to his home because there was a hostile takeover of his home, by the criminal siblings with spouse in charge.
Don't wait to get him out of that environment or have the siblings removed.
Christmas Eve, you may be there taking his vitals wondering if he should go to an E.R. that is too busy to help him, and dangerous to anyone's health. The siblings will be out that night.
I have shared too much. Apologies that my post was so long, meant to help the OP.
I feel for the OP in that it appears she is the only one who cares, so this will fall on her to take any action necessary.
When there are addicts involved, there will be criticism, accusations, and betrayal, as no good deed goes unpunished.
Addicts will do everything to keep access to their supply of housing, food, and exploitation, even elder abuse in the form of neglect and yelling, emotional abuse, which is called putting the elder in harms way.
I have a favourite cartoon picture of a character called Molesworth with the caption "It is a strange and lonly wurld when you are GOOD."
You are the responsible one who takes risk management seriously. Your siblings find this risible and irritating and so they undermine your efforts and make you out to be the drinks Nazi. I sympathise. I'm still not over the rage I felt when I was taking my mother to task about something that had landed her in hospital and caught my brother making "yada yada yada" faces behind my back. Fine! YOU clear up the next haematemesis then, ***hole!
Has your grandfather had a formal swallowing assessment done revised recently? If he enjoyed the drink he was offered, if he finds the thickened fluids unpalatable (lots of people don't, I have been surprised to learn), and above all if he doesn't need this intervention then step back and use this as an opportunity for a rethink and a restoration of perspective. But if he *does* need it, staple the professional's written advice to your siblings' eyebrows and tell them that any adverse consequences of their actions can and will result in safeguarding enforcement measures.
Oh, one other thought - many people have recommended having an amazon echo devise set up so that you can monitor the home and visit or give instructions remotely (I am not a techie so am only repeating what I have read).... I think having the ability to berate these visitors from afar would be priceless.
Are you the only caregiver to your grandfather besides your grandma?
Are you living with your grandparents?
How long is your grandma going to be in the hospital? What is her general health condition?
Your grandfather needs full time care. He shouldn’t be dealing with grandchildren that aren’t following your instructions.
I am sorry that you are in this situation. Wishing you and your grandparents all the best.
Maybe threatening your siblings with eviction and telling grandma what they've been doing so SHE can evict them may be enough to scare them into cleaning up their act. But if they don't grasp the importance of the thickened liquid diet for grandpa, probably not. Have you tried explaining to them why he's been prescribed such a diet, and how aspiration pneumonia can kill him?
I hope you can get this situation in hand and your siblings to grow up a bit! Good luck.