What do you do with a stubborn old man who won't take care of himself?

1 answer | Last updated: Aug 21, 2011
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Hilary asked...
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Caring.com User - Ann Cason
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As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved...
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Thank you for expressing so clearly the frustration that many of us caregivers feel. The priest, social worker, and other professionals have already pointed out that he is grieving, See also:
How can I get my mother to talk to me about moving?
that part of him wants to die and then he wants to live. At the last minute he panics and calls 911. He doesn't know how to live and he is afraid to die.

I hear the same from you. You don't want to be manipulated into taking care, but it is making you a little sick leaving him to his own consequnces.

Of course, you could hire a nurse to come to his house to care for him a few hours a day.She could give his medicine, serve his meals and rub his back. She could nurse him.

But, having him declared incompetent is coming up so strongly for you, why not try it? Trust yourself.

Your father is an attorney. His mind is good. It is very difficult to get someone declared incompetent. But it could be a tool of communication. It might wake him up.

You could go to your father and say, "Dad, I love you. I'm worried that you are not getting the care that you need. I am going to exercise my power of attorney to have you delared incompetent so I can get you help. When I was a baby, you protected me. Now it is my duty to protect you."

This communication may speak to him. It might make him angry enough to decide whether he wants to live or die. It might force him to get an attorney to protect himself.

The process of communication might be very good for him. Also, it might reveal to you, what his real abilities are. Sometimes we can't see our parents clearly. Feel your way: listening, observing, learning. It is almost like a laboratory experiment with the human heart as the guide.

Also, if you decide on this plan, you will need to include your siblings. It could include all of you in a path of healing for your dear but contrary father.

 

 
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