Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Concern

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Mrs. Daughter: "Doctor, I'm so worried about Dad. He insists on living by himself, but he forgets to lock his doors, he loses things, he forgets to pay bills, he leaves the stove on... Can you please give us some ideas for places he might safely live? And try to talk to him into moving into one?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Of course. I'll give you a list of places you can take him to look at."

Mrs. Daughter: "Just give it to him, he can go himself. He has a car."

Dr. Grumpy: "He's still driving? You just told me he can't live alone and you're still letting him drive?"

Mrs. Daughter: "Don't stop him from driving! I don't have time to take him everywhere!"

24 comments:

The RPh said...

So she cares, just not enough to inconvience herself? Wow, just wow!

skidmark said...

Is it OK to post a comment when you have absolutely nothing to say because words just fail you?

wv = hephy. That lady's attitude is just hephy, man.

stay safe.

ERP said...

And right after this encounter you equipped your car with a 4 point racing harness and roll cage in case you ever happen to be driving near him.

Eileen said...

Don't know about this guy - but my friend's husband had a form of dementia (don't know if it was Alzheimers, the neurologists believed it was triggered by a head injury) who forgot things etc etc and was quite restricted in terms of cooking ability when left alone for a few days (he ate cold pizza from choice!). He was very disorientated for about 3 weeks when they transferred from their summer home in the UK to their winter abode in Spain and vice versa - but he could drive alone anywhere locally in both countries with no bother and could get the 200 miles from his home to his mother's home in the UK by train.

I had a transient global amnesia a couple of years ago - and in the middle of it drove from the new house we'd lived in for about 2 weeks to pick my husband up from work and back to the right house (they were only a mile or so apart) safely and correctly. I understand these skills may not be affected - Dr G, you're the expert???

Watercolor said...

And so one day he forgets to stop for red lights and then he has a nice new cell to sleep in when he kills someone. Assuming he survives the wreck..... oy vey.

Unchained Pharmacist said...

I don't think she's really concerned about her father's safety. I doubt she will ever visit him at one of those places.

Most likely scenario 6 months from now. Sitting by the pool, sipping margarita, pool boy rubbing sunblock on her, and her thinking "I'm such a good daughter. I placed my dad at a place where he is well taken care of. Now, only if I can remember the name of that place..."

Sarah G said...

Asking someone to drive themselves around to assisted living facilities = adding insult to injury.

C said...

I'm just going to call his daughter a dipsh*t and be over all this.

Li'l Azathoth said...

Some problems are just going to resolve themselves...

The Mother said...

I think that's the guy who has tried to run me off the road every day for the past three weeks (in different cars).

Tricia said...

I know it was a happy day when my father--in-law stopped driving. He was dx 4 yrs ago with Lewy Bodies and has progressed downward since. My mother-in-law lives with him but had to take early retirement to stay home with him. The last straw for her was when he tried to heat up left over pizza in the oven while it was still in the cardboard box. He also suffers from hallucinations which makes it especially dangerous to drive with.
Apparently the daughter has no concern for anyone but herself.....

Mr. Deaf Carpenter said...

A long time ago, during cavemen's time. Once you get too old, they will cast you out in the cold to die.

Guess this is how we do it in the modern time.

Don said...

I am dreading the time, hopefully not in the next few years, when my father will have to give up driving. He cherishes his being able to drive down to the small cabin that he bought when he and Mom retired some years ago. He is still doing well, healthwise; far better than my mother, and his mind is clear and sound.
I dread the day, not because I will be driving my parents around(I will gladly do so, and have done so when Dad was laid up after a fall), but because being independent has meant the world to my father. In his early 80s, he still goes deer hunting, and enjoys working and walking at his cabin.
IMHO, the daughter is being extremely selfish. I wonder what she will think in a few decades, when it is her turn to have to rely on someone else?

Don said...

I think that the comment from Unchained Pharmacist was on the money as well. When I was between contracts, I worked as a janitor for the local nursing home, and spent a lot of time with the residents as I went about my cleaning. It was easy to tell which residents were the happiest, even the ones with the worst health problems. Those whose families visited regularly were the most cheerful.
I enjoyed my time working there a great deal, and was reluctant to leave, since I had made a lot of friends among the residents and staff. But two full time jobs at minimum wage was too much, and I was still bringing in only a small fraction of my normal rates. Still, I recall going around the corridors mopping, getting the residents sitting out of their rooms in the common areas to sing along with my own "songs" on Christmas Eve.
A dozen little old ladies and two RNs singing my altered version of Weird Al's "Christmas at Ground Zero", as I conducted with a mop handle.
I hope that the father gets into a good home, rather than just a warehouse.

stlym: an asylum for writers???

Mike said...

I've been through this personally, and can say I have some sympathy for the daughter in this case. It was far more of a shock to the system when I had to stop my dad driving than it was when we had to put him first into assisted living, and then into a full long term care facility. The loss of autonomy caused by taking the car keys from him was far more affecting, then.

I've also seen how denial can work in odd ways. Often enough the denial is affected by how much recognizing the degree of impairment would affect the other people in the situation, rather than the impaired person. It doesn't necessarily mean that the person doesn't care, or will abandon their loved one when they're in the facility. (Though that does happen often enough.)

What's more worrisome is wondering whether this man might really be a better fit for a long term care facility, instead of an assisted living facility.

Like I said, denial can get pretty powerful.


wv=makwent. "Makwent into the home."

Anonymous said...

"Denial can get pretty powerful." So can shitty parenting. It may be that he was a lousey father, for whatever reason, and she doesn't feel like she owes him much.

I know that's how I feel about my parents. I'd call the neurologist or other MD and do some basics, but drive them around? No way. Visit them in the nursing home? Not much. You reap what you sow.


It's not necessarily the kid who is at fault here.

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with the daughter, too. Some of us have wonderful, reasonable parents, who we would work out a schedule with and gladly transport wherever they need to go. Others have parents who would call on a daily basis, demanding to be driven here, there, and everywhere, with no regard for the fact that the daughter may have a family of her own to care for as well. It's all in the family dynamic.

Anonymous said...

Mike is right. My father is 70 and my mother will not hear him or anyone else say that he's not as physically fit as he was at 40. When they go anywhere he has to drive, she refuses to do or let anyone else do it. It's his job. When he returned exhausted from a six-hour trip I suggested to her that she should have shared the driving and she was furious with me.

Mariela said...

We have a neighbor down the street who is 91 and completely deaf. He uses a walker and veeeery slooooooooowly shuffles up his driveway pushing the thing along. Of course, he still drives (a gigantic town car). He almost hit me last week - going 25 in a neighborhood street - when I was biking home from work, in the middle of the day. It was as if he hadn't seen me - he did not react, did not try to avoid, and basically forced me to almost go head first into a parked car. I don't think he's all there mentally, but I also wonder about his physical ability to look around, move his foot or turn the wheel quickly enough to avoid an accident. I don't understand how his kids - who come by every week or so - haven't realized he's a road hazard.

Anonymous said...

Why are so many of you so harsh? The daughter is not the boss of her father. Who's to say what type of relationship is behind the scene that recently unfolded? Not every adult child has the time or inclination - or responsibility - to babysit their aging parent. My partner is currently struggling with a similar situation with his father. Dad's got a driving test coming up and is worried - my partner feels if he's unsafe, he shouldn't drive, yet is not willing/able to take over all the driving for his father, who lives half an hour from us and was abusive/neglectful/absent through my partner's entire childhood. My partner ran away at 18 with the clothes on his back and his father never really did anything for him since then. He does what he can for his dad - he's the only one in town who really can as his parents were divorced decades ago and his sister is in another state - but there are limits on what he can give, financially and emotionally.

We should not expect adult children of aging parents with health problems to sacrifice their own time and emotional health without end. Nobody is obligated to do this.

Daddy's Chauffeur said...

While her attitude is very sad and scary, it is *somewhat* understandable. My dad has had health problems for the last 2 years that have required me driving him to multiple doctor appointments a week. I am a single mom with 2 kids at home and a full-time job. He completely expects me to be there to take him to all of his appointments as he has very limited income and cannot afford any other transportation.

I have had to reschedule my own day and scramble for transportation for my kids to and from school (6 miles away)because his doctor called and needs blood work or some such done the next morning.

I do care for him and don't complain to his face but even though he is half-blind, it sure would be easier if he could drive. And as he is only 75 and his parents lived into their 80s and his grandmother to 100, I will probably be putting up with this until I retire. *Sigh*

Anonymous said...

To those defending Mrs. Daughter: Have you given any thought at all to the danger someone incapable of functioning on his own might pose to other people while behind the wheel?

Here's a woman who positively wants to see Dr. Grumpy set out a large driving itinerary for her father, who she admits is incapable of remembering to turn the stove off. Sorry, no sympathy here.

If she's genuinely concerned, she'll insist he call a cab. Compared with the cost of assisted living, the expense is infinitesimal.

Mike said...

To Anonymous @ 10/13 12:02:

I'm not defending her decision, simply suggesting a more sympathetic interpretation of what may be driving her fucked up decisions than the lack of concern for her father that some others had attributed to her earlier.

I agree that someone who can't be counted upon to care for their apartment/house is not a good candidate for being able to reliably drive themselves safely. With all the attendant risks for public safety that come from that.

Simply because a decision, or thought pattern, is understandable doesn't make it wise, right, or smart.

Doglady said...

I almost hope she's his Power of Attorney. That way, the injured party can sue her too when dad has an accident... Maybe that would get through to her.
On the other hand, she might not know how to stop him.
I could no more have stopped my mother from driving than turn her into a frog. I begged the dementia specialist to do it and he refused at first. Fortunately, 6 months later when he got the test results from the neuropsych he changed his mind. Then he reported her to the state and the state took her license.

 
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