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Home Safety
Internal Administrator
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:56 AM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463


Originally posted by: KML

My father has been diagnosed with dementia about a year and a half ago. He is living at home alone. I prepare his dinners, he usually eats lunch out with a friend, and he can handle making his own breakfast, cold cereal, banana and juice.

He warms his dinners in the microwave. I visited him last night, I usually see him every other day. He has a cold and so he wants to eat soup and warm up a can of soup. I've asked him many times to use the microwave for this, but he keeps using his gas stove to warm his soup. This raises a concern for me, he has lost his sense of smell and I'm afraid he may not remember to turn the stove off. This hasn't happened before, but I don't want it happening at all. Last night, as usual I told him my concerns about his not being able to smell gas if there was a problem. He argues with me, that he doesn't use the stove very often and I tell him that he really doesn't need to use it all. I removed the knobs to the stove and this upset him. I don't know if I was impulsive in doing this. I don't want to break his spirit or take any more away from him. I don't know if I jumped in too fast in doing this.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:56 AM
Originally posted by: Mini V

Dear JRB,

Thank you for using the Alzheimer's Association Online Community. In Alzheimer’s disease, the areas of the brain that control memory and thinking skills are affected first. This means that the person with the disease is not able to make good decisions and has impaired judgement. This also means that often times, the person with the disease will need someone who has not been affected by the disease to make decisions for him.

I see that you care for your dad and want him to have quality of life. I also understand that you want your dad to be independent as long as he is able to. You made the right decision by choosing to remove the knobs off the stove at your dad’s house. It seems that you are concerned for your dad’s safety and that is important.

Safety is the most important issue to look at when it comes to making decisions for him. If your dad is a danger to himself or others, the safety of himself and others take priority over his feelings and need of being independent. I encourage you to continue to monitor the house for other safety issues and make it a priority to take care of the issues. I also encourage you to discuss with dad’s doctor about safety issues and concerns you have.

It is very common for the person with the disease to get angry when a caregiver makes decisions for them. Due to impaired judgement, the person with disease is unable to understand why s/he may need assistance. It may help to limit your conversations with dad about safety issues or his other impairments; you may discuss more about what he is capable of doing and focus on that.

Your dad is lucky to have a caring son who wants what’s best for him. Please call us at our 24-hour helpline at 1-800-272-3900 if you have further safety concerns or other questions about care decisions. You may also call our helpline to connect with the local chapter who offers resources, support groups and educational programs related to the disease.

Sincerely,

Mini V.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:56 AM
Originally posted by: Sodapop

Hi JRB,
The title of your thread caught my I. I hope you don't mind if I comment. Before our Mom was diagnosed my brother said that our Mom began leaving things unattended on the stove too. A couple of times he caught things just in time! Then he noticed a couple of times she got up in the a.m. and opened a can of soup and ate it out of the can for breakfast. ICK
That was the end of her cooking days. Looking back I think she was in the process of losing the ability to use the microwave and/or maybe there were too many steps associated w/ it. (Pour soup in dish, add water, stir, cover, put in microwave and set timer.)
Taking over the cooking was hard for my bro and probably my Mom. On the other hand I think/hope it took the burden off of her.

Re getting outside help. You might want to make an add'l post on the "caregivers forum" above. There is usually lots of discussions about how to find help, what to look for, questions to ask etc.

ps: You might check and see if there is a "meals on wheels" in the area.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:56 AM
Originally posted by: Mini V

Dear JRB,

It sounds like your father may need more assistance than you may think or observe. I commend you for monitoring him often. That is the best way to find out whether he needs more assistance with daily care. Please refer to the following websites for further information on home safety and safety outside of home if he travels alone: http://www.alz.org/documents/national/FSSafety.pdf; http://www.alz.org/documents/national/Safety10_5.pdf; http://www.alz.org/documents/national/FSSRCaregivers.pdf; http://www.alz.org/documents/national/wandering_whoseatrisk.pdf

I understand your fear of finding the right person to take care of your father. I encourage you to go to our carefinder website www.alz.org/carefinder. The website will give you step-by-step instructions on the level of care your dad needs and how to screen care providers. Following is a link from the Carefinder on screening care providers: http://www.alz.org/carefinder/careoptions/options4.asp

Patty has given some good tips, such as, contacting the local meals on wheels and posting on the Caregiver’s Forum to obtain more insights from other caregivers. Please continue to use the online community and do not hesitate to call us at our 24-hour helpline at 1-800-272-3900 if you need clarification or want to discuss further regarding care for your father.

Sincerely,

Mini V.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:56 AM
Originally posted by: KML

Thank you so much for your reply. I feel so alone and I am afraid. I visited my father last night after work. He has a cold and not feeling well. I got to his house about 6:30p and I found that he had not taken his morning medications even after my calling him to remind him. He did not eat breakfast, lunch or eaten dinner by the time I got there. I prepared his dinner, he didn't have much of an appetite. I told him we needed to make changes and he said, "You're not going to put me in a home." I said, no, I didn't want to do that, but I do want to find a person who can come in the morning for a couple of hours and make sure he takes his meds and eats his breakfast and a person to come around 5:30p to sit with him through dinner and stay until 9:00p to make sure he takes his night meds and has a snack before bed. I tried to impress upon him that I need help with taking care of him now. He says he'll try to do better and I tell him we are both doing the best we can, but it's not enough now, we need outside help. I'm so frustrated. I work full-time and have a husband who has OCD and with this situation, I'm overwhelmed. I need to find a person to help out with my father. I'm so worried about finding the right person, someone who will treat him well and take care of him. I'm not sure how to go about doing this. Some months back, I did speak with a social worker from Kaiser and she gave a list of agencies. Just so worried about finding the right care for him. Any suggestions will be so appreciated. Thank you.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 10:56 AM
Originally posted by: KML

Thank you for your suggestions. I have been cooking my father's dinners for seven years now. I portion them out and put in microwaveable containers with the days of the week written on them. I recently found out the Senior Center he plays bingo at offers frozen meals to purchase, so I'm picking those up this week. I've spoken with a social worker at Kaiser Hospital and have gotten a referral for home care. My dad does not want this. He just wants his daughters, but I'm at point where I can't be there as often or as much time as he needs. I feel like I'm letting him down. Thank you for your replies. I no longer feel bad about disabling his stove, I know I did the right thing. Now off to the next step, it's very difficult to take over someone's life, it is sad, but I know it's necessary.
 
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