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Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 12:53 PM
Joined: 4/30/2019
Posts: 1

My siblings and I are struggling to deal with the issues with my Mom, 82 who is showing obvious signs of dementia. Our problem is our dad 85 just heart attack and knee surgery in the last year, so all the focus has been on getting him care. But they both refuse to deal with the issue with my mom. How can we as their adult children intervene when the parents refuse to address issues? Thanks
Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 1:20 PM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 400

The the parents refuse to listen to reason, sometimes all you can do is wait for the 

inevitable crisis + then swoop in + take charge.

It really is important that their affairs are in order(DPOAs. health care directives, knowledge of where their records are, etc) but beyond that, sometimes you just have to give them enough rope to hang themselves(so to speak)

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 2:01 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17174

Please do not think in terms of "intervention". Rather think in terms of slow change of command.

Your parents need medical and legal attention. Do you have any idea where they are in the medical dept? Do they have a PCP that they see on a regular basis? What meds and OTC stuff are they taking? This you can find out by looking at pill bottles.

Legal care? YOu can start a conversation by telling them it was suggested to you to draw up a DPOA, Health Directive and Will then ask for their advice? That can get the ball rolling. Besides you do need to have these documents. Everyone does.

It is all in the approach.

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 2:19 PM
Joined: 7/12/2017
Posts: 1302

You need to approach it from their love of each other-

Dad, after all your surgeries if something happens to you, how do you want us to be able to take care of mom?  Can we get all that handled now so if something does happen it will be so much easier for mom

Mom, same as above

Don't go in wit "attitude" won't help, go in from practical you all older now, so how can we make sure down the road things are taken care of

Get the POA set up NOW if at all possible then when it hits the fan you will be ready

Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 2:58 PM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 1642

Well, at least it seems you and your siblings are on the same page. That's huge. 

An intervention is not appropriate to your goal of getting mom evaluated and a plan made to put care in place to support them. You want to collaborate and be seen as part of their team. If your mom has dementia, it's likely she also has a condition called anosogonosia and can not appreciate that she is not the healthy capable individual she always was.

Your dad may be a little in denial- accepting that your life partner is disappearing in a sense is more than most people would chose to face. Or perhaps he's unwilling to face the changes this illness will have on their lifestyle. Or maybe he's on the same trajectory but not as noticeably far along and already struggling with poor judgement. 

I would try to get the POA paperwork in place asap to avoid needing to obtain guardianship when the time comes to assist with their affairs.

Some people have had success communicating their concerns to the parents' PCP; HIPAA prevents this from being a 2-way conversation, but you can at least share what you are seeing and ask if a screening could be done. This works best if one of you goes along for the appointment.

Barring that, you can come up with a Plan B to be implemented if things go sideways. I could not convince my mother that dad needed to be seen. My concerns fell on deaf ears for several years. I knew the other shoe would drop at some point, so I did research around where I would want dad evaluated. I took a couple years and a full-on psychotic episode, but when it happened I knew where to take him.
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