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Overwhelmed Dealing with Dad
Hello everyone. I'm Tyler. 35. I'm not sure specifically what my dad has but it seems to be a cross of several things.
Dad doesn't get up to go to the bathroom, however he can make it out of his bed when he needs to go to the kitchen for a drink or a snack.
We feed him three meals a day with medications given at morning with breakfast and at night with dinner. He sometimes hoards food in his room, even uncooked. We've found open can of diced tomatoes, frozen dinner (sent by his insurance after surgery recovery, he's also a type 2 diabetic. Last night he ate almost two whole bags of donettes. He has no recollection of it. My mom works first shift so she goes to bed around 8 or 9 gets up around 6:30am for work. I work third shift and leave the house around 10-1030pm, return around 5-530am. During the day I take care of dad's needs as best I can. I don't do well with smells, my mom has a stronger stomach. She changes his sheets.
We tried to go to an elderly care attorney and they wanted close to $5,000 for PoA and asset protection. We need PoA for Medical and Financial, he doesn't have a lot in the way of financials.
He also drinks milk like it's going out of style. We try to tell him to slow down, but he'll usually do what he wants. Do we need to put locks on the fridge? We're both just so frustrated with things (my mother and me; his wife). We don't know where to turn and a lot of places don't want to hear from us if we don't have PoA
Frustrated in the Bluegrass.
Hi Tyler and welcome to the forum. This is a good place for support and advice, thoguh we are always sorry that you have a need to be here.
You are correct, you have to have POA, and it may well be worth the money in the long run. You can shop around for elder law attorneys (look at nelf.org), and there may be others with cheaper rates or who offer a free upfront consultation initially. But $5000 is in the ballpark, for sure, and though it seems like a lot, it will be worth it in the long run. The attorney can not only help arrange POA for finances and healthcare, but can also advise you about asset protection and what your state's requirements will be to qualify him for Medicaid if need be (for long-term care). Although you can in theory do this without an attorney, it's complicated, and it varies state by state.
Your best solutions on the food will be just to not have it in the house, unfortunately, or to hide it in a locked cabinet. there are many threads here about handling incontinence and optimizing bed covers/protective sheets etc.. there are also bed alarms you can get so you'll know if he gets up. If you read a lot of threads you'll learn a lot. It doesn't sound like he's safe to be left unsupervised at any time.
Good luck, I'm sorry. This is never easy.
I have heard people installing locks on the fridge but then you also have to be vigilant about attempts to cut the lock off with knives, scissors, etc.
I agree with M1. Definitely get the POA while you can. It is well worth it. You don't want to miss your window of getting that done and then needing to go with guardianship or conservatory. That costs a whole lot more and you have to deal with going to court for it. Not to mention how long that whole process would take too. We're currently going through that and it's very annoying to say the least.
My dad would wander and empty the fridge at night and then put the food back inside later. My family started getting food poisoning before they realized what was happening.
My mom put a lock on the fridge and that helped. You can also put a lock on cabinets.
Amazon has some relatively cheap locks
Safety 1st OutSmart™ Flex Lock, White, 4 Pack (amazon.com)
Amazon.com: fridge lock
I'm sorry that you all are going through so much. That sounds very difficult.
Hi Tyler - Some good advice here already.
Just adding that we do not keep any sugar in the house. Even some candy comes 'sugar-free', but you really have to watch that 'sugar-free' stuff, as it can have other ingredients that are not so good. Saw one that even listed 'sugar-free', but then had corn syrup. So we realllllly limit all of that, too. At height of pandemic, sugar was more difficult to come by. So we still go with that: 'sorry, can't get that right now - pandemic and supply-chain issues'. applies to sugar and anything with sugar involved. If you and mom really need something sweet in the house, yes, please hide and lock it.
Also agree that he shouldn't be left alone at all. and so sorry POA is so ridiculously expensive! HIPAA access is not, however, and hopefully that is in place.