What to do!? Dad's situation is really hurting my family!

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misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 12/14/2011 1:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I may have posted about this before, but I felt like I needed to vent. I am really down and depressed and worried about my dad and I need some advice or support. My post is really long but I appreciate any input.

I'm worried about my Dad(67 years od), and I'm worried about my welfare too should anything happen.

My dad and I had a little exchange of words earlier, about how he is spending his money on something that essentially a psychological crutch. Afterwards he sat outside in the car for a really long time and the first thing that I thought of was, “Oh my god, he has his guns still.” Noting happened, but that is how unstable he's been lately, that I actually thought of that after I pissed him off. The point is that he is completely out of touch with reality and has no concept of what is right, what is wrong, and what is in his best interests—as well as mine.

He doesn't eat, and is being treated for it with an appetite medication, which he doesn't take. He also hasn't bathed in a while. His driving is likely illegal as he doesn't wear prescription lens. His hearing causes arguments and misunderstandings, and yet he does nothing about it. So every time he goes out in the car without me, I always get anxious that I'm gonna hear about him being in a wreck and hurting himself or someone else.

Then he has what is almost certainly skin cancer again on his head, and yet he won't see a doctor for it. I mean seriously, if there are nodes there—with his history of cancer—it's definitely cancerous. Small cell carcinoma can 'turn' into melanoma next time.

Then, obviously, the money. He obviously has no grasp on reality and financial matters. I wish I could manage the money and appointments for him, but without some sort of power of attorney to take care of him—I can't do those things.

I feel like I have no choice. Next year is not going to be any better. Even if our bank do drop our mortgage to its normal payment (we're paying double payments because he skipped several months without telling me and they went into foreclosure), that means nothing unless I can start to pay on the actual capital—-not just the interest. Otherwise, we'll still lose the house. Even if this year's taxes are paid, what about 2012's income tax? How will he pay for that?

He has a slew of health problems. His emphysema and heart issues are likely going to kill him, if skin cancer doesn't. If I had some sort of guardianship ability, I would have the legal right to sit in with him and have more control over his medical records and treatments—just like I do for myself, basically. He's not eating right, he's not sleeping right, he's getting mean and deeply depressed, he can't see, he can't hear, he has trouble breathing, he almost faints from blood pressure, and he has skin cancer that he is refusing to treat due to the myriad of mental illnesses he has.

If I had some sort of guardianship of him, I could get him to see a REAL doctor for his mental illnesses. I doubt he will get much better, but the right medication can make all enough difference to keep him from doing...dangerous things, and only a real psychiatrist who evaluates him can make a good judgment on that. I can't do it so he needs to see a psychiatrist, which he will never do by himself.

He goes from happy, to sad, to mean & selfish. And it's getting more extreme, especially with the depression. He sits alone in our second living room, surrounded with pictures of my mother who died in 2007. I mean surrounded. He has at least 40 pictures on the walls around him, on his stands, and desk, and he has a small stack of loose photos that he looks at...and talks to. At first, it was just a sad thing he did and I felt sorry for him...now I am honestly sort of scared. He talks to the pictures now even when other people are here, and he sobs to them. He stares at them in his hands and falls asleep with them spread out across his lap and a cigarette in his mouth. He pets the pictures sometimes, or kisses them. It's beyond just a sad thing, it is a really reaaally creepy—very ill thing. He need seriously help and he won't get it himself because he's so ill!!!

He's just really, really sick, and while nothing is going to 'fix' him—I think if I did something more than just talking to him, that maybe he would have a shot at least of improving the quality of his life and maybe even ruling out....any actions against himself that he might take in his depressive moods.

I don't know, do you think I sound crazy? I just feel like there is no point in trying to reason with him anymore. He's out of touch with reality and needs someone to actively be taking care of him. He needs someone to say, 'I made a skin cancer appointment Tuesday, and so we can all go.' Drive him there, sit in with him there, take notes and understand the type of problems he has and how we can alter that.

And if he got his money in order, I could manage things around the house better too. He could still do stuff like vacuum, and write to people, and do dishes, and fold clothes.. And then if he had money in order, if I needed to, I could just HIRE someone to chop wood or buy wood for us, hard stuff like that. He has no reason to be doing that, at all.

I just feel like I have a short period of time in order to make decisions like this and explore our options, and to talk with him about it maybe. I mean, putting off stuff for another day might mean that the next day doesn't come so that's why I felt like I needed to get this off my chest.

If anyone has any idea of what I should do, I'd really appreciate it. Any links or articles about it would be helpful, anything about taking guardianship over an ill parent who can't take care of themselves. Also, I'd like to hear what anyone things about my situation—and what you'd do in it. Do you think I am being radical, or does it sound like he is truly so ill that he needs someone to take care of him from your perspective? I also have an older sister who lives away from us, but she is open to the idea...we just have no idea of if it is plausible and how.

Thanks for any help.

Post Edited (misterkatamari) : 12/14/2011 12:58:46 AM (GMT-7)


bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 12/14/2011 2:26 AM (GMT -6)   
First I would google power of attorney/guardianship so you know the basic terminology and concepts...then you call an attorney who special;izes in this, if possible..Your Dad will kick and scream (I mean who wants to give up their indeopendence). Attorney can get ball roling...your dad is obviously severely depressed-has he had any counseling after your Mom died? Meds and counseling might help him a great deal. How do you get him there? Haven't a clue, but you area bright young man, you'll figure it out. Psychologist's report is necessary for court also, social worker etc.

You sound like a good son and I hope you find some help for Dad-it would certainly help with yr probs too

Good luck and keep posting

maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

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kelsrox
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 12/14/2011 3:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Definitely agree with Maggie. You would have to speak with an attorney. You could try to have him declared mentally unfit or something of that sort. You could only get a legal power of attorney if he is aware of what he is signing. Remember that a contract is not valid if the person signing it doesn't have all their mental faculties. You could try to get him hospitalized, he might be angry but it sounds like one way to go. At least in Louisiana, if a person is considered a threat to themselves or someone else, they can be held involuntarily for up to 72 hours while they're evaluated. You should check out the laws/rules that apply in your state.

I have no idea if I helped, but I will be thinking of you and if I were in that situation, I would do something similar to what I stated above. Good luck and keep us updated.
Kelsey; 25 year old lady suffering from a slew: Depression, Anxiety, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), etc.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42435
   Posted 12/14/2011 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   
It all starts in probate court. You have to go there to get the ball rolling. I did it with my mother. And they even held court at our house because I coudlnt' get her to the courthouse.

Best wishes, I think you are doing the right thing.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

misterkatamari
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 374
   Posted 12/14/2011 3:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I see, thank you all so much.

I just want my dad to be able to live the rest of his time to the fullest. I don't want him to sit in a hospital, so I think if I just had the authority to represent him and have more influence on decisions regarding his health and finances, then maybe he would slightly improve. I guess if he had to be hospitalized short term that would be ok to manage his acute problems, but I know none of us wants to seem him in a long term care facility unless we have no other choice.

I'll talk it over with my sister more, and look at the online information too. Then if we need to, we'll get an attorney and get that going.

I just wish he was thinking properly...so it sorta bums me out, but I guess all I can do is focus on what *I* can do for him and myself. I can't 'fix' him or make him better, but I can maybe give him an environment that allows him to get there himself with medical help. And no, my father never really saw a psychiatrist before and he just gets his meds from a family doctor..so he really needs a specialist to work with him on mental issues.
--Patrick, aka Misterkatamari

I'm active on several boards. Main issues are: Chronic Pain due to Scoliosis & 2 Herniated Discs, possible DDD and arthritic facet joints. Also active in the Depression/Anxiety boards. Meds include: Prozac 40mg, Xanax .5 mg, Tramadol 50mg

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell

kelsrox
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 12/14/2011 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I understand you don't want him in a permanent care facility. You should speak with him about at least being allowed to have access to his medical information (it's just a form he signs that says you have the right to hear what's wrong or know what's going on with him without him being present).

Good luck and I hope you guys get this figured out!
Kelsey; 25 year old lady suffering from a slew: Depression, Anxiety, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), etc.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42435
   Posted 12/14/2011 4:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think you need an attorney for probate court, but it might not hurt to talk to one. As long as all members of the family agree with what you want. I would call probate court and find out there.

I wish you luck.

It is hard sometimes, but I did it myself. It was worth it to have control of finances to make sure that bills got paid. What you are doing is smart. You will have access to the checkbook too. I would put in for conservator along with guardian.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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