Recently I had to place my father in a nursing home. A 4 day hospital stay did him in . The delicate balance between early dementia and Alzheimer's has now tipped over to Alzheimer's.
If you think you might ever become the "parent" to your parent I want to give you a friendly warning in reference to government agencies. It has been a nightmare the last 6 weeks and it continues.
Even though I became his financial POA and health POA back in 2006 Social Security, Pipefitters Pension and other do not recognize POA's. Now if he could say on the phone "my daughter has my permission" everything would be rosie. Now I ask you ... how would the guy at Social Security or the Pipefitters Pension know that the guy speaking those words was my father .... I mean can they see over the phone .... give me a break.
Two (2) very important documents are needed in order to file his taxes .... so far I haven't been able to obtain replacements. I guess I could write a note to the IRS and tell them to contact Social Security and Pipefitters Pension for those 2 forms because I can't get them .... hmmm that might not be a bad idea.
All I want is to have his mailing address change to my address .... that's it .... just to change the address. His checks are on direct deposit .... I don't want that changed ... just the damn correspondence mailing address. Oh and by the way filing a change of address doesn't work because the Post Office doesn't forward any Government type mail.
So here is my WARNING .... have your parent(s) speak those words over the phone while they still can do it.
This photo was taken in December 2007.
My father was residing at an assisted living home, able to take care of himself pretty much, did activities everyday, watch all types of sports on tv. In January 2007 he was diagnosed with early stages of dementia and needed help taking medications, doctor appointments, finances and the like. Also at that time his drivers license was revoked. Although he felt he could do everything on his own he did check himself into the assisted living establishment.
Fast forward to Friday, February 13, 2009. That morning he complained of chest pains, he walked out the door into the ambulance transport. It was first thought he needed a pacemaker but later it was determined his beta blocker was causing the problem. On Tuesday, February 17 I received a call that he was combative and although I had repeatedly told them he had dementia they said "he might have dementia". I had him committed to a local hospital's Daybreak Psych Unit; he had been there back in 2006. I forgot to tell you that in the 4 days he was at the 1st hospital he lost 4 pounds, was allowed to become dehydrated, they missed a UTI, he wasn't able to walk unaided or talk. So he spent 3 weeks at Daybreak and finally recognized me sometimes and could walk again.
All of these things pushed him over the edge and now he's closer to full blown Alzheimer's. On occasion he knows me. Presently he's residing at a nursing home.