What If You Try To Help Your Aging Parent With Dementia And No One Listens?

Please Share

Hi, Carolyn here. I hope you are doing well and getting through your day.

Today we’re discussing frustrations with the healthcare directive (a document that enables you to act on another person’s behalf for healthcare decisions).  Sometimes its also called a healthcare power of attorney, or a living will.  Not everyone understands how it should be used, or even what it means.   The following is a situation that really took place in an assisted living facility involving a caregiver daughter who is the lawful agent for her mom’s healthcare directive. Mom has dementia. The treating doctor decided to try her on a medication to treat the symptoms of dementia. But, now he’s out of town. The daughter, herself a nurse, noticed that her mom had diarrhea and it started exactly when she began the new medication.

Nothing else in mom’s diet or other medicines had changed. The daughter asked the administrator to stop giving the new medication until the diarrhea problem was discussed with the doctor. The daughter was appointed by Mom to be the agent on the healthcare directive. She has the legal right to stop the medication. The administrator refused to stop the medication.

The administrator is wrong in doing so. The mom is no longer competent to maker her own healthcare decisions.  The purpose of a healthcare directive is to appoint a competent person to make healthcare decisions when an elder is no longer able to do this. The administrator insisted that mom had to refuse the medication or it had to be given.  Regardless of diarrhea.  Of course, this is dangerous.  It could lead to dehydration and that could cause other, serious health complications.  Mom has no idea what medication she takes and won’t remember if her daughter suggests that she refuse the medication. What should the daughter do?  She had contacted us for a consultation before this incident, so we were familiar with the general circumstances of her mom’s health. We know that every assisted living facility in the state has a liaison, called the “ombudsman”, whose job it is to serve as a go-between when there are resident or family complaints about a facility. We advised the daughter to contact the ombudsman immediately. We suggested how she approach the subject and what to say. The ombudsman has the obligation to investigate the problem.  It’s possible that a conversation among the administrator, ombudsman and daughter will lead to the desired result.  But ombudsmen are  volunteers, and are generally not medically trained.  There is a chance the ombudsman won’t act or act fast enough. If asking the ombudsman for help did not work, the daughter would have several other alternatives.

She could contact Mom’s doctor’s office and find out who covers his calls when he is out of town.  She could contact the substitute doctor, explain the situation, and ask that that M.D. order stopping the medication until the treating doctor gets back in town. Another approach is to stand by mom’s side when the medication is about to be given to her (along with the medications she needs and will take), and direct her mom to refuse the new medicine. Finally, she could put her request in writing for the medication to be stopped on the basis of her right to make this decision as mom’s agent for healthcare.  It is amazing how making a written request creates a record and has a way of getting the attention of administration.

If your family is having aging parent problems and you need advice, we are here to help you. You can get a complimentary strategy session by clicking right here.

Until next time,

Carolyn and Dr. Mikol
AgingParents.com

Dr Mikol Davis & Carolyn Rosenblatt

Tiny URL for this post:
 

Please Share
JUST RELEASED “The Family Guide To Aging Parents”
Stack Of CashCheck out our latest website: AgingInvestor.com click HERE to learn more
FREE Report: “One Critical Step You Must Take To Avoid Your Aging Parents Debts”
CLICK on the image Below
Testimonials by our readers
"Thank you for the article on the "grey area". It validated what I am currently going through with my Mother. It is so painful for me to go back and forth with her behavior. I just don't know what to do about the estranged sister who has exploited well over $50K of my mother's savings and my Mothers admitted " lack of "will power" to say no to her." Robert ________________________________ "I do want to thank you for the Webinar you offered. It helped me a great deal as I was facing the need to lead our family in finding a safe living situation for our mother. That information and the other information you offered as downloads gave me much needed guidance when I was feeling tremendous anxiety and uncertainty." Betty
FREE Report: 10 Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help With Money
Get Quick Tips – Newsletter FREE…. Just CLICK Below
Categories
Archives
  • What To Do When Medicare Screws Up Your Aging Parent’s Bill August 21, 2017
    Most of our aging parents receive Medicare, which is supposed to pay “covered medical costs”. And for the most part, it does. But then there are the mistakes. Are your aging parents helpless when Medicare refuses to pay for something that…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Nip A Predator’s Scheme In The Bud — Stop Your Aging Parent From Becoming Prey July 12, 2017
    Rhonda is a 91-year-old widow and lives independently. She has a few million in investments and has planned well for retirement. Her two sons are busy and leave her to make decisions about her money independently. What Rhonda’s sons didn’t…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Intrusion or Just Being Safe? Monitoring Aging Parents’ Finances June 13, 2017
    For most adult children with aging parents, there is often the dilemma of whether or not they should be involved with monitoring their aging parents spending habits. You want to honor their independence, but what if they show signs of…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Heed These Warnings About Aging Parents’ Medications June 9, 2017
    Is your aging parent one of the many battling Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia and taking medication? Dr. Elizabeth Landsverk, a Silicon Valley, California-based geriatrician, recently quoted in an article in The Mercury News, strongly advises against elders…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
FREE Report: Mental Wellness Technique For Stress Relief