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Old 08-09-2004, 12:10 PM
mom2-4's Avatar
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Need help with my parents!!!

My Dad has been diagnosed with COPD. This was about three years ago. His company of employent and Dr. forced him to retire.

My mom is not old enough for medicare, so she can not retire yet. Dad would also like her to keep working to increase her income after retirement.

My Mom is rather jealous of my Dad for being able to do this. She is fast approaching that age where she will be able to retire with all the benefits, and it will be very comfortable for them. Money is not an issue, as my Grandmother just passed last year, and Dad received a very nice inheritance.

Now my Mom has always been the complainer. Never Dad he was always so laid back and not much got to him except when kids were too loud for him.

Here is an incident that just took place this weekend. Mom had a birthday celebration for all the August birthdays in our family. This consisted of four birthdays, which is the norm. My entire family attends, My brother and his family, my sister and her family, and my sister, and of course me and my family. It is about 18 people.

Well, Dad is the picture taker in the family. The party was held outside, it was windy. When the candles were lit for one of the cakes we had the birthday person blow the candles out quickly. And Dad did not get a picture.

He got very upset and started going off, that there shouldn't be any more parties, and yes, he even cursed(Dad very seldom ever cursed). Mom offered to put the candles back in the cake, and he got even more mad! He went inside and did not speak to the rest of the family for the entire time.

After this happened, my sister piped up and said that she can imagine how he feels with having COPD. We feel miserable when it is humid out and we can not breath. That is how he feels all the time. This apparently irritated Mom, and she got snippy with my sister and was rather rude to her for the duration of the party.

Mom does not go to Dr. visits with Dad. He did tell Mom that the Dr. told him to get out and push himself, that he is too dependent on the oxygen, and he needs to loose his belly. I don't know if Mom even encourages Dad to get up and get out.

Is there any suggestions as to how we as children can help our parents deal better with this situation? Any advice? How would you like your kids to intervene wtih a situation such as this?Should we as kids push Dad to help his situation.

Should we as kids, help find Mom and Dad a social group to join?

Please help us with this situation!!!
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Old 08-09-2004, 03:15 PM
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Mom2-4.....Your Mom is not an old lady yet. I am sure she can handle things alright herself. I am 67 years old and still feel quite capable of making decisions about my Dh who is ten years older.
How old is your father?

Your Mom should accompany him to the doctors office. That way she can explain to him what he should do. Looks like Mom needs a little sympathy about her situation. Maybe you can all help him see how he can improve his lifestyle, with good food and exercise.
"The only reason why people hold on to memories is because memories are the only things that don't change when everything else does."

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Old 08-10-2004, 05:51 PM
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I know my mom is not an old lady. And I hope I didn't sound like I was saying that at all. She is actually the same age as my father, only a 5 month difference. they are only 62.

I have suggested to mom several times that someone should go along with him to the Dr.s. She just says "I know." I guess someone should.

I guesss my question is. Would it be being too pushy if one of us(their children) were to just step in and decide to go to the dr. with him?

I now he does not ask questions, or pay much attention to what is being said. As one time when he was in the hospital, I went to visit him. And it just so happened that he was being discharged that morning. So I volunteered to wait for him to be discharged and take him home. I had to tell the name of his Dr. because he wasn't sure of his family phys.'s name.

And just stuck his prescription in with the rest of his discharge paper work.
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Old 08-10-2004, 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by mom2-4
I guesss my question is. Would it be being too pushy if one of us(their children) were to just step in and decide to go to the dr. with him?
Karen - my FIL has COPD along with hypertension, diabetes and kidney disease. His doctors want him to get out and walk some...but not to push himself.

I go to every medical appt. with him. There have been times that he misunderstood what the doctor said so I had to ask the doctor or nurse to call and clear it up.

Also, it is very important that they are aware of every medication that your Dad is on.

If your mother refuses to go to the doctor with him or can't get off work to go, then maybe you, your sister & brother can take turns going with him. He might actually welcome the idea...or decide that it is a good decision after the first time someone goes with him.

My FIL fussed the first time I went with him but now he actually likes that there is a second pair of "ears" in the room or a second mouth to offer information or answer questions.
Hook 'Em Horns!!!!
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Old 08-10-2004, 06:36 PM
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mom2-4..... I live in a Adult Community where everyone is over 55years old. They have learned to overcome their handicaps by joining groups and participating. There are many couples in their eighties that still drive and travel.

If I was not with my Dh in the hospital he would be dead today. He is Diabetic and was in low blood sugar many times without the nurses even realizing it. It became a medical emergency each time. Many nights I slept in his room until he was on the road to recovery.

I would accompany him if your Mom cannot. I know your Mom is under alot of stress right now. She still loves all of you and shows it with family birthday parties.

There are many places on the web you can research and join to talk with others with the same problem. Help out as much as you can.
"The only reason why people hold on to memories is because memories are the only things that don't change when everything else does."

Last edited by Sueanne; 08-10-2004 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 08-11-2004, 01:07 AM
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Thank you ladies for your input.

My sister and I were discussing this about my Dad. We didn't know what to do. I told here I would post on my message board. That I would get some helpful input from there.

Abear thank you for the info. about going to the Dr. with your FIL. Now, at least I know when one of us goes to his first visit with him even if he gripes to just keep having someone go with him.

Sueanne thank you for the message board about COPD. I found info. about chair exercises, maybe that is something we can start him out on!!

Thank you both soooo much!!!
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Old 08-14-2004, 11:01 AM
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Your dad also sounds a bit frustrated at his not being able to do what he used to do. Sometimes, as we age there are some behavioral changes and these should be discussed with the doctor so that he is aware, and at the same time, can evaluate the meds he is taking... sometimes meds can alter mood.

Your parent/s might be having little episodes of depression, this is a very good possibility....Your mother might feel a bit overwhelmed with your dad since he's been home and not well

It would be good if one of you girls or both of you, alternate, to go with your dad on his appointment/s. Perhaps calling the doctor before the appointment and telling him of your dad's behavior. Explain to the Doctor that you feel he's forgetful about the doctor's instructions... But I will tell you that someone has to go with him.

If the doctor wants him to do more limited exercising, there are therapy/rehab type facilities that will follow the exercise plan outlined by the doctor. I would seriously look into this. We have one such facility here in a small town. I would imagine you can get that even through your local hospital.... in the REHAB section

You can soften it all by telling dad you'll go with him to appointment and then you can both go to lunch together. That will give you time with your dad and you can also observe him without interruption of other family members.

I was a medical assistant for 15 years, and I can't tell you the times that patients came in without a family member, and they would forget everything the Doctor told them...(It is said that patients, young and old, forget 60 percent of what the Doctore tellls them) even to when they were to return. At times we would pin the new appointment to the inside of the jacket lapel. That worked for one person.

You have to also understand now with the new privacy acts, unless you dad agrees and signs a paper, you can't get any info as to his condition. That even extends to wife and family members. I tried to call the insurance company for my husband to ask a question and they would NOT give me any info without his signing a release.. ( which he did and they now have)..

So, before it comes to an emergency situation, y'all best get these things set up.

These are just suggestions that might help.

I assisted my parents is caring for my grandmother. I assisted my mother in caring for my father. My sister took on the responsibility of caring for my mother. We did what we were able to do. They never complained. Sometimes, parents are reluctant to ask for help.....because of pride.....try to understand, that they were always the care givers, it's hard to accept that we are getting older ...

Some are heartier than others, and as a couple, can handle things very well...some can not do it all.. you'll have to see where your parents are in these parameters..... Maybe just a little help and guidance, or even knowing y'all are willing to help... *s*

Abear is a saint. There is a special place for her in heaven.
She is nurse to everyone in her family. *hugs*
Get a rise out of life!- Bake Bread!

"A hundred years from now, it will not matter the sort of house I lived in, what my bank account was, or the car I drove....but the world may be different because I was important in the life of the animals and the creatures on this earth."
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Old 08-14-2004, 01:58 PM
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Thank you for your input!!

I now realize that at least Dad anyway is reluctant to ask help of us.(his children)

Apparently he was not feeling well at all last weekend when this "outburst" took place. He went to see his family Dr. on Monday night. The family Dr. told him he had a rapid heart rate, a slight fever, and his stomach was upset due to some type of flu. To go home and take some gas-x and call him back in two days if he is not feeling better.

Now this would have been ok instructions for someon like myself. But, the family Dr. knew of his medical history. And did not do anything about the rapid heart rate.

On Thursday, I got a call from a pulmonary Dr. that they had a patient there that needed a ride to the hospital, and he requested to call me. The patient of course was my Dad.

Dad, said he didn't know who to call, that I was the only one he could think of. My brother and older sister were at work, as was my other sister. And of course so was my Mom.

He seemed a little upset that he needed to call me. I assured him it was no problem. He even wanted me to leave when I dropped him off at the ER. I told him by no means I was going to wait until he was settled in his room.

I will also be buying a cell phone and giving the phone number for dad to put in his wallet, just in case he needs it any time.

My sister and I will be getting together with my other sister and brother. To discuss whether the other sister and my brother want to be involved with us helping dad out and accomodating him to Drs. visits, if they don't so be it. My sister and I will do it on our own!!

Again, thank all who have given their input. And assuring me that yes, I might be stepping on toes by assisting Dad to Dr. visits but that won't hurt the toes, or the family!!!
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Old 08-14-2004, 04:44 PM
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My mom was also diagnosed with COPD a couple years ago when she almost died. She went into heart failure. Her diagnosis was COPD and a touch of emphasema and she is now also diagnosed with diabetes. She was on oxygen for a long time but once she started using diabetic cook books and losing weight and using exercise to help with her blood sugar, she is now oxygen free. If your dad can get out to walk that will help. Walking is one of the best exercises and it is free. Also, losing weight seemed to help my mom and it might help you dad as well with his health problems.
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Old 08-14-2004, 08:00 PM
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Sounds like it is time for a medical alert bracelet or tags.

My mom and I took turns taking Dad to many of his appts as she worked and I had little kids.

Also, this has proven very important for my FIL that his meds are on a list that we all carry a copy of. Dr.s can easily prescribe a duplicate or competing meds if it isn't clearly laid out.

And I recommend a log of appts and treatment recommendations, etc. I've had my chart lost when it was desparately needed. Another time, I was changing clincs and wanted to expedite my new chart, and they wanted to charge me $3 per page. It was free if the new cliic requested the info though. What crap to prevent potential law suits. The new clinic gave me a copy of all for free.

This log can also include daily recordings of temps or blood sugars or just how he feels. That can hep a dr tremendously.

Both my mom and my MIL have gotten overwhelmed by the day to day care and have made poor decisions as a result of bein gso tired. They were to close to the problem to see a serious change happening and ask for help. My FIL is now in 24hr care and doing better as nurses can really watch his meds. Tax point: If we take him out for even an hour it is no longer 100% deductible because then it reverts to "daycare" as opposed to necessary medical care.

My dad died because he sat on the couch for a week - literally - because he wasn't feeling well and his feet hurt. By the time I was to see him again Saturday morning it was to late. My mom called the ambulance that Friday night. He had a heart attack, ruptured bowel obstruction and his feet were dead. We let him go.

She was working. He was a grouchy guy. I wasn't dropping in on him as frequently because the kids irrated him so I had to wait for my hubby to be home. He works long days my hubby.

Could I have gotten him off the couch? Not without a big fight and it was probably to late already. My mom had let him set up the latest appts himself and the docs had put him off about fixing the arteries in his legs with several more tests scheduled weeks apart. I didn't know the process had bogged down.

I probably should have been more pushy about helping and ALWAYS being there. My advice to you, consider being more pushy. Get him a treadmill. Keep the kids off of it. Can you get one with an odometer to track his miles??

Good luck.
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