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My father in law is 83 and lives by himself in a semi. His bedroom and only bathroom/toilet are upstairs. He is the nicest bloke you could meet and has a great sense of humour. He is also the most stubborn bloke you could meet and his default answer to any question/suggestion is "no no no no..." He will not accept help from anyone for anything as he values his independence.

He has really dodgy knees which means his mobility is severely impeded. He has started to use a stick when walking but that's it. He only goes food shopping every 2 weeks now as its too much effort to go every week.

In the early hours of yesterday morning he awoke in his armchair (having fallen asleep) at 4.30 in the morning. Upon getting up to go to bed he fell and was not discovered by concerned neighbours until 10.00am having spent the 5.5 hours on the floor as he couldn't get up. Fortunately he hasn't physically hurt himself. it transpires that this isn't the first time he has fallen.

Now, as a result of this we have to get him to make changes in his life whether he likes it or not. He is going to hate this but strong conversations have to be had. We cannot pop down every 2 mins as he lives 150 miles from us. Our son pops in regularly as he only lives 15 miles or so away. He does have good neighbours but he needs to help himself as well.

As a result of the above so far we have decided upon the following...

- I have ordered an alarm call/fall monitoring system which I shall take with me next Saturday when I visit him. It's like a wristwatch but if he falls his house will be called by the monitors. If he does not reassure them they will ring his list of contacts who will come round to check on him

- I contacted Social services but they can do nothing unless he agrees.

- My son is picking up a couple of walking frames tomorrow or him: one for the downstairs next to where he sits and one for his bedroom. These are just so he has something to lean on when he gets up out of his chair or bed.

- A neighbour is installing an external key safe so they can get access if needed.

- I will install a grab rail next to his chair as an extra to the walking frame.

- My wife will be contacting his Dr tomorrow to arrange a home visit.

- When I visit him I'll be having several chats concerning a stair lift; social services; Power of Attorney etc etc

So the question is...can you think of anything else we can do/try?

Any sensible suggestions welcome.

ta
 
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Sounds pretty comprehensive Graham, and I'm sure you will also come up with other ideas, one I would suggest is online shopping if he has the capacity for that or maybe a close neighbour could go around with a laptop and do it with/for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Kev

I'll discuss that next Saturday. He doesn't have t'internet despite being with BT since they were the GPO! I have tried over the years to sort out his bills for the phone, gas and electric as he stayed with the "gas board" and the "electricity board" since they were privatised...as well as BT. He is the classic person who is on their worst rates as we know they don't reward loyalty.

My son can easily do that with him.
 
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I was going to suggest that or even you could do it too you don't need to be there, just set up an account and have a chat once a week about what he wants, of course then we get on to how much longer he can cook for himself and get in and out of the bath/shower, it comes to us all myself included.
 

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That's difficult fo you Graham, but you seem to have most things covered as best you can. Good luck with it. At least he isn't driving, stopping that and telling them they will have to have full time care are the hardest things I think.
 
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'Sell' the extra support to Dad, not as an admission that he has 'failed' [wounded pride is a strange thing!], but more of a way of keeping his independence, for the donkey's years he is going to be around, independent with necessary support, rather than having to consider going into residential care. A proud man, in possession of his full faculties, will have been frightened by the prolonged time before he was discovered, so the reassurance that this will not repeated, but that his independence will not be threatened will maintain his dignity and pride.

I had conversations with my parents, 'It's not for you, because I know you stubborn old buggers are old enough, daft enough and ugly enough to look after yourselves' It's to save me from worrying and having to drive 300 miles each way if there is a problem ... So there. Let me do something to help you, for once. You stubborn old sod' etc etc

Steve
 

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While walking frames give greater stability my mother ended up relying on hers just that little too much and toppled over with it and broke many bones. That was virtually the end.

Ray.
 
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The alarm you mention Graham, Is it just monitoring him or can he initiate to call for help like a pager if he is incapacitated? If not maybe a pager on an inconspicuous lanyard might be reassuring,
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No problem with that Ray - we'll be lucky if he uses it just for support to get up out of the chair. The young 'un is taking them to him tomorrow hopefully and he (the young 'un) is a cheeky blighter so may well get away with it. I've told him to put one in his granddads bedroom to make sure its up there.

I also told him to get the money for them as if FiL knows he's paid for it, then he'll maybe use it as he does not like waste.

What is massively frustrating is that we had a stair lift in our last house for Mrs GMJ. When we had it put in my FiL offered to pay for it (I told you he was a nice bloke) but we refused, not wanting to take money off a pensioner etc etc. When we had it taken out 5 years later as we were moving house we offered it to him and he refused. Had he paid for it originally we think he would have had it re-installed in his house as he hates waste and would have originally paid for it!

Thanks for the other words/support/suggestions folks
 
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If his mobility is not so good, why not try him on CBD oil. It really works.



Vitality CBD products are now stocked by Asda and Tesco. Some are also stocked by Lloyds pharmacy (with a huge mark up). Try the 2400 strength which costs £30 at Supermarkets. You could also order them online if you want.
 
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Mum died 25y ago. Dad was 70 and reasonably fit & healthy. They'd moved from a semi to a bungalow so stairs weren't a problem.

Gradually he deteriorated: his beautiful flower garden out the front turned into lawn and then we replaced it with stones and a flagstone circle, with plants in pots.
His memory started to go (not seriously) and he developed shakes: he became less capable but refused to accept it, despite all of the evidence.
He went out to the pub and shopping less often but when we introduced him to befriending services and day centres he insisted that he would only mix with his own friends: he quickly became lonely and more needy of our attention but refused to accept the evidence.
His driving got more dangerous and we took away his car: after cursing us he settled down to taking advantage of his bus pass but his limiting mobility meant that those journeys decreased: he had plenty of money for taxis but refused to use them, so he became a prisoner in his own home.
If I was here to answer the phone he rang 10 times per day, to tell me that no-one ever spoke to him. If I was away on holiday he rang 20-30 times, complaining that I was ignoring him. My kids often found our recorder system totally full so they had to listen to his rantings, which was quite upsetting. When he ended up in a carehome we refused to let him have a telephone, even though most other residents had one.

Although he had originally cooked for himself, he became less interested and would prefer a box of Mr Kipling's cakes to a decent meal (despite being diabetic). His fridge/freezer we filled with ready meals but he "hated" every one of them. We got a local cafe to bring him lunch but he complained irrespective of what was delivered.

Eventually we got carers in 3 times a day to feed him and see to his personal hygiene. He refused to let them in and we had to ring him up and persuade him to open the door.
We fitted a safekey box but he blocked the keyhole with blutack or matchsticks. He placed signs in the window saying "do not disturb".
He used a walking stick, then a frame and occasionally a mobility scooter: going anywhere became a chore.
He had an emergency fob but frequently left it on his bedside cabinet.

He had tiled the bathroom to suit Mum and refused to change things: I took him away for a week's holiday and he returned to discover a superb wetroom with shower, which he really liked (phew!).

One day he was found in a pool of blood beside the bed and within a week we had him in a carehome, which my brother and I had checked out in advance (brother thought that all homes were the "same" and that all charged the same fees: if you may go down this route start looking now and get all interested parties on-board!).
Dad wasn't happy in the home, where he lived for almost 3y. Fortunately my last two visits (on the way to and from a holiday in Scotland) were positive and he didn't get Covid, although he couldn't understand all of the restrictions.

I have a lot of sympathy for your situation and can only suggest that things may be harder than you anticipate. Please try really hard to discuss options with everyone who may be involved: you may have to insist on some difficult decisions but getting everyone to agree may lead to fewer problems later.

Gordon

OTOH MiL is 93 and manages to be independent in most ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The alarm you mention Graham, Is it just monitoring him or can he initiate to call for help like a pager if he is incapacitated? If not maybe a pager on an inconspicuous lanyard might be reassuring,
I's a fall detector plus he can initiate I believe. I'll know more when it arrives tomorrow. It comes with a lanyard or wristwatch-type arrangement. We think he'll go for the wristwatch thing as its less obtrusive.

I think the concept is that the base unit has a loudspeaker so if anything appears untoward with him, then the monitor team call him to check. If no answer or a problem they then call his main contact (which I will supply). If they are unavailable it works through the list of 5 contacts. If no one answers they then ring paramedics.

He has 2 neighbours who hopefully will agree to be on the list plus my son lives 15 miles away; his son lives 25 miles away; and another grandson 43 miles away. If all goes to plan they will make up the contact list.
 

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I read an article in Readers Digest years ago which told us to - make life changes in our fifties because in our sixties they become difficult, in our seventies very difficult and by our eighties we can forget it.

I found this with my mother who was the opposite of your FIL in that she faked ailments to get more help. Of course we could rarely prove she was faking. Nothing we suggested was ever acceptable. If it came from her it was fine. We learned to work conversations so that she thought she was the instigator of a change. We lied sometimes. I would say that I had ordered a service or an aid because she had either asked me to or had expressed a, now forgotten, wish to have the help it provided. She listened more, I found, to outside people. She was registered blind with macular degeneration so had visits from OT's. She would listen and enact their changes but not ours.
I noticed that she was very suspicious of family help as though we were all trying to fleece her. It is how old people get scammed they trust outsiders more than their family. You might find that a social worker will be listened to more than family.

I do believe that some elderly people want to self destruct. My mother in law was diabetic with a heart condition. When we visited her there would be a pile of chocolate bars beside her chair. We could not persuade her to cut down on things she wanted and I do believe that she was choosing to self destruct while she had capacity. Her sister had gone on hunger strike when admitted to hospital and died there. Sometimes we just cannot help people if they do not want help.

One thing that worked with my mother was buying her a taxi service for a Birthday gift. I told her that we had paid the taxi firm to come and get her whenever she called and that she must use the service or we would lose our money. It worked a treat and was a great hit with her because it got her out of the house (she had peripheral vision) to go to appointments and to get her shopping.
 

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When I read "As a result of the above so far we have decided upon the following...."I thought 'I hope that includes FIL'

I think Steve's post at #6 is probably the way to go. As others have mentioned, involving the person in the decisions (and even manipulating them as Patp suggests) means they have a vested interest and are far more likely to go along with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
At the moment the FiL has not been privy to any conversations as I explained, his default is always "no".

It sounds great to get him involved in the conversations but it wouldn't work. We know this through many years of experience. A combination of 'planting the seed' in his mind plus some fait accompli will work best. I had a good chat with him on Saturday pointing out that this wasn't normal (the falling over) and that he should come up with some ideas before the family all closed ranks on him. He tends to listen to me more than his son or daughter.

As Pat said earlier, if he had made changes in his 50s/60s/70s then we wouldn't be where we are now.

None of us are looking forward to the next week or two because he will not be happy but nicely ganging up on him tends to work. For example he was adamant he wasn't going to have the covid booster jab but after all of us nagging him, he is now thinking about it.
 
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My sis in law has been nagging at every opportunity the last ten years for us to "Not leave it too late" to downsize, clear the junk and come back to yer roots. Meaning round the corner to her. She was widowed about 5 years ago got rid of everything so her kids would be able to empty the house in 20 mins when she 'goes'. She has been sitting there waiting to go join 'him' for 5 years now while we have still been enjoying a busy and social life in France.

Now at 80 I do agree it's somewhat more obvious we will have to downsize. But we can't agree on the next location. So we put it off again.

Ray.
 
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We found my mum the perfect place to relocate to Ray. She lived in a three bedroom house with a large garden that worried her to death. The new place was a flat (she would not live in a bungalow in case the bogey man came through her bedroom window!) and it was very conveniently located for shops doctors etc which was her main wish. She viewed it but turned it down due to it having no washing machine because there was a communal laundry! Chris even offered to install her very own washing machine but she would not budge. Nothing to do with the right place and all to do with leaving it too late.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My FiL will never move. I have to make him understand that if his knees/mobility gets worse he wont be able to live there unless he makes a bedroom downstairs and uses a commode!
 
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