Need you help on how to care for ailing 82 yr old who does want t
My sister, 75, is the caregiver for her ailing husband 82. In the past year they have had many challenges. In Aug 2005, he drove from New Orleans to Texas to get away from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, having lost everything with their house uder 10 feet of water. They stayed with us for a couple of months and then moved into an apt. In the past year, he has fallen backwards down the cement stairs outside of their apt, knocked unconscious, experienced double vision, broke his wrist, and thankfully, recovered. He even had his cataracts removed in May; When we thought all was getting better, in June, he fell in their apt, cut his face and broke his hip. Amazingly, his hip healed beautifully. The cancer next to his eye (which was removed before the week before the hurricane), returned with a vengence and he is now receiving 6 weeks of radiation. The problem is that he doesn't eat and has no energy and is very tired. (His teeth were lost in rehab after he broke his hip). I think the radiation to his face is affecting his taste, causing swelling and making it difficult to manuever his food, not to mention pain. The cancer is so close to his eye that the radiation has caused it to swell shut and he may lose his vision in that eye. He is down to 122 lbs from 160. He shows no interest, no activiity, even though a PT comes in during the week. He would sleep 24/7 if not encouraged to move around. Other than going for radiation, or staying awake for the PH, he no longer does anything for himself, just sleeps in bed or sleeps sitting up on the sofa. The latest is that his gerontologist told my sister that his MRI shows vascular dimentia. He has always had a good memory and still seems to have a good grasp when awake, but is never very alert. His son (who has Hep C and cirrhosis) is being torn apart by his father's condition. Could the dimentia be causing his lack of interest, lack of appetite, lack of activity, tiredness, as well as depression from all that has happened to him. He is just going from the bed to the sofa. My sister thinks that if he eats, he will regain his strength and make a come back, but her son and I believe she is in denial. Can someone shed some light on this for us? Are these some of the symptoms of vascular dimentia? Should he be encouraged to eat and be active if he refuses or is too tired or do we let nature take its course? Please forgive my rambling. There is so much stress over what is the best way to care for him. I would like to be of more help to my sister. She doesn't drive, so she can't go out on her own and cannot leave her husband alone and has no other help. I am afraid that the stress is going to finally takes its toll. Are there any govt. funded home health services that could offer her some relief? They are solely dependent on their social security. I am trying to open doors for them to get some help. Please share your thoughts and ideas with me. Thank you.