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Old 02-15-2016, 01:07 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,141,183 times
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Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
My 81 year old grandfather drove himself to the ER Friday night complaining about shortness of breath. Six years ago, he suffered a heart attack while sobering up as a severe lifelong alcoholic. He pulled out of that fine, and actually had a partial knee replacement done three weeks ago, and was driving himself to therapy within a week.

Unfortunately, he had been prescribed something I understand to be a diuretic to treat fluid buildup, and he had stopped taking that after the knee surgery because he had to go to the bathroom too often. Once off the medication, he had a significant fluid buildup, then got down with pneumonia in one lung. He's stable in the ICU now and looks like he'll pull through.

This is a complete case on his part of not following basic medical advice and ending up the worse for it. While he may have gotten sick anyway, the not taking the medicine made things go from bad to worse. He's been stubborn and caused a lot of grief for his relatives.

Do you think you're stubborn and create grief for younger relatives? Do you try to take into consideration what they say when making decisions?
I must wonder if toileting is becoming a challenge given your statement:

"he had stopped taking that after the knee surgery because he had to go to the bathroom too often."

That might have been a euphemism for incontinence. Someone should check into this. Maybe he needs some support for toileting / incontinence mitigation. Feeling more in control in that arena may lead to better compliance with medical protocols.
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Old 02-15-2016, 01:25 PM
Location: Idaho
1,454 posts, read 1,155,024 times
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Some elderly people become more 'stubborn' as they get older. This unreasonableness or illogicality could be a sign of cognitive impairment, mild or early dementia.

The article below can be of help to understand and to deal with 'stubborn' elderly relatives

Dementia - Turn "No" into "Yes" | Help for Alzheimer's Families

One of the most common frustrations among family caregivers is the propensity for people with dementia to say “No!”

The reasons are actually pretty straightforward. Dementia impacts memory, reasoning and language. It’s hard for the person with dementia to understand what we ask of them. When we are asked to do something we don’t understand or we feel uncomfortable with how do we respond? No!

But to turn that no into a yes when dementia is present, family members and professional care givers have to become leaders and provide lots of encouragement. Home Instead Senior Care, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s in home care, trains their professional CAREGivers to try three times, in three different ways, to turn a no into a yes.
Back to the OP's original question: "Do you think you're stubborn and create grief for younger relatives? Do you try to take into consideration what they say when making decisions?", my answer is no simply because I am a 'youngist' senior. So far, I have not caused any griefs to my daughter. However, I can not be certain to be immune to mental decline and cognitive impairment 20 or 30 years from now. If I do, I can only hope that my daughter to be understanding, sympathetic, patient and treat me just like I treated her when she was a 'terrible two' ;-)

Last edited by BellaDL; 02-15-2016 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 02-15-2016, 02:47 PM
Location: New Jersey
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I gave older relatives grief as a stubborn young person.
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Old 02-15-2016, 02:59 PM
Location: Tennessee
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Originally Posted by ABQ2015 View Post
Most of us on this forum are still a little young to be in a situation where we have significant health episodes or younger relatives are required to take care of us. But there have many stories on this forum regarding stubborn parents in their 80's and 90's who refuse to move out of their large homes that they cannot maintain or refuse to accept home healthcare workers in their home. And we all know of people who just refuse to go to the doctor until they are in serious pain. I think the Baby Boomers are much more amenable than the previous generation to downsizing and medical assistance but I'm sure that some of them will be just as stubborn as their parents.

Our current family situation with a stubborn relative concerns my brother who refused to accept financial advice from me or my other brother and is now in dire straits from investing 100% in oil and gas. But we are all in our 60's. The only advice my younger relatives give me concerns electronics. I don't have a cell phone and don't text and that annoys them. Usually when they want to get in touch with me ASAP to ask for a favor that has to be done right away in their minds.
This is basically where I think it is heading. They have a reasonably large house on a hilly lot in southwest Virginia and it's difficult to mow and take care of. In the winter, it doesn't get much sun, ices over, and is hard to get up and down. There are a TON of various shrubs and things she's planted over the years (she loves working outside with plants but has little skill/taste with it), and there is little open grass now. What grass there is has to be delicately mowed as to not mow over the other things, and she's complained mowers are charging a fortune to landscape the property. IMO, all the various plants ought to just be removed and the yard taken back to just grass and trees.

He had been able to mow the place and may have even mowed last year, but with each passing year it's going to get more delicate. The house is a split foyer that is just not designed well for older or impaired people - steep stairs leading to the basement, small bathrooms, narrow hallway, etc. Other than doing the laundry, they haven't really been using the basement (which has a large den and storage area) in years. It's time to get something on one level at a minimum.

Grandma appears to be getting senile, has hardly been driving for at least several months and has fallen several times in the last few months. Grandpa had been able to watch over her, but no one feels comfortable with her being left alone, so two of the kids are rotating staying over there with him in the hospital. He won't let her really do anything for him and is basically doing everything himself. She's had knee problems of her own and is not all that mobile. They've always had a rocky marriage with his drinking and they nag each other constantly, making it difficult for people to help.

Fortunately, he's now off the ventilator and is in step down from the ICU and is likely to be released later in the week provided his pneumonia treatment keeps responding well.
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:16 AM
Location: San Diego
476 posts, read 510,307 times
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I can understand why he wouldn't want to take a diuretic after having knee surgery. It was probably very painful everytime he had to get up to pee. Maybe he should have a bedside commode so he doesn't have to walk as far? It's not as if his goal in life is to give you grief. Try to understand Why he would stop taking medication or whatever else he is doing that seems stubborn. He probably has a valid reason and there is probably an easy solution once you understand his side.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:58 PM
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,868 posts, read 14,377,315 times
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I think there is more to the story of the 81 year old man who didn't take his pills. He might not have understood why he needed to take them, for one thing. If he was told about them right before hospital discharge, he may well have forgotten by the time he got home.

And, I agree that he needed care for the days following surgery, to make sure he was following orders.

The guy didn't start out to cause needless worry for his family. He was trying to manage himself, and he didn't like urinating so often, for some reason we don't know about.

His family could have been more involved in his recuperation, in my view.

As to me and my DH: we don't get advice from our kids except in technical matters. We do have good communication, but they haven't seen fit to advise us on how to conduct our lives. We don't advise them on that matter either, except we have in the past urged them to save money.

My elderly mother used to live like she wanted until she couldn't live on her own any more. No amount of talking, advising, recommending, etc could convince her to change her behaviors. She was too forgetful, for one thing. And she didn't ever like being told what to do. She was lucky to not have had a stroke when she was forgetting to take her meds, and she was lucky not to have had a car accident when she was struggling with her driving. There isn't any thing you can do with a demented, forgetful, stubborn old person. I don't know if your friend's father fits that description or not.
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