I'm home from a couple of days at my dad's house.
I really know nothing more than when I received the frightened phone call from him at 10:15 on Sunday morning.
He had an episode on Saturday night in which he was too weak to walk, it frightened him, and he called 911. By the time the paramedics had broken in through the back door of the house, dad was able to walk, and got to the ambulance under his own steam.
For some reason when he got to the hospital, he de-emphasized his weakness and talked instead about insomnia and vivid dreams. So the ER doc released him with a prescription for a sleeping pill.
Other possibly relevant facts:
Dad had a car accident (slow motion fender bender) on June 10. He was distressed about this, but had not told me or my brother.
In the day (days?) before his episode of weakness, he hadn't eaten, except for sips of water. (Why? No clear answer.)
When I arrived, he seemed fine. He always has difficulty walking-- a knee injury that should have been operated on a long time ago plagues him. He has a somewhat frail appearance, a little more frail each time I see him. He ate everything I provided for him while we were together.
I told him there are basically four possibilities at this time:
He can come to live with me.
He can go to live with my brother.
He can live in some kind of assisted living facility (preferably near me or my brother).
He can stay in his house with modifications-- meals brought in, someone to clean regularly, people on a schedule to check in on him and drive him where he needs to go, severely restricted driving (if at all).
He wants none of these options. To him, he had a bad moment, it has passed, and all is well.
I am a pastor. Churches are filled with old people, with children of old people, and grandchildren of old people. This story is nothing new. It is a situation everyone in my congregation has been touched by on some level. I am witness to people making all kinds of decisions, good, bad and indifferent, about their own or their parents' care every day. I am also witness to people making no decisions, and untenable situations stretching on and on.
When I left I had in place:
Someone to prepare meals for my dad and assist with grocery shopping. This includes some social interaction for him at least twice a week (he wants to do the shopping with her).
Someone to stop in to check on my dad a couple of times a week.
An interview to be scheduled by Senior Services of the county he lives in.
Someone to visit him next Monday to talk about cleaning his house.
Someone to take him to the dentist next Tuesday (a minor adjustment of his bridge).
Someone to take him to the bus, to come visit me for a week, next Wednesday.
Now let's see how much of this actually comes to pass.