Caring for Father with late diagnosis (73yrs old) health deteriorating fast

Hi, my dad was diagnosed with MS around 1.5 years ago after years of problems with his mobility… he is now 74 and has been told the scans show he could of had this for decades… within the last 3 years his mobility, mental and physical health have deteriorated fast. He is a very proud man, has lived on his own for nearly 30 years and will only accept little help from myself and my sister. He doesnt want carers etc… he is strugging with incontinence but wont admit this. Hes fallen multiple times in the last few months… i just wanted to connect with someone who has had a similar experience or any advice. Me amd my sister work full time and have young children but still clean/shop/generally do as much as we can for him but we are struggling to see him the way he is. Thank you

Of course he doesn’t want carers. Who wants carers? But that isn’t the same as not needing them. I think you need a care assessment from Social Services to give an objective and dispassionate look at what he needs. Probably a OT assessment too. Then you can have the discussion about how to resource any identified care needs, whether through Social Services or, if your father has the resources, privately-funded help. Ideally, you and your sister should see yourselves as managing and supervising the care arrangements (which will be a job in itself) rather than hands-on. I k know all that’s easier said than done.

I experienced similar with my Dad. He didn’t have MS - just got old. He fell a few times including once when he was trying to prepare a meal. My two sisters and I basically worked as one and told him he has to get help and we took over making the arrangements including some sort of financial , disability payment ( can’t remember which one) and we also arranged for a ‘falls’ help pendant thing. It helped that one of his near neighbours was a retired nurse who was more than happy to back us in all this. For us it was just a matter of taking a united, firm/hard line along with a bit of emotional black mail ‘ we don’t want to find you on the floor with a broken arm after a fall yesterday ‘etc etc

P.S it is hard for both the elderly, disabled parent and the ‘children’ when roles are reversed and I hate to say the obvious but it won’t get easier. However by no means will you be alone in experiencing this. Best if you and your sister work together and share not only the practical things but the emotional journey.

On the topic of falls, we were advised to get our Dad checked over after each fall. Dad would try to dismiss this but I think that having nurses checking him did slowly drive home the message that he was no longer the young fit man he once was and that he was getting to the stage of needing help.