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We've had a break through with Mom -- assisted living is on the table!

clifffaith

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Cliff took my mother for physical therapy yesterday while I stayed home to wait on the SubZero repair man. My sister, who lives with my parents, was still pet sitting because her people had been delayed somewhere by weather, so she could not take Mom as planned. Cliff gets Mom back home and sits to chat with my parents a bit. He about fell off his chair, and had to really restrain himself, but Mom announced in front of my "We will never sell this house" father that she will be moving into assisted living at some point. Truly the only assistance she needs at this typing is transportation and house keeping, but that could change in an instant as we saw this summer when her leg got so bad.

Cliff told me "don't say anything until she brings it up again". Apparently, although she still insists on being Dad's care giver, she has seen what it takes and knows that it would be better to be in an environment where there is help. I am alternating between being glad she won't be at home with my sister who is unreliable and has some mental issues, and feeling like with us eventually 2 hours away in Carlsbad worrying if we can visit often enough to keep her from falling into a depression. She is quite chatty, so I don't worry about her not making friends there, but being without family will take some getting used to. Although Mom could probably do just fine with a helper of some sort cooking, cleaning, driving her, the issue remains that my darn sister, living rent free and being given their car, should be able to do that for her and won't. So best to sell the house out from under Hope, give her some inheritance money up front, and let her do whatever she decides to do and where ever she decides to do it.

Would love to have Mom move to Carlsbad, if not "with" us at least in assisted living near us. Then we could bring her to our apartment as a change of scenery for her, take her out to dinner, oversee her care, etc. Once Dad dies (fingers crossed he makes it through Christmas, their 66th anniversary the next day, and his 87th birthday the day after), she'll need a grieving period. I think a year after that we can start working on what kind of facility is available locally, float the Carlsbad idea, and see what things cost. Easy enough to have her live with us (there's room for Hope too) if her home sells before a spot opens up where ever she wants to go. I have, shall we say, a tendency to want to be in charge (Cliff says I'm bossy, my childhood nickname was Top Sergeant) which I need to curtail as Mom finds her way to where she wants to spend her last years.
 

DaveNV

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It’s hard to “like” a situation where people are aging, and admitting they need help, but I know what a struggle this has been for you. Let’s hope the situation sorts itself out to your satisfaction.

Dave
 

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My mother has lived in a retirement community for about 7 years. It offers all levels of care. Last year , at this time, we moved her into assisted living from independent living. She wasn't happy about it but didn't fight us either ("us" are her 5 children). It was so much work moving her. When we moved her in she was at "level 5" in assisted living (on a 5 point scale), meaning she needed the most services available. Yesterday we had a Care Plan meeting w/the facility staff and my mom is doing so well that she's getting moved down to a "level 3". Given that my mom has dementia, I would have NEVER thought this was possible a year ago. It was such good news! Assisted living really can be a wonderful thing -- in my family's case it sure has been.

I hope that thing work out with your mother so that she's safe, happy and near to family so it's a suitable arrangement for all.
 

rapmarks

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Happy for you Faith and Cornell
I know my husband will need it soon, he can no longer work the tv remote, I am fixing it all the time. He doesn’t like me doing things without him, he is in men’s league three days a week, comes home upset with his game, is getting depressed, and wants to go somewhere all the time, but where is the question.
 

Cornell

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Happy for you Faith and Cornell
I know my husband will need it soon, he can no longer work the tv remote, I am fixing it all the time. He doesn’t like me doing things without him, he is in men’s league three days a week, comes home upset with his game, is getting depressed, and wants to go somewhere all the time, but where is the question.
It's so hard. My mom had been fiercely independent , so a few years back things were much harder when she'd try / insist to do things, while we knew it wasn't possible. Slowly, that's eased up over time. However, just last week she claimed she ordered some slippers from Lands End (there is no way she could execute this task) and keeps wondering why they aren't showing up.
 

clifffaith

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It's so hard. My mom had been fiercely independent , so a few years back things were much harder when she'd try / insist to do things, while we knew it wasn't possible. Slowly, that's eased up over time. However, just last week she claimed she ordered some slippers from Lands End (there is no way she could execute this task) and keeps wondering why they aren't showing up.
My mom can't use the computer at all. Since Hope tries to avoid doing things like grocery shopping with or for her, Dad has been ordering groceries online. Works out well except that there is really no way to tell Vons "we DO NOT want 1/2 gallons of milk, yes quarts are more expensive, but when we say 4 quarts, we mean 4 quarts because gallons are too heavy for us". She can look over Dad's shoulder to tell him what to order (because he hasn't got a clue), and he even got a bigger screen so she could see with her bad eyesight, but he is stingy with his passwords and she throws up her hands and says "I can't do it" when we suggest we sit with her to show her how. This would be a perfect intro to computers for her, but like pulling teeth to get her to want to do it.
 

pedro47

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Clifffaith, know one knows what you are going thru until they walk in your shoes. IMHO.

It is very hard watching love one goes down and sometimes they cannot remember from one second to the next second. It is very hard trying to please them liked helping them to eat the proper food daily and clothing them, etc., etc.,....

I wish you happiness and peace of mind. Good luck
 

WinniWoman

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This is good news that she is coming around to the idea of needing help. I have been through it with my mom so I know. It will be for the best for everyone. I agree it would be better for her to live near you so you can visit her.

Best of luck. Unfortunately it is something we will all have to face for our loved ones and ourselves. Some won't even be able to afford it which makes it incredibly harder to find a good solution.
 

Tank

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It's tough seeing our loved ones go thru this, it's not easy for anyone truly involved.

We have lost all our parents. We don't know how we might be when we grow old, but I told my kids if I act up unreasonable to tell me I'm acting like Harvey , my unreasonably father-in-law.

That might sink in , might understand , might not by than.

Good luck , it's not easy, but you'll get thru it

Dave
 

geist1223

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My Mom resisted Assisted Living and considered it the same as being committed. Then 3 strokes over 3 months. The last being so severe she ended up with Multi-infarct Dementia and she no longer had a choice.
 

bogey21

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I moved into a CCRC at age 65 to insulate my kids from having to deal with me in my old age. Marketing tells me the average age of those moving into my CCRC is 78. I'm now 84½ and in good shape but just for the heck of it the other day I checked out the Assisted Living floor in my CCRC. Here are my observations. The rooms are very nice, the help appears attentive and the dining room and food are excellent. One thing that really got my attention. The single rooms are spacious and spectacular. The double rooms are much smaller and their bath rooms have only a toilet and was basin. No shower. Those in double rooms have to use a shower (or tub) down the hall. So why are people in doubles rather than singles. Two things. The first is cost. The singles are a lot more expensive. We are talking something like $11-$12 thousand a month vs $7-$8 thousand a month. And Second, the doubles are for those who basically can't do anything for themselves. In short Residents in the doubles are many times being warehoused in contemplation of death. Note that I am not being critical here. Just stating the facts as I see them...

George
 

Tia

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A friends husbands dad had in home care, he didn't want to go to assisted. One day last summer friends husband got called back from big GOLF trip due to emergency with his dad. That was the last straw and he moved his dad into assisted living. The dad loves it!!
 

rapmarks

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I moved into a CCRC at age 65 to insulate my kids from having to deal with me in my old age. Marketing tells me the average age of those moving into my CCRC is 78. I'm now 84½ and in good shape but just for the heck of it the other day I checked out the Assisted Living floor in my CCRC. Here are my observations. The rooms are very nice, the help appears attentive and the dining room and food are excellent. One thing that really got my attention. The single rooms are spacious and spectacular. The double rooms are much smaller and their bath rooms have only a toilet and was basin. No shower. Those in double rooms have to use a shower (or tub) down the hall. So why are people in doubles rather than singles. Two things. The first is cost. The singles are a lot more expensive. We are talking something like $11-$12 thousand a month vs $7-$8 thousand a month. And Second, the doubles are for those who basically can't do anything for themselves. In short Residents in the doubles are many times being warehoused in contemplation of death. Note that I am not being critical here. Just stating the facts as I see them...

George
chills my heart, my aunt was in a double the last few years, herd them out into a common area all day. My mother was in one for seven weeks in a hospice situation
 

SteelerGal

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I am glad your Mom is slowly realizing.

We are currently dealing w/ this as a family. Mom’s Mom, now 100yr old, is fiercely fighting against moving to assisted living. Currently my Mom is her night aide and is miserable. Unfortunately due to my Grandmother’s mental illness and being her only living child , my Mother has had to be her caregiver, in some capacity, since I can remember. We’ve already told my Mom that she has a year and then Grandma has to move. It’s taken some time for my Mom to rebound after my Dad’s death so we all hate to see her miserable.

Then add my Husband just lost his Mom. And there was a major disagreement regarding her Care, so it’s a huge discussion point in my family.
 

clifffaith

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I moved into a CCRC at age 65 to insulate my kids from having to deal with me in my old age. Marketing tells me the average age of those moving into my CCRC is 78. I'm now 84½ and in good shape but just for the heck of it the other day I checked out the Assisted Living floor in my CCRC. Here are my observations. The rooms are very nice, the help appears attentive and the dining room and food are excellent. One thing that really got my attention. The single rooms are spacious and spectacular. The double rooms are much smaller and their bath rooms have only a toilet and was basin. No shower. Those in double rooms have to use a shower (or tub) down the hall. So why are people in doubles rather than singles. Two things. The first is cost. The singles are a lot more expensive. We are talking something like $11-$12 thousand a month vs $7-$8 thousand a month. And Second, the doubles are for those who basically can't do anything for themselves. In short Residents in the doubles are many times being warehoused in contemplation of death. Note that I am not being critical here. Just stating the facts as I see them...

George
As we did our research on CCRCs we found we liked the idea of assistance being provided in your own home, vs being moved when you needed help. So I will take up the slack with Cliff for I hope a long time, before a "shower person" and "man sitter" spells me so I can go out for a couple hours. I'm then hoping my cats and I will have a comfortable living for many years before someone needs to visit me on a daily basis. But all care being in your home until skilled nursing or memory care is needed is what we liked, as well as still being in the community if we had good days mixed in with the bad. Of course I'm the one who can't walk comfortably and uses a cane, so it could be me needing help before Cliff!
 

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I am glad your Mom is slowly realizing.

We are currently dealing w/ this as a family. Mom’s Mom, now 100yr old, is fiercely fighting against moving to assisted living. Currently my Mom is her night aide and is miserable. Unfortunately due to my Grandmother’s mental illness and being her only living child , my Mother has had to be her caregiver, in some capacity, since I can remember. We’ve already told my Mom that she has a year and then Grandma has to move. It’s taken some time for my Mom to rebound after my Dad’s death so we all hate to see her miserable.

Then add my Husband just lost his Mom. And there was a major disagreement regarding her Care, so it’s a huge discussion point in my family.
A big discussion in my family as well. My mother is 98 1/2 and moved into an assisted living facility a couple of months ago. Now she must move over to their "memory care" unit because of her increasing dementia and physical needs. Not easy and it gets expensive ...
 

Sugarcubesea

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As I am reading this, I want to write myself a letter to be opened at a proper time. A couple words to myself -- like listen and cooperate.
My biggest concern for myself is when I lose the ability to drive and be independent vs being dependent on others...
 

Fredward

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My mom can't use the computer at all. Since Hope tries to avoid doing things like grocery shopping with or for her, Dad has been ordering groceries online. Works out well except that there is really no way to tell Vons "we DO NOT want 1/2 gallons of milk, yes quarts are more expensive, but when we say 4 quarts, we mean 4 quarts because gallons are too heavy for us". She can look over Dad's shoulder to tell him what to order (because he hasn't got a clue), and he even got a bigger screen so she could see with her bad eyesight, but he is stingy with his passwords and she throws up her hands and says "I can't do it" when we suggest we sit with her to show her how. This would be a perfect intro to computers for her, but like pulling teeth to get her to want to do it.
Have you looked into having a home health aide (like Visiting Angels, etc.) come in once a week to help your parents with simple things like ordering groceries? It sounds like they are doing ok for the time being, even with the limited help from Hope. When we were no longer able to keep my mother in her home, due to falls, we had to find an assisted living facility nearby. Since many of us have faced this challenge already, I'd like to add one comment on our experience. While facilities may look nice, with friendly staff members, the turnover in staff is unbelievable. It is a tough job taking care of the elderly, aides in particular are not well paid and it can become terribly overwhelming/depressing for them. Yes, its really expensive and better care should be proportional with price but having family nearby is essential. If and when the time comes for assisted living, I think you're on the right track having them nearby.
 

b2bailey

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Faith, wanted to comment regarding the aspect of you being the 'more capable' sister. It was this way for me, with my sis. But more clearly so because she was diagnosed with a mental disorder. Maybe it would be easier for you if you could view Hope as incapable rather than unwilling. (And be grateful that you have been gifted with a stronger skill set all around.) Surely, you would not have wanted been born the weaker sister.
 

clifffaith

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My biggest concern for myself is when I lose the ability to drive and be independent vs being dependent on others...
That's how the downward trend happened with my parents. Mom with getting a garden fungus in her eye, leading to a cornea transplant, hasn't driven since May 2017. Totally freak occurrence that took her from driving to dependent over night. ("Good" eye has developed a cataract that should be removed but they've held off hoping the transplant would restore sight in the bad eye; the two year old transplant is now showing hints of rejection).

Dad's driving just started to go downhill as he aged, such that my sister drove if they were going somewhere together because she was afraid to be in the car with him driving. A parking lot accident summer 2018 led to being called in to an off sight DMV office where they talked to him to determine if he still had his wits about him, and I think to watch him maneuver around to see how physically able he was. That led to a DMV driving test just a few days before last Christmas which he failed. He insisted he'd try again, but by Christmas Day he decided he'd give up driving.

Two days later, on his 86th birthday, paramedics took him to the hospital; we think the stress of giving up the DL brought on the asthma attack, and with him already having COPD, it was not a good situation. After a month in the hospital and rehab, he came home with hospice. Appeared to be on death's door, but rallied in the spring so he was up moving around, although still housebound. Our Oct/Nov fires and bad air dropped him to a new low, but he is now able to get out of bed again some days, although so unstable on his feet we wish he wouldn't.

Not really much that can be done about ageing, and everyone ages at their own pace. The difference between my father when he was 81 and we had to put a stair chair in at our house for him, and Cliff at 81 is striking. I am an old 63 because of my back/leg issues. But the freak accident my Mom had, out in her beloved garden and not even realizing that something had been introduced to her eye until she woke up with her eye streaming two days later, means one's life can be turned upside down in an instant.
 

clifffaith

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Have you looked into having a home health aide (like Visiting Angels, etc.) come in once a week to help your parents with simple things like ordering groceries? It sounds like they are doing ok for the time being, even with the limited help from Hope. When we were no longer able to keep my mother in her home, due to falls, we had to find an assisted living facility nearby. Since many of us have faced this challenge already, I'd like to add one comment on our experience. While facilities may look nice, with friendly staff members, the turnover in staff is unbelievable. It is a tough job taking care of the elderly, aides in particular are not well paid and it can become terribly overwhelming/depressing for them. Yes, its really expensive and better care should be proportional with price but having family nearby is essential. If and when the time comes for assisted living, I think you're on the right track having them nearby.
You've made me realize we should advocate for Mom to be near us in Carlsbad or Oceanside. We'll remind Mom of one of the rehab facilities Dad was in where he got nipped by an employee's little dog, and then to a person the response was "no dogs are here". Only because we went snooping around while Mom sat with Dad did we find the dog in an office. The nip was not the real issue, although it broke Dad's very thin skin, everyone denying it was. We realize how little the care givers make. Before Mom decided she no longer wanted the help she did allow from Feb-April, she had talked to one woman about half day or every other day work at $25/HR compared to the $15 the agency paid their employee.
And it's not like Dad is a good patient, he's the same SOB he's always been except on days he can't get enough breath to make his demands known. Although even then he can still wield his little call bell with a vengeance.
 

pedro47

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To the OP, suggestion only, asked your local Hospices organization for a home health aide. In our area they were very helpful with referrals.

Please explain upfront to the agency that your Dad is not a hospice patient, but the family needs a good home health aide to care for him.
 

WinniWoman

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Have you looked into having a home health aide (like Visiting Angels, etc.) come in once a week to help your parents with simple things like ordering groceries? It sounds like they are doing ok for the time being, even with the limited help from Hope. When we were no longer able to keep my mother in her home, due to falls, we had to find an assisted living facility nearby. Since many of us have faced this challenge already, I'd like to add one comment on our experience. While facilities may look nice, with friendly staff members, the turnover in staff is unbelievable. It is a tough job taking care of the elderly, aides in particular are not well paid and it can become terribly overwhelming/depressing for them. Yes, its really expensive and better care should be proportional with price but having family nearby is essential. If and when the time comes for assisted living, I think you're on the right track having them nearby.

Trust me - with most of my life working in the Home Health Care Industry - when I tell you it is not the pay. It is the nature of the work.
 
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clifffaith

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Faith, wanted to comment regarding the aspect of you being the 'more capable' sister. It was this way for me, with my sis. But more clearly so because she was diagnosed with a mental disorder. Maybe it would be easier for you if you could view Hope as incapable rather than unwilling. (And be grateful that you have been gifted with a stronger skill set all around.) Surely, you would not have wanted been born the weaker sister.
Both Cliff and Mom have a better handle on Hope than I do. During one of my mini rants about Hope's absence pet sitting when Mom's leg had blown up like a balloon, yet my father still expected to be waited on hand and foot and Mom insisted on doing the waiting, Mom said "Hope has never been responsible, and will never be responsible". And when I grouse that Hope is living rent free without being any help to her parents, to say nothing of having had half her rent and groceries paid for by them for decades when she had an apartment she couldn't support on unemployment or disability, Cliff asks "would you ever in a million years want to trade places with her?" So yes, she is incapable, but it pisses me off.
 
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