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Thread: How to prioritize and anticipate aging parents' needs?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oddball View Post
    On paper, their affairs are reasonably in order. They have wills and medical directives and have done significant (50 percent) downsizing. I don't know all of their financial details, but I have access to their accounts and know where their files are.

    However, there is no clarity about how they will get out of their house. It's three stories. They could live on the first floor if they had to, and this seems to be their plan. If it's their deepest desire, I'd rather think about how to help them do this than try to persuade them otherwise. Maybe they will change their minds at some point, but I think it will need to be their idea.
    Hello Oddball, perhaps chiming in a bit late here but the above is somewhat similar to my late parents' situation except for the 50% decluttering. Mom died in 2015, Dad in 2017. On paper they had everything together: will/trust, medical and financial POAs. But their house? Stuffed to the gills from years of accumulation not only of their things but they also stored both a lot of stuff from both sets of grandparents. They did do some downsizing of large items such as a camper, a piano, some big equipment, their 2nd car but there came a point where Mom was no longer physically able to do it and Dad, well just wanted to do other things. Eventually the spaces they cleared out got replaced with more stuff. Going through the stuff was a nightmare complicated by a difficult sibling who was the executor (long story is posted on another thread).

    We started decluttering after Mom died and while Dad was still alive. I wasn't sure that was a good idea even though Dad said he was OK with it at first but it was obvious he was being pushed into it by executor sibling. As time went on, he became more stressed by the process because same sibling kept pushing for more than what he was comfortable with. At that point, I said we should stop because unless it's really his idea, this wasn't going to work.

  2. #32
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    Reviving this thread as we (all my mother's children - there are quite a number of us) recently had a skype meeting. I have one sibling (retired) who is the primary caregiver/lives closest to my mother and an another who lives with mom but still works. The rest of us are on the other side of the country.

    Anyway, my retired sibling has been talking to my mom (90 yo - adequate but declining health) and several decisions have been made by mom regarding her nearing end of life and actual end of life plans and wishes. While a very emotional session, it was amazingly rewarding, comforting, informative, etc. My mother has (finally) come to terms with her mortality and this skype meeting - at least for me - is helping me come to terms with not just her mortality, but my own. "Surviving" the death of a loved one when it is a surprise and sudden event is so different than having the ability to make plans and choices.

    No real point to this, except to say that I'm so proud of my mother and all my siblings for how all of this is being handled to date. I only hope that I can prepare myself, my children, and my other family and friends in such a fine manner.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  3. #33
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    Mother in law is 90 and has all her paperwork in place. She got her funeral all planned and paid for. She is now decluttering stuff. We got 5 boxes of books and 5 big bags of yarn to donate. She does not have a lot of things since not much comes in except for food.

    We plan on calling Habitat for Humanity Restore when she passes to take everything in her place. All but the bed, clothes, and perishables would be taken by them.

    Biggest issue is that inbetween time if she should become incapacitated. She placed her own mom in assisted/nursing home and dealing with it was unpleasant. Nothing we can do at present.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    DB is dealing with this as SIL had to start the school year. His supposed job was to get his parents in law into assisted living but they are stubborn and so he is doing things like install grab bars in their shower, yard work, cooking and chauffeuring. She is too blind to drive, he is too weak, but they will not give up their car and certainly not their house. They live in an area with no mass transit. He is driving them to all their medical appointments now but unknown what will happen when he flies back home.

    Their other daughter and SIL are longtime expats who will not move back to the US to help. It will probably take a fall or other issue to get them safely ensconced in some type of apartment living vs the single family home where they are now.

    It's hard when a person is mentally sound but won't acknowledge and accommodate their physical condition because you can't do anything.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    Then there is this guy, unwilling to give up his squatter lifestyle at age 81:

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/...e%20in%20Maine.

  6. #36
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    DB is dealing with this as SIL had to start the school year. His supposed job was to get his parents in law into assisted living but they are stubborn and so he is doing things like install grab bars in their shower, yard work, cooking and chauffeuring. She is too blind to drive, he is too weak, but they will not give up their car and certainly not their house. They live in an area with no mass transit. He is driving them to all their medical appointments now but unknown what will happen when he flies back home.

    Their other daughter and SIL are longtime expats who will not move back to the US to help. It will probably take a fall or other issue to get them safely ensconced in some type of apartment living vs the single family home where they are now.

    It's hard when a person is mentally sound but won't acknowledge and accommodate their physical condition because you can't do anything.
    The way you deal with this is to NOT do yard work, driving them around, cooking.

    i still remember the gold nugget of advice about responsibility offered here: tell your parents you will help care for THEM but not their STUFF.
    Help them get meals into their freezer or delivered, but maintaining a fully functional kitchen with stocked groceriesÖ.nope. Help them get to drís appointments but no driving to shopping for crap they dont need or other unneeded trips.

    My former neighbor has a responsible job engineering war machines at Boeing and also has an elderly mother who uses all of the standard ploys to avoid facing reality. She whines that she doesnt want him to disrupt his life to help her move to assisted living, but in reality SHE doesn't want to move, and he was at her house fixing, mowing, etc her house each weekend.

    She drug herself out of rehab after a fall, and refused to follow drís orders.

    she refuse a walker and cries when her kids speak to her about it, but she clings to each of them when going some place because she is unsteady on her feet.

    Our engineer friend spends many of his workdays now at her house, working from there, keeping an eye on her as she is frail and prone to falling.

    what a burdon.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    My parents downsized from a house to a apartment at 63 because my dad was sick. They were realists and so am I. They had all their paperwork in order from age 50 and their funeral expenses paid for by 65. I am in a condo and have bought my urn plot and have all my affairs in order.

  8. #38
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    My folks were all about aging in place, and had things lined up to do so--no hoarding, adequate money, support people to fix things--and then they became incapacitated and aging in place became trying to die in place. There were unsuccessful at that, since they both have incredibly strong constitutions and an indominatable subconscious will to live. Then a fall put them both in permanent assisted living, although my father up to his dying day was trying to get back home, would not sell the house, etc..

    Looking back at the process, my husband and I have promised each other that by 85, we will be transitioning to an apartment-based lifestyle where we do not have to drive. Of course at the time, he will probably fight that tooth and nail.

    One caveat--getting them into assisted living is not the end of the feeling of fear and responsibility, as things go wrong there, too. It may not be a problem when I get old, as I imagine involuntary euthanasia will be happening at that point. I don't see that all these Boomers will be offered the same kind of resources for care that this WWII vets are getting. No one has it in them anymore financially to care for their parents, and the generations that follow are quite bitter towards Boomers, so there's that.

    My parents were lucky in that their frugality gave them options.

    I tell people not to do what we did to try to help aging parents, but now that Dad is dead, I at least know that I can live knowing a great feeling of relief that I helped him, and he was very grateful, and I feel I played my part in the generations. I also modeled loving behavior for my own children, so hopefully, they will be willing to care about me when I am that age, if I make it that long.

  9. #39
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    There’s not a week that goes by where I don’t experience a small trip over something outside. I always catch myself but .i always think…next year, maybe not. In five years, you will go down Iris. Hermann is a sea of trip hazards outdoors.

    Inside, this house is fine for seniors.

    good for you Tybee in thinking about this. Remember how razz is always trying to get us to consider late-in-life living conditions. (Sorry that razz has been absent for some time.)

    I don’t bother trying to make a decision like Tybee about when we leave Hermann because DH will not participate. The best I can do is think about what I personally want to do. And I think about my sister-in-law who at a point moved herself to assisted-living and told her husband out on the farm “ You can come when you want to, but if I can’t make you I’m leaving anyway. “Within about 18 months he did move there.

    My own problem with Hermann is at the assisted living center is so ugly. Ick. There’s not one thing nice about it, not the setting, not the building. On the other hand, St. Louis has many nice places I would go.

    And really, our condo building is senior-friendly and is the last stop before senior assisted living. We have a couple people with walkers, and two young people in wheelchairs, and many people in their late 60’s and 70’s.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    We have many seniors in our condo building and most live there until they die. Most never need assisted living. I have been helping a friend for over a year and because he has Parkinson’s disease and a host of other issues it was either AL or a nursing home. He had a number of falls, etc before we convinced him it was needed. He is only 71 and always took good care of himself. He just lost the genetic lottery.

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