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Thread: Aging Parents

  1. #11
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    Please test for B-12 deficiency...trying to get it for my MIL can account for some fuzziness. Google B-12 and seniors and see what you get. Hugs to you about getting your dad to stop driving. I've heard some people use the "you can't drive on your medication" and take the keys until they forget to ask. We're now living with my 92 year old MIL who is doing pretty well with us but is very stubborn about being independent.

  2. #12
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    I have a friend who worked for a company that provided some basic help for seniors like driving to appointments, light cleaning and stuff like that. I remember looking into it and although I don't remember how much it cost, I remember thinking it was pretty reasonable considering the cost of other kinds of care.

    Also, do they have any good neighbors around that might be willing to check up on them? Both my sister and I have, at various times, given neighbors rides to doctor's appointments, picked things up at the store for them and stuff like that. My neighborhood actually has a lot of people who do that kind of thing for each other. There are a couple of ladies around here who are retired, but relatively young (late 50s, early 60s) who have made the elderly neighbors (80s and 90s) their pet project. They check in with them once in a while and just see what they need. It just makes them feel good to be able to help. If they attend a church you might be able to find someone who would be willing to do that too. I know there are some people at my church who do that. It's not an official thing, just a neighborly one.

    Also, I don't know what kind of area they live in but here in the Twin Cities and also near my Grandma-in-law's house there are busses that specifically help handicapped and elderly people get where they need to go. Grandma-in-law is 99 and lives alone in a walk-up apartment. She uses that bus to get groceries, go to church and go to some doctor's appointment. I don't know any details about it at all, but it might be worth looking into.
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  3. #13
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    I don't really have much to add, other than to give you some support. I would look for free services.

    It's really tough. My hubby's maternal grandmother had buckets of money and moved into assisted living (her own apartment). That was great.

    His paternal grandparents had a house and SOME money, but wanted their independence. So that meant they expected my MIL and FIL to do their laundry, clean their house, etc., even though they could afford to hire someone. It may be something with their generation wanting to keep the money they saved and pass it to their kids, and not have to pay it out to a home. But they also were getting belligerant in their old age and would say they'd do something - but not, and laugh about it. Now the grandma is in a home, (grandpa died).

    My father lived alone until he died at 81, but he was losing his memory and shouldn't have been driving.

    My mother just died recently, and she couldn't walk, wouldn't eat, etc., which was very hard on my stepdad as her caregiver.

    I wouldn't say that your brother is getting off "easy". Maybe yes in the expectations. Occasionally my SIL will make comments that she'll take in my MIL and we can just send money. I love my MIL and would help her in a minute, but I don't have the same relationship. Years of family dinners, free day care, etc. etc...it's not an even comparison in the slightest.

    IF your parents need more money to hire help THEN for sure you should share in the burden with your brother. Or rather, he should share in your burden. HOWEVER, if your parents can afford it, they should spend their own money.

  4. #14
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    I'm going through some of the same things with my 86 year old mother. My brother lives with her and provides a lot of help, but he doesn't "get" the little things, like how she wants to get out of the house once in a while and "shop". She gets tired very quickly, and it rarely occurs to him to take her wheelchair. Since I am nearly 500 miles away, my assistance is somewhat limited, but I do what I can.
    Can you talk to your parents' dr. about getting therapy for them? My mom recently completed physical, occupational, balance, memory and speech therapy, and the therapists came to the home. Some of the results were better than others, but they all had some value. PT and OT can help them figure out new ways to do old things as arthritis makes it impossible to do things in the same old ways. If they are taking daily medications, you will need to help them find ways to make sure they remember to take them every day.
    They may not want to move, but there may really be no option. Assisted living communities are not like they used to be, and it might be a good idea to start visiting some. There will be people to do the cleaning, and some errands, too, and transportation is often provided for shopping trips and doctor appointments. Adult day care centers offer the chance for socialization, as well as someone to check up on them. My mom's litttle town offers transportation for seniors to go anywhere within the city limits, for any reason, for a nominal fee ($1.50) That can substitute for driving. In some places, there are homemaker services, which will be paid in full or part by Medicare. This isn't available in my hometown, but it may be different for your parents.
    In the meantime, if you can put some tasks on a schedule, you can be sure they will get done. Change flashlight batteries and smoke detector batteries on the same schedule, for example. See if you can arrange with their pharmacy to have prescription refills ready automatically, for example. Maybe you can hire someone to do grocery shopping or other errands for them, or drive them to doctor's appointments. You don't have to do everything yourself, but your responsibility is to see to it that these things get done, by someone else, if necessary. If your kids are old enough, they can do some things, too, and should. Care of our elders is a sacred trust, and we should all be willing to help out.

  5. #15
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    Do they have a spare room? Could they take in an au-pair girl or boy or exchange with a student one room for some hours help?

  6. #16
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    I thought of another service that might help your parents while they are in their current house. I know a lady who is an organizational expert and, I think, occupational therapist. She consults with elderly people in helping to, as much as possible, "seniorize" their homes.

    She says there are a lot of things elderly people do because they have always done them that can be dangerous or just more difficult as they get older and sometimes they just need someone to point these things out and help them correct them. Sometimes it's putting railings in the bathroom or moving things around in cabinets so they are easier to reach or putting grippy mats in places that get wet. Having observed my grandparents, I think that would be a useful service. They are definitely creatures of habit and wouldn't necessarily think of things like that on their own. I think she said her average visit is a few hundred dollars.
    My blog: www.sunnysideuplife.blogspot.com

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  7. #17
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    There are retirement facilities which are tri-level: independent living > assisted > full care. My husband works for a facility which is fully independent, meaning they can come and go as they wish. Their meals are included in the rent. But they don't have the upkeep of a home to worry about, and there is transportation to appointments provided.

    You could call some of these types of facilities. They have management who are experienced in talking with seniors and their families, presenting the options in a non-scary way. Some of the most reluctant seniors end up being the most content in the long run.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  8. #18
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    Indianapolis has apartments for seniors that include a daily bus schedule to nearby facilities like shopping, library, grocery, RX, etc. These are really nice places and I have gotten brochures and toured plus talked to residents. Each building even has a resident advisor. All utilties are included for around $550 for studio and up to $800 for a big 2 bedroom. There is also a new service where for additional cost additional servicesllike nursing and housekeeping can be arranged thru an outside service, if needed. They have an active social program too.

    It is a safe and easy to maintain place to live and looks just like any other apartment building with the added benefits of inside garbage deposit, inside mailboxes and individual safety features. They even allow dogs and cats.

    It takes some investigation but there are a wide variety of housing situations out there. Some advertise and some do not.

    I understand the issues involved since we are now in the situation of having an 80 year old 650 miles away. She is recently widowed and right now wants to stay in the house. We are waiting for the crisis to occur that will mandate she move here.

  9. #19
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    I would second the suggestion to look into VA assistance if your dad is a veteran. Thankfully I didn't have to force this decision to move to a facility on my father. At 81, 2 years ago, he decided on his own to move to an assisted living facility, mainly because of the stress he felt about feeding himself, which he had been doing with moderate success in the 3 years since mom died. He picked the facility on his own and it seems to be a good place so all is good for us. But I remember reading on their website at the time that there was assistance available through the VA for vets of limited means through a specific program.

    For the OP's parents getting them into a facility now so that they get comfortable with being there would probably be a lot easier transition while they still have each other for support then it would be once one passes away and the other has to move to a facility alone and scared about the unknowns of moving to a new place and "starting over.

  10. #20
    Senior Member citrine's Avatar
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    I definitely can empathize with you. I will be the one who will take care of my parents since my brother is in another state. I am not sure how you feel about moving them in with you...but that is something I would do. That way you can work, have someone stop in to see them during the day, and they will have the loving interaction with the grandkids as well. However, this situation can be very stressful for you and your husband.
    I also agree that you should reach out to the Senior Center in your community and see if they can be signed up for some classes/activities for during the day. They also have buses that will take the seniors to their appointments as well.

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