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  #1  
Old 10-13-2011, 12:39 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Thinking Of Putting My Mom In Assisted Living

So I have been pondering this a while. She is 75, in poor health, and she lives an hour away from me. I have written her doctor a letter expressing my concerns. The doctor's office called and told me that they could only discuss my concerns if my mom was present. OK, we have an appointment tomorrow.

I have talked to my mom for years about her living situation but to no avail. Her philosophy is, "if I ignore it, it will go away." Sadly, that time has passed. I know I will be the "bad guy" for starting this, but it has to be done.

So, any thoughts or experiences with older parents in assisted living?
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2011, 12:46 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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No experiences yet - my mom is almost 70. We're still having the "I don't need a hearing aid" fights (she doesn't hear anything we say if she isn't looking right at us, but her hearing doctor said her hearing is normal - I think what he meant was normal for her age). Anyway, I digress - I wish you all the best for doing what is best for her, and her letting you.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:54 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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None of it good, sadly. My Mom went into assisted living after having a stroke at 82--we researched carefully and I still wasn't happy with it. Beware of chains like Sunrise.

They didn't have enough staff, really, so we had to hire a private-duty nurse (an additional $5,000/month in addition to the $8,000/month the place cost--none of it covered by insurance, of course).

When Mom deteriorated to the point past "assisted living," they booted her ass to the sidewalk and we wound up finding a nursing home that not only took Medicaid, but was a terrific place--well-staffed, well-run, I had no complaints about it (except that it was in the middle of nowhere and made visiting Mom a "get up at 5:00, get home at midnight" affair).

Sorry I do not have better news, but some clouds just do not have silver linings.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:11 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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$8000.00 per month? Yikes.
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2011, 01:15 PM
sevenwood sevenwood is offline
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This is never an easy process on either side.

My wife and I are at the age where we've pushed our moms into independent/assisted/nursing homes (both of our dads died off early) while at the same time telling our kids "don't you ever do this to us".

The problem is that from the parents side (and as I get older I find I'm appreciating that side more and more) it's safety be damned - old folks want to continue living in their own homes as long as they can. if they/we die as a result, no biggie - everybody dies. As the parent's child you need to understand that point of view.

In my mom's case, she led a happy, independent life until she got pneumonia at the age of ninety. She went to the hospital and from there into assisted living and finally into what they euphemistically called "the skilled side" of the nursing home, never making it back to her own home. I'm totally convinced that everyone did the right thing from a medical point of view (and she was quite happy during her four years in assisted living before moving into the skilled-care side of the nursing home), but I have to admit that a part of me keeps wondering if she'd have been happier spending, say, another six months in her own place before dying because something happened and nobody was around to help.

I've told my kids that when my time comes and they come for me I'm going to attempt to beat them to death with my seven-iron. Of course, what will probably happen is that I'll lose my balance, topple over backwards and break my hip.
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2011, 01:15 PM
peedin peedin is offline
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My mom was 87 when she moved into a "retirement community." The community had 3 levels: independent living (where Mom was), assisted living, and skilled nursing. The theory is that you started in independent living and went through the levels as needed. Mom had several friends there so after a year of us kids talking to her about it, she decided that since Gertrude and Liz liked living there, she would. Mom lived there for over 3 years before she died. She was in the skilled nursing for a few weeks before she died in hospice. She said she was very happy that she made the decision to live there.

However. It took a year of us kids talking to her about it. She dug in her heels and said she wasn't moving, so we stopped talking about it. Then one day she called me up and said "I've decided to move to Retirement Community" like it was her brilliant idea. Of course we were thrilled.

This is such an individualized decision and there are so many of these communities/assisted living places, with all different levels of payments and financing. The best way to find one is from personal recommendation. Physicians do not care, they do not know. I have experience with that. It is not something to be rushed into--take time and do research on facilities.

If Mom remains stubborn, look into various types of home assistance, like Visiting Angels.

All of this is time-consuming and expensive and frustrating. I hope everything goes well with the physician visit. Hopefully her doctor can make her understand that living alone is not the best option now.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:26 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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We tried to keep Mom at home with visiting nurses, but she needed 24/7 care after her stroke, and visiting nurses (unlike the brave nurse who drives through a hurricane on the TV commercial) do not always show up--and sometimes when they do, they are incompetent to the point of simple-mindedness.

My sister and I could not take her into our homes, as we both work, are not trained nurses, and are just not home enough (and yes, I will feel guilty about that to my dying day). Plus, we wanted to keep her in her neighborhood near her friends, shops and doctors (and that was helpful for her).

Nursing and assisted-living homes cannot find enough good staff now--in another 20 years the situation will be dire indeed, so my "retirement plan" is a handful of sleeping pills and a razor blade.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:32 PM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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In my grandmother's case, my mom and her siblings were able to take advantage of a surgery my grandmother had to have in order to transition her to an independent living apartment in a nursing home. In other words, she didn't have a choice! She grumbled a little (she hated being surrounded by "old people"!) but liked her little apartment and having a nurse come by every day to deliver her medications and have someone help a couple of times a week with bathing (one artificial hip and one entire lack of hip where the damaged artificial one had been removed made such things more difficult for her!)

I think that starting with discussion with a doctor is a good start; it will help establish what your mother really needs in terms of assistance and will help you in your search for a place for your mom to live. Having the doctors on your side is also a helpful thing when it comes to the inevitable battles with assisted living staff over what, exactly, is and is not included in their services, nevermind in the discussions with your mom!

If you can, include your mom in the search; identify a couple of homes that suit her needs and your financial situation and have her visit them too. It's going to be her home - she needs to feel safe and taken care of there. My mother found a place 2km from her home for my grandmother (and my mom did all the laundry and grocery shopping rather than pay extra for staff to do it), and having the family be so close and able to visit made my grandmother very happy. Are you looking for something close to where your mom currently lives, or close to you? Having her close to you might sell her more on the idea (my husband's grandfather only agreed to move to an assisted living facility after his daughter got hired there as a nurse...now he loves it and wonders why he didn't agree to go there sooner!)

Good luck!
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:46 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I honestly don't think anybody does this too early (much like hospice, or euthanizing a pet) - if anything, most people wait way too long after the point where it would be a great benefit to everybody. My aunt, a nurse, spent a decade spending hours a day at her mother-in-law's house because her husband refused to put his mom in an assisted living facility. Her dementia got to the point where they had to turn the gas off to the house because she couldn't be trusted with it, but still he wouldn't do it! When they finally agreed it was best it was clearly and obviously the best thing for everybody involved.

The thing is, sevenwood, perhaps she would have had an accident... but not died. Perhaps she would have had a stroke, for example, and because she didn't get treated soon enough she may have lived for years unable to speak or move. Or died an agonizing death in a fire. Or broken a hip and had to go into nursing care anyway but with dramatically reduced mobility. Is that really better than going to a facility?

My grandparents weren't happy about having to go assisted living, and it was under the worst of circumstances (my grandfather suffered a debilitating stroke and they were moved from Florida to Pittsburgh where most of their family was and he never saw his old home again after he went into the hospital in an ambulance) and while they weren't thrilled about it they eventually grew to enjoy the company, the chance to participate in activities, etc.
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  #10  
Old 10-13-2011, 01:59 PM
Lancia Lancia is offline
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Originally Posted by BMalion View Post
So I have been pondering this a while. She is 75, in poor health, and she lives an hour away from me. I have written her doctor a letter expressing my concerns. The doctor's office called and told me that they could only discuss my concerns if my mom was present. OK, we have an appointment tomorrow.

I have talked to my mom for years about her living situation but to no avail. Her philosophy is, "if I ignore it, it will go away." Sadly, that time has passed. I know I will be the "bad guy" for starting this, but it has to be done.

So, any thoughts or experiences with older parents in assisted living?
Check your PM inbox.
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  #11  
Old 10-13-2011, 02:11 PM
Sarabellum1976 Sarabellum1976 is offline
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My grandmother wound up making the transition out of her home after having heart surgery at 80 years old, followed by a stroke at 84. She went straight from the hospital to the nursing home. She was not happy about it, in any way shape or form.

When Grandmother was safely installed in the assisted living wing of the ritziest, plushest nursing home the city had to offer ($$$OMG$$$/month) we set to cleaning out her kitchen (YUCK!) and we were appalled at how bad the situation had really gotten. Hoarding, saving food, junk mail, etc.... it was bad news. She should have been outta there at least a year earlier.

She wasn't terribly happy with the nursing home, even though they spoiled her rotten there, but at least she was comfortable, more or less. She was sort of content with it after a few months, but her health worsened and dementia set in to the point where it didn't really matter anymore anyway.
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:46 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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FWIW my grandpa's cousins lived here in Willoughby for many years before they (recently) passed and I never heard a bad word about it.

Good luck, I know the process is hard.
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:31 PM
sevenwood sevenwood is offline
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Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
The thing is, sevenwood, perhaps she would have had an accident... but not died. Perhaps she would have had a stroke, for example, and because she didn't get treated soon enough she may have lived for years unable to speak or move. Or died an agonizing death in a fire. Or broken a hip and had to go into nursing care anyway but with dramatically reduced mobility. Is that really better than going to a facility?
Oh, for crying out loud. Anything's possible, of course, but let's not get silly here.

Look, I'm not trying to minimize the advantages of assisted living. But I'm trying to picture my kids arguing with me about fifteen years from now (I'll be 79 then) saying "Dad, you just have to move from the house you love and into a nursing home. After all, in your own house you could die an agonizing death in a fire!"
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:49 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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I am also considering moving her in with me. That might be more palatable for her, except that I will not allow her to hoard or have 8 to 10 cats. That might be her biggest sticking point right now. That and my brother. A lazy, no-account bum sponging and stealing from her after years drugs, alcoholism and prison.

sigh

Last edited by BMalion; 10-13-2011 at 03:50 PM..
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2011, 04:30 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Oh, for crying out loud. Anything's possible, of course, but let's not get silly here.

Look, I'm not trying to minimize the advantages of assisted living. But I'm trying to picture my kids arguing with me about fifteen years from now (I'll be 79 then) saying "Dad, you just have to move from the house you love and into a nursing home. After all, in your own house you could die an agonizing death in a fire!"
My aunt's mother-in-law had to have the gas turned off because, indeed, she kept leaving the stove on and wandering off. That's why I mentioned "die in a fire", actually.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:31 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Oh, for crying out loud. Anything's possible, of course, but let's not get silly here.

Look, I'm not trying to minimize the advantages of assisted living. But I'm trying to picture my kids arguing with me about fifteen years from now (I'll be 79 then) saying "Dad, you just have to move from the house you love and into a nursing home. After all, in your own house you could die an agonizing death in a fire!"
We got my dad an electric kettle as he started two small fires while my mom was out, by leaving a pot to run dry on the stove. He was 80.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:37 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Missed edit- one benefit, that my parents living in their own place miss out on, is socialization. They don't drive much and it's hard to see friends. At a facility my dad could chat with folks, my mom can play cards etc without it being so challenging to arrange it. I think they're lonely now.

Last edited by IvoryTowerDenizen; 10-13-2011 at 04:38 PM..
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  #18  
Old 10-13-2011, 05:11 PM
anya marie anya marie is offline
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My father is in a nursing home and the two problems we have is that he does not get to use his tv much because his roommate is the next Rip Van Winkle. He doesn't like the food, it's very bland and he was accustomed to salsa, tacos and likes omelets.

Taking care of him here would be a 24/7 job and I would probably have to take him with me whenever I had an errand to run. I don't have a bathroom set up, so would need expensive renovation and WIDER doorways for his wheelchair.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:36 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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At least here with me she'd get 3 sqares a day and some company.
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2011, 05:45 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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I am also considering moving her in with me. That might be more palatable for her, except that I will not allow her to hoard or have 8 to 10 cats. That might be her biggest sticking point right now. That and my brother. A lazy, no-account bum sponging and stealing from her after years drugs, alcoholism and prison.

sigh
Is this brother living with her right now? Maybe a home might be a good thing for her then - she'd get out of his clutches. If she moved in with you, maybe he'd think that you're his next soft touch.
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2011, 05:49 PM
Fearless Leader Fearless Leader is offline
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My 88 year-old grandmother has been in assisted living for a couple of years now and loves it. This is also a facility with different levels of care - independent living, assisted living and a nursing home. We were all very nervous about this step as she valued her independence and hated being thought of as an "old person", but she is incapable of living alone anymore and this felt like the best option. As my father and stepmother both work, even moving her into their home would require having someone come and be with her all day. Here, she has her own space, many friends at the facility, loves the food and even enjoys some of the day trips they all go on. The bathrooms are huge for wheelchair access, and the suites have a kitchenette with a sink and mini-fridge. It is a gorgeous facility - also expensive, I'm sure, but Medicare and her benefits as a Veteran's widow help some. Good luck with this tough decision and feel free to PM me if you want any further details.
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2011, 06:41 PM
FeAudrey FeAudrey is offline
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... does not get to use his tv much because his roommate is the next Rip Van Winkle ...
Wireless headphones!

Quote:
... food ... very bland and he was accustomed to salsa, tacos and likes omelets ...
And a personal stash of salsas, hot sauces, herbs and spices, etc, to juice up the food!

Last edited by FeAudrey; 10-13-2011 at 06:41 PM..
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  #23  
Old 10-13-2011, 07:13 PM
Queen Tonya Queen Tonya is offline
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We've been arguing with my mother-in-law for the last two years over this, and losing the argument thus far. She's a frail 73, needs knee surgery and foot surgeries desperately, and hasn't had them since she has no clue on how to organize after care and her doctors offices don't seem to be helping.

And she lives over a thousand miles away from us and categorically refuses to move here.

So rather than enjoy her retirement and get out from under the crushing responsibilities of a house that's falling apart around her since she has zero skills or knowledge to maintain it, we're just waiting for the tragedy to strike. It sucks.
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  #24  
Old 10-13-2011, 07:55 PM
Eureka Eureka is offline
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My great aunt is 90, and the poster child for Assisted Living. She loves it, had not realized how isolated she had become until she moved out of the apartment she'd lived in for forty some years and into a much more communal living arrangement.

Technically, they weren't looking at assisted living spots when she went in, but there was an opening, and they promised her she'd have first dibs on an indepedent apartment in the same center but when one opened up six month later, she was used to having her meals fixed for her and her laundry done.

Her hair turned curly a few weeks after she moved it--possibly due to no longer being malnourished. She's gained about thirty pounds--the first half of that she needed, the other half, well, what's it hurt at this point.

And it only costs three thousand a month, unless that's just rent and there are other fees I wasn't informed of. (Entirely likely).

Her mother hated the nursing home she was put in, and refused to cooperate with any activities. So personality can be a factor. Great grandma was put in a nursing home when her needs became more than her daughter could handle. I assume--I was a child then.

My grandmother (great aunt's sister in law), is a horror story. She had some good years after the point when she threatened suicide, but there are days when one wonders whether it was a kindness keeping her alive as long as we did.

And my other grandmother had a fatal stroke rather than move into assisted living. But had had ten(ish) good years living in a community with other independent seniors.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:06 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Is this brother living with her right now? Maybe a home might be a good thing for her then - she'd get out of his clutches. If she moved in with you, maybe he'd think that you're his next soft touch.
He is with her now. He will never darken my door, he is dead to me.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:57 PM
freckafree freckafree is offline
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BMalion, I don't know how far afield you are looking, but my mom lived in Rockynol in Akron for the last 5-6 years of her life. It's run by Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services.

Mom started out in assisted living. She had dementia in addition to severe COPD, and I thought she got excellent care.

Alas, I can't help you with other piece of it. Mom made the decision to move, looked at a handful of places and chose Rockynol herself.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:20 PM
An Gadaí An Gadaí is offline
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I am also considering moving her in with me. That might be more palatable for her, except that I will not allow her to hoard or have 8 to 10 cats. That might be her biggest sticking point right now. That and my brother. A lazy, no-account bum sponging and stealing from her after years drugs, alcoholism and prison.

sigh
Well once she's happy to have alcoholic nerds from Ireland coming over to party once a year, I think this arrangement will work. But seriously, it's a pity you can't sort out your brother. Would a "fuck off and die" payment work?
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:43 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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Since you're looking for advice, I'll move this to our advice forum, IMHO.

twickster, MPSIMS moderator
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  #29  
Old 10-14-2011, 12:16 AM
Tracyfish Tracyfish is offline
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My family is kind of going through this with my grandma. She's nearly 90 and doesn't really have anyone to socialize with. She says she can take care of herself. My mom told me earlier this week that grandma might have changed her mind. We'll see what happens. In addition to wanting her independence, I think part of the problem was that my grandma perceives it as my aunt's idea. My grandma does not like my aunt for some reason. I just don't want my grandma to feel forced into it and be unhappy, even though I know it might be best for her.
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  #30  
Old 10-14-2011, 12:38 AM
Farmer Jane Farmer Jane is offline
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My grandmother is having this issue. She has been bounced around four places now since my grandfather died about 10 years ago. She's 78 this year. She's a sad unhappy woman...<sigh> what happened to my Oma?!

No one wanted her. First she was by herself but moved out to be closer to her daughters. Then she went with one aunt, then another, then a home, then back to aunt number one. All because of a hip issue...my aunt kept panicking that she would fall someday...and now she's so frail and unhappy and broken that she can't walk well at all.

I took her to Disneyland five years ago with my son. She was using a walker and for the park, a wheelchair. I'm so happy we went - that was her last vacation.

I volunteer at a nursing home/residence home once a week. The elderly can deteriorate really quickly, and depression is so high and suffocating...I hope if you do put her 'in a home', you do so in one that is in your 'hood.

When the time comes, mom or dad is living with me if it's possible, and very close if it's not. It's the right thing to do imo.

Last edited by Farmer Jane; 10-14-2011 at 12:39 AM..
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  #31  
Old 10-14-2011, 05:20 AM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Well once she's happy to have alcoholic nerds from Ireland coming over to party once a year, I think this arrangement will work. But seriously, it's a pity you can't sort out your brother. Would a "fuck off and die" payment work?
No, he would spend it and then want another.

And she loves nerds, she loves me!
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  #32  
Old 10-14-2011, 06:05 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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My aunt's mother-in-law had to have the gas turned off because, indeed, she kept leaving the stove on and wandering off. That's why I mentioned "die in a fire", actually.
The father of a friend was blind; his mother, almost. She would keep a fire burning on the gas stove constantly and, in order to light another one, just open the second one and wait for the *phwhomph*.

Seeing that was what finally got his sisters to accept that yeah, maybe it was time to move Mom and Dad out of that (pre?)-medieval house where each room was on top of another, with the kitchen at the bottom and the 20th-century-added bathroom at the top.
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  #33  
Old 10-14-2011, 09:06 AM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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Good luck BMalion. My mom is 87, can't stand up without a walker and refuses to leave her house. My siblings and I have reconciled ourselves to the idea that one of us will have to find her body one day. One day, she says, she will consider getting help if she needs it. Sigh.

My advice is to start looking for places now, even if she refuses to have anything to do with the process. The whole elderly care system is complicated and if you wait until a hip is broken to start looking you could end with a shitty and expensive facility.
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:26 AM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is offline
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My Mom was in before she passed. There are some good people who work in the industry. When you visit, you'll wish you visited more. The bad side is that Jewelry & stuff can get lost, be "given away", or just walk. Fancy things you should store for her & bring when you visit (and take when you leave). Furnish her room not with heirlooms, but with practical easy to use stuff that wouldn't be worth "borrowing".

PS- Everyone assumes when I say that things 'walk' that I'm dissing staff, which is unfair. Other residents can get jealous of stuff and other people visit them also. And in our case, some of the stuff that "walked" ended up in the house of one of my sisters.
(Along with some signed blank checks & a new fully re-modelled subzero kitchen. )
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  #35  
Old 10-14-2011, 09:57 AM
Brynda Brynda is offline
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Once we finally strong-armed my mom into assisted living, it worked out pretty darn well. Costs vary widely by location. Hers was about $3000 a month.
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  #36  
Old 10-14-2011, 10:44 AM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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My husbands grandmother has been fighting this for the last couple of years, but his parents were finally able to convince her to try it in August. She's gained several pounds and is finally getting the sores on her leg under control. She's happier and healthier than she's been in years but the change was still hard. She lived in the same home for over 50 years and even though she had to have help to get out of the house in the winter months she just coped by staying in and being isolated.
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:59 AM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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The doctor is on the same page as I, thank god. We have a social services evaluation and a geriatric assesment. I had a long talk with my mom this morning about moving in.
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  #38  
Old 10-14-2011, 11:54 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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A friend of mine said something interesting to me after they moved her grandmother into assisted living: it's easier to maintain friendships than to make them. If you move into assisted living when you are absolutely incapable of living alone, you are probably also at the point where you aren't real capable of making new friends or otherwise adapting to your new environment. If, on the other hand, you move in 2-3 years before you absolutely have to, you are much more capable of actually settling in and establishing yourself--and those relationships you form will last up until you are probably totally unaware of anything. You want to move in early enough that by the time you die, you die at HOME.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:53 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
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Excellent point, MandaJo. My mom waited too late. She couldn't see or hear well enough to interact well. The home offered lots that she just couldn't benefit from.
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  #40  
Old 10-14-2011, 02:54 PM
AndyLee AndyLee is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
I have my mother in assisted living. Physically she's fine but she has real mental issues. Unfortunately I lost my job and her stay is only paid up till Jan 1st 2012. My siblings and I pay, along with her disability to keep her there. But she won't be able to stay there anymore as I can't chip in, and I was bearing the largest brunt of it.

So I have the exact opposite problem, avoiding telling my mother about having to leave and go back to a state hospital. That's gonna be fun
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  #41  
Old 07-18-2013, 02:31 PM
slondon slondon is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
International Care

It is time we put him in Long Term Care. We have looked at a ton of facilities here in southern California but, the problem is we can not afford any of them. We began doing some research on assisted living and long term care in Mexico since we are so close to the border. We have read great reviews and articles regarding this. This past weekend we visited a place called Residencia Lourdes Pacifica in Ensenada, it is a beachfront facility that specializes in Dementia/Alzheimer´s and is a quarter of the price of anything I found in Southern California. Does anyone know of this place or have any advice on this type of international care? Thank you and bless you all.
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  #42  
Old 07-18-2013, 06:48 PM
handsomeharry handsomeharry is offline
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Location: oklahoma city
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMalion View Post
At least here with me she'd get 3 sqares a day and some company.
I think that assisted living gives too many opportunities for elder abuse, elder fraud, and just plain old crappy care. I worked in an adult retirement community for a while, and the director, who was 100% by-the-book, was also 100% ingratiating herself with all of the coherent, propertied elders, and kinda pressuring them into business deals and bequeathals (sp?). Guess in whose favor?

I further propose that for every Florence Nightengale/Angel of Mercy there are 10 Ilsa Koches/Angels of Death.

Not enough time to spew the venom that I want to direct against nursing/elderly care/etc... workers, but, I would suggest that, for whatever expense the assisted living place will milk out of you, you could provide better care for mom yourself, and make sure that there is no abuse going on.

Word to the wise...

best wishes,
hh

Last edited by handsomeharry; 07-18-2013 at 06:51 PM..
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