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Old 07-26-2011, 02:09 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
I'm only 4 days into having Mom back home after her rehab, but so far so good. I have an aide come in from 8am to 3pm, so that gives me some freedom to play golf or whatever. I go to Mom's house at 3pm and usually by then, she is ready to nap. I can slip off for awhile and walk the dog, mow grass, or run a few errands. She is fine being by herself for a little while. Plus she can reach me on my cell phone if needed. At night, she watches her tv shows and I watch mine in another room or cruise the internet. Haven't slipped off at night, but could for a couple of hours as long as she is settled in for the night. Anything longer than that, I will probably need a sitter.

Who knows how well this will work long term. I can't travel anywhere other than for a couple of nights. And then I will need to have a relative sub for me. But they all live out of town so I don't expect to get a lot of help out of them. Not complaining, but those are the facts.

Overall I think things will work out OK. As of now, my Mom is very easy to get along with. She likes her aide as they enjoy talking with each other and she is content to nap or watch TV when I'm there at night. I'm sure she will need more assistance as time goes on. When it becomes too much, we will have to adjust. She was actually OK with the nursing home she did her rehab in so I would imagine that is where she will eventually end up. Hopefully I can help her enjoy as much of her remaining days as possible in her own home.
Dawg52: You may want to investigate the Residential Care Homes (Independent Living Facilities in some states). If your mom can self administer her meds and ambulate, these homes can provide an ideal break for you and an opportunity for mom to socialize with elders her own age often with scheduled activities. If mom needs more care, most nursing homes offer respite care with ususally a two week minimum stay. The RCH rate here in New England is around $250 / day and the nursing home $350 / day. Not inexpensive, but mom will be safe and you will get a needed break.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:14 PM   #22
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The best I can suggest is for you to interview a couple of geriatric care managers in her area. Let them know your concerns and ask if they'll be able to respond to that dreaded day when you have a crisis and need someone to visit the hospital or help her get home until you can get there.

If she has a friend in an assisted-living facility then a tour might be acceptable. Otherwise you're an interfering busybody.

One care manager suggested that the best approach is to either wait them out until they admit they want help, or to offer technology that might make it easier for them to live independently.
Talking to geriatric care managers is something that I could / should do.
Thanks
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:23 PM   #23
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Before my Mom moved in with my Sister she lived alone but had an alarm button , a cleaning lady and a home health aide . The aide came a few times a week and drove Mom to the Doctor's , the hairdresser's . She also shopped and did whatever my Mom wanted . It really helped . Surprisingly it was not expensive . I paid $17 an hour and it was well worth it .
Thanks for these good ideas. She might take it as an insult if I ask her if she wants a cleaning lady. I asked her about Meals on Wheels because I know she is not eating right. Every time I visit the fridge is empty. "I was just going to go shopping" she says. Kind of a running joke. She does not want the Wheels Meals because she heard the food was not good. Then there is the stranger at your door to deal with. Compus mentis or lack there of is working against us.

Could you tell me more about the alarm button?
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:36 PM   #24
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Thanks for these good ideas. She might take it as an insult if I ask her if she wants a cleaning lady. I asked her about Meals on Wheels because I know she is not eating right. Every time I visit the fridge is empty. "I was just going to go shopping" she says. Kind of a running joke. She does not want the Wheels Meals because she heard the food was not good. Then there is the stranger at your door to deal with. Compus mentis or lack there of is working against us.
You might want to see if she would consider the MOW for a week or so. My local MOW has their menu published monthly on their website and service could be for just a few days a week, say M W F and the requested donation is modest. My uncle finally tried MOW a few months before he passed away and said the food was great. However, he cancelled it after the third day and said he just had too much food and couldn't eat it all. I was bringing him food each week along with a neighbor and some friends so he really didn't get it and just expected all of us to keep supplying him with meals. This was after suggestions from his attorney, a visiting nurse, and a social worker that some of these elder services would be good for him, allow him to stay in his home longer, and reduce the stress on family and friends.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:09 PM   #25
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.

Could you tell me more about the alarm button?
Medical Alert Service by Philips Lifeline
Here is the one my Mom has . She wears it around her neck and if she activates it 911 is called . She has fallen a few times so it has been great . They have different brands in different areas .
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:21 PM   #26
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Talking to geriatric care managers is something that I could / should do.
Thanks
I'm somewhat accustomed to using my persistence and my force of personality to get things done. However I couldn't have pulled off what we did in less than 10 days without "Team Nords" guiding me through the jungle. Here's a recap:

I found an Oahu geriatric care manager who referred me to two of them in Dad's town. I called them both, explained the situation, and asked them if they could stand by for emergency calls or other referrals. Both agreed and didn't even ask for money up front-- apparently they usually get this call as a crisis in progress so they were quite happy to have the information ahead of time.

When Dad ended up in the hospital ER, I called one of those two care managers in his town. She checked in with the ICU to see if they needed anything before we arrived. When I flew in, she helped us talk Dad through the "You can't go home yet" conversation, and found us a geriatric care manager in the city where he ended up. (At one point she even found us a lawyer on a Sunday afternoon to discuss the finer points of POAs and guardianship. Try doing that in a strange town before Monday morning.) The two care managers worked with the hospital's discharge coordinator to find a skilled nursing facility in the city (which otherwise would have been random calls from the phone book and Internet listings), and then the city care manager made sure that the facility was really no-foolin' ready to take care of Dad as soon as we arrived from the 250-mile drive. I was in no mood to be met with "Oh, you know what Mr. Nords, we need another day or two..."

Then the city care manager found us a new lawyer for guardianship (we'd crossed lines into a new county with new rules). He's also tracking down a neurologist in case we need to have a full-blown neurophysical assessment done to persuade the long-term care insurance company to approve the claim. If Dad ends up wandering or bolting with his Alzheimer's symptoms then the care manager will help us find a facility with a (locked-door) memory-care unit.

The town care manager has also helped with Dad's apartment cleanout (a housecleaner and a carpet cleaner). She earned every penny of her $800 of hourly help/advice.

The city care manager has only charged $200 so far, although we probably owe him another $100 or so for the neurologist referral. The town lawyer was "only" $200, and we've spent another $1850 on the city lawyer to process the guardianship/conservatorship petitions. We're also spending $2000-$2500 for a psychologist to affirm that Dad's incapable of handling his affairs (for the court petition) which may also come in handy for the LTC insurance claim. If the neurologist is needed then I'm sure that'll be at least $2500.

The lawyer probably has another $1000-$2000 ahead of her, including coordinating a court appearance where my brother will show up in person and I'll teleconference in. I'll stay in touch with the care manager as long as Dad is alive, and in touch with the lawyer for the inevitable probate.

Thousands of dollars to find someone who knows the town/city, how the system works, which people to call, and what their vocabulary means. Peace of mind = priceless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Free To Canoe View Post
Could you tell me more about the alarm button?
It's amazing what can be done with a touch-screen laptop, a wireless network, various (non-video) sensors, a wireless blood-pressure cuff and other computerized medical equipment, an alarm button or an alarm bracelet, and a website for everyone to coordinate.

EDIT: Feh, forgot the link: http://ihealthhome.net/?page_id=282
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:09 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Medical Alert Service by Philips Lifeline
Here is the one my Mom has . She wears it around her neck and if she activates it 911 is called.
We had an alarm button that activated an audible alarm by radio control (rather than calling 911). It was extremely useful. My mother's room was the other side of the house from my bedroom, so if she got into trouble of some sort, I could not hear her. With the remote alarm, I could just take the sounding device to bed with me and not worry so much about her that I couldn't get a night's rest, myself.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:10 PM   #28
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.

Who knows how well this will work long term. I can't travel anywhere other than for a couple of nights. And then I will need to have a relative sub for me. But they all live out of town so I don't expect to get a lot of help out of them. Not complaining, but those are the facts.

A lot of assisted living facilities offer respite care to give caregivers a break . The cost in Florida is $100 to $ 125 a night but in Pa. the cost was $85 so that might be an option .
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:52 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Medical Alert Service by Philips Lifeline
Here is the one my Mom has . She wears it around her neck and if she activates it 911 is called . She has fallen a few times so it has been great . They have different brands in different areas .
The trouble with these is that a person with advanced dementia probably will not have the mental wherewithal to use it.

My mother was not mentally able to punch the button that was pinned onto her gown at the nursing home. We relied on her room mate who was a retired nurse to keep an eye on her. The retired nurse was mentally acute, but her body had given out.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:27 PM   #30
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My mother was not mentally able to punch the button that was pinned onto her gown at the nursing home.
It might have been mental incapacity, but maybe not. My mother's doctor thought she had Alzheimer's, but I wasn't convinced. Specifically, in regard to button pushing, my mother couldn't see the button (macular degeneration), and she had trouble finding the top-side of the device, because her hands were so crippled by arthritis and seemed to have lost sensation. But I cut out a small square of plastic and taped it to the button, and then, with some practice, she could feel that big lump and push on that to activate the button. It was really a loss of physical function involved, not mental function.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:42 AM   #31
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The dilemma...


Parents do not want to lose their independence. They want to make their own decisions.

The child becomes the parent and begins to take over making certain decisions.

It causes friction.

Every child who takes care of a parent (has a parent move in that needs help goes through this to some degree). It is a stress and strain on all concerned.

Of course... parents went through the reverse when kids became teenagers.

IMO - If the parent chooses assisted living, that should be their choice...assuming they are competent (e.g., no Dementia or Alzheimers) and they are making a choice where the assistance will meet their actual needs.
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