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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-20-2007, 02:26 PM   #21
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

My father passed away a few years ago (fairly young @ 75). The odd thing is that his mother lived to 86 and his father till 94. My mother took care of my father as long as she could. He spent his last 1.5 years in a nursing home. He was completely out of it. My hat is off to my mom for helping him. Shortly after my father went to a nursing home my mother started having problems. Long story short, her children pitched in to help. Sister and youngest brother helped for a while. The last 3+ years she had to move in with us. Another brother of mine has shared in the care taking. Of course, both of our wives have helped alot with the care. It is getting more difficult to care for her. I suspect that she will need to be put in a nursing home in the next year. She is currently 78
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-20-2007, 05:17 PM   #22
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

chinaco,

I'm not a big advocate of elder heroics. My DW tried to take care of her Alzhiemer'ed father. It was a constant strain and against my "gut feeling" she brought him into our home for a little while. He could absolutely never be left alone. You just had no idea what he would get into or where he'd decide he needed to go. She would be chasing him around during the day and I'd get home and be expected to take over to give her a break long enough to fix dinner -- some break.

To make it more fun, his wife is in a nursing home with dementia and a broken hip that will never allow her to walk. He had to be taken there daily. My DW was about to go insane. I was about to check into alternate living arrangements.

Moving him into a facility with an assisted living section with an attached nursing section for his wife has been a great decision. They both get the round the clock care they both need and are evaluated by professionals. He gets to interact with people as he is capable and isn't a prisoner of his daughter. She is active in their care but not stressed all of the time.

Bottom line -- I don't think you're doing anyone a favor by keeping them out of a "home." That includes independent living if they are still capable of mostly taking care of themselves. There are a lot more activities and social interactions than they would get sitting in their own home alone or even with your full time care.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-20-2007, 06:03 PM   #23
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

i escaped double duty but my brother is gonna get hit by the perfect storm of it.

he had kids late, now 10, 13 & 16. the 16 is quickly becoming a monster. brother wants to pay for cars and college for all. he has his inlaws aging fast. mil recently lost job and comes with a parasitic daughter (bro's sil) & grandaughter. fil (divorced) comes with his own set of physical problems. we think we see parkinson's starting to set in. plus brother runs his own engineering company. he's a smart guy, pretty self-aware and taking it all in good stride, but i can see the stress around his waist and even on his forehead. sure hope they don't kill him; i'm running out of family.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-20-2007, 07:13 PM   #24
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
i escaped double duty but my brother is gonna get hit by the perfect storm of it.

i can see the stress around his waist and even on his forehead. sure hope they don't kill him; i'm running out of family.
There is a very high mortality risk for care givers. Many pass on before the ones that were supposed to be receiving care for the rest of their lives. It is a definite risk factor.

Bottom line -- do what has to be done. Parasites are on their own. I hear McDonalds is hiring. People that can't live by themselves need some organized help ASAP for assisted living or nursing care. You can't live your life and provide for the "wants" of rapidly deteriorating relatives. The one thing I've seen in all cases is that every person that can't take care of themselves is desperate to "not lose their independence" but they seem oblivious to everyone around them losing theirs.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-20-2007, 07:22 PM   #25
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
Bottom line -- I don't think you're doing anyone a favor by keeping them out of a "home." That includes independent living if they are still capable of mostly taking care of themselves. There are a lot more activities and social interactions than they would get sitting in their own home alone or even with your full time care.
Jeff Opdyke nailed it in his column a couple weeks ago-- he says that an elder's desire to stay in their home is emotional denial-- a metaphor for their desire to be mobile & independent again. The odds of that happening are slim to none, and getting them out of their depressing environment to a place with assistance and social interaction is probably the only thing that's gonna make a difference.

It's certainly the only thing that's going to improve their family's quality of life.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-20-2007, 08:53 PM   #26
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

true on the mortality rate of caregivers but i wonder if most of those casualties aren't among elderly spouses. not that it isn't stressful for anyone, especially hard for those emotionally, closely attached, and anyone with kids or other pre-existing burdens. i'll never forget one amazingly brave lady in the alzheimer's forum who took care of her alzheimer's uncle while raising two autistic kids, all without a whole lot of money. she was amazing.

i considered bringing mom into my house or moving into hers for the last few years but if i had to watch her die on a 24/7 basis i surely would have gotten to my grave before she got to hers. i'm the kind of guy who has to laugh through the pain; i wasn't built for this much sadness.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-21-2007, 09:51 AM   #27
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

My parents are 70 and in great health, knock on wood. I don't have kids, and my parents have said repeatedly to my sister and I that we should not become heroes and rearrange our lives to help them when they can no longer help themselves. They want us to find a nice place for them to live (assisted living or nursing home, as needed), and come visit once in a while. It's sort of a joke in the family, but it's how they feel. They don't want to move in with us.

My mother's mother spent 13 years in a nursing home with Alzheimer's, so we have been through this with the previous generation, and know how difficult it can be. I hope my parents won't have to go through that.

I would help my parents financially if they needed it, but they won't. They LBTM better than I do (retired at 57), and they won't run out of money. I'm lucky in that respect.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-21-2007, 11:26 AM   #28
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

We just went to see my granddad before they put him in an alzh. unit. He's 89 and getting to be too much, even with in-home caregivers. It really sucks for everyone, but Nords is right--what he wants is his mobility and independence, which are gone forever.

My parents will probably need help--not much saved, dad still working. They are 65 now, and we are the only kids without kids. When we built our house, we elevated it so that later we could build a "second house" on the bottom floor (it is a small--1500sq ft custom home). It will be built with universal design features, two bedrooms so a caregiver could live-in with them, and barrier free. Our idea is that if they need it, it will be there, and if they don't, well we might!

It makes them nervous to hear me talk about their dotage, but they'll be glad that at least one of us is making plans for their future! I don't think there will be any money to pay for a nursing home, and I suspect collecting from my sibs to pay for any care would be like a repo man job for me.

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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-21-2007, 05:14 PM   #29
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaudrey
My parents are 70 and in great health, knock on wood. I don't have kids, and my parents have said repeatedly to my sister and I that we should not become heroes and rearrange our lives to help them when they can no longer help themselves. They want us to find a nice place for them to live (assisted living or nursing home, as needed), and come visit once in a while. It's sort of a joke in the family, but it's how they feel. They don't want to move in with us.
I'll make a prediction and I hope you are ready for it should I be eventually right. As they age and lose their mental snap, that alternative living arrangement won't be what they want. They'll fight you every step of the way. The only way that won't happen is that one of them sees the other one going downhill and acts for you. I've seen so many couples adapt to each other's issues and delay the inevitable until it approaches disaster.

You know how they feel when they have their minds. Remember that so you have the courage to act when you see the problem.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-21-2007, 07:01 PM   #30
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

[- he says that an elder's desire to stay in their home is emotional denial-- a metaphor for their desire to be mobile & independent again. quote]

Boy can I see that denial with my Mom .When I'm around she pretends everything is fine but it's not it's a house of cards ready to collapse .
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-25-2007, 05:59 PM   #31
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
I'm not a big advocate of elder heroics....
I am not sure that I would categorize taking care of a loved one as heroics. Today we use adult day care. She stays with us at night and on weekends. However, most people have limits as to what they can do or are willing to do for an ill or aging loved one.

We are taking practical and reasonable steps to minimize the time she will be institutionalized in a nursing home.

The bottom line... She would be in a nursing home (mobility problems). It is difficult, however, we know that when she goes to the home she will decline.

It is a personal decision that people make We chose to help our mother. Our wives are on board and have graciously helped.

But there are limits to what we can reasonably do to help. We will make the tough decision... probably soon.

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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-25-2007, 06:47 PM   #32
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

The interesting thing was when my MIL got out of the hospital, she chose to stay down here in Phoenix than go back to her home in Montana. I think that it probably helped the quality of life in her last six months since there were three people plus hospice staff looking after her while there would not have been anyone living with her in Montana.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 02-26-2007, 05:33 PM   #33
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco
I am not sure that I would categorize taking care of a loved one as heroics. Today we use adult day care. She stays with us at night and on weekends. However, most people have limits as to what they can do or are willing to do for an ill or aging loved one.

We are taking practical and reasonable steps to minimize the time she will be institutionalized in a nursing home.

The bottom line... She would be in a nursing home (mobility problems). It is difficult, however, we know that when she goes to the home she will decline.

It is a personal decision that people make We chose to help our mother. Our wives are on board and have graciously helped.

But there are limits to what we can reasonably do to help. We will make the tough decision... probably soon.

If you are doing what you want to do and are avoiding high levels of stress, I'm happy for you and your care decisions. I have watched my DW fight high stress levels to try to meet her father's wishes of not moving out of his home. That spilled over onto me.

I believe you are wrong with your assumption that "when she goes to the home she will decline." She's declining now. In the "home" she'll get focused medical attention and observation by skilled caregivers. These facilities can do an excellent job of caring for their residents. Many elderly would be better off in them than staying in their homes.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 03-07-2007, 09:28 PM   #34
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

really depends on the facility. many retirement homes are hell holes. some are luxurious getaways but extremely expensive.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 03-08-2007, 10:03 AM   #35
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

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many retirement homes are hell holes.
You've got that right. We watched DW's cousin put her mom (DW's aunt) into an out of town nursing home in Missouri because it was cheap. We stopped by and vistied on our way to an Arkansas trout fishing trip and were sickened by what we found. It turned our stomachs. Needless to say, our trip was ruined as we couldn't get the filth and stench off of our minds.......

BTW, no logic behind the decision to put her down there. DW's cousin is Director of Giving for a well known east coast private university and she can't possibly be in need of preserving her mom's estate (which is significant) for her inheritance.

Maybe she's just been waiting for a chance for revenge for something?
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 03-08-2007, 10:58 AM   #36
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

I'm very fortunate that my parents moved into a retirement center in their early 80s. They have the 3 typical stages; independent living in their apartment, assisted care in their apartment and full care in the medical unit. They pay a monthly fee to live there (cleaning, meals, repairs, etc) and a long term payment for if they need to move into the full care unit.

And they have the funds to pay for all this indefinitely. Good planning.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 03-08-2007, 12:12 PM   #37
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
We just went to see my granddad before they put him in an alzh. unit. He's 89 and getting to be too much, even with in-home caregivers. It really sucks for everyone, but Nords is right--what he wants is his mobility and independence, which are gone forever.
So my Gran loves it there! He's got a group of men he eats with every day, and they've gone on some kind of field trip to Lake Murray already! He also pushed a lady's wheelchair back to her room and she asked him in! He politely declined and said he had to get back for Gunsmoke on TV. The Alzheimers is still with him, of course, and he has good and bad days, but he told my aunt that he really better watch his money so he can stay for a while in this nice place before going back home when he's better.

It turned out to be a great decision that my aunts made--we all thought it would be a disaster as he's been adamant about not being in a home before this. Who could have guessed that he would adapt so quickly. The care is excellent and he has other old folks to visit with and pretty ladies to flirt with!

Sarah
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 03-10-2007, 10:27 PM   #38
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

It is my observation that gentlemen in these facilities are treated very well by the female residents.
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?
Old 03-11-2007, 03:19 PM   #39
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Re: Anyone expecting to take care of aging parents?

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It is my observation that gentlemen in these facilities are treated very well by the female residents.
My FIL is reguarly greeted by several of the female residents whenever he passes. They are all smiles. My youngest daughter calls one of them his "girl friend" because she is constantly coming by whenever she sees him. I doubt my FIL remembers their names or even remembers meeting them before.

The one person he seems to remember is a retired FBI agent and former assistent director of something in Washington for Hoover. He is in great mental shape but his body is falling apart. In the short time my FIL has been there, he's gone from assisted living to nursing care and has had several surgeries.
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