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View Poll Results: How Care was performed
One Parent took care of the other parent as long as they could. 24 50.00%
Parent was placed in a nursing home Permanently 15 31.25%
Parent was placed in a nursing home and removed due to problems 2 4.17%
Used In-home Hospice 5 10.42%
Children cared for Parent in the Childs Home 13 27.08%
Supplemented Parent care with Adult Day Care 3 6.25%
Parent lived in an assited living facility 14 29.17%
Parent used in-home caretaker (part-time or full-time) 17 35.42%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Caring for Elderly Parent
Old 02-18-2008, 01:10 PM   #1
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Caring for Elderly Parent

This is a poll for people for people who have elderly parents (or Aunts & Uncles).

How many people have had to provide some sort of long-time/permament care for an Elderly Family Member. I will list several options to try to cover what is happening and the variations.

This poll will allow multiple choices since your loved ones illness may have progress through multiple stages.


Please add commentary. This may help those who have not entered this zone yet to prepare.

I had two parents go through problems. We used all of the option above at one time or another.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
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This poll will allow multiple choices since your loved ones illness may have progress through multiple stages.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
I had two parents go through problems. We used all of the option above at one time or another.
That was my experience. Each solution is time limited depending on the person's degree of dependency and willingness to accept care. In my case, resistance to dependency was the biggest barrier. I had to take my mother out of a perfectly lovely facility which met all her needs except her intense desire to live in her own home, no matter what.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:35 PM   #3
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In summer 2006, my mom was given "weeks to months" to live, and put on in-home hospice. But she improved, and was kicked out. She's been across the country twice in a motorhome (as a passenger) since then, and is now staying with #1 sister. She'll be staying with us for a while if she makes it to summer.

She's comfortable and happy, but requires a significant amount of care.

She'd paid for half of #3 sister's McMansion (nothing written, just gave her most of her savings for the down payment), assuming she'd be there the rest of her life, but it hasn't worked out that way.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:49 PM   #4
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The folks took care of each other until my Mother died. Then Dad moved into independent living, later into assisted living, and about a year ago into a nursing home. We have been pleased with all the facilities he has been in -- he has been less pleased with them.

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Old 02-18-2008, 02:05 PM   #5
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My Mom who's 91 resisted any help except from her children until I got her a home health aide . The aide mainly takes her to doctor's appointments , shopping and to the hairdresser . It keeps her independent and happy . I know this is only a temporary solution but it is working for now . My two sisters live within driving distance so they check up on her and I contribute by the home health aide and going up for a few weeks a couple times a year .
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:51 PM   #6
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I didn't see an option for what I did for about ten years. My parents were able to stay in their own apartment, with DH and I driving them and taking care of their finances.
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:56 PM   #7
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After my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, my Mom and I took care of him.....mostly Mom because I was still w*rking. We also had a home healthcare nurse from hospice come in a couple times a week. About a week before he passed away, he decided he should go to a nursing home to give us a break. We told him it was no problem taking care of him at home, but he pretty much insisted. So we booked him in at a nice nursing home near us. One morning about 6 days later, at about 4:30am they called to say he had passed away.

My Mom, who is 81, and I share the old homestead, so I'm able to help her out when she needs it......which at this point isn't too often. She's still quite active and able to come and go as she pleases, although she's moving a bit slower. I do all of the lifting and reaching, and run some (but not all) of her errands, and take her places if she doesn't feel like driving herself. Health-wise she in pretty good shape, other than having a difficult time maneuvering stairs and multiple steps.....not a problem at home since the house is single-story w/ no basement. She'll only have to go to a nursing home or to an assisted living facility if she becomes too much for me to handle with the help of home health care nurse or similar.
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:06 PM   #8
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I've found that one of the major aspects of care is handling the medications. This one with meals, this one before meals, this one every other day, this one must be mixed with Boost, etc.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:07 PM   #9
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I didn't see an option for what I did for about ten years. My parents were able to stay in their own apartment, with DH and I driving them and taking care of their finances.
We're moving toward that same situation with MIL. She's 83. Five years ago, she was totally independent and a big help to us watching our house while we traveled and handling light duty chores. Now, she's still living in her condo and driving but stays indoors in winter weather, needs DW to go to the doc with her, I help with finances, etc. We're assuming that within a year or two she'll no longer drive and we'll have to visit her most days. We're trying to get ourselves educated on assisted living so we're ready for that step when she is.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:47 AM   #10
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MIL was first placed in assisted living facility, she really liked. As she declined, we moved her to nursing home that DW worked at, so we new care was good.
My mother is doing okay, 83. Gets around in the rural community she is in with little problems. Has a network of friends that help as needed, traveling longer distances, etc. She had a pacemaker put in last year and takes water aerobics weekly. She lives away from all her children and I would hate to have to move her away from her friends (if/when she gets to that point), they have always looked after each other over the years.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:04 AM   #11
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My mother chose to move to a facility (Asbury Methodist Village) about ten years before she actually needed to. Taking care of her mother had been an issue for her family and she was very concerned the same would happen with her. So she sold her house (Dad died almost 20 years earlier) and moved to an independent living apartment, which she loved. No more thinking about taking care of the house and such, although I did all the routine maintenance stuff. She was there for about 10 years.

Her health began a serious decline when she couldn't drive to the "Y" and go swimming 3 times/week and she moved shortly after to assisted living. We (two sisters and I) debated about putting her in the full-care nursing section, which she opposed. She was unsteady on her feet and prone to falling. We elected not to force the issue and let her take the risk she wanted to. A few months later she fell, hit her head, and was gone 10 hours later. My sisters and I are comfortable with the decision we made.

I had pretty much taken over finances when she went to assisted living as she was having a hard time keeping up with it. That made administration of the will much easier since I knew where everything was.

FIL is a different story. He's 81, in generally good health, still lives in his house and refuses to even discuss moving to someplace that is less work to keep up. However, we've noticed that he's cleaning up and throwing out a lot of old stuff so we think he's acknowledging the possibility at least to himself. He still gets out on a lawn tractor to mow the 3 acre lot. He's a little cantankerous and stubborn at times, but when I'm 81 I hope I'm in as good shape as he is. Last spring we did a lot of cleaning up yard work that he simply couldn't do and repainted the kitchen, living and dining rooms and hallway. We may do a couple of the bedrooms this spring but the last paint job was disruptive to him although he likes the results. So, I have no idea how this is going to play out.
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:28 PM   #12
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i checked them all but for the problem removal which we worried about but mom managed to stay connected well enough throughout her ordeal as to not create much havoc. also, we ended up placing her in an excellent facility which worked well with our situation. so if mom would fight off showering in the morning (alzheimer’s patients often become afraid of water) they’d try again that afternoon or the next day when she might be more amenable.

after years of mom caring for the ol'man at home and then he died, we started dealing with her alzheimer's. we worked very hard to keep her has independent as possible and then we created the illusion of independence before the situation became untenable and so we turned to institutionalized care.

my brother kept mom busy at the office during the week while i had her on weekends at my home when she was not with her girlfriends. we utilized neighbors to keep an eye on her and most nights she ordered dinner delivered to the house so we even had the delivery guys checking on her. her routine became quite predictable in her decline, picking up her lunch at only one sandwich shop every day. it was wonderful, really, to go in there with her on occassion as each time all the guys behind the counter (& there must have been 5 or 7 of them) took their turn to come over to mom and greet her with absolute kindness. so heartwarming to see people in the community looking after her.

she had started paying the lunch guys with their own business cards which they had in a holder on the counter. so of course we set up a tab for her. they accepted her offering of their biz cards as payment with no questions asked and then my brother's secretary paid them real money for the sandwiches when we got their bill. how cute was that!

we probably let mom drive for longer than we should have though we did covertly monitor it weekly. when we decided she was becoming a danger to herself and others we stopped her from driving. the very next day i brought in a homecare worker to accompany and drive her around town. i signed up the homecare worker for continuing education courses so she could take mom to lectures at the local university. when i took them inside the life-long learning lecture hall to show the homeworker where it was, it just so happened that right where we unknowingly sat down to talk—out of all the seats in that auditorium--was directly behind the two seats which mom had donated to the college, the plaques memorializing her mother and her husband attached to the seats directly in front of us.

also “mom’s driver” took mom and her dog to the dog park and other activities which all worked well for a while. but as mom required more help and we increased the hours of the homecare provider, mom started becoming aggitated by what she rightfully perceived as an intrusion into her life. but there simply was no other way as by then she was unable to live alone, i was still working and my brother insisted that mom would not have wanted me to fully take on that responsibility in any case and so we had to place mom in an alzheimer’s unit.

fortunately, as these facilities have become very good at what they do, we never had to remove her to another institution and so she was able to remain comfortable having become familiar with just the one place. the level of care increased there with her needs. we had contracted up front for what we knew would require escalating care. also in time, hospice services were administered in place. so for the last year or so she had not just the regular nursing staff but also hospice care until her last breath.

so as horrible as it all was, considering that i could not make it any better, it was not too bad. and why not. she certainly took the best care of me during life. while i wouldn't wish it on anyone, as my brother so very practically said: we all go through it; we just got it out of the way.
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:23 PM   #13
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Dealing with the "not so safe driver anymore" - perhaps this should be a new thread.

FIL still drives, but nobody is comfortable riding with him. He just seems to be not reacting to things that he should be, or aware of, but nothing overt that we can point specifically to. No accidents other than sometimes hitting the side of the garage wall but he's never been good about backing into the garage. He does okay in parking lots, etc.

Five minutes ago we got a call from SIL - he just drove into the garage door.

There is evidence on his car that he "parks by sonar", meaning he backs up until he hits something sometimes.

Now I'm wondering if I'm duty-bound to write to to the Motor Vehicle Administration requesting that he be retested. If he fails, he will have to move as there is no public transportation other than taxi, which would be prohibitive on a regular basis.

I know the answer. I just don't want to be the heavy. Thought I'd retired from that.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:10 PM   #14
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taking away the car was about the most difficult thing i ever had to do in life, until i had to remove her from her house. that totally sucked.

but you don't retire from that until they are gone. just wait until you have to make life & death decisions for them. is it better to have that flu shot or is it worse to create trauma in their life. do you keep upsetting her with doctor visits & blood tests or do you just stop the statins already.

the car will not be your last heavy decision. but even though you know the answer let me lighten your load a bit. picture that garage door as a crowd of people. now picture the lawsuits.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:54 PM   #15
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Dealing with the "not so safe driver anymore" - perhaps this should be a new thread.

FIL still drives, but nobody is comfortable riding with him. He just seems to be not reacting to things that he should be, or aware of, but nothing overt that we can point specifically to. No accidents other than sometimes hitting the side of the garage wall but he's never been good about backing into the garage. He does okay in parking lots, etc.

Five minutes ago we got a call from SIL - he just drove into the garage door.

There is evidence on his car that he "parks by sonar", meaning he backs up until he hits something sometimes.

Now I'm wondering if I'm duty-bound to write to to the Motor Vehicle Administration requesting that he be retested. If he fails, he will have to move as there is no public transportation other than taxi, which would be prohibitive on a regular basis.

I know the answer. I just don't want to be the heavy. Thought I'd retired from that.
I dont know Walt. My FIL is 85. Drives around pretty well I feel ok driving with him. He knows his limits by not driving at night and in bad weather. If I was in your shoes Im not sure how I would handle it either. I cant imagine how much it must suck losing your freedom to drive.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:57 PM   #16
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I can't tell you how appropo this thread is to me right this moment. My 89 year old father has been -- until Sunday night -- very independent, living alone for the past 14+ years since Mom died, driving, shopping, caring for his house, etc.

On Sunday afternoon he called me to say that he was having trouble catching his breath and wanted to go to the E.R. My brother took him in, thinking that this was going to be a series of tests over the next few hours -- as we've experienced several times over the past few years.

Except this time. He's in the community hospital right now waiting to be transferred to a local teaching hospital with a first rate cardiac unit. Tests are telling us that he apparently outlived his by-pass done some 24 years ago. Now he either has another blockage or a collapsed artery -- which will be addressed tomorrow thru angioplasty. Can't just go with meds on this one.

This will be his 7th catherization over the years and this one's got us worried, mostly because of his age, but also because of the "what if" factor.

I've been staying at his house as I live about 50 miles away from him and I've discovered that he hasn't been taking his meds as prescribed; he's not eating like he claims he does etc. So, my brother and I are starting the discussions around the possibility of having to go to the next step, whatever that is.

But all I want now is for my dad is a successful procedure tomorrow.

If you good people believe in prayer, I'd appreciate it if you'd say a quick one for my dad. Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:18 PM   #17
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That and we're crossing our fingers for you.

heh heh heh
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caring for sister
Old 02-19-2008, 07:05 PM   #18
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caring for sister

I am 57 and caring for my 61 year old sister. She is developmentally disabled, and is very stubborn at times. I work 40 hours a week, but need to take off to take her to dr and dentist since she doesn't drive.

She has been living with us for 2 years, and eventually i will find an assisted living facility. She is on social security disability and has a small ira, so money is an issue.

My brother is 1000 miles away and he can only have her for a month a year, but it is better than nothing.

She loves to talk to people all the time, and I haven't been able to take her out a lot. She has a senior group at church, a library book club, and that's about it. It's almost like having a child again.
My husband has been very patient and we do have a big house, but she tries my patience sometimes.
I know many of you are in worse situations, so I am mostly upbeat about the whole thing, knowing it is temporary.

God bless all of you for doing the best you can!
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:34 PM   #19
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After my mom's aneurysm I moved into her house and became a "stay at home" daughter for the following three years. It was simultaneously the most challenging and rewarding experience in my life.

I've recently come to realize that my father is having some memory deficits - he lost his house to foreclosure, is not taking his medications consistently and last week didn't recognize my brother during the course of a 5 minute conversation. I suspect the future months will provide some difficult decisions.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:40 AM   #20
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Nursing Homes are dreadful. Talk about a place where people do not do their jobs. This is the result of poor management and low paid workers with high turnover. This is one area that needs reform and some new punitive laws for neglect.

Nothing like going to a Nursing Home and paying about $80k/yr to be neglected.

I would recommend to those that have parents with assets to try to put together home care solutions and pay for people coming in. You are much more likely to get better care. If the parent is approaching death use Hospice. This is a much better option. Even if you have to clear out the living room and turn it into a hospital ward (in the parents home). It takes a little work and patience (and stressful), but you and your parent will feel much better about it.
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