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Old 01-15-2010, 07:23 AM   #61
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Good grief, if 60 seems old to some of you people how long does your family live? I suppose if your family history is filled with folks who live just to their early 70's then going into a care-type of home makes sense, otherwise, I can't see why you would rush it so much? I'm just not getting this line of thinking at all. To me that's like throwing in the towel at way too young an age.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:41 AM   #62
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Why would you characterize moving into some type of assisted living facility, or facility where assisted living is an option and there is a plan for more complete care when needed as "throwing in the towel"?

Yes, 60s seems very young. 70s seems more appropriate, but I can see how some folks might be concerned that their decision making would be impaired by then, and maybe that concern is based on how their parents aged.

It seems like looking at the whole thing in terms of "throwing in the towel" is what keeps these older folks from accepting the gradual assistance that they need as they age.

It's not an all or nothing proposition. It's not like these folks are checking themselves directly into a nursing home and putting themselves to bed.

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Old 01-15-2010, 12:53 PM   #63
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Nords,
I had a mother-in-law who got Alzheimer's disease and died from it. It was horrible. My wife (primarily) was the one of the chidren who took care of her, so I was heavily involved as the son-in-law. We have no children so the siblings expected us to do the most. Aricept worked for my MIL and also a newer (back around 2000) drug with a name that started with an M. Maybe "Mem"-something. They both worked for my MIL. It's funny that I can't remember the name of the drug: see the following paragraph.

I have direct experience with vascular dementia as I have it from 49 years of type-one diabetes. I am on disability due to its effect on my short-term memory. I have a lot of trouble getting stuff into long-term memory but once I do it stays there. I have slight trouble with recalling things but will eventually recall what I am trying to remember. It just takes longer. When I first started having trouble, I figured out that it took me four times longer to learn stuff than it used to. This was not fast enough to keep my job but it hasn't really affected me much in real life. I got a kidney/pancreas transplant in '96 and this has stopped the progression of the diabetes related small blood vessel damage everywhere in my body including my brain. So I am sort of stuck at "demented-but-handling-it."

From what I read about your father, I would say that he has more than vascular dementia.

I know that a lot of my posts on this forum have to do with my medical probs but I thought this pertained to the subject at hand.

I have trouble staying on subject when I speak and especially when I write. I find list-making helps a lot. I got depressed when I first started having trouble at work. That went away with the short-term help of anti-depressants and getting a diagnosis so that I knew what was wrong. I never got confused or got lost while driving or had any negative experiences like that. I have trouble following new procedures or remembering new lists of things to do - list making solved that too.

A lot of people who haven't had a lot of medical problems lose patience with their doctors trying stuff that may not work or having to switch meds due to side-effects. I have a good attitude about trying different meds until the right one is found. Maybe your father needs to find a doctor that is technically oriented so that he can offer a better explation of how things are expected to work.

Hope this helps,
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:27 PM   #64
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Good grief, if 60 seems old to some of you people how long does your family live? I suppose if your family history is filled with folks who live just to their early 70's then going into a care-type of home makes sense, otherwise, I can't see why you would rush it so much? I'm just not getting this line of thinking at all. To me that's like throwing in the towel at way too young an age.
I think there is some misunderstanding of what these facilities are. The stage one of independent living is just the same as living in a condo complex anywhere in the community. You come and go as you please, no-one is checking on you, you have to obligation to participate in the community unless you want to and in Australia these facilities are bang-smack in the middle of regular communities.

We are planning on travelling regularly into our 70s for long periods of time. We hope to do trips such as going to Asia and teaching ESL on a voluntary basis for 3 month stints. As long as we are healthy we will travel. Being part of a retirement community means we can pack our bags and go without any concern for our property. At a retirement community there is always someone around to notice if something is going on at your place.

We are in our 40s and we noticed that the majority of our friends/relatives have all lost at least 1 parent, in the majority of the cases it is the father. Most surviving parents are 70+ and not one has gone into a facility. They all use the same excuse, we are coping fine on our own, yet we can all see they aren't. It seems somewhere there is a fine line between knowing what is going on to suddenly becoming totally delusional about their situation. Most of them don't accept help because that would be an admission they aren't coping and also what else would they do. The key thing I see amongst most of these widows is the loneliness and how they crave company.

Personally I don't care who does my house cleaning or maintains my property. I am happy for someone else to do it, if I have the financial means to pay for it. I'll admit having a shiny clean house gives me much pleasure, but I don't gain additional pleasure by being the one to clean it. At 80 I want to be the type of person who is busy doing activities besides watching Wheel of Fortune or cleaning my kitchen sink for the 4th time in a day for something to do. Having seen my FIL probably get into depression in his late 70s due to a lack of real activities and lack of interaction for stimulating conversation, I can see that my DH would likely be the same so I want to ensure that his life is filled from an earlier age so as his physical attributes diminish he can transfer his desires to other pursuits.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:46 PM   #65
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From what I read about your father, I would say that he has more than vascular dementia.
I know that a lot of my posts on this forum have to do with my medical probs but I thought this pertained to the subject at hand.
I have a good attitude about trying different meds until the right one is found. Maybe your father needs to find a doctor that is technically oriented so that he can offer a better explation of how things are expected to work.
Hope this helps,
Mike D.
Thanks, from what you describe my father's symptoms may be more complicated than I thought. And of course you probably don't have 2-3 shots of daily alcohol.

There's very little reasoning with him. He sees "no doctors" as an independence issue, not life-threatening. He won't change his mind until life is so difficult without doctors that he's willing to cope with the hassle factor.

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I think there is some misunderstanding of what these facilities are.
I'd get into one of them at the minimum age just to avoid expense creep, to ditch all the maintenance hassles, and to be free to pick up & travel at the drop of a whim.

Our area's new independent-living facility is opening next month. We've talked a lot about dumping our tropical white elephant paradise on our kid as soon as she needs the address to send her kids to her ol' school, and we'd move just a few miles across the community to "age in place". We'd be a two-minute walk from the bus stop, we could stroll over to McDs for a cone anytime we wanted, and we'd even have some shopping within a 10-minute walk.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:32 PM   #66
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Our area's new independent-living facility is opening next month. We've talked a lot about dumping our tropical white elephant paradise on our kid as soon as she needs the address to send her kids to her ol' school, and we'd move just a few miles across the community to "age in place". We'd be a two-minute walk from the bus stop, we could stroll over to McDs for a cone anytime we wanted, and we'd even have some shopping within a 10-minute walk.
Just make sure to check it out carefully before making a big investment. Here's a thread I started on this topic last November.

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Old 01-15-2010, 05:12 PM   #67
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So I was reluctant to view this thread. Since DW and I are going through some things with her folks. Mainly her mother.

Really I do not want to face what is slowly becoming reality.

I would like to add I really have nothing to share. But I can sympathize what is going on in some your lives or what has gone on.

Sometimes you think you are prepared for what is to come. Then while it comes you realize you really were not. Reminds me of many little cute slogans that right now would not be appropriate.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:30 PM   #68
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So I was reluctant to view this thread. Since DW and I are going through some things with her folks. Mainly her mother.

Really I do not want to face what is slowly becoming reality.

I would like to add I really have nothing to share. But I can sympathize what is going on in some your lives or what has gone on.

Sometimes you think you are prepared for what is to come. Then while it comes you realize you really were not. Reminds me of many little cute slogans that right now would not be appropriate.
You do have something to share. The fear of not being prepared, not wanting to face the reality, not knowing what to say. DH and I just lost his mom. She was almost 91 and had been in poor health for years. Even so, we were not prepared. Not at all.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:55 PM   #69
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My mother died quickly at age 85, a couple of years ago, which was very hard. My father, now 89, has an independent streak (stubborn!!! he invented it!) but has allowed my brother to move in with him. So he is able to stay in the family house. However, he is careless about eating, and about paying bills, and is amazingly bad at not throwing out junk mail and lack of organization... and won't let us put the bills on autopay or let my brother help.

Dad still drives (eeek) and plays tennis and travels. He hasn't lost his ST memory yet but he gets angry very easily if questioned. In one sense he's in pretty good shape - in another, he's a royal pain.

As an example, I mentioned that an investment company had sent him a dividend check - had he received it? He didn't open it (they sent it overnight fedex) and thought it was junk mail and was mad that he now had to look for it. Now it is in a pile somewhere - these piles of mail are unsorted and are 2' high and more. They fall over so they are really unorganized after the fall.

I asked him if he was eating okay (neither of them cook) and he said he knew how to cook but didn't want to. Not even interested in buying frozen stuff and using the microwave. He does sometimes warm up soup, but I think he mostly subsists on junk - muffins, whatever. He wants the food to just appear on the table as my mother provided it for 62 years.

It's really hard - I read through all the posts. I'm glad my father is high-functioning but OTOH he's VERY difficult. I'm 1500 miles away. I wish he'd let us help him but he doesn't want to give up any control.

My mother did most of the investing, all of the bill paying, and all of the household organization. His office/room she just treated as no man's land and ignored as not worth the aggravation.

They have someone come in once a week and clean - she does the laundry and changes the sheets and towels too.

Anyhow, this is NOTHING compared to many other tales of woe here, but it's sad and pathetic and unfixable. My brother said he was waiting until my dad really started ignoring bills and would insist on paying them.

My mother had set up POA for health and durable POA, as well as a health directive and living wills. I'm sure it was her idea. So - I theoretically have control, I can sign on the bank accounts (as can my brother). It all sounds organized but the stress level is enormous.

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Old 01-20-2010, 08:11 AM   #70
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Reading some of these make me glad that my mother moved easily... and says she loves her condo... it is a one bedroom, but plently of space for her... the cost is a LOT less than one of the few assisted living places that are in North Houston... you can buy a lot of services with the difference in costs....

She does have people come in every two weeks to clean, make her bed, etc.... in and out quick... she is also 10 minutes away, instead of 45 minutes... so we get to see her a lot more now...

She is 90, but in good shape.. does water aerobics 3 times a week...
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:09 PM   #71
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This ed-mail thread really hit home for me as I am facing some of the same issues with my mother. She does have caregiver/housekeeper who comes in a few days a week. I have been talking to my mother about her need for even more assistance. So far, that conversation is going no where, but I hope it does't take a crisis to get my mother to agree to additional help. It is very, very hard to see my mother becoming both physically and mentally weaker. She lives 3 hours away, so while I can be there fairly quickly---it is not immediate.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:44 PM   #72
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This ed-mail thread really hit home for me as I am facing some of the same issues with my mother. She does have caregiver/housekeeper who comes in a few days a week. I have been talking to my mother about her need for even more assistance. So far, that conversation is going no where, but I hope it does't take a crisis to get my mother to agree to additional help. It is very, very hard to see my mother becoming both physically and mentally weaker. She lives 3 hours away, so while I can be there fairly quickly---it is not immediate.
Funny thing about my mom was I had mentioned that she should look into finding where she should go 'just in case' more than 7 years ago... and she told my sisters I wanted to put her in a home...

NOW, she tells everyone she loves her new place and had wished she had moved a long time ago... she is not in an assisted living home, but a highrise with 24hr security and onsite people who can help in case something goes wrong... she has people come in and clean.. and is willing to pay for more help when it is needed... she also likes being 10 minutes away from me and one of my sisters... she sees us a lot more...

SOOO, try and see if she will move closer if she does not have the support network where she is now (my mother did not have any close neighbors or friends where she used to live... all moved away a long time ago).. and maybe not into an assisted living place right away... buy a condo and see how it goes..
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:46 PM   #73
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The transaction costs of real estate are high so, if you can, try to find a condo that other members of the family would be happy to use/inherit. Renting is often forbidden.

My brother lives in a co-op that functions as a retirement residence. They screen residents as a part of the purchase process. A significant % of the residents have live-in help (widows, widowers), it is large enough for a housekeeper to limit her clients to just that building. When he was reviewing the board correspondence as a condition of purchase he was fascinated to learn that a number of residents had a copy of their DNRs on file with the on-site manager.

This building is not in a resort area, most of the owners have lived in the community for most of their adult lives or have children nearby.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:18 AM   #74
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Texas proud--Brat---thanks for the suggestions. It is comforting to know that I am not the only ones facing these issues.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:42 PM   #75
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Thanks everyone for their thoughtful and informative responses. We are facing the same issues on each coast. Mom is bedridden, incontinent, and almost nonverbal. Dad has advanced Parkinsons.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:08 PM   #76
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