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Old 12-19-2010, 09:18 AM   #21
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If he is in a NH... keep an eye on it! If he does not have someone in his area to look in on him... consider moving him to your area.
+1. As I mentioned in an earlier post, our experience indicates it is critical to keep an eye on things. My MIL was in assisted living then nursing homes for many years. We had a several bad experiences - one where we moved her to a new home and several where we had to speak to the staff. The staff knows which residents have frequent visitors and family who will insist on good care. I felt very sorry for the people I saw who had infrequent or no people looking in on them.

Also, just because a nursing home looks nice, it doesn't necessarily mean the care is good. The worst one she was in was beautiful to look at but the care was terrible. This is the place where DH and I came to visit her and found her tied to her bed, crying and begging for help. The staff tried to tell us they did this to prevent her from falling out of bed.

She was moved as quickly as we could find a new place.
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:09 AM   #22
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FlyfishNV, oh how I feel for you. The blessing is that he is now living in safety where he is comfortable.. and he is financially prepared. Not many are in such a good situation.

Cleaning out his stuff is exausting but there is an end to the process and, assuming the home is well situated and in decent condition, a well priced home on the Oregon coast won't linger long.

I live in a building with two units in estates that are up for sale. In once case the heirs were confident that the RE market slump didn't apply to their mother's place. Well, it has been on the market now for well over a year and they finally dropped the price big time... keeping it is eating up their inheritance.
Yes, knowing he is safe takes a a lot of DW's mind. As for the condition of the home... Well, it's still standing. We look at it as either a fixer upper or a tear down and replace with a dream home sale. Luckily it is on 1.6 acres and a mile from the beach (with no direct access). Beautiful area. If it was closer to us, we would keep it and fix it up to rent, but 11 hours is a long way to drive to work on a house.
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:48 AM   #23
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...A couple of times I've started to mention to daddy that perhaps we should 'tidy up' their house. But when I do, he says there is no need. I suppose he wants things left the same way as they were when momma was at home.

Even though I'll have more to deal with when both of them are gone, I have to respect his wishes.

Hear Hear! I think many come in to a home with fresh eyes and see better, more efficient, tidier ways for the house - without regard for the fact that habit is a really really handy thing for the person used to the house as it is. One expects the oatmeal pan in the left cupboard, the spoon in the lower right drawer, the measuring cup at the back of the countertop... That long habit can keep one able to make breakfast for oneself months or years longer.

A daughter came in and totally rearranged MIL's house so it was "safer and more efficient" - well yeah, for her it is - now I can barely heat a cup of soup there and the furniture is all in different toe stubbing places. MIL wonders where her things have gone. Where did the pillow that smelled of her husband go? Not a happy situation.

I'm in favor of recognizing that there is an individual person there and as long as possible respecting their right to choose.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:36 AM   #24
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I sincerely wish you ALL the best with your situations.

We started our personal trip into the care giving / getting three weeks ago when DW and I moved MIL with AD to AD lockdown and FIL independent living in Ohio from thier packed house in Wisc. Both are 80.

She is doing great and getting care she needed for years. The 'FIL care' was not back to a doctor after diagnosis of AD when it was supposed to be three months. Before the appointment, we got scheduled after questioning directly to the doctors office, a short visit from their family friend, who was an RN, got her a bath. FIL stated that the 'black ring' around her neck for the last six years washed off to his amazement!

We learned he was feeding her once a day. The story is totally unbelievable.

FIL had two wrecks in one day the during the week before the move and fell while cleaning the gutters. He has now been diagnosed with mild dementia and in the past three weeks has fallen in his apt, went to hospital with flu, and now is in skilled nursing for therapy and evaluation for the ability to live independent.

And he says he is fine, says the therapy is a ripoff and wants his check book etc back cuz he's taking his wife back to Wisc.

He had begged for our help which we had been offering for years because he couldn't / wouldn't take care of his 100% incontinent wife. If she had a problem, he put her in the tub and hosed her downw! His words. We were within hours of calling social services to report the living conditions when he gave up the stay at home idea.

At least we don't have to worry about his driving as Wisc has pulled his license without a total retest. We will tell him that only when we have to.

We hope we can get him declared incompetent before he revokes POA and walks out with his wife and head home.

As far as the house, we recoverd all of the papers we needed for taxes etc, along with some of the EVERY peice of paper they got from the 70's till now and some earlier. How about every prospectus and the envelope, every bill, every scrape you would find in the piles we took with SSN's. And the many piles under all the other stuff we will get to later.

This is a living hell, but we make the best of it. FIL is a nasty person but we keep telling each other he is old etc.

We had to put a 17 year old pet cat to sleep this week and my wife had a really hard time. She told FIL and his comment was"Are you having a big funeral?" Followed up with "You have other cats."

We knew this was coming someday but didn't know how bad it could be.

As aside note on care for MIL. We have met wonderful people in all areas that have helped and advised us and have met many sweet residents in the facilities.

Again, best wishes and prayers for all.
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:47 PM   #25
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What chinaco said.

The worst moment I had was when the hospital wanted to discharge my Dad after brain surgery and we could not meet his care needs at home. The social worker said she would find a bed, we had 24 hours at the most to check it out (before the Medicare site was available). When Dad realized he was in a care facility and not the hospital he was one pissed Norwegian because the surgeon had told him that he would go home from the hospital. No mention of an intermediate stay. [Don't get me going on surgeons who convince a patient to accept treatment based on their belief that all will go well and they will go home when discharged from the hospital. Dad didn't really want the surgery.]

IMHO if you have a parent who MIGHT need care start building your own list of options. There are care audit reports of Medicare qualified nursing homes on their website. The other options are assisted living and adult foster care. Most states or counties have audits of those places too because they are licenced (make sure that their licence is current). When possible take your parent to visit the ones you think would work for them.

That does not mean that an intervention will not be necessary. We needed to do that with my MIL. When she realized that we were moving her to a facility she said she liked she said, "This is nice for OTHER people!"
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:56 PM   #26
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Sorry about this situation Dan, but it sounds like you have it coming along very well.

Good luck!

Ha
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:24 PM   #27
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I think other threads on this board have mentioned that every financial institution has its very own special little POA form that has to be filled out, and they don't care how many times or places or with whom you've done the others.
I think if you have a durable power of attorney it covers every scenario if he is declared incompetent. We have a health POA and a durable POA on my father, and that is what several attorneys said to do.
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:53 PM   #28
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You are SO not alone!

We moved my SO's mother into an senior independent living apartment in July (a week after I retired), a mile from our home. She had become debilitated, broken a couple of bones, the house was dirty, etc. She just couldn't manage even a small single-family home any more, and it was about a 40 minute drive from our home (same metro area).

Luckily we found a place she liked (and WE liked) and she was all for it. Now she's complaining - but in MUCH better health since they provide meals, and she's eating better and exercising more. We are starting to have to treat her as a 2 year old. She calls with minor dilemmas, isn't able to do something like unplug all the phones (there was a phone problem). The good news is it's a mile away. She is not demented, just needy and stubborn (2 year old special).

Meanwhile, as many of you mentioned, there was the stuff left at the house. OMG. We went through it for weeks. The 100 glass jars and the 25 plastic yogurt containers were only the tip of the immense iceberg of crap we found. Unfortunately she had overlooked some significant stuff (old tax returns...) so we really had to go through it.

Now it's on the market as a somewhat fixer-upper. It needs some updating - everything works, but it's not even close to looking good. I'm not talking granite countertops "good". I'm talking a bathtub that I would be reluctant to shower in. And a shower (different bathroom) that really is gross.

I guess we'll get bids on doing some basic fixups (new linoleum, replace the shower stall if possible), and put it back on the market in the spring. This is a bad time of year to try to sell a house, even at a good price.

And the special bit on all of this is that she thinks it's just perfect and needs no work at all. So we're not sure how we're going to get around that one, since she owns it and should pay for the repairs. She won't want us to pay if they are (in her opinion) unnecessary!

On my side - we're 1400 miles away. My brother moved in with my father (who just turned 90 and still drives) when my mother died. Dad's a hoarder and we're afraid the bills are getting lost but so far it's okay. His accountant would call to get him in to do taxes. But going through that house will be a gigantic nightmare. Then there's the driving. He hasn't hit anyone or anything but neither my brother nor I will go anywhere if Dad's driving the car. It's too scary.

Oh, and I treat my father like a 2 year old. Very patient as he loses control. He saves it for family - he is very socially appropriate with other people, but has no impulse control with us.

So I guess this is what we have to look forward to, all of us. What's scary is what my SO and I will do - we have no children to look after us.

All this has made me seriously start organizing and throwing out stuff, so that our house (my stuff, anyhow) is all organized and there aren't piles of paper everywhere. It will take years, but at least I have the energy to do it now!
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:20 PM   #29
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I also feel you. I retired on 7/15 and my DH retired on 10/15. On 10/31, my mom was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. She lives an hour away from us. Our job has become traveling to pick her up 5 days a week to go to radiation, Dr. appointments and Chemo. Not exactly the fun retirement we had planned.

Oncologist gave her a month and half if she did nothing and max of 15 months with radiation and chemo. I suspect she will end up in the hospital and then move to hospice at some point.

She has had two rounds of chemo and ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks after the last one. She is not handling all of this very well. Constant complaining and criticizing every thing we do.

I am an only child so it all falls to me. Thank goodness I retired before this all happened.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:25 PM   #30
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IMHO she and you need to have a discussion with a gerontologist about the 'benefit' she is getting from the chemo. Rich... chime in here about their options in evaluating the quality of life given her diagnosis.. who should they see? Oncologists, IMHO, will treat aggressively even if the quality of life is diminished.

Maybe this is a reflection of my Dad's treatment for a brain tumor but....
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:10 PM   #31
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IMHO she and you need to have a discussion with a gerontologist about the 'benefit' she is getting from the chemo. Rich... chime in here about their options in evaluating the quality of life given her diagnosis.. who should they see? Oncologists, IMHO, will treat aggressively even if the quality of life is diminished.

Maybe this is a reflection of my Dad's treatment for a brain tumor but....
I second Brat's insight. We went though a similar journey for my 75 year old father who had pancreatic cancer. Medical community took him through an aggresive sugerical procedure that added maybe 3 months to his life. One month of that was spent in an ICU due in part to his former alcohol abuse.
Be sure you and your mom have a clear understanding of the tradeoffs and the "costs" associated with them.
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:16 PM   #32
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IMHO she and you need to have a discussion with a gerontologist about the 'benefit' she is getting from the chemo. Rich... chime in here about their options in evaluating the quality of life given her diagnosis.. who should they see? Oncologists, IMHO, will treat aggressively even if the quality of life is diminished.

Maybe this is a reflection of my Dad's treatment for a brain tumor but....
I've been involved in cancer patient advocacy work for 14+ years. I think most doctors tend to treat aggressively and not look at the overal quality of life issue.

For myself, I would really have to think long and hard before having chemo. It would very much depend on the anticipated outcome. For an elderly person, it may very well give her more time but also more side effects and lower quality of life.

When my mother had a massive stroke at 85 and they also found cancer pretty much everywhere, I would have been VERY much against anything but palliative care - if anyone had suggested it.

It's all terribly hard to deal with.
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:01 AM   #33
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Sorry to read this Dan.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:19 AM   #34
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I think if you have a durable power of attorney it covers every scenario if he is declared incompetent. We have a health POA and a durable POA on my father, and that is what several attorneys said to do.
I'm just sayin' that you might want to give yourself plenty of lead time with the first financial institution you encounter.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:57 PM   #35
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I second Brat's insight. We went though a similar journey for my 75 year old father who had pancreatic cancer. Medical community took him through an aggresive sugerical procedure that added maybe 3 months to his life. One month of that was spent in an ICU due in part to his former alcohol abuse.
Be sure you and your mom have a clear understanding of the tradeoffs and the "costs" associated with them.
Nwsteve
Thanks for the comments. They told her they can't cure her and that the treatment would give her more time. She is almost 77 and prior to this diagnosis was on no medication and very independent.

So to hear you would die in a month and a half if you took no treatment wasn't something she was prepared to acknowledge so she opted for treatment. I think she is still in denial about the type of cancer and prognosis. Of course her friends all tell her to fight because she could be one of the miracles that survive.

I think this will probably be her last Christmas and New Years. I don't know if she would have the courage to say stop all treatment. We did get the medical directive in place and DNR order.

Still taking it a day at a time.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:37 PM   #36
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Thanks for the comments. They told her they can't cure her and that the treatment would give her more time. She is almost 77 and prior to this diagnosis was on no medication and very independent.

So to hear you would die in a month and a half if you took no treatment wasn't something she was prepared to acknowledge so she opted for treatment. I think she is still in denial about the type of cancer and prognosis. Of course her friends all tell her to fight because she could be one of the miracles that survive.

I think this will probably be her last Christmas and New Years. I don't know if she would have the courage to say stop all treatment. We did get the medical directive in place and DNR order.

Still taking it a day at a time.
I'm so sorry. I hope she can find some joy during this holiday season - the one that may be her last. Wishing you all the best during this difficult time.

Peace.
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:01 AM   #37
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I'll say it (based on my experience).... Probably hoping someone else will deal with it!


IMO - it is best to be proactive and get everyone on-board with a plan before it is a crisis. Getting a commitment to help out before thing get bad is easier than after it. Once a commitment is made... most will feel obligated to stick by it. Someone almost always takes the lead. If you have another responsible sibling... work with them to form the common goal now. It will be easier to get people to share responsibility if there are two.

Unfortunately you will probably have at least one sibling that will be long on advice and short on help!
One SIL is a ray of hope in facing the reality. She just retired from nursing so must be aware of the realities. We'll be at her place on Christmas, so I'll talk to her about setting up a time soon to discuss options. Christmas would clearly be the wrong time - even I'm not that obtuse.

The BIL is a wuss married to Spendarina - no help there. Other SIL is near-psychotic and can barely take care of herself.

Ah, family! Ain't it grand!
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:15 PM   #38
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IMHO she and you need to have a discussion with a gerontologist about the 'benefit' she is getting from the chemo. Rich... chime in here about their options in evaluating the quality of life given her diagnosis.. who should they see? Oncologists, IMHO, will treat aggressively even if the quality of life is diminished.

Maybe this is a reflection of my Dad's treatment for a brain tumor but....
We had this discussion on our way home a few days back. My FIL is in no shape to make such decisions and if you becomes ill (dementia not withstanding), how would we handle it. It's always a case by case and quality of life usually trumps quantity. I for one would err on the side of quality. For us, we agree that if my FIL had cancer, for instance, he is not in a good place to endure the treatment and letting him live out his remaining in peace seem better. Prolonging his life at the cost of the pain and agony of certain treatments when he barely knows who and where he is doesn't seem a kind thing to do.

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I'm just sayin' that you might want to give yourself plenty of lead time with the first financial institution you encounter.
Luckily, he was friends with the bank manager of his small local bank and she was even reconciling his check book for him as a friend. No questions asked, they saw his decline and were just glad that he is being taken care of. I wouldn't want to deal with a big faceless corporate bank on this. It's bad enough dealing with his SS. What a hassle that is turning out to be. They won't accept just the POA, they want letters from doctors, declarations, etc. and they want it in person. We aren't changing anything but his address!
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:30 AM   #39
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IMHO she and you need to have a discussion with a gerontologist about the 'benefit' she is getting from the chemo. Rich... chime in here about their options in evaluating the quality of life given her diagnosis.. who should they see? Oncologists, IMHO, will treat aggressively even if the quality of life is diminished.

Maybe this is a reflection of my Dad's treatment for a brain tumor but....

Ditto. When dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, he asked my sister and me what he should do. We were all for agressive treatment, and going for the cure. He lived maybe 14 months and the treatment ruined his quality of life for those months. Never again will I chime in on anyone's choice of treatment except to tell this story. If you want treatment after hearing about dad's experience, you've been warned.
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:54 AM   #40
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Ditto. When dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, he asked my sister and me what he should do. We were all for agressive treatment, and going for the cure. He lived maybe 14 months and the treatment ruined his quality of life for those months. Never again will I chime in on anyone's choice of treatment except to tell this story. If you want treatment after hearing about dad's experience, you've been warned.
I suppose every situation is different.

My brother was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 75. He did chemo and had a very rough time for 4-5 months but the cancer went into remission and he had 6-8 very good months before it returned. He refused further treatment and died 16 months after being diagnosed.

Did the chemo give him those 6-8 good months or simply make him miserable for 4-5 months of the time he had left? I don't know.
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