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  1. #1
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    Older parents-WWYD?

    I am faced with a dilemma. My 78 yr old mom came down with West Nile virus about 3 years ago. It almost killed her due to the encephalitis that it gave her. Now she has nerve damage, which hampers her ability to get around and she has fallen a few times, breaking bones, which causes her more pain and lack of mobility. Where she lives, she is on the HOA board and feels compelled to be out in the gardens and yards showing the landscaping crew how to do their jobs. That is likely when the mosquito bit her to transmit the West Nile and she has been bit by a black widow which fucked her up too. I have been asking her for a few years to stop working with the landscaping crew, as she really is not able to do it anymore, but she doesn't listen to me. The bummer about the West Nile virus is it likely took about 10 years off my mom's life and she acts more like someone in their late 80's rather than 70's.

    Needless to say I am always worried about her and was relieved when my step dad finally retired a year ago, so he could keep an eye on her. Wrong, turns out he is developing some mental issues (he's crazy) wasn't sleeping, drinking to much and he started to develop auditory and visual hallucinations.
    So a few weeks ago his son hospitalized him. I met with him yesterday and after talking to him, I am certain he can be ok if he moderates the booze (he isn't drinking at this time) is around other people (he was very isolated the last year) gets his sleep and takes care of himself.

    Normally people in their late 70's should be able to take care of themselves, but I really don't know about these two. So, what to do?

    They live two hours away from me so I can't drop in on them daily. I asked my mom if I could put a webcam in her kitchen and she said "hell no". I suggested they have someone come in every other day to help out and she states they don't need that (which is true). What they need is a full time babysitter to keep an eye on them.

    So, in talking to my wife she suggested we add a granny flat on the house and move them down here with us. I work from home, so I could definitely keep an eye on them and living where we do would be so nice for them compared to the hood they live in now.

    Bummer for the wife and I, is there go our plans to travel in 3 years, once she retires at 63. Now she said she may as well work to 65 (which sucks) as we aren't going anywhere for the next 20+ years if we are watching the parents.

    It isn't like my parents can really afford anything close to us to just move closer to us, so that is why we would need to move them into our home, if I am going to keep an eye on them.

    So do we just do it or is there any other way to work this out?

    end blog
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a downsizing from a single family house with a property to a condo or apartment would be a good start.

    However if your mom is anything like my widower dad, good luck pulling them from her home anything but feet first.

  3. #3
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    Vibes brother, if you do what you are saying it will change your plans. This is what life is.

    I too face similar issues, your plan sounds valid to me and to care for your folks is a small price to repay the care they gave to you when you were a child.

    What is important now is what you do, later I hope you get to do things you wish to do.
    watch out for snakes

  4. #4
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    Seems like if you mother feels like working in the garden, she should work in the garden. It's her life, if that's what she likes, she should do it. Imagine someone telling someone they were too old to ski or hike or whatever?

    You could get her one of those alert button lanyard things?

    Downsizing isn't a bad idea not is trying to get them involved with a senior center or some sort of activities that will keep them active, not isolated, etc.

  5. #5
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    neither of my parents lasted very long after the start of the end (at 84 and 90) which was pretty much self inflicted, cuz IME trying to tell an old person to do anything is just not very easy, I used to say even if they could hear you they wouldn't listen

    medic alert buttons are expensive so is taking all yer meds even when they got lots of money ... its much cheaper to just collapse on the kitchen floor for 17hrs
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  6. #6
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    Mr FIL is 91 and can't remember shit anymore, worries about things that are not worth worrying about and freaks out when something "new" happens. He's still in his own place but shouldn't be and my wife can't seem to accept that but gets all worked up over him being worked up. It's starting to affect our lives in a bad way so I keep suggesting adding a second floor to our house so we can move upstairs and he can take the main floor bedroom that we use. I keep hoping that the suggestions will turn into reality even though it means our plans to move on will most likely get put on hold.

  7. #7
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    An on-site parents' suite may prevent travel for extended periods but you could still travel.


    Quote Originally Posted by Peruvian View Post
    Sounds like a downsizing from a single family house with a property to a condo or apartment would be a good start.

    However if your mom is anything like my widower dad, good luck pulling them from her home anything but feet first.
    In my limited experience, a condo, apartment, or even assisted living facility is a great idea but hard to implement exactly because of the second point.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    So do we just do it or is there any other way to work this out?

    end blog
    At hospitals there are case workers who keep track of what's going on. They have contacts among social workers and in my case (I won't go into the long and ugly story of failing distant passive aggressive parents 3200 miles away) one was assigned to my parents to help keep track.

    So try to work that angle where a social worker is keeping track, maybe once a week or so.

    Also, there are likely decent people in your mom's complex that can keep on eye on them. Contact them and ask that they call you if anything funny goes on, like change of habits in being around, going to and fro.

    Just hope they don't get hit by a hurricane.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  9. #9
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    I'm not going to be much help - I think the plan to move them there might be the best - but your story made me think of a couple things. The first is that when I turn into a dotard (love that word) I hope I remember to just submit to an assisted/supervised living situation instead of fighting my loved ones about it and having them worry.* Second, my big post-retirement plans for travel - gonna-go-here and gonna-ski-that - kind of went to shit due to a family illness. When I'm not feeling sorry for myself I think of it as something of a first-world problem. Like scottyb said above, that's what life is.

    * My daughter claims she's going to take me in my wheelchair to the top of a steep hill and let me go. I suggested she light me on fire before pushing me off.

    /more bloggage.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    , but she doesn't listen to me.
    Sounds like you have a normal relationship with Mom.
    Daniel Ortega eats here.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtngirl79 View Post
    Seems like if you mother feels like working in the garden, she should work in the garden. It's her life, if that's what she likes, she should do it. Imagine someone telling someone they were too old to ski or hike or whatever?

    You could get her one of those alert button lanyard things?

    Downsizing isn't a bad idea not is trying to get them involved with a senior center or some sort of activities that will keep them active, not isolated, etc.
    This^^^ Go to where they live and look into whats available through their city and church.
    Do not tell your parents what to do. They have earned the right to do what they want. I have dealt with this issue with my mom and now dealing with it with our inlaws.

  12. #12
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    Let them do whatever in the hell they want until it's time to check into an old folks home.

    If I make it to that age anyone tries to tell me how to live my life they can get bent.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverSurfer View Post
    Let them do whatever in the hell they want until it's time to check into an old folks home.

    If I make it to that age anyone tries to tell me how to live my life they can get bent.
    While that suggestion is best for selfish me, it may lead to an earlier demise of my mom and that is what I am trying to avoid.

    Rather than working her ass off on the grounds of her condo association, she can do all the gardening she wants at our place. I would set up a nice garden for her right outside her bedroom french doors.

    And Meadow Skipper, your right. Us not being able to travel for years at a time is a first world problem I will get over. We could continue to do a few weeks here and there and my girls would be close enough to each check up on them every other day while we are out of town.

    To be clear, I don't tell them what to do. I tell them I am worried about them being 2 hours away. It really is best for them if we do this, as their quality of life should go way up. It is just scary to think I will be living with them for the next 20+ years, but like Scotty said, I owe my mom.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  14. #14
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    The way I see it is that they aren't long for this world once they get to that point, so why not try and squeeze out the last few years of their lives making some good memories. America's one of the few cultures in the world that doesn't do multi-generational living. Not that I'm suggesting you have 3 generations of people living under one roof or anything, but it is odd how we approach the elderly.

    Nursing homes are so damn expensive, that they'll be pissing away whatever savings they have left for typically subpar living conditions. Now there are some swanky places I wouldn't mind ending up at, but I'd rather have something left over to give my kids for putting up with my cranky old ass and inevitable sexual harassment of my son's future hot wife. (I wanna be THAT old guy).

    Personally, I'll be inviting my parents to come live with me and my family in the twilight of their years. I honestly think I'll enjoy that. Easier to take care of them on your home turf than when they're several hours away calling you every day to help them with some mundane task. They'll enjoy it more too. Get in some quality time while you still can. Plus when they finally kick the bucket, you'll have zero regrets about how well they were taken care of or not having spent enough time with them before it's too late. Just my $0.02.

  15. #15
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    I don't think I'd recommend them moving onto your property, but nearby. I will be relocating a few yrs to do the same.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    While that suggestion is best for selfish me, it may lead to an earlier demise of my mom and that is what I am trying to avoid.
    So, no mosquitos or spiders or other bad bity things where you live? Seriously, look at this from another direction. It could apply to anything. Sounds like she's been helping care for the condo grounds for a long time, and she's invested in them.

    Rather than working her ass off on the grounds of her condo association, she can do all the gardening she wants at our place. I would set up a nice garden for her right outside her bedroom french doors.
    That's great if it's what she wants.

    And Meadow Skipper, your right. Us not being able to travel for years at a time is a first world problem I will get over. We could continue to do a few weeks here and there and my girls would be close enough to each check up on them every other day while we are out of town.

    To be clear, I don't tell them what to do. I tell them I am worried about them being 2 hours away. It really is best for them if we do this, as their quality of life should go way up. It is just scary to think I will be living with them for the next 20+ years, but like Scotty said, I owe my mom.
    Again, if it's what they want.

  17. #17
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    My parents put most of their lives on hold caring for their parents. They were asked and took on the biggest responsibilities for both of their parents. They had power of attorney and eventually full financial control. My grandfathers both died relatively young, in their 80's. My grandmothers lived into their mid to late 90's. All my parent's trips away had tension as they were always on call, and they had to cut many trips short, sometimes because a sibling flipped out while caring for the parent. For a year, my mother spent 3+ hrs per day driving twice a week getting or retrieving her mother from dialysis appts. My mom retired early to care for her mom, and is now working again because of the extra costs caring for her mother and MIL. Now that they are all gone, my folks are travelling for the first time in 15 years.

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  18. #18
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    Moving my mom into a retirement facility was the best thing I ever did. She is in the independent side and can live as she chooses but if she needs help it's there to do everything from daily welfare checks to laundry to hanging pictures or making repairs. She's at a sweet place that has a spa/workout room, theater, church, beauty parlor, sundries store, restaurant, pitch & putt, ice cream parlor. They have events and transportation available etc. etc. When the time comes she can move to the Assisted Living side plus there is a new Memory Care facility. Cost is great too - much cheaper here than on the west side. I was fortunate that my mother went along with the idea when I said "I'm moving and so are you and here is where you're gonna live". She would not have done well in a single family home or a mixed age/resident apartment complex. No worrying about sketchy neighbors or dubious contractors making needed repairs. If it snows or the power goes out she is snug as a bug in a rug with everything she needs and the people to help her. I joke that she has it better than me when bad weather hits.

    My Aunt & Uncle made a similar move when they were in their late 70s. At first I thought it seemed crazy but really it was brilliant. They moved to a spacious apartment.retirement/assisted/nursing home facility. When my Uncle had a stroke he was moved to the assisted care facilities on the same campus and my Aunt downsized into a smaller apartment. Uncle died, Aunt got sick which moved her into the nursing home facility. They had it all lined up - no worries for their family. No big moves, they had already downsized. Inheritance had largely been dealt with when they sold the property to move and through gifting during the years. Looking back, it was a very kind thing they did for their children.
    When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something." Rep. John Lewis


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bodywhomper View Post
    My parents put most of their lives on hold caring for their parents. They were asked and took on the biggest responsibilities for both of their parents. They had power of attorney and eventually full financial control. My grandfathers both died relatively young, in their 80's. My grandmothers lived into their mid to late 90's. All my parent's trips away had tension as they were always on call, and they had to cut many trips short, sometimes because a sibling flipped out while caring for the parent. For a year, my mother spent 3+ hrs per day driving twice a week getting or retrieving her mother from dialysis appts. My mom retired early to care for her mom, and is now working again because of the extra costs caring for her mother and MIL. Now that they are all gone, my folks are travelling for the first time in 15 years.

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    LOL @ "died relatively young in their 80s". Sounds like a good long life to me - my dad died at 56.

    As my friend always says "where you stand depends on where you sit"
    When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something." Rep. John Lewis


    Kindness is a bridge between all people

    Dunkin’ Donuts Worker Dances With Customer Who Has Autism

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peruvian View Post
    Sounds like a downsizing from a single family house with a property to a condo or apartment would be a good start.

    However if your mom is anything like my widower dad, good luck pulling them from her home anything but feet first.
    Yea, welcome to my world. How I deal with it is by becoming emotionally detached. They make their choices, they deal with their consequences.
    Gimme five, I'm still alive!
    Ain't no luck, I learned to duck!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    It is just scary to think I will be living with them for the next 20+ years, but like Scotty said, I owe my mom.
    You might be surprised on how rewarding that time will be.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by KQ View Post
    LOL @ "died relatively young in their 80s". Sounds like a good long life to me - my dad died at 56.

    As my friend always says "where you stand depends on where you sit"
    Relatively to their life long partner. One out lived their partner for over 15 years. She was 18 when she got married.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    It is just scary to think I will be living with them for the next 20+ years
    Heh, it wouldn't surprise me if your folks felt something like that when you were born.

    Vibes though.

  24. #24
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    Do you have room on your property for a small house for them, so they'd have their own space, and you'd have yours?

  25. #25
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    Everyone's situation is different - the most critical/hardest element is planning ahead before your parents are significantly compromised. I'm uncomfortable with the idea that the children "owe" it to their parents to accommodate them into the into their home - best to do it because actually want to and have the necessary resources. If I had felt obligated to bring my mother into my house, the result would have been murder and/or divorce. One should also keep in mind that, unlike children that (in theory anyway) are growing and maturing, aging/no longer independent parents that need supplemental care are going in the opposite direction. More power to you if you're up to the task and truly want to do it out of love, but it's definitely not for everyone.

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