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Old 01-09-2016, 12:21 PM
 
1,039 posts, read 658,120 times
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OP just a word of advice


My BFF aged parents were used to living all around the world


When they hit 80 they announced they would sell their house and move into a Retirement Home


Which was all good but


They chose a city 1000km from my BFF


Its a constant, constant stress


The retirement village they chose turns out to Not have a Nurse on site (despite the pamphlets) so they are alone and an ambulance called instead of a Nurse Attending, stressful on them and my BFF and the System


Please ensure your parents HEAR your concerns


My BFF didn't voice hers (its their life) and now everyone regrets it


My BFF is an RN and could be doing the simple cares herself via phone instead of some stranger calling an Ambulance they don't really need


Its actually quite traumatic for all of them - so Make Sure Your Concerns Are Heard and Considered - not easy at times which is why my BFF didn't speak - a choice she regrets heartily, daily.


All the best
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:15 AM
 
10,495 posts, read 8,419,943 times
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While you're visiting your parents, see if you can get their house as accident-proof as possible: add railings, grab bars and rubber mats in the tub(s), consider adding a raised commode in the bathroom, or at least a nearby grab bar, remove throw rugs or put skid-proof rubber mats beneath them, and so on. Make sure the light bulbs are bright enough, particularly in bathrooms, the kitchen, corridors and similar areas. If either of your parents uses a cane, encourage them to make it a quad cane, for more stability. Even with an elevator, adding a second railing to stairs would be advisable. Add non-skid strips to any outdoor steps, or see about adding a ramp - they're not just for wheelchairs.

A occupational therapist can check the house for safety and accessibility. Also, has your dad had his balance, feet, leg strength, vision, etc. checked lately? Something is causing all those falls, and it might be possible to address it to some degree or another. Possibly switching to more supportive shoes might make a big difference (ditto for your mom - flat shoes that don't come off easily and that have non-skid soles would be helpful for her).

While you're there, also check medicine cabinets and get rid of any outdated meds. Replace OTC meds with new supplies, if need be. Make sure they have basic first-aid supplies and meds on hand: bandages, antiseptics, aspirin, ibuprofen, cough syrup, antihistamine, and so on. Also check supplies of canned, dried and frozen food for quantity and quality. Encourage your parents to get automatic payment for their utility bills. If you can gift them with snow tires, that would be great.

Just getting their house and living conditions as safe and functional as possible would help them - and help you have more peace of mind.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,017 posts, read 17,327,635 times
Reputation: 41286
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
While you're visiting your parents, see if you can get their house as accident-proof as possible: add railings, grab bars and rubber mats in the tub(s), consider adding a raised commode in the bathroom, or at least a nearby grab bar, remove throw rugs or put skid-proof rubber mats beneath them, and so on. Make sure the light bulbs are bright enough, particularly in bathrooms, the kitchen, corridors and similar areas. If either of your parents uses a cane, encourage them to make it a quad cane, for more stability. Even with an elevator, adding a second railing to stairs would be advisable. Add non-skid strips to any outdoor steps, or see about adding a ramp - they're not just for wheelchairs.

A occupational therapist can check the house for safety and accessibility. Also, has your dad had his balance, feet, leg strength, vision, etc. checked lately? Something is causing all those falls, and it might be possible to address it to some degree or another. Possibly switching to more supportive shoes might make a big difference (ditto for your mom - flat shoes that don't come off easily and that have non-skid soles would be helpful for her).

While you're there, also check medicine cabinets and get rid of any outdated meds. Replace OTC meds with new supplies, if need be. Make sure they have basic first-aid supplies and meds on hand: bandages, antiseptics, aspirin, ibuprofen, cough syrup, antihistamine, and so on. Also check supplies of canned, dried and frozen food for quantity and quality. Encourage your parents to get automatic payment for their utility bills. If you can gift them with snow tires, that would be great.

Just getting their house and living conditions as safe and functional as possible would help them - and help you have more peace of mind.

What an informative post.


These are all things that are often overlooked.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:31 AM
 
Location: SW US
2,217 posts, read 2,033,474 times
Reputation: 3814
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
While you're visiting your parents, see if you can get their house as accident-proof as possible: add railings, grab bars and rubber mats in the tub(s), consider adding a raised commode in the bathroom, or at least a nearby grab bar, remove throw rugs or put skid-proof rubber mats beneath them, and so on. Make sure the light bulbs are bright enough, particularly in bathrooms, the kitchen, corridors and similar areas. If either of your parents uses a cane, encourage them to make it a quad cane, for more stability. Even with an elevator, adding a second railing to stairs would be advisable. Add non-skid strips to any outdoor steps, or see about adding a ramp - they're not just for wheelchairs.

A occupational therapist can check the house for safety and accessibility. Also, has your dad had his balance, feet, leg strength, vision, etc. checked lately? Something is causing all those falls, and it might be possible to address it to some degree or another. Possibly switching to more supportive shoes might make a big difference (ditto for your mom - flat shoes that don't come off easily and that have non-skid soles would be helpful for her).

While you're there, also check medicine cabinets and get rid of any outdated meds. Replace OTC meds with new supplies, if need be. Make sure they have basic first-aid supplies and meds on hand: bandages, antiseptics, aspirin, ibuprofen, cough syrup, antihistamine, and so on. Also check supplies of canned, dried and frozen food for quantity and quality. Encourage your parents to get automatic payment for their utility bills. If you can gift them with snow tires, that would be great.

Just getting their house and living conditions as safe and functional as possible would help them - and help you have more peace of mind.
What a lot of great ideas!
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Old 01-14-2016, 02:21 PM
 
6,875 posts, read 7,270,643 times
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We designated a "safe room" or "supply room" at my mom's house.
She had dementia, but even if she didn't it could be a good idea in other situations.

We used one of the bedrooms. Put three basic plastic shelving units in there and put all the cleaning supplies -- and even personal supplies -- in there. Everything was in that room (except her meds and food) …..things that could be dangerous and even things that weren't. We stocked the room with first aid needs, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, plastic gloves, shampoo, lotions, a sewing kit, trash bags, office supplies, Depends, urinary mats, hair supplies (rollers, combs, brushes) deodorants, and other toiletries.

Her aides knew, if you need it….it's in there. We were also very proactive and wanted the aides to have everything they could possibly want or need to attend to her.

We didn't LOCK the door, but it COULD be locked if need be.
Again my mom had dementia, so there could have been a safety issue that a person of sound mind wouldn't have. But I still liked having all supplies in one area, where the aide knew to go to….and could see what was "in stock" or running low. We stocked it two months at a time.

-- As for meds, all meds were kept in ONE kitchen cabinet, with a print out of of the schedule taped inside the door.
The med bottles, pills NOT already dispensed in the monthly pill box, and copies of prescriptions -- were IN a zip lock -- ready to grab and go bag. So that if she had to go to the hospital or an ambulance was called -- we just grabbed THAT BAG, and RX info is in there…gran and go.

-- We also had a grab-and-go bag that the aides kept ready. Mom was incontinent, so the bag had an extra set of pants, extra depends, mom's ID, in a pouch for wearing around the neck. So ANY TIME she left the house……to go the the doctor, the park or shopping……the aide took that bag with them. They just grabbed it and out the door they went.

Once we set up those routine things…it became "a well-oiled machine"
ALso I must add my mom was totally and completely cooperative and compliant, let us take over and manage things. I have friends whose elders fight them at every turn. THOSE situations don't go as smoothly.
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Old 01-14-2016, 03:01 PM
 
4,735 posts, read 4,016,316 times
Reputation: 9900
Ok here are ideas.

In MT a live-in housekeeper (that is not supplying any personal care) with at least one day a week off will cost a min of $30,000year salary plus free housing&utilities & board & supplied vehicle.

A ranch chore person 3-4 hours a day worth (plow snow, feeding stock& being on site) runs about $1500 a month plus free housing, utilities, 1/2 beef cut & wrapped, and a yearly $2500 bonus. Plus use of ranch vehicle including fuel, tires, insured etc. And the ability to run for free on ranch a couple of horses (grass & winter hay ranch provided).

A kid after school & on weekends to take care of small chores not requiring machinery/vehicles etc, light feeding& watering---chickens, dogs, firewood stacking, sprinklers moved....$10 hour plus gas money, min $20 a visit.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,276 posts, read 3,077,284 times
Reputation: 7017
OP,

You have gotten a lot of good advice on this thread but ultimately after you help fit the house with safety aids, and the things that CraigsCreek mentioned plus trying to find decent "renters" for the extra home there is really nothing that you can do to change your parent's minds if they wish to remain where they are. Sometimes retirement dreams turn into retirement nightmares for family forced to stand by and watch the disaster unfold in slow motion.

We are/were going through this with DH's parents. His father hasn't been really mobile for almost two years. He barely got along with a walker in the past 8-12 months. He has had a lot of falls and while he's not a heavy man, he's 6' and my MIL is 5' tall and 95# dripping wet. She couldn't get him up when he fell and he'd lay there for 30-40 minutes to over an hour waiting for paramedics to get there to assist. When he was more mobile he fell while MIL was running errands and getting groceries. He had one of those "I fell and can't get up" devices but he refused to use it. He layed on the floor several hours that time. So we bought her a self inflating 18" tall twin air mattress and showed her how to roll FIL on his side, place the mattress fully under him and then plug in and inflate. We showed her how to have him scoot to the end and to help him sit up, then leverage the head end up to help him stand. We demonstrated it with DH who is roughly the same size as his father. That worked for over a year but in the past 6 months he's been too weak to stand so at least with a soft surface and a blanket, he could wait in relative comfort while help was on the way.

We really tried to impress on them the need for in home help as MIL is wasting away but the help that we lined up was cut back to once a week or not used at all (the wheelchair transport taxi) and it's not a money thing. We have been incredibly frustrated. MIL has been dealing with falls, incontinence, lack of sleep, managing a huge list of meds, the inability to maintain or even clean their home. Given FILs resistance to asking for help she has been a virtual prisoner in their home not wanting a repetition of the fall that occurred when she had gone out briefly. We came out when we could, cleaned and repaired and did the "honey dos" that had piled up. Now it's been taken out of their hands. The landslide has finally roared down the mountain and sadly FIL is in the hospital likely not to go home again. DH bought a one ay ticket out there, he and his siblings gathered, he came home and we are now in the waiting game. It won't be long. FIL has too much going wrong, a cascade of systems failures that medicine can't help now.

What's the point of this story? You can try to reason with, pay for things (we bought a wheelchair, portable potty, the lift device, bed protectors) installed grab bars and rails but you can only lead the horse to water. My in-laws were pretty much in denial about their situation. Your parents likely are too. Do the best you can and if they resist your efforts to help try not to worry too much. Easier said than done. The sit down conversation would be fine if they will speak about these things but my in-laws really did not want to so we didn't. Best of luck to you. It's a hard road.

Last edited by AK-Cathy; 01-14-2016 at 07:10 PM..
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Old 02-06-2016, 03:11 PM
 
4,448 posts, read 7,188,883 times
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Update time.

Complete and utter waste of my time and energy. My dad is entrenched, I pushed (asked questions) just enough that he got angry and walked away and didn't bother again. Very glad we were staying in the guest cabin, not their spare room. My best guess is that he's in denial about his health and the reality of living very remote Montana. That flared up again when he couldn't get the car up the driveway a week later (they/their builder didn't bother to correct an off-camber, 80deg, uphill corner to get into their garage and he's thus-far refused to buy winter tires).

My mom seems to be flip-flopping between denial and acceptance. She seems confident that my dad will be able to handle wood cutting chores this summer, I think that's doubtful based on watching him get winded walking about 50' behind a snow blower on level ground (3 forward and back passes). But she was also the driving force in getting their once-a-week housekeeper hired/started. She also voiced concerns about being able to stay where they are, at least that's how I understood her comments.

I'm not worried about them living in the house/accessibility, they designed it with hand-holds in place from the get-go, no rugs/trip hazards, everything wide enough for a wheelchair, walk-in shower without a lip so a wheelchair can go in and out easily, etc...

My biggest concern is that my dad "doesn't allow" (according to my mom) her drive and he falls asleep at the wheel. The 2 hour drive home, where he refused to let me drive 4 different times, was frightening. Cruise set on 70 and he drifts partially into the other lane, or onto the rumble strips. Cruise when the roads turned icy (and a big slide because of it). I'm more certain than ever that he's a hazard to everyone when driving, but mostly to himself. Of course mentioning this just instigated another argument (I was bringing up how good winter tires were on our Jetta and that they wouldn't have issues getting up the driveway with their Subaru if they had winter tires), when he doesn't agree, I'm just some dumb kid with no real world experience. Heck, I'm just some dumb kid even when he Does agree, because he runs to the computer to verify whatever it is we've been talking about.

At this point I'm just going to sit back and wait for the inevitable phone call. Might be my mom, my be my aunt, but I most expect the Sheriff's dept. I tried to get them to talk with me and they wouldn't, I'm sure as hll not going to force them to do anything. If that's how they want to be, then I'm going to leave them to it and best wishes.

So that's the update. The TL;DR version is that I got worked up over nothing they wanted me involved in and I was told that in no uncertain terms. All while being treated like some kid who has zero life experience and couldn't find his way out of a wet paper bag.
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Old 02-06-2016, 03:14 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,528,502 times
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Pretty typical response. I'm always reminded when I run into tough people, that it is the very thing that made them able to achieve what they did.

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Old 02-06-2016, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Hampstead NC
5,578 posts, read 5,091,475 times
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If he is falling and falling asleep at the wheel, he might have arrhythmia.

I feel your pain. It's a lot like my parents. Since my dad has Alz, I was getting ready to step in and sue for guardianship so we could put him in a facility, but she finally caved and took him there herself.

I have recently given up on trying to nudge Mom towards good choices. She wants to die in her home, so be it. Unfortunately it has created some conflict with my brother who still wants to fix everything and get her to do things his way. He just can't give up. I think he is enabling her, and also just ticking her off because the harder he pushes, the more she pushes back.
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