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Old 03-07-2015, 08:14 PM
 
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While people who are still relatively young, in good health, and of sound mind, they need to make specific plans for what they will do when they are NOT capable.
We are both 60 and now dealing with dh's parents who are in their 80s and in poor health and mental status. We are 120 miles from them but now mostly responsible for their well-being as they refuse(d) to consider other options while still in good health. Every week is a new trauma - a fall, an illness, a drug reaction - and it is not exactly easy for us to respond when this far away. They always say "we're fine" but that is a lie. They are barely getting by, not eating right, not able to grocery shop, etc. It really has shown us that it is irresponsible to "age in place" when your only support system are grown children who are not close by. I am not doing that to my kids, sorry...
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Hampstead NC
5,587 posts, read 5,103,047 times
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To me it makes a great deal of sense to make changes while you still can, rather than wait for changes to be forced upon you.

My parents refused to make a plan, now it is a constant struggle to help mom stay in her home. If they had just downsized years ago when my Dad's dementia became apparent, they could have saved us all a lot of trouble.

At this point, Mom's home is rapidly transitioning from a refuge into a prison.

The article is correct, we do need more and better options.
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
I am not talking about the completely demented. Danger to self and others? Note my user name. I know of such things.

My guess is you are rightly burned out dealing with you three over 90 relatives. Just stop enabling. Stop! Live your life. Not driven by guilt!

Mom and aunts have the right to die in their own homes which is what old school professionals want to prevent. Would you want to hauled away by the nanny state cuz some Social Worker (me) has decided it is for your own good? I do have the authority in CA.

If mom wishes to die in her own home that is fine. If mom is so demented she cannot feed herself that is another matter. I think you are not getting it. Mostly I see medical professionals wishing to cover their backsides recommending that mom be placed in a facility, because she might fall and crack her head open and die at home. Works for me (personally)

You want abject misery? I would suggest life in a nursing home as a person who is not totally demented.

Let your mom die in peace at home. It is OK to say no the next time she calls.
Although you quoted my post for your above response, you are confusing me with another poster for the part about dealing with older relatives. For the record, I am not now, nor have I ever, had the day-to-day concern for the care of anyone else. My sister had that role for our mother, as I lived too far away.

I was discussing the issues in general, not from the standpoint of my own situation but based on things I know about the situations of others.

As for your user name, I am not familiar with the meaning of the numerals "5150". Is that a section of the California Code dealing with the authority to put someone in a nursing home against their will? That's all I could think of in light of your own comment.

I do understand the points you are making, but you did a rather poor job of explaining them in the other post to which I responded. Now you have been more specific as to what you are talking about. But I still disagree that someone has to be "completely demented" in order to have trouble reliably preparing food to eat. Therein lies the problem: someone can talk a pretty good game to outsiders in order to cover up the reality of their situation.

Also, I'm not sure why you speak in terms of "all or nothing", i.e., continuing to live at home versus entering a nursing home. For many older people, the appropriate change that they resist so fiercely is moving to an independent living facility where two or three meals a day are provided in a dining hall but where they retain all the autonomy they had at home, including the right to prepare food in their own kitchen and NOT go to the dining hall. Weekly maid service including washing the bed linens and towels is often part of that same deal.
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
2,636 posts, read 1,546,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Yes, my sister and I did rehearse taking our mother for "a little ride" somewhere, never to return. This was after she started a fire in her kitchen and then fell asleep at her TV tray in the l.r. and fell over, gashing her forehead and bleeding all over kingdom come (neighbor found her). Again I repeat, FINE for elders to stay planted in their homes, IF they are truly independent and are not going to become a major unwelcome burden to their families. I'm not saying to necessarily be mean to Grandma and force her out. I refer to some of my posts, above, about the stark realities.
I don't disagree that if they pose a real danger to those around them -- like by setting their house on fire -- then you really have no choice but to force the issue, even if they kick and scream. Other people should not be placed at risk.

The issue is more complicated if you feel that they pose a danger to themselves, but they disagree. The only way you can force them out of their home, if they absolutely refuse to leave, is to have a court declare them incompetent. I've talked with an attorney and a psychiatrist about this. The advice I received is that for a court to agree with you, you have to show that they pose a continuing danger to themselves or others (beyond just a run of the mill accident that anyone could have), or that they cannot take care of their own financial matters, i.e., cant pay their own bills.

Sure, it all works out much better if you can either get them to see the light, or if they're so out of it that you can take them out "for a little ride" and they cooperate. But if neither is the case, and they are not legally incompetent, you simply have no recourse but to either to accept their choices, or turn your own life upside down trying to save them from themselves. Its painful to watch them hurt themselves, but I don't agree that one is morally responsible to try to save them from themselves at all costs. I certainly will not force that kind of choice on my kids.
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,787 posts, read 7,707,284 times
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I don't think aging in place is all that good an idea. In the first place, valuable funds might be expended to keep a house over their head that is intended to house 6 people not one or two. In the second place maint. problems become more of a challenge for an elderly person, especially a woman, if she doesn't have someone who can and will take responsibility. Esp. a widow would be wiser to take a small apartment, a condo, or a mobile home. Less money tied up, lower taxes and insurance, and less to clean.
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:05 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,839 posts, read 18,861,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagemomma View Post
To me it makes a great deal of sense to make changes while you still can, rather than wait for changes to be forced upon you.

My parents refused to make a plan, now it is a constant struggle to help mom stay in her home. If they had just downsized years ago when my Dad's dementia became apparent, they could have saved us all a lot of trouble.

At this point, Mom's home is rapidly transitioning from a refuge into a prison.

The article is correct, we do need more and better options.
I think that's a big problem. There are few options. If the person has a lot of money they can pay people to come in and care for them in their own home all day long, assuming they have the sense to live in a downsized condo or ranch style house where they can manage. Or they can afford a very plush assisted living residence that's more like a beautiful apartment than some of the smaller assisted living options.

In my parents' generation, many had good pensions and went into spacious assisted living facilities. But what is the average income or below income person supposed to do today? They can exist in a small apartment or house and then, when they can no longer manage, they have to go into a nursing home. For them, there is no in between. The problem, from what I have seen, is that, since they are not crazy, they want to stay in their home. The other choice is a low level, depressing, institutionalized imprisonment in a nursing home. So they tend to try to stay too long on their own. We need more options.
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:07 PM
 
6,813 posts, read 3,867,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
I don't think aging in place is all that good an idea. In the first place, valuable funds might be expended to keep a house over their head that is intended to house 6 people not one or two. In the second place maint. problems become more of a challenge for an elderly person, especially a woman, if she doesn't have someone who can and will take responsibility. EBut sp. a widow would be wiser to take a small apartment, a condo, or a mobile home. Less money tied up, lower taxes and insurance, and less to clean.
In addition to your valid points, is the companionship to be enjoyed in many 55+ communities. Many provide a downsized home, apartment, condo, or mobile with the added bonus of activities and outings. These communities exist for all income levels, not only the wealthy. The residents tend to look after one another and form close friendships. For many seniors they provide a wonderful transition from the family home while they are still relatively capable. Some even have shuttle busses to shopping, medical, etc. Both my parents lived and passed away in such communities and loved it.

Last edited by Harpaint; 03-07-2015 at 11:35 PM.. Reason: correction
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:29 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,787 posts, read 7,707,284 times
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Harpaint: You make some great points. I couldn't agree more. One of the challenges I see in older folks is the lack of people to do things with. I know some widows that like to travel and go out to eat but have no one close to go with. It makes for a lonely and boring existence IMHO.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:33 AM
 
4,346 posts, read 6,058,509 times
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Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
All very well and good, but what does it take on the part of the adult kids/grandkids to keep her there? I speak from experience.
I so agree. My friend's mother in law lived alone until her death at 99. She was the proverbial little old lady with a cat but she couldn't pick up the bag of cat litter or tend to most of her own needs. Her son made daily trips to check on her and it weighed heavily on his marriage.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:48 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,172,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
It would be so great not having to coerce parents! I'm glad you're seeing that. I'm seeing the opposite. I don't have a single friend or relative my age who is not in serious disagreement with how their parents are choosing to live. The elders drive cars far longer than their abilities support. They cling to houses that are impossible for them to take care of. Their inabilities force their children to take on responsibilities they neither want nor can afford.

My two best friends and I each have widowed mothers. One mother has Alzheimer's, one has COPD and serious depression, the third is unable to walk without assistance and has serious pain issues. All of them expected to stay in suburban homes, driving everywhere they wanted to go when they were totally unable to do so safely. All of them are on medications they cannot manage alone. None of them has the ability to care for their finances or their medical issues. To date two of us have been able to get our mothers into better situations than her home. But my friend whose mother has COPD has to drive to her mother's house every single day to check on her, fix her meals, give her breathing treatments, etc. Her mother is on oxygen and my friend is convinced she is still sneaking cigarettes. My friend, who is an only child, lives in fear she will go to the house one day and find it burned down. I know many other people who deal with the similar situations. The stubbornness is pathological and it puts not only the elder but also neighbors in jeopardy. Aging in place is great ... up to a point. But at some point it becomes taking advantage of other people and maybe even dying and not having your body found for days.
Those are really really tough situations.

Very worrisome when elders won't face it is time to quit driving. One of my closest friends even called the DMV and asked for them to take away her mother's license. They wouldn't. Even after she caused a wreck that seriously injured 2 other people. They said - if she can pass the tests, they can't do a thing. Well, they did restrict her to daylight driving only.

It is a real problem with parents who expect everyone else to drop what they are doing and accommodate them.

The only option is to say NO. And if the parent dies b/c they didn't get their breathing treatment and didn't take their meds . . . then no guilt feelings about it.

Of course, that doesn't mean the adult child is not going to get 20 phone calls every day . . . and it doesn't mean anyone can stop them from calling neighbors and church members and complaining about how negligent their adult child is being for not showing up every day (and sometimes, multiple times during the day). I have seen this happen first hand.

There are not many people who are going to be able to deal with ignoring a parent who won't agree to having other living arrangements made. And I do realize what chaos folks can cause when others don't "jump" when they demand assistance.

I guess I should have said . . . Most of my family and friends who have parents totally in charge of their mental faculties and who are not mentally ill or otherwise impossible to deal with have not had to "coerce" their parents into making changes. Because you are right . . . if someone is being impossible about leaving their homes and is relying on adult children to be on call 24/7 . . . that is as bad a situation as exists. And it is an imposition that no parent should feel they have the right to make on others.
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