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Old 11-02-2008, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,167 posts, read 8,691,075 times
Reputation: 6167

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Our dad passed away 8 years ago. My mom has been alone since then. She lives in a condo that we own. We have paid their living expenses for the condo for 16 years.

My mom's only income is Social Security of $681 per month.

She has dementia, possibly Alzheimers, however, some family members are in total denial. Her own mom passed away when she was 87. A year ago, she fell, was hospitalized and had a seizure while in the hospital. She almost died. She does have a Living Will and a DNR form on file.

She lives alone but is visited daily by two of her children. She seems to sleep a lot but does eat. She does not start conversation but will answer when spoken to but can forget what she just told you. She no longer cooks but can fold clothes sometimes.

None of us has the money to put her in assisted living; my one sister feels she would like to be with one of the families but it is difficult because she would be alone most of the day due to work.

I would like to hear from families who have been through this. Surprisingly, all the family members are supportive (and the spouses), we all love her - we don't want her so unhappy that she wastes away.

She was quite the social person until about 3 years ago. We then took the car and the car keys and she was fine with that. I have suggested a "day care" or "memory and wellness center" for just a day here or there but she is stubborn and refuses to think about that.

Sorry to be so long but we need to make a decision by year end. I am looking to see how other families coped with this kind of situation.

(Also, she is at the point where we have to give her showers but she can still walk and go to the bathroom by herself - if that info helps!)

I watch Suze Orman every week and I could take the $1700 per month that I must pay for my mom into something for myself and my husband so our children won't have the same issue. It is getting very hard to pay the $1700 per month; if she goes elsewhere, I could rent it out.

Last edited by Bette; 11-02-2008 at 06:45 PM.. Reason: Structure of sentence
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:25 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 34,060,708 times
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Bette, I'm sorry to hear about your dilemma. It sounds like you love your Mother and you really are so fortunate to still have her on earth with you. She's also fortunate to have loving children.

You mentioned that two of her children visit her daily. I'm guessing that you are one of them. My question is~could the other sibling (or siblings) contribute a portion toward the 1700 that you are sacrificing monthly?

The ideal solution would be for her to go to an assisted living center. The only qualifications are that they are able to get to the table by themselves, get to the restroom alone, and dress themselves. There is assistance for getting into the tub. They do monitor the residents and are always there in case they become ill, fall, or any type of problem.

Have you checked around or priced any of them? I realize we live in two different worlds cost-wise, but it'd be worth looking at.

The city I live in has an assisted home and for 2,200 per month, they are well looked after. Their bedding and towels are included along with the fact that they don't have to do any housekeeping or laundry for themselves. They also help monitor their medication. No more trips to the store because their meals are included and always cooked for them. They're also cautious about the foods that some people can't have because of health problems. Of course, all their utilities are also included. The rooms are spacious~maybe similar to an efficiency and they have their privacy since there is only one resident or couple per room. So if you have a sibling to split that cost with, it'd be 1100 per month versus 1700 per month and you'd have peace of mind.

Just something to consider for your Mom's happiness and for the peacefulness you'd have to know she's being looked after.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:14 AM
 
1,492 posts, read 6,957,721 times
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My mother was placed on Hospice and had Medicare pay for an aide.

When she required 24 hour care, no one stepped up to the plate...that's 4 sisters. 3 live in the same town.

I got a call from her hospital room and they, "THEY" were there to take her to a nursing home. 1 week later I arrived in NC (from Vegas) with a rental truck and my children.

She passed away 3 weeks ago.

I'd do it all over again! But now am really suffering consequences of the abrupt move. Time will take care of everything.

The elderly are like babies....they are closest to the Lord and require the extra care and attention.
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,167 posts, read 8,691,075 times
Reputation: 6167
Smile More on my mom

My husband and I will have to continue to pay the $1700 per month on the condo - there is a mortgage, taxes, maintenance fees - also I had to refinance at one point to include my dad's old medical bills of $85,000 (that is in the $1700).

My brother pays my mom's Amex bills - all the food, medical bills, anything else goes on the card - then he pays it every month - it runs about $1400 per month.

My two sisters do visit her more often than I do. She was closer to them growing up - they are very good with cooking, creative, all that stuff. My brother and I were closer to my dad but we still love her. For example, she would never let me give her a bath. Now, my one sister just makes her. I am not that not forceful. I realize you can't put a price on what they do so I do not. My one sister gave my mom $350 a month until a couple of years ago. Her husband has Parkinson's and she has 3 children at home so she has a very full plate. She is over there the most; takes her shopping, etc.

We try to do what we can and no one wants to shake things up so much that she goes into a decline; I guess that's the bottom line. She does not receive enough for assisted living and she says she would rather live with one of us. (That's in a lucid moment).

She is just sweet and we just don't know what to do.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:16 AM
 
Location: WA
5,394 posts, read 21,390,738 times
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Caring for someone in that situation is so demanding that most are simply not up to it... we were not. Between federal programs and her meager assets we did get my grandmother into a home at age 94 and it was best for all.

My father required constant care after a stroke at age 88 and we found a home that would take Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance to cover basic charges and the family pitched in for all the 'extra' charges which were not trivial. It was a very difficult few years but the only way we found to provide a decent life for him.

There are some very miserable elders today that are in bad institutions (we saw many) or at home with totally inadequate care. Do your best to have the family pull together to find the resources to get good care.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:28 AM
 
4,948 posts, read 16,520,958 times
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You really need to sit down with an elder attorney, while she still seems alright. Also does
she have a medical doctor who could advise you of what may need to done. She might also
qualify for meals on wheels which would help. There also might be adult day care where she might
be able to go to get out and be with people. She is low income so should be able to qualify for
some help. If she really get bad, she will not be allowed to be left alone at all which is something
that you need to start thinking about. She also might be able to get the life alert to wear in case
she falls, and needs help. I also would ask your doctor about advise regarding assisted living, she may qualify.
Depending on the state you live in there are lots of good one, and some cost only around 2000 per month, and they would have lots
for her to do, and people to be with during the day. It would not hurt to look. Even if she went to day care 2 times per week, I do think alot of
them feed you a hot meal at lunch time, and even have a hair dresser where she could get her hair done. They also have fun things to do.

Last edited by maggiekate; 11-03-2008 at 11:52 AM..
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,886,109 times
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What kind of Medicare insurance does she have? If it still original medicare, look into getting her into an advantage plan that would cover more of her expenses.
If she is in an Advantage plan, see if there's a better one or a higher level you can get her into that would pay more cost of living things. The one I'm in pays for Medic Alert/lifeline monitoring if your doctor says you have a danger of falling.
Some provide a lot more home care than others.
Bringing her into one of the homes is a possibility. Investigate whether Medicare, Medicare Advantage program or the state will pay for a helper to come in during the day while people are at work or pay a family member to stay home to provide care. Governments have discovered it's a lot cheaper than assisted care and many states are doing more to keep elderly in the home.
The state listing of services and information is here:
DOEA Internet
You really need to research, research, research. You can find help, you have to look for it.
It's a hard situation, but if you work together as a family you can come up with a solution.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:45 PM
 
4,948 posts, read 16,520,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knoxgarden View Post
What kind of Medicare insurance does she have? If it still original medicare, look into getting her into an advantage plan that would cover more of her expenses.
If she is in an Advantage plan, see if there's a better one or a higher level you can get her into that would pay more cost of living things. The one I'm in pays for Medic Alert/lifeline monitoring if your doctor says you have a danger of falling.
Some provide a lot more home care than others.
Bringing her into one of the homes is a possibility. Investigate whether Medicare, Medicare Advantage program or the state will pay for a helper to come in during the day while people are at work or pay a family member to stay home to provide care. Governments have discovered it's a lot cheaper than assisted care and many states are doing more to keep elderly in the home.
The state listing of services and information is here:
DOEA Internet
You really need to research, research, research. You can find help, you have to look for it.
It's a hard situation, but if you work together as a family you can come up with a solution.
Your advise is great and real, you need to research, and ask, question, also now the open enrollment is coming up.
Also assisted living if one brother pays 1400, and the cond is 1700 plus
if the condo gets rented out, maybe 600 might got towards the assisted living. Also checking the aarp website may work. there was an article about
a lady would think of assisted living but the time was not right.
then she did need it. I do think it was in Kiplingers, or maybe smart money.
it was good reading. They also have on line rating etc., of places. It really is great what you are doing, however, start thinking of the safety bit,
also the monthly expense is real expensive for you to be paying. Most people could not afford to do this. The rest need to face the real fact of her
home alone all day. Also the living with someone and being home alone all day long-term I don't think would work. It would for awhile if she wanted day care
but, she, would be it somebodys home, and not her space. Sleeping alot might mean being depressed, which should be checked-out. A good doctor might get her into a hospital for the time to do an assestment, and maybe have her get into a nursing home with medicare paying while a decision is made.
She just may be needing company, and it is a heavy load to carry alone. However Speak Up! p.s. skip the elder lawyer bit, since she is real low income. Start with the doctor for a check-up and do be honest about it. They even can have the visiting nurses etc., do checks which
is covered by medicare, and qualify her for a home health aide to come in. That also would help. I just did notice you are in Florida. The carmelite siters
for the aged and infirm have a great home in West Palm Beach Florida, which if near you, may have a day care she might enjoy. this web site elderlawanswers.com I had found and you could check it out they do answer question, and have real lawyers, and it is free.

Last edited by maggiekate; 11-03-2008 at 05:34 PM..
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:23 PM
 
130 posts, read 500,616 times
Reputation: 126
If your father was a veteran, your mom may be eligible for Veterans' Aid and Attendance Special Pension. Google it for more information. Good luck.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:27 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 34,060,708 times
Reputation: 15063
Sorry, I just found myself being drawn back to this thread cause it tugs at the ole heart strings. I like the point that was brought out about seeking some sort of assistance for her. Wasn't the original intention of social programs to care for the disabled and the elderly?
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