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Old 09-30-2009, 10:11 AM
 
628 posts, read 1,774,102 times
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I'm hoping some people on this forum can help me out with how I should approach this. First some backround--I am a married 27 yr old gal who is currently visiting her mother every day in the nursing home after work (nursing home is around 20 minutes away but was the best place to place my mother all things considered)--my mother is 'with it' but is paralyzed and therefore needs all sorts of care (as well as other medical issues)--this happened around 3 years ago. Before her fall etc she was helping my grandmother (they lived in separate houses) but grandma has never driven--and is not so steady no her feet to walk anywhere outside of her home--so she would take her shopping, to church, to appointments etc. My mother also helped out with my great aunt who lived a half hour to the north and who is now 96 and living alone. She was driving and what not until she had a fall/broke a hip--had her licence taken away.

So where does this all leave me? Like I said I visit my mother daily--take her to Dr's apts, buy her things she needs etc (I am her POA)---my great aunt (2 hours north of me) I have hired someone to come in 5 days a week to check on her and run errands for her--she also has meals on wheels--however I try to visit about every 3 weeks (I'm also her POA). My grandmother is now alone in her home an hour and 15 min. away from me to the north with no one to help her. She had a neighbor helping her but 'circumstances have changed' and she no longer wants to help. I see no option except to either hire someone to come in and help her (which she won't want to pay for even though she has plenty of funds) or try to talk her into moving here. Which then I could help her with a lot of those things as well as she could see my mother, her daughter much more regularly (she only sees her now around every 6 weeks).

How do you think I should approach the situation. I know she won't want either option (hiring or moving)...I just don't know what to do..
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:01 PM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,561,639 times
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These ladies are most fortunate to have your care and help.
Unfortunately, they cannot always have things they way they wish. Your grandmother doesn't want to move, doesn't want to pay for help. She doesn't want to be getting older and needing help. She has not accepted or adjusted to this unfortunate fact of life.
If she has funds, it sounds like assisted living could be a good answer. If she is competent, you cannot force her to do anything. It might take a bad or scary experience for her to realize that she cannot live where and how she is.
I personally don't see how you can take care of all these people (especially in your own home) and still keep your self together (do you have children or spouse or in other ways, people in your life for mutual care?)
I think this will be coming up more and more, with so many people aging in the suburbs and so many relatively small familiess (one or two kids, if any). I think elders have to accept that their increasing frailty means they cannot have it the way they wish it could be. If it takes a fall or some other fearful thing, that is sad, but it might have to be. You cannot "talk her into it."
My hat off to you for being so caring for these women. I don't know if I could be. Take care.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:48 PM
 
628 posts, read 1,774,102 times
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No on is in my home currently. My mother is in a local nursing home (as she has a catheter--takes 20 pills a day + and is paralyzed from the waist down)--my grandmother (if she would choose to do it) would move to either a senior apartment or a small home or duplex near me (and has the money to do so)--my great aunt wants to stay independant but she allows for meals on wheels and for a service to come see her for 2 hours daily--so unless her health changes that is how things will be.

I am married--no children.

I just hate the thought of something happening to these ladies because they 'refuse' care or help wit things.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:28 PM
 
4,131 posts, read 13,311,035 times
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They're very lucky to have you. This may be a long shot, any chance of either your grandmother or great aunt moving in together or at least very local to you (if they insist on separate places) - ? It's hard, I know older people get set in their ways but there's only so many hours in a day but I would think a lot of the burden w/b lifted if they were open to moving closer (you'd still prob. have to hire people for whatever but being in proximity of each other would make life so much easier for everyone). You might want to mention if someone has to be hospitalized, you couldnt visit every day b/c of the distance now. Maybe there's a new senior citizen or assisted living building opening up near you where they could maintain their independence, meet new friends - some are quite nice and even have a daily meal(s), doctors on call, computer room, banking etc right there on the premises, they're very impressive and they usually have a lot of activities, not just sitting around watching tv or complaining etc. Best of luck.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:48 PM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,561,639 times
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"I just hate the thought of something happening to these ladies because they 'refuse' care or help with things."
That is a most kind and compassionate thought. However, they are competent adults (if not unwise...) and you cannot make them do anything unless they are declared incompetent.
Keep trying to talk to them. Having funds gives a lot of options, including the senior apartment scenario you envision. It might take some time to sink in, but they might hear you eventually. I'm sure they fear that unwitnessed fall or other distress, too, just haven't come to grips with it.
Again, all these women are fortunate to have your caring.
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,047 posts, read 21,653,691 times
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Keep in mind that some people would rather fall, crack their head open, and die in their own home, then live many happy, healthy years in what they consider to be an "old person's" home, facility, apartment complex, etc.
All you can do is express your concerns and be respectful of her decision...if she says no, keep bringing it up from time to time but don't nag. You may want to try to at least get her to LOOK at some senior housing near you, or agree to TRY in-home help for just a couple of weeks. Sometimes people are more open to things if they can test it out a bit first. Or they might need to test it out, then think about it for weeks, months, or even years before they emotionally feel ready.
Best of luck.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:34 PM
 
796 posts, read 776,784 times
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You are a very kind loving person to care about your relatives as much as you do. You would think this would be a natural thing for all families to do but you would be surprised at the number of elderly who are left alone and not cared about. The only time the relatives show up is after their gone looking for their inheritance.

I agree with Christina's idea of taking them around to see some of the assisted living facilities. Sometimes their idea of these places is from long ago when you were put in a bulding and left to die. They don't realize how things have changed. Perhaps when you have a free day you could take them for a drive and go to see some of the facilities. Where I live if you let them know ahead of time you are stopping by they will let you have a meal in the dining room so your relative can get a "feel" for what it's like. Some of the facilities have special activities that they also invite the general public to attend. That would be another way to see what the places are like.

It's not easy. Not for the person themselves or the caregiver.

Good luck to you.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:04 PM
 
3,752 posts, read 9,604,552 times
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I agree with the poster who said try and get them to actually see what types of places are available locally. I was very impressed with the apartments that I found and would find the transition fairly easy. Several allow a small pet which is pretty forward thinking.

If you dont have the "buy in" from the elders, there is not much you can do. But often these places also have greeters of their age to introduce them to the facility and take them around. Worth a few phone calls to see what you can arrange.

We are in the same boat. Finlaw wont move from little city where he has lived for 80 years and it is 12 hours away for us. We could do so much for him and really make his life comfortable but there are great barriers in their minds.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,371 posts, read 9,863,395 times
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Would your two elder relatives be willing to speak with a neutral social worker? Maybe a dispassionate professional might have some influence on them? Perhaps not, if they are set in their ways and not willing to make a change, but one never knows. Worth a shot?

You're a lovely person to care so much for these two elders and your mother...you're sure making huge deposits in the karma bank. Please make sure you save some time and caring for yourself and your spouse...
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:58 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,482,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlbuffalo1 View Post
No on is in my home currently. My mother is in a local nursing home (as she has a catheter--takes 20 pills a day + and is paralyzed from the waist down)--my grandmother (if she would choose to do it) would move to either a senior apartment or a small home or duplex near me (and has the money to do so)--my great aunt wants to stay independant but she allows for meals on wheels and for a service to come see her for 2 hours daily--so unless her health changes that is how things will be.

I am married--no children.

I just hate the thought of something happening to these ladies because they 'refuse' care or help wit things.
I applaud you for your love and concern. In this day-and-age, far too many families don't take care of their elderly and leave it to social agencies to do what families did for generations before we became such a mobile and somewhat s elf-centered society.

The unfortunate reality is that without their cooperation there is little you can do b eyond what you're currently capable of and willing to do. So long as they're competent the law is on their side. And remember, they come from generations that prided themselves on independence and self-sufficiency. Those are woven into the very fabric of their beings and will likely remain so.

Both of my parents died about 20 years ago which leaves me the patriarch of our family as all others -- aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. -- preceded them. My wife's father died two years before we married and her mother absolutely insisted on remaining in their home even though she became increasingly frail and could not take care of even basic ADLs (activities of daily living). She absolutely refused to sell her home and move into an assisted living arrangement although she would have benefited greatly from the care and socialization opportunities.

For the last year of her life she insisted on in-home care and shortly after it started wanted it to be round-the-clock so she'd have company. Her caregivers were excellent but she had to pay for them out of her own pocket since she refused to accept having to move to a facility of any kind or any level of care. In the end my wife, her only child, had to take over managing her finances and by the time my mother-in-law died in June of 2008 she had run through all her savings and investments and had only about three months worth of assets left. In that regard her passing was a blessing as I was retiring at the end of the year and we would not have been able to fund the kind of care she insisted upon and she'd have been forced into a nursing home.

Unfortunately, there are no simple answers or solutions. I wish you every possible bit of luck and comfort in dealing with this situation. As for me, I hope I remember the lessons learned through dealing with my MIL so I never pose this type for problem to my own children. Valuing your independence is one thing but imposing it upon and at the financial, emotional well-being, or both, of the next generation is something else again.
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