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Old 05-13-2013, 03:31 PM
 
12 posts, read 11,961 times
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Hi Everyone,

Been a long time reader and have enjoyed the insightful information I have learned here, so I thought I would ask advice.

Step-dad is 93 and has no family. His health (heart) has gotten to the point where his doctor says he should be in a nursing home. Unfortunately, exactly what he would or wouldn't agree to on any given day is unknown. He takes stubbornness and irrationalness to a whole new level.

Mom is near his age and can barely hear, see, move or think well enough to be responsible for herself anymore, let alone another person. Nevertheless, she prepares his low-salt meals in a blender (because he also has dental problems), reminds him to take his medication (despite him resisting daily), makes his doctor appointments and generally oversees his needs.

I have researched services for her to get assistance for him. But with every type of service I've come across, it is just that...assistance. She would still have to oversee it. The bottom line is she has gotten too old to oversee anything. In other words, when he passes, she will be ready to move to a retirement home the next day. But until then, she wants and needs someone to take over responsibility for his needs...not assist.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
24,350 posts, read 15,729,119 times
Reputation: 35805
I'd look into assisted care for them both. They could go into a place together, and it would be (probably) easier for them to adjust. The meds are dispensed only by aids, so your mom would never have that job again. The beds are made every day, and the linens changed weekly. She would never have to do launcry either, because that would be done weekly for them. Meals are provided, and in the better places, there is social stimulation in the form of weekly activities, field trips, concerts, and even church services.

Of course assisted care is expensive.

You don't ask your stepdad if he wants to live in assisted care. If your mom is on board, they you tell him he is going with your mom, and you simply take him there. He and she can have some of their own things, and their room(s) can be made homey and nice.

If your mom and stepdad can afford the steep monthly rent, then I recommend doing preliminary legwork yourself. Visit several places. Choose a couple of the best and then take your mom for a visit. If Stepdad is willing take him too. But once you and your mom decide, you just proceed. Your stepdad at 93 will have to go along. One of the things I've noticed is that for the elderly, often their universe is constricted to their own needs or fears alone. Nothing else matters. For many the last years truly become a second childhood. They often cannot understand or accept that a change will be for the better. It is up to the adult children to become the parents. Trying to convince them anything is useless; all you will get is an argument. So, you just proceed according to plan.

Good luck to you!
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:37 PM
 
23,712 posts, read 17,959,680 times
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When my Mom was having many health issues and it became clear she needed help (and wouldn't listen to anything I said), we hired a social worker who specialized in geriatric issues. She not only told us what was available, she came in to talk to and assess my Mom so she could see exactly what kind of services were needed. She knew of many more resources than I did. After my Mom was hospitalized she was instrumental to helping us find an assisted living that would take her on limited funds.

First thing though, if you or another sibling are not Power of Attorney for your parents, you need to get that done right away (both financial and health care POA's). That is vital so that you can make decisions when your parents are not capable of it any longer.

Second, talk to your parent's doctor and let him or her know what's going on and your concerns. If he can get your step-dad into the hospital for 3 days (and it sounds like he may be sick enough) he will get sent to a nursing home for rehab. Often that is the best way to get him to enter even if he doesn't want to. That is how I finally got my Mom to go to assisted living, she was hospitalized then sent to rehab, where an entire team of professionals told her she couldn't return home. It is possible to find a place where your step-dad could be in a nursing home, and your mom in assisted living in the same building, so they wouldn't be completely separated.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:05 PM
 
12 posts, read 11,961 times
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Thanks for the responses.

It seems I am learning to be prepared for a moving target. For years, we have discussed (and I have researched) them moving out of the house. I think I have come full circle on my opinion of whether it's a good idea.

At first, I absolutely recommended it.

Then step-dad's brain got in the way. He wanted every broken lawnmower, piece of junk mail...whatever he had hoarded in his lifetime to find a loving home. Since his health was declining, I started to think it would be very/too difficult for them to get everything done the way he wanted.

But now (he's probably realizing) that getting it done his way is a moot point. So just take a few things and go.

ocnjgirl,
You provided some great advice. Never occurred to me to hire a social worker...how do you recommend finding one?
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,269 posts, read 89,910,179 times
Reputation: 39935
Quote:
Originally Posted by akrausz View Post
Thanks for the responses.

It seems I am learning to be prepared for a moving target. For years, we have discussed (and I have researched) them moving out of the house. I think I have come full circle on my opinion of whether it's a good idea.

At first, I absolutely recommended it.

Then step-dad's brain got in the way. He wanted every broken lawnmower, piece of junk mail...whatever he had hoarded in his lifetime to find a loving home. Since his health was declining, I started to think it would be very/too difficult for them to get everything done the way he wanted.

But now (he's probably realizing) that getting it done his way is a moot point. So just take a few things and go.

ocnjgirl,
You provided some great advice. Never occurred to me to hire a social worker...how do you recommend finding one?

Here's the thing, it sounds as though neither your mother or stepfather is competent to make all the decisions necessary to properly care for themselves any more.

Since they are no longer able to see the bigger picture here, it sounds like it is time for you to take over legally.

I would consider speaking to an attorney about how to go about doing this for them.

It sucks that they didn't plan better for this day and make some decisions while they were still really able, but this is pretty common. Best of luck.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
24,350 posts, read 15,729,119 times
Reputation: 35805
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
When my Mom was having many health issues and it became clear she needed help (and wouldn't listen to anything I said), we hired a social worker who specialized in geriatric issues. She not only told us what was available, she came in to talk to and assess my Mom so she could see exactly what kind of services were needed. She knew of many more resources than I did. After my Mom was hospitalized she was instrumental to helping us find an assisted living that would take her on limited funds.

First thing though, if you or another sibling are not Power of Attorney for your parents, you need to get that done right away (both financial and health care POA's). That is vital so that you can make decisions when your parents are not capable of it any longer.

Second, talk to your parent's doctor and let him or her know what's going on and your concerns. If he can get your step-dad into the hospital for 3 days (and it sounds like he may be sick enough) he will get sent to a nursing home for rehab. Often that is the best way to get him to enter even if he doesn't want to. That is how I finally got my Mom to go to assisted living, she was hospitalized then sent to rehab, where an entire team of professionals told her she couldn't return home. It is possible to find a place where your step-dad could be in a nursing home, and your mom in assisted living in the same building, so they wouldn't be completely separated.
Yes on the POA. Do this if you have to handle their money, or if you think you might have to do so soon.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:18 PM
 
12 posts, read 11,961 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
Here's the thing, it sounds as though neither your mother or stepfather is competent to make all the decisions necessary to properly care for themselves any more.

Since they are no longer able to see the bigger picture here, it sounds like it is time for you to take over legally.

I would consider speaking to an attorney about how to go about doing this for them.

It sucks that they didn't plan better for this day and make some decisions while they were still really able, but this is pretty common. Best of luck.
I suppose I exaggerated mom's inabilities...she can get by as long as she has me to make the big decisions. She is ready to move, but she is not ready to say to step-dad "I'm moving, you coming?"

I guess you are talking about legal guardianship, so I did take your advice and called an attorney today. I explained to him that step-dad's refusal to go in a nursing home and his inability to make proper health care decisions have nothing to do with him being old...he just has really bizarre beliefs. Basically, the attorney said he is perfectly entitled to make bad health care decisions.

I also found out today that a social worker has an appointment to speak with step-dad. I spoke with the social worker today, but he didn't seem as helpful as the one that ocnjgirl described. The attorney gave me the phone number for another one though.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:37 PM
 
Location: USA
7,778 posts, read 10,434,940 times
Reputation: 11735
Does the step-father have children? Maybe I missed it.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:04 PM
 
12 posts, read 11,961 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi3 View Post
Does the step-father have children? Maybe I missed it.
For all intents and purposes, no. Supposedly, he adopted a family of four children decades ago, but (unless they need money) none of them want anything to do with him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
Yes on the POA. Do this if you have to handle their money, or if you think you might have to do so soon.
I think I'm all set with mom...I changed all her assets so I am a joint owner with right of survivorship. With step-dad, he doesn't want me or anyone else to have POA...but that's a whole other story.

Last edited by akrausz; 05-14-2013 at 06:22 PM..
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:37 PM
 
23,712 posts, read 17,959,680 times
Reputation: 43732
Quote:
Originally Posted by akrausz View Post
Thanks for the responses.

It seems I am learning to be prepared for a moving target. For years, we have discussed (and I have researched) them moving out of the house. I think I have come full circle on my opinion of whether it's a good idea.

At first, I absolutely recommended it.

Then step-dad's brain got in the way. He wanted every broken lawnmower, piece of junk mail...whatever he had hoarded in his lifetime to find a loving home. Since his health was declining, I started to think it would be very/too difficult for them to get everything done the way he wanted.

But now (he's probably realizing) that getting it done his way is a moot point. So just take a few things and go.

ocnjgirl,
You provided some great advice. Never occurred to me to hire a social worker...how do you recommend finding one?
Try here: National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers | GCM Specialists.
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