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Old 11-08-2013, 10:23 AM
Location: earth?
7,284 posts, read 12,923,463 times
Reputation: 8956


I have been having a myriad of problems with managing the care of my very elderly mother.

There is new legislation going into effect that will result in increasing domestic care in the home (not sure if this is state or federal). There are two different laws which implement at different times in 2014. One implements January 1 and the other July 1. The result, is that domestic in-home care costs will escalate DRAMATICALLY, and they are already outrageous (or expensive, depending upon your point of view), if you use an agency. Because of these legislative changes, I just found out that the actual workers are only earning minimum wage. I had no idea they were so poorly paid and I feel terrible for them (but that's another issue).

In attempting to finance care for my mother, I was considering a Reverse Mortgage. The process involves an appraisal and foundation issues were discovered in that process. The house is old (1950's) and has never been updated (due to rigidity of style preferences). The work quoted is very expensive, and the Reverse Mortgage company would hold that amount plus another 50% until the work is done and they have deadlines and inspections that would have to be done. The work itself would cause upheaval and would impact my mother and caregivers (noise, dust, etc., plus a room that has to be jacked up is the caregiver's room and floors might have to be replaced).

There are also constant problems for me to address in the house (sewer, etc.).

In addition, my mother has had 11 caregivers in a year-and-a-half - some have "run away," never to return, a couple I have had to replace because of various problems. We have had thefts (jewelry and money) and all kinds of daily challenges.

Yesterday, my mom had an appointment at 2:00 and I stopped by the house at 2:00 and they were still there. The caregiver told me it was "okay." No, it is not okay. You know she takes forever to get ready, so start earlier!

The bottom line is that I re-vistited a very nice assisted living/memory care facility earlier this week and put down a deposit. I am currently waiting for the doctor to call me to go over the paperwork and then the next step will be an assessment by the agency to see if my mom is a "good fit."

I met with the coordinator to discuss HOW to get my mom into the facility and she suggested telling "white lies" - having her come to lunch there and then "letting them handle it."

I am having an extremely difficult time determining what is in my mother's best interests. As her daughter, even though I have managed her care for eight years (and my dad's for two year's before that), I feel like a failure in not being able to make it all work out for her the way she would have liked. I understand I have done my best, and I still feel bad about it. I was never able to please my mother, so I am sure some of my feelings tie into a life-long theme.

I have also studied psychology and I know that people have to process things and grieve over certain things, and moving away from one's home would definitely be one of those things. I can visualize my mom howling and being devastated.

Part of me wants to just tell her that "I am sorry, but I have to move you to a nice facility because your home is no longer safe." (She wouldn't understand all of the other reasons). I know she will have a terrible reaction and I don't know if it is best to tell her ahead of time, wait for the particular day, or what. I have to consider the effect of telling her on the present caregiver.

It is so difficult. There is a book I am going to order from Amazon that supposedly addresses this issue.

There is not a lot written about the process of actually getting someone into a care facility online (the methods that are recommended).

I need some expert advice.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:15 AM
Location: earth?
7,284 posts, read 12,923,463 times
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Additional factors: My mom is a "difficult" person (negative, manipulative, martyred, entitled, yells, etc.) and she says my father promised her she could always stay at home.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:52 AM
10,599 posts, read 17,890,912 times
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Good for you! They all say that when the husbands managed things. My client does too. Then I tell her NO, he said you'd have enough money for the rest of your life and be safe. THAT'S why he wanted your daughters to be in charge of your care. He would NOT want you getting concussions and stuff like you've been doing. HE died in a nursing home. If he lived you'd BOTH be living here because neither one of you could take care of the other one, right? I guess I'm lucky, she accepts that and says "Good point". haha.

I'm glad you dismissed the reverse mortgage idea. She would NOT BE STAYING THERE for much longer, IMO, regardless of your hard work. THEN when she couldn't afford ongoing repairs, taxes etc, you're screwed. Financial planners are AGAINST reverse mortgages.

Getting ready for "appointments"? Gurl. That is going to continue to get worse and worse and worse.

My client has really tried her best to go out three times this week - to places she really wanted to GO and just CAN NOT accomplish any of it for various reasons.

These things can move quickly. My client just this week forgot her daughter was visiting the minute she left the room, and she USED TO be able to remember everything about the daughter's visits two months ago. She is descending from mid stage to late stage dementia. She's been wearing these ugly beat up sweatpants 24/7 for five days and LAUGHING about it. She KNOWS she's doing it and her brain will not cooperate to simply CHANGE the damn things LOL.

How does she act with her doctor?

Exactly HOW BAD is she? Memory wise...WHAT is her diagnosis? She's going into the ALF or the Memory Care? Or is that to be determined?

What does she say when you point out all the things she cannot do and why she has caregivers?

Part of me wants to just tell her that "I am sorry, but I have to move you to a nice facility because your home is no longer safe."
I like that idea. Doing some sabatoge would not be beneath me. Like shutting off the water.

If she's able to be tricked with the LUNCH story, that's good, too.

How about you tell her YOU're considering moving into that place and take her to "see it"?

It's hard to formulate a plan not knowing your mom. What would she say if the DOCTOR told her?

Last edited by runswithscissors; 11-08-2013 at 12:01 PM..
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:02 PM
Location: Southwest Washington State
30,585 posts, read 25,147,759 times
Reputation: 50802
I don't know about taking her to lunch and just leaving her. Maybe as a last resort.

Why not take her to lunch two or three times. Have her meet other residents, perhaps. On the third meeting have her do a tour.

If she persists in being obstinate, you just have to tell her she cannot live by herself any longer. (It sometimes helps if a doc tells her that.) Most of us who post here have had this experience as we have become caregivers, and it drives us nuts. But you have to remember that sometimes we are the parent, and our parents have become the children. And I totally get that this is hard, hard, hard.
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Old 11-09-2013, 02:42 AM
Location: Florida
23,171 posts, read 26,187,400 times
Reputation: 27914
I hope you can come up with a plan that makes it the easiest possible.
Even the easiest may not be trouble free so grit your teeth, summon up your determination and keep Squirl's thread in mind...the actual process will have an end.
And like so many of the people in your situation, keep reminding yourself that you're doing the best thing even if not the most idealistic, but usually not possible, thing. Guilt for not being able to achieve perfection is a fruitless emotion.
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:57 AM
Location: Mayberry
36,417 posts, read 16,024,816 times
Reputation: 72787
I'm sorry you are going through this, it is extremely difficult. I like the idea of taking her to lunch there a couple of times. Showing her a nice room of an existing resident that shows personal stuff and set up nicely, the director can show you. Just say let's go visit so and so in her apt.

I also like the idea of an alf/ with memory care. Is your mother diagnosed with dementia and or alzheimer's?

Please know that you have done your best and are doing what is best for her.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:37 AM
Location: earth?
7,284 posts, read 12,923,463 times
Reputation: 8956
Yes, it is a memory care unit in a very nice, upscale assisted living facility. I am still going through my process around it . . . I want to avoid traumatizing her as much as is possible - but it is going to be traumatizing. I can't take her to visit because it is quite a distance from her current home (will be closer to my home).

At the moment, I am leaning towards telling her a couple of days in advance. Showing her papers that say the house is unsafe . . . then backing the annoucement up with lots of reassurance.

But we will see. I ordered a book that is supposed to address this and it should be here next week.

Thanks for all of the input and advice.

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Old 11-09-2013, 10:08 AM
Location: Location: Location
6,727 posts, read 9,949,659 times
Reputation: 20483
I'm on the other end of this story. I'm the aging Mom who may, at some point, have to leave my home and be "put" into AL.

At the moment, I have no mental deficits (or at least I don't think I do). But the day may come and despite my youngest dtr-in-law's assurance that she will not allow me to be "put" in a home, life changes all the time and one never knows.

Despite the feelings of guilt for causing the demented loved one mental trauma, you need to believe that she will be safer than you can guarantee if she remains in her home, as she insists she be allowed to do. I don't advocate dropping her off and never looking back, but imagine your guilt when she falls down the basement steps because she knows she left a shoebox full of money down there. (Of course, she didn't)

Knowing that you have made arrangements to keep your Mother safe should be sufficient impetus to carry out your plan, regardless of what subterfuge is involved.

Blessings to both of you.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:44 AM
Location: earth?
7,284 posts, read 12,923,463 times
Reputation: 8956
Thank you for the blessings.

This process has made me think of what I would like for myself, if ever in a similar situation. I think I would want my kids to lovingly advise me, not trick me and dodge out . . . I also think this particular place is quite nice . . . it is not depressing. The light is good, the accoutrements are nice . . . it appears to be a very pleasant atmosphere. I pray it will all go "swimmingly."
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:24 AM
9,322 posts, read 16,659,735 times
Reputation: 15773
Default Similar thread

This is another thread, similar to yours...
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