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Assisted Living for parent advice - LONG
Old 01-25-2020, 05:47 PM
  #1

I am hoping that anyone with experience can offer me some insight. My mom is 90 years old. She has mobility issues and walks with a walker. She also suffers from dry macular degeneration which has greatly impaired her vision. She is a widow and lives alone. She has home health come in once a week. They get her groceries, and take her to some doctorís appointments. The rest of her care is left to my brother and me. I work full time and have a husband with health problems. My brother suffered a major heart attack and he cares for his wife with MS. We are exhausted from worrying about my mother. One of us goes daily to visit and to take her meals. She has the option of moving into an assisted living facility which should be a no brainer. She has always been an independent woman and I feel I am asking her to go to make it easier on my brother and me. Finding someone to move in with her is not an option. She will do what I tell her, but itís killing me. Can anyone relate?


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My opinion
Old 01-25-2020, 06:09 PM
  #2

I would encourage your mother to move. She would have more people around her during the day. Hopefully not, but depending on your spouses own health needs you may not he as available. She has been blessed to he able to be own her own with your help this long. I am sure she does not want to be a burden to you and your brother if her needs get worse.
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She needs to be safe
Old 01-25-2020, 06:21 PM
  #3

And if her vision and mobility are poor she needs someone looking out for her more than you and your brother can provide her at home. What if she falls? I feel she will be better off at a home for elderly.

I know it is hard. My mom was 80 when we put her in a retirement home. She did not want to go but knew what my sister and I were telling her was best. We chose one for her and then took her to approve. If she had not approved we had a second choice to show her.

We chose a retirement home in her neighborhood. It was next to her church so that helped with making her feel more at home.

We furnished her apartment there with her furnishings and that helped too.

She did not need a kitchen but having a unit with a kitchen made her happy. She had a refrigerator for snacks and a microwave oven. No regular oven or stove were there. She did use a coffee pot and a toaster. She liked the ability to prepare easy foods and snacks.

She did adjust and make friends but she always missed her home.

I did not count on this issue but as her friends there died it had a huge impact on her mental well being.

As she got sicker we had hospice come to her there at her retirement home. She did not have to move to a nursing home which was nice and much less traumatic for my mom.

I think with the health issues of other family members and your mother this is probably the best idea to keep her safe. Then when you go to visit you will have more time to talk with her as you will not have to being doing as many tasks to meet her needs.

Last edited by 1956BD; 01-25-2020 at 10:02 PM..
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Dad
Old 01-25-2020, 06:35 PM
  #4

My Dad lived alone until he was 93. He also had mobility issues and macular degeneration. He wanted no part of assisted living. He fell and broke his hip, went to rehab and liked it. Fortunately the rehab was connected to an assisted living facility so he decided to stay. He died in October of this year at age 96. I believe that the assisted living arrangement extended his life. The help and care he received there was excellent. To know that he was safe was a great comfort to me. I also have a husband in poor health and we live 65 miles from where dad lived.

I would suggest researching assisted living facilities near you to find a good fit and go for it. Friendships made there will also be good for your mom.
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Assisted living
Old 01-25-2020, 06:51 PM
  #5

We just moved my dad to assisted living last year. I toured several and finally found one that I really liked. He has a living room with a dorm type fridge/freezer and a microwave with cabinets and a sink. He has a bedroom, a wonderful bathroom and a walk-in closet. There is also a stackable washer/dryer in the unit. The dining hall is nice and so are the activities and other facility features. It’s a little farther from me than several but so worth it. My siblings and I were gearing up for a “fight” to get him to move. I brought it up first without my siblings and he wanted to go see it. He agreed to the move right after the tour. We were shocked! We still don’t know why he agreed to move so easily. We don’t know if he realized he needed more help or what. He was even living in an independent living facility with a dining hall and activities, so it wasn’t like he was alone in his home. He just needed more personal assistance. His mobility is not good and he’s getting more forgetful.
It has been a good move for him and now we are sure that he’s getting his medicine correctly and has personal care for his dressing and showering needs. I visit at least twice a week (I’m the only child in town). It gives me great peace of mind when I am out of town to know that someone is there to check on him frequently.
I really think you should move your mom. She will be much safer and she may even enjoy the interaction with other people. I saw how much my dad perked up when moving to independent living because he had someone to eat with and talk to, he had activities to go to which gave him a purpose for his days. The same is true with assisted living. He had lost a lot of weight at home even though we took him food and he was still driving and would go out. I think having someone to talk with made his meals much more enjoyable.
My mom didn’t live that long but she always said to place her into nursing care if needed. She never wanted to be a burden to her children. I’ve told my kids the same thing. I don’t want them running themselves ragged or getting super stressed trying to care for me or my DH when we get to that point.
My dad on the other hand has always said he doesn’t want to go to a nursing home. His assisted living home does not feel like a nursing home and he likes it.


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a lot like SusaninNJ
Old 01-25-2020, 06:58 PM
  #6

although mom had not broken anything but she went at 90 after a short stay in the hospital. It took only about a couple weeks to get comfortable. She really loved it then and lived there until 96. There are 6 of us kids although only 2 lived very close. One of us visited each week. Don't feel guilty, she will love it after a bit of time to get comfortable.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:10 PM
  #7

Have you talked to your mom about this? You might find she would be very willing to look for a more supported living arrangement. She must be aware of your brotherís and your family challenges. No guiltóyou are suggesting a situation where she will be safe and well cared for. It isnít necessary that you do every service for her personally.
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I think you should
Old 01-25-2020, 08:12 PM
  #8

discuss it with her. My mother-in-law lived in assisted living for several years. It took her a little time, but she ended up loving it. She got the care she needed, made several wonderful friends, and ended up being extremely happy there. It can be a wonderful experience.

Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:30 PM
  #9

Quote:
I feel I am asking her to go to make it easier on my brother and me
. I think you need to let go of this thought. Even though it is true to a big extent, you have a lot in your own life. A little peace of mind would go a long way in alleviating your worries.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:40 PM
  #10

There is nothing wrong with part of the motivation being to make it easier on you! Think of what you would want for your kids and what she would have wanted for you before her needs overwhelmed her.

I had to really push my parents to move, but it has made such a difference. Mom's health in particular has gotten so much better. Her bloodwork has steadily improved since their move

If you can afford it, Assisted living is such a blessing. It will hopefully PREVENT her ever having to go to a nursing home. Mom has her own apartment and it feels like home. She is free to participate or not in any planned activities and meals.a bug thing for my parents was extra support for mom, who was carrying the load if dad's care.

Dad is now in memory care, a relatively easy move in the same facility and mom can easily visit daily. Mom had a fall and was temporarily in a wheelchair, and the care change was smooth and she is now back to her normal care level. All the help with these transitions has been a lifesaver since none of us live in their town and they are adamant to stay there.

Honestly, my only regret is not moving them sooner, but I had to convince them and my siblings. Both of them are happier and healthier overall with the appropriate level of care. My stress level and health are improving too. As things are getting easier, I'm realizing even more what a toll it was taking on me.



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Old 01-26-2020, 05:24 AM
  #11

Her safety and health is the priority--and as caregivers, yours is too. You can't sacrifice yourselves for your mom especially since there's options.

Is it possible or ideal to increase her home health care aids visits to daily? If not, then I agree a move is in place. I would recommend you and/or your brother go look at many places yourselves first. Narrow the list to a couple then discuss with your mom. If she's up to it, take her to visit unless there is one that is head and shoulders above the others.

My mom has lived in assisted living for years and enjoys it. I began doing her laundry years ago for a number of reasons: I wash them better and no issue with lost items. She is offered very balanced meals. There are activities but her health has declined so she's not interested anymore in what they have to offer. She pays to have assistance with dressing and giving meds. She didn't need this until the last few years. This to me is the biggest benefit--I cannot go over morning and evening daily to give her her meds when her memory began failing and she'd forget to take her pills and eye drops. She has her own apartment that they clean and repair if need be. I am still doing many things but don't need to go over daily. I just go Saturday mornings.

My MIL moved to the same place for 6 months after she had a number of falls in her home. She was accepting but wasn't thrilled. She had complaints about things but that's just the way she was. Very picky about things and some days just stayed in her room because there wasn't anything on the menu she liked She had a small kitchen area and she had friends get her boxed or frozen food to eat. We felt she was safer there with many eyes on her. She still had falls but we knew if she needed bathroom assistance or other assistance someone was available.

You're making the right decision. You both don't want to start resenting your mom for her failing health and the care she needs.

Some things to look for:
*Is there add on assisted care or is it part of the overall price? With my mom's place it's an add on which was better for her because she was totally independent when she first moved there. Many times this is also less costly than the built in package. As her health declined, we added on services.
*Can your mom/will your mom get herself up and ready for meals? Are 3 meals served daily? My friend's mom's place only serves lunch and dinner so she's responsible for getting her mom breakfast items to keep at the apartment.

Perhaps when you go tour some places, you'll feel better about your decision. I understand it's not easy.
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About the guilt...
Old 01-26-2020, 05:51 AM
  #12

Quote:
I feel I am asking her to go to make it easier on my brother and me.
Parents send their kids to school, usually. Could they homeschool? Of course...but sending the kids to school makes it easier on the parents. It also means that trained professional teachers with more expertise offer the child a (potentially) higher quality education than the parent could offer at home. And it offers opportunities for social interactions and building friendships that would likely be unavailable at home. Parents who send their kids to school do not love their children less. They are not shirking their responsibilities. They are providing a good education to their child and making it easier on themselves.

I think that is a good analogy for your situation. You could provide care for her in her home...but you cannot be as available (and perhaps you do not have all the skills) to do the job as well as it needs to be done, especially with her medical needs. You cannot provide the social interaction that she needs easily, either. Isolation is a big problem for the elderly, and it can contribute to mental health issues and dementia.

Placing her in assisted living is a loving choice! Please do not feel guilt. Instead, commit to visiting her and allow your time with her to be high quality time instead of needing to focus heavily on her practical needs.

It's a win-win!
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:45 AM
  #13

You have already received some very good advice. I wonder, does your mom have any friends who are in assisted living you could visit? If so, it might be one way to "pitch" it to your mom. You could call ahead and avoid the ones who are unhappy.
I know this is difficult. My dad lived with us for a little over 5 years and then we couldn't lift him when he fell and didn't have the training to deal with all his medical issues.
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:30 AM
  #14

After reading this post, I realize that my parents would be better served in assisted living. They will not consider it right now, and I get it, but I can see my dad's health going downhill slowly as he has been providing 24 hour care to my mom since May last year. She is getting better physically now, but her dementia has increased. I wish this were an option. If they lived closer, I do believe I could talk my dh into a place where we had a MIL apartment and they could live there. That would help out and they could stay independent. But, we don't live closer and they would not want to leave my mom's sisters.

Live it tough. Give yourself a break.
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:14 AM
  #15

As one PP said, why didn't we do this sooner?

DH's mom has been in assisted living for almost 8 years now, and it was the best decision that he and his siblings made. Not only is his mom thriving, but it took the burden off the siblings who lived relatively near her. She had been living on her own since their dad died 40 years ago, but as she got older, it became more difficult for her to go to doctor's appointments and do shopping, etc. The neighborhood changed, and her social contacts dried up. Her eye sight was poor and she also started having memory problems, and several times she got lost to the point that the police had to bring her home.

The siblings decided to put her in an assisted living home, and she agreed. Almost from the moment she moved in, her whole demeanor changed for the better, and her memory came back. I do want to say that it took them a while to find a place that fit her needs, so be diligent in your shopping around.

Because she now has dementia, she was moved to a different level of care within the assisted living place. She is very happy because the move to memory care was not a drastic change for her. She still sees many of the same residents and caregivers.
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Good advice
Old 01-26-2020, 12:22 PM
  #16

You have received lots of excellent advice. My mom, who is 91, has macular degeneration, hearing difficulties, balance issues, and mobility problems. She finally agreed to move in July. My sisters and I were running ourselves ragged doing her housework, yardwork, cooking, and doctor's visits. She doesn't really like where she is- she wants to be home, but does understand that it's not safe. One of us is there every day for some period of time, but she's only a 10 minute walk from our houses- we all live close. Do it, somehow. Safety was our main concern and we are grateful for that relief.
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Sincere thanks
Old 01-26-2020, 02:09 PM
  #17

I think these are some of the most heart felt responses I have ever read, and I thank you for taking the time to respond. It helped so much just getting it out there.
I have discussed it with my mom and told her we need to make some decisions. For now, we are going to increase the home health visits and visit the assisted living facilities in our area.
Thank you so very much!
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I didn't read all of the responses.
Old 01-26-2020, 02:37 PM
  #18

So I'm sorry if this has already been addressed. I was recently talking to someone at A Place for Mom (an agent) who told me that if they already have mobility issues, they send them directly to a nursing home instead of assisted living. They have to be mobile to go into assisted living. I don't know if that only applies to those affiliated with A Place for Mom or if it's universal.
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Another thought...
Old 01-26-2020, 02:42 PM
  #19

I agree that assisted living will be where she will be safe and cared for, but in the interim you could get cameras for her home so you can monitor her over the internet. A couple of my colleagues have used these for elderly relatives, and it gave them peace of mind to be able to check on them. Our librarian actually was monitoring her mom as she fell, and was able to get to her quickly.

Also, there are agencies that can help you find the right place for your momís needs. There are social workers at the hospitals who could refer you to different resources. Reach out for help- there are experienced people out there to help you.

Sending prayers, itís a difficult time of life, but we can are here for you.
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Old 01-26-2020, 06:19 PM
  #20

I have been there so yes I can relate! (((HUGS)))

I would encourage your mom to move as well. Assisted living is not the same as long term care. In AL there would be someone to do the same things you are doing - preparing her meals, cleaning her apartment, etc. She can still maintain some level of independence in a facility like that.

Prayers abide!

Nancy
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:20 PM
  #21

Definitely relate! My mom moved from her home to assisted living at age 96--and lived 6 more years! She made the decision herself (thanks, Mom) and chose the AL that was closest to us (and to her home) so that she would more likely see family and friends.

She was at a point that cooking and cleaning were more than she wanted to do. And forget about walking up and down the basement stairs with laundry.

So she got 3 meals a day, weekly cleaning, the peace of mind of knowing that all she had to do was push a button to have someone come to help her. She also felt unsafe taking a bath or shower, so she had assistance with bathing.

Mom was quite an independent person and handled her own medication until the very end.

Yes, I think a person has to be mobile to qualify for AL. Using a walker is OK and very common. There were also residents who used wheelchairs, but I think they had to be able to transfer in and out by themselves, as well as to propel the wheelchair. OK to do that by sitting in the chair and "walking."

Mom joined us almost every week for a family dinner at one house or another. She was picked up for church weekly by a friend. And I took her to doctor's appointments (she wanted to keep her own doctor) and to get her hair cut (she didn't like the haircut she got at AL).

Mom's decision to move into AL was a gift to herself and to her family. She missed her house, but she was realistic and arranged to be sure to have the care she needed then and in the future, without disrupting the lives of her family.

One result was that visiting her was not a burden, but an enjoyable time.

I would suggest an assisted living facility that is part of a continuous care community so that skilled nursing/long term nursing care is available there if she needs it in the future.
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Yes-
Old 01-27-2020, 04:30 AM
  #22

I can relate to your situation.

You should not feel badly about talking to your mother about the possibility of moving to an assisted living facility. You have a lot on your plate. Even if you and your brother didnít have the health issues in your families to deal with, there would be nothing selfish or wrong to talk with your mother about moving to an assisted living facility.

She would be safe, cared for, and she would be with other people and not alone. My mother has lived in an assisted living facility for almost five years. It did take some time for her to adjust once she moved to one. She uses a walker now and she is also greatly impaired concerning her sight.

Her doctor spoke with her about moving to assisted living before something happened to her that would prevent her from living in one. After listening to the information from her doctor, my brother and myself, she knew it would be the best decision to move into one before something happened that would prevent her from doing so.

It was not easy for her to leave her home, but she knew it would be best for her down the road.

I hope the above info helps you.
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Ditto everyone
Old 01-27-2020, 09:04 AM
  #23

Great experience advice . My mom has been in assisted living 5 years . She is 93. You have to put your frame of mind not as a daughter ( which is hard to do) but as sending your child to a daycare / off to college to live in the dorm frame of mind. Do not be afraid to ask questions. If you disagree , politely say so. You would do the same for your child. If she is is getting around with walker thatís great. My mom has a power chair and on good days she go! Good luck ....
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Old 01-27-2020, 11:09 PM
  #24

I can absolutely relate! My dads only 78 and has some major health problems. Heís been rotating in and out of assisted living and nursing facilities for the last couple of years now. If you decide to put her in a facility, be VERY vigilant of staff to resident ratio. Care given. How long call light go off before being answered, Etc. If in a nursing home. many facilities like this HATE when they know loved ones are checked on often, and care givers are under the microscope. We think we finally found the first good place...out of about 10 places this past Friday, though heís 3 hours away. Unfortunately. Good luck on your decision.
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Mobility
Old 01-28-2020, 01:33 PM
  #25

Adding-my dad uses a scooter and a walker. He has lots of mobility issues. As long as he can get himself on and off the toilet he can be in assisted living. He has a raised toilet seat and handles on either side of the toilet. Almost everyone there has a walker, scooter, power chair or something.
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