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Aging Parents

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  • #1097153 Reply
    Miss MJ

    Realized my mom needs more skilled nursing and full time caregiving than I can do. Won’t agree to assisted living and even if she did, with COVID, what now?

    #1097158 Reply

    Sorry 🙁

    I think until someone has a fall or something that gives them a wake up call, you may not be able to convince them to leave home.

    Is she in danger of falling? If so, she should have a Life Alert device.

    And then I think it’s about finding in-home caregivers. My parents have said to tell them when it’s time to have a nice lady take care of them. My husband’s mom has their handyman living with her. I’d start with what her insurance would cover or what resources the state provides?

    #1097159 Reply

    This is hard and I agree with Kate that you can’t force it. I know a lot of people, myself included, who are struggling with this. Is there some middle ground like an apartment complex that’s senior friendly to which she might be receptive?

    #1097161 Reply

    Life alert or an apple watch are also good starts. If she already has an iphone and she’s mostly home the apple watch doesn’t need cellular, it can pick up her phone if she needs help. It does track falls. If anything if she’s repeatedly using the service, then it might clue her in to her needs.

    Then start investigating what health conditions would allow for home assistance under medicare and see if you can talk to her GP about getting such a diagnoses. Medicare does fund up to a certain number of hours per day, but it usually doesn’t cover 24 hour a day care. If your mom has funds for such care, you can usually arrange through a service.

    My mom lives in a gated community where the average age is like mid-70’s. If someone needs an aide, they start the telephone chain to see who knows who’s available and who’s got a good rapport with clients. So see who your mom knows that had care and whether they’d recommend them. People get better and people die – aides are always looking for the next client.

    If the danger is she’s forgetful and is missing medication and leaving stuff on the stove, then I would recommend a semi-assisted facility where she would have an apartment unit. They have activities, days out, dining throughout the day, they’ll take you to your doctors appointments, etc. However, those often don’t have what’s called a “step down” where more aid is needed (e.g. help getting dressed, getting confused in the middle of the night, needing help to go to the restroom). She needs to be independent to live there.

    After that, would be a fully assisted living facility – like your typical nursing home.

    #1097164 Reply

    A lot of advice is going to be location specific and vary based on your (or your parent’s) financial situation.

    You might want to start at a site like this:

    and plug in your zip code to find local resources for information and assistance.

    The general problem is that until there’s a particular threat of harm, you’re really relegated to the role of trying to influence your parent, but you don’t really have any real say.

    #1097165 Reply

    @MissMJ, I’ve typed to you a few different times not quite knowing what to say. I don’t have any solid advice. I do know the pain my mom went through while dealing with a similar situation with my grandma. I’m sorry this is happening and that this is a decision you need to help your mom to make. It sucks. I wish there was better and more options for elderly people that need care.

    #1097190 Reply
    Miss MJ

    Thanks, everyone. Unfortunately, live in help isn’t an option since she lives in a one-bedroom apartment. Researching potential home health assistance via Medicare/Medicaid and getting information about a couple of independent to assisted living to full time nursing care facilities, just to have the information.

    To make matters worse, my sibling who was supposed to take over supervisory care because I have to return to work in a few weeks has shut down and stopped communicating with me about this because it’s “too hard.” Yeah, no shit. It’s also hard to do on my own, not to mention explaining to my mom her other child has tapped out.

    #1097192 Reply

    So she needs someone there at night? She wouldn’t be ok with someone coming in during the day but not living there? If so, that sounds like she needs full-time nursing care (so did my aunt but no one could do anything until she had a fall she couldn’t get up from).

    You think she’s past where someone could come in and help her out but go home at night?

    #1097220 Reply

    I mean, depending on how the search for help goes it’s also entirely valid to sit your mother down and tell her that you appreciate her wanting to keep her independence but it’s coming at the cost of yours and she has to be more open to what’s out there to assist. That’s what eventually worked on my grandmother. Admittedly she was 92 but she was also in really good health up until then. She’s 94 now and absolutely loves her care home, it’s been really good for her physical and mental health.

    #1097221 Reply

    Do you have an EAP through work? If so, give them a call and they can provide you with options based on your mom’s needs. I recently went through something similar with my mom and the EAP was really helpful and made a couple of suggestions I had not thought of.

    #1097223 Reply
    Miss MJ

    @Kate: I think she’d physically be able to be okay overnight and with someone checking on her a couple of times a day, she is not a high risk of falling and is able to put cereal and a simple lunch together and heat up a precooked dinner from a service I can arrange.

    But her quality of life would diminish. She’s suffering from medication induced severe incontinence and, since she’s not really able to clean up after herself beyond changing her clothes and bathing, if left to her own devices she’d live in a place covered with urine. Like, I’m running multiple loads of laundry a day when I used to do one or two a week, and am going to likely have to replace the first bedroom carpet and mattress levels. I spend a good three hours (broken up) a day to keep it from smelling like nursing home in here.

    At the most basic, she’d need someone to come change out and wash her clothes and bedding daily, count out her meds, make sure her vitals were in the right range and do basic grocery shopping. She’d also need regular skilled nurse monitoring to manage her CHV symptoms. It’s not impossible, though.

    But she’d be mostly isolated. And it just seems like a shit way to live. Absent Covid, I could probably talk her into a nice assisted living facility. There’s one nearby. But she’s terrified of Covid (fully vaxxed but medically vulnerable) and with the protocols, unlike regular assisted living, she couldn’t leave for social activities and return or have visitors. It’s really like a prison. They even confine them their rooms when there’s an outbreak. Awful.

    , I have to go back to actively working in a few weeks so I think I’m going to set up a part time caregiver and see if that works. If it doesn’t, then I’ll be able to point to something concrete as to why she needs to consider alternatives. It’ll go over better that way. But damn, with the Covid. It’s hard.

    @jilliebean, we own our own business, so no EAP. But I’m fortunate in that my husband/business partner has been doing the heavy lifting while I care for my mom. It’s not a sustainable solution, though.

    I really, really appreciate everyone’s comments. It helps a lot. It just sucks and there’s no good answer.

    #1097226 Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear this msmj. I hope a resolution comes soon, and that assisted living becomes an option again in the near future.

    Don’t you and your partner do business in the NOLA area?

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