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Author Topic: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....  (Read 5605 times)

JX2Fields

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2016, 08:10:13 AM »
 My wife's mother is 92 she lives alone, right across the field from our house and up until March of this year she drove. My wife then had DMV pull her license and so now with no transportation we had to arrange for her to get to her weekly bingo game, Dr appointments and grocery, plus check on her everyday make sure she is taking her pills, her phone is not off the hook and her tv is working right. My wife's sister takes her so that helps but still it takes and hour or so a day and ties you down. We also have an rv sitting in the drive way, but what we have done is made arrangement for a lady to come in and check on her twice a day while we are gone for the next two weeks. Next summer my Wife's sister and husband want to join on a trip to Alaska so we will have to fine someone to stay with Mother the whole time we are gone. We have mentioned assisted living and look at the same people everyday no thank you, this is a person who sit in her chair 24 hours a day other than bathroom runs and getting something to eat and watches tv. We use to take her with us but she got to weak to get in the pickup or up the stairs  so now we can't.
 Don't sell  when you want to travel either get your siblings to take her or get someone in to watch her. Take over her finances and make her pay her way. Like my wife said the other day after her sister could not take her mother to bingo and the lady that usually does couldn't ,so she got mad a drover herself ( no license, no insurance ) 30 miles to bingo, I can now understand  how elder abuse happens. Maybe this is all pay back for when we were teenagers LOL.
 
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Frizlefrak

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2016, 09:25:14 PM »
One of Mom's main issues is that she has (intentionally) isolated herself from everyone but family (and family isn't responding, so that means the wife and I).  She was socially very active when she was young, but about 15 years ago, she started withdrawing from her friends....who one by one, started dying off.  When we moved her to El Paso in 2007, she had her own place.....lots of her older neighbors tried to be her friend, but she essentially drove them all away.  She talks incessantly and is very opinionated...and can get nasty when people don't agree with her.  Not conducive to having friends.....

When she was in the rehab center for 6 weeks after her bout with pneumonia, lots of the residents tried to be friends with her.  She would associate with them to the extent that she had to, but didn't really want anything to do with them either.  If she was to go into assisted living, she would lock herself in the apartment all day.

Basically what she wants is us to spend every minute of our free time entertaining her.  We, of course, don't do that....and she spends a lot of time sleeping and planted in front of the boob tube watching Fox News all day.  I'm sure she's sad and depressed that things aren't how she wants them, but at what point is that no longer my problem?  In a nutshell, she wants to be with my older brother, and he won't give her the time of day (unless he needs something, of course). 

My older sis is now saying she will take her some time in November.  I've heard this song and dance 5 or 6 times now, not holding my breath.  I would be completely open to all three of us sharing in her care...we could take her for 6 month intervals and rotate who has her....but again, it takes three to tango in this case, and that isn't going to happen.

I bought a few goodies for the truck, and I'm going to do the same for the RV....keep my interest kindled for the meantime.  By next summer, it will be three years since the wife and I have had a vacation.  We're taking one, and we don't care who it harelips.  If Mom is still here and has to go into respite care, she will be drug kicking and screaming if necessary.

Thanks again to all for listening to my tale of woe.
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PatStab

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2016, 11:12:17 PM »
Well, there comes a time unless you give up your life.  MIL is similar she isn't going to make friends
and stuff, but her sister and her are in the same place.  She still isn't happy at times, but she is better
off there.  More active, people to take care of her, she is eating 100 times better then at home and
we have a life.

There is help out there, it is expensive, our assisted living costs $135 a day for respite care, but hey
it lets you have a life.  We are thinking of bringing our mentally challenged daughter back home its
not working out.  But we intend to make use of respite often as we need to.

Good luck, they will end up happier then you think they will or not.  But its what those places are
for, hope I have enough sense to willingly go when I need to also.


Frizlefrak

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2016, 12:13:17 AM »
But its what those places are
for, hope I have enough sense to willingly go when I need to also.

Funny you should mention that....I remember mom saying something similar 30 years ago how she "didn't want to be a burden to her family".  Now she says the thought of going into assisted living "absolutely panics her".  She DOES understand the difference between assisted living and a nursing home.....she just doesn't want to spend the money on it.  She wants to live with us, save her money, and leave it to my brother....the same brother that hasn't been out to see her in 7 years.

Finances:  It's a non-issue.  Her entire net worth is under $50K, and when she moves to the great beyond, my sibs are welcome to it.  The wife and I were successful and moderately frugal over the years....it wouldn't make a difference in our lives one way or the other.  My sis is in the same boat....career person that did well.  My brother, on the other hand, couldn't hang on to a dollar if his life depended on it.  He will be here (or somewhere) with his hand out before she's even cold.  One more reason I'd like to see all her money spent on her care....just so there's nothing left for him.  Petty of me, isn't it?

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jackiemac

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2016, 12:15:42 AM »
My advice is similar to others and I'm glad you are determined to take time for yourselves next year. If you don't you might end up resentful and that is not good for anyone. My friend had lots of issues and eventually her mum went into a care home in the UK and whilst she doesn't love it she realises it's best for everyone. Good luck.
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wincom6

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2016, 07:36:57 AM »
We have a lot in common, I had to leave El Paso and return to Pittsburgh to take care of my mother.  My brother and sister were useless.  I too am married to a saint, my wife and I took care of her mother until her passing at 95 and we had a few years until my mother had to move in with us. My cousin would keep my mother for a week or 2 and we used respite care so we could get away.  We could take my mother with us because she could relax in the motorhome. (this may be an alternative for you) We took her to the ocean (see pix) and to some places that she could enjoy.  Iím not saying it is easy but in our case it was possible.  Some things my mother would say I had to over look, like saying if she had a million dollars she would give it all to Ray (my brother)  I visited her more when I lived in El Paso than he did and he lived less that 30 miles away. My mother passed last September and I can say that my wife and I did our duty and can feel good about taking care of both of them.
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Alpena Jeff

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2016, 04:23:16 PM »
We just went through this with mom in March. Dad passed 3 years ago, I have 2 siblings. We are a tight, religious family and all jump in to help. We placed mom in assisted living after much debate she decided to give it a go, just don't sell her house! Well, we got the ok to sell the house. She loves it! So many activities, lunch and dinner provided daily with an in house chef. My siblings are both within an hour and I'm 4 hours away. They visit once a week minimum and once a month for me.
It can work if you can convince her to give it a go. No contracts at our place,you can bail if it doesn't work.
Best of luck, Jeff
Frizlefrak, I'm quoting myself, I know.
Mom passed last Sunday, funeral this Monday. As a side note my wife's dad passed the Sunday before. Yup, 2 in a week. My siblings and I sat with her nonstop the last week of her life. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. It sounds like you are manning up and no matter how it goes down, you will be able to sleep nights when the end comes. You are a good man! God bless you.
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Frizlefrak

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  • El Paso, Texas
Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2016, 12:12:35 PM »
Frizlefrak, I'm quoting myself, I know.
Mom passed last Sunday, funeral this Monday. As a side note my wife's dad passed the Sunday before. Yup, 2 in a week. My siblings and I sat with her nonstop the last week of her life. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. It sounds like you are manning up and no matter how it goes down, you will be able to sleep nights when the end comes. You are a good man! God bless you.

Thank you my brother....and I am so sorry for your loss. :'(
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JudyJB

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2016, 12:45:04 PM »
This post is a big old, but I hope some of you still look at it.  My mother has passed away, and she was not as difficult as some of your situations, but difficult enough.  I found this book very helpful:  https://www.amazon.com/Coping-Your-Difficult-Older-Parent-ebook/dp/B0053K290Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477762920&sr=1-1&keywords=dealing+with+your+difficult+older+parent

It was recommended to be by the dementia support group I attended.  After my mother died, I gave it to my kids for when I got difficult.

Also, remember that even minor dementia causes personality changes, so whoever said it was likely going to get worse is right.  My mother ended up in memory care instead of assisted living because dementia got worse.  A person may not seem to have dementia right now, but sometimes it is hidden.

And finally, do look around for nursing homes right now before you need it for your mother. (I warn you that it will be depressing.)  And put your name on waiting lists, even if you think you will not need it for a couple of years.  The best nursing homes, especially the ones taking Medicaid, have long waiting lists, but the end up sometimes not being so long because people change their minds or die before they need the service.

I took care of my mother for the last 20 years of her life--in her home, in my home, in a senior apartment, in memory care, and finally in a Medicaid nursing home for a couple of months, and I am proud that I spent every last penny she had doing it.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 12:59:50 PM by JudyJB »
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Roadhappy

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2016, 03:10:26 AM »
My cousin flew in to take care of my uncle before he died.  Of course they told her it would only be a couple of weeks and she ended up staying for 7 months in his home to care for him.  She could not talk him into a nursing home or going home with her no matter how much she tried.  He wanted to die at home.  She had to fly back to her home state for a doctors appointment so she got his doctor to get him into a nursing home for the 5 days she was gone.  Did not know they could do short term stays but it did happen.  We would visit him and tell him only a few more days and he seemed to do okay.  You could see if this is an option for your mom.  As long as she knows you're coming to get her she would be fine especially if she didn't have a say so.

Robin
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Dreamsend

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2016, 09:17:49 PM »
I hope I can offer some hopeful, helpful thoughts on this issue.  My Mom is 98, now in the late stage of dementia and spent her life's savings (made all on her own) on 3 years of assisted living at ~$4000/mo. Just this week I had to move her to a nursing home so Medicaid could take over her care.  She also wanted me to inherit and was initially most distressed about paying a "home for old folks".  I'm her only family and the journey of her failing cognition has not been pleasant and it is NOT pleasant for anyone who must deal with the plethora of issues involved.  I'll try to be organized.

1.  Who has your Mom's durable power of attorney?  If you do that's great because it certainly sounds like you should as opposed to the siblings.  It must include power to make healthcare decisions.  I can't stress this enough.  You are headed for 100+ situations where you must make decisions on behalf of your Mom's welfare and the only way to do this is having power of attorney.  Just remember, you're doing it for her welfare, not for your ego.

Do not seek guardianship unless it is a last, last, last resort to get her the care she needs.  You will be entangled with the courts and forced to keep even the most mundane records of her life and have to file these with the courts. 

2.  If a medical doctor has not evaluated her to determine whether she needs 24 hour care, then that needs to happen.  Part of that eval is to administer tests to determine where she is cognitively.  Look up the MMSE test on the web to see an example.  From everything you describe, your Mom is showing indications of some form of dementia -- there are a 100 types, but only 4 can be accurately diagnosed without an autopsy.  Most people lump everyone into Alzheimer's, but that is incorrect and you must get professional, experienced, trained people involved in her care because they have procedures and methods for communicating with our elderly loved ones that makes life easier for everyone.  Once a doctor SAID my Mom needed 24 hour medical care, she no longer was adverse to moving to AL. (At age 95).  Some may well conclude that I'm making a huge unfounded assumption here, but the symptoms are there and I've seen it begin like this many times with friends' parents.  I apologize if I'm out of line.

3.  I have to respectfully disagree with posters suggesting you bring someone in for help so that you can get away.  It is well documented that dementia patients DO NOT react at all well to changes in routine or in their environments.  A stranger could mean disaster.  Are they actually equipped to deal with your Mom's quirks and problems?  I am pretty certain your Mom's problems are more cognitively complex than you realize, and the disease is causing her distress that her brain no longer can rationalize or deal with.  A stranger can not compensate for that.

4.  Dementia is a disease and it manifests differently in each person and is complicated more so because of different individual personality traits. It is progressive and incurable.  There are some typical signs however and it seems to me from your post that your Mom may be showing some indications.  Except for the professionals in AL, nursing homes, hospice facilities, none of us are equipped to deal with it.  I've walked all the stages, taking over finances, paid the bills, done the laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, making the doc. appt., been chauffeur, filled the pill boxes, etc. so she could remain independent.  But eventually she needed a routine, stable environment with help from people who knew how to minimize her growing anxiety and to redirect her thinking.  Did I feel guilty I couldn't do more?  You betcha.  But I couldn't/can't beat that disease, just like thousands of other caring kids can't beat it to save their parents.  Getting her the support and care she needs from people who understand how to deal with the dementia beast is in her best interest.  Dementia IS NOT a mental disease as in "crazy" (an awful term).  In one respect, it is no different than kidney failure, or a wacky heart, or bad pancreas (diabetes) -- the organ involved is just the brain instead.  But it is much more insidious and much harder to deal with because of what it does to a person and their relationships and interactions with others.

5.  Get in touch with your state's local Council on Aging.  In Indiana, it's called CICOA.  They serve as a clearing house for all support and programs for the elderly.  You will find many useful resources from caregiver support to facility reviews and hopefully free access to an Elder Law Attorney.  My advice is you seek counsel from an ELA as there are financial steps you need to make sure are in place to ensure your Mom's continuing care.  I only advise this because of the reference to $$ and the sibling. Is your Mom's funeral and burial prepaid?  From her resources?  You gotta make sure she doesn't gift anything to anyone, including charities, (varies by state) or her future care could be jeopardized.  An ELA advisor is likely essential cause various requirements are very complex and you want to make sure things are the best for your Mom.

You may also connect with folks who can give you advice on how better to influence your Mom and her decisions.  If dementia is present, even in early stages, rational arguments won't work anymore.

6.  You are not alone.  I encourage you to do some web searching -- "caring for elderly" or "what is dementia" or "elderly Mom".  You'll find millions of entries.  My hope is that you'll find information pertinent to your Mom's situation and that will help you make decisions for your and your family's welfare.  So many, many people including me have been right where you are-- struggling with guilt and always worrying about what is the best thing to do for Mom, for your wife, for yourself etc.  In the end, it almost always means living in a full-time care facility.  And lest you think you are relinquishing responsibility should you decide AL is best for your Mom, I assure you, you are not.  You will still find that managing her care IN a facility will likely still qualify as a part-time job.  You will still be involved with many many things that need doing for her.  But, you just may be able to take that rig out knowing that she is comfortable and cared for. 

I hope I have not overstepped the boundaries by making these suggestions and also making some conclusions based on your original post.  But your experiences mirror my own and those of numerous close friends who either have or are currently going through the same issues due to dementia.  It is more than difficult to experience this, but help is available to improve things.  In the end, do your best, and leave God the rest.   And, remember, your best includes taking care of your own health and welfare as a priority now and then as well.

Linda




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Frizlefrak

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  • El Paso, Texas
Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2016, 12:57:31 AM »


I hope I have not overstepped the boundaries by making these suggestions and also making some conclusions based on your original post.  But your experiences mirror my own and those of numerous close friends who either have or are currently going through the same issues due to dementia.  It is more than difficult to experience this, but help is available to improve things.  In the end, do your best, and leave God the rest.   And, remember, your best includes taking care of your own health and welfare as a priority now and then as well.

Linda

Linda....

First, thanks for taking the time to put everything down in writing.  I know that took some effort.  Second, you are not overstepping any boundaries.  You have no idea how much I appreciate you sharing your experiences....and events of the last week have solidified my belief that you are correct in your analysis of my mom.

A couple of developments the last week.  The wife and I have been trying to sneak out for "date night" at least once every couple of weeks.  We've managed a few nice dinners out, drinks and a movie, and a concert.  All of which went off with no issues.  So on a whim, we decided to try a day trip....somewhere close, gone 8 hours.  Mom was asleep when we left, so we didn't wake her.  We went up to Cloudcroft NM....about 100 miles away and had lunch.   Drove around up in the forest and enjoyed the scenery.  Left at 10:00 AM, back at 6:00 PM.  Had a great day....until we walked in the front door. 

Mom was in bed and yelling that she needed to discuss something with me immediately.  Apparently, we weren't gone 30 minutes and she fell.  She wasn't seriously hurt, just a bit sore, but she was livid with us for leaving and not telling her.  With all the composure I could muster, I informed her that I'm not under any obligation to ask permission to come and go, and that the wife and I needed to get out of the house a bit.  I'll spare the details, but the conversation culminated in me telling her that I'm going to hire someone to come and check on her so we can get away for a bit.  She once again became agitated and told me she "didn't need a babysitter".  I pointed to where she had taken a tumble and said "apparently you do".  NOT the brightest response from me....but it was out before I could reel it in.  We talked the next day, and she (albeit reluctantly) agreed to having a service come in and check on her.  Crisis averted.

So Monday I get home from work and the wife is handing out Halloween candy in the driveway.  She said she had to move it out there because Mom kept getting into the candy and had eaten several of the small candy bars....she's diabetic with little exercise....big no-no.  But that wasn't the worst of it.  I go in the house, and it absolutely reeks inside of something burnt.  Mom had put some pizza rolls in the microwave.....and evidently read the wrong set of instructions.  Instead of 90 seconds for microwaving, she put them on for 9 minutes (oven time).  The box was a charred mess.  Wife was in the shower when it happened....got out...house is full of smoke.  Microwave is a built in....could have been catastrophic.  So now I'm rethinking the getting away for a couple days even with someone checking in on her.  I don't want to come home to a pile of ashes...especially one she couldn't get out of.

So there's my update on my tale of woe.  Thanks to all for the words of wisdom and just hearing me out.
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PatStab

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Re: The "Maybe we should sell it" conversation came up today.....
« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2016, 12:56:16 AM »
You need to do something.  But let me tell you a POA is not going to be enough, they can decide
to rescind it and then you are stuck, we have been through this.

We got guardianship of my MIL, yes I have to keep records and do all the reports and we are in
Indiana. That doesn't just happen overnight, the attorney had to sit up a court date, the person
has to be notified in writing and unless a doctor says it would put her over an emotional edge, she
will attend.  We also had to get a doc to fill out forms saying she had dementia.  The assisted
living told us if she became very adamant that she was leaving without it there was nothing they
could do.  We had to move her from one that was not secure because they
caught her trying to walk away outside twice.  Until we could find another place with coded doors
we had to hire a sitter at night.  With the coded doors and even with the numbers posted inside
she can't figure out how to get out, thankfully.

We figured she would fight the hearing all the way but that day she was rather calm.  It went pretty
good, but her main concern, did this mean we could tell her what to do.  My husband told her yes
it does because she could no longer live on her own.

This took several months.  Then cost, she has been there a year and run through a lot of her money,
I filed for VA benefits over a year ago and she just got it in Sept, she still has not received the back
pay.  We moved her to a smaller apartment for less money, there is still a shortfall but the back pay
will take care of her for several years.  They cannot have assets over $80k and now the lookback for
giving money away is 5 years I believe, for her it was 3.  For Medicaid it is 5 also, but we are not
there yet.

I would start whatever you are going to do soon, sounds like its not safe for her to be on her own.  Sadly
this is part of all of us living so long anymore, figure my turn is coming one day also.

Good luck, and get your ducks in a row and plan for your life too.  Guardianship here costs $2000 or so
and we had to do it for our DD also.  But it helps you to keep them safe.


 

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