View Full Version : Elderly Parents

CDE Driver
Nov. 27, 2009, 08:35 AM
Does anyone have an elderly parent (or two) living with them?

How is it working?

I ask because my Sisters seem to think or Mother should move to a swanky "retirement home". I feel like I should be the one to take care of her. It would be my pleasure after all she has done for me and hate the idea of shipping her off.

Any opinions? Helpful hints? Good arguments for the Sisters?

Nov. 27, 2009, 08:57 AM
What does Mother want? If she's OK with living with you, and you are OK with it, the Sisters can shut their yap. If Mother's condition deteriorates you might have to revisit other options (like assisted living or nursing home) at some future point, but you can cross that bridge when you get there.

If Mom thinks a swanky retirement home would be right up her alley and can afford it, you have to (reluctantly) let her do that. But don't let her make you think she wants it (but she really doesn't) because she doesn't want to be a burden to you.

Nov. 27, 2009, 09:02 AM
What does your mother want to do? There are some good points to assisted living places. They allow seniors to live somewhat independently, there is plenty of socialization available for them that may not be the case if she moves in with you, trips, good meals provided in a community setting, entertainment coming in weekly, special events, etc. Some of the facilities around here even take their residents to the casino, on leaf peeking trips, to museums and on trips to Broadway shows in NYC and to Boston. There's always something going on for them, and they seem to enjoy living there.

I would take her on a tour of facilities she can afford, and let her think about this. She may prefer to have her independence and be mingling with people her own age, and just not feel comfortable in telling you this. If she would be happier living with you, she will be happy to tell you that, too! Don't make the decision for her. Make it with her.

Nov. 27, 2009, 09:08 AM
I am not in this situation myself yet, but I can tell you about my Grandmother....

After a slip and fall, she was in a very nice rehab/asst. living facility...all the children in the area (4 out of 8 children), had a meeting about if she should stay there permanently. My Mom thought she should stay there, as some of her friends were there, and her numerous meds, special diet, and other needs were met at the necessary time.

Gram couldn't decide. One of the son-in-laws took it upon himself to talk everyone into having her come home to own house where "we" would love to take care of her....Well that lasted only a few months. One other son and his wife, who lived there with her, 'got tired of it', and since "Mom was doing so well", moved into another house.

Gram does not drive. Since my Mom couldn't always get her to therapy, she stopped going (thanks for the help, siblings!) These days, she sits alone in her house, unless my Mom or one other daughter comes to visit. A nurse come in every other day to wash her, etc. Dr. visits-well, my Mom takes her, many other times they are cancelled by the child who was supposed to drive her. Her diet is not being followed, my Mom tries to keep up with things, but my Dad has health problems, and my Mom herself just had surgery. I help here and there, but I have my two kids running me ragged.

The son-in-law and wife go to Florida Oct.-April (thanks for the help!!) The son who moved out does nothing for her now...My Mom and other sister are trying hard...

So, this is a HUGE commitment on your part. Will your Mom enjoy being around others her age-is this the type of facility that has lots of activities, like field trips, movie outings, etc? Everything is geared toward this age groups' needs and interests. Ditto for all the health care needs.

If you decide to do this, I commend you...But it is so much work. What does your Mom want, and how mobile is she? Also consider her mental state-any forgetfulness, etc? This can also be hard to deal with.

Good luck in your decision!!

Nov. 27, 2009, 09:09 AM
We have an elderly aunt who lives in an assisted living facility in our city, and has been there for the past seven years. She now needs the maximum level of care the facility offers, and that is something we could not provide at our house. The facility has nice rooms, great food, activities, field trips, city bus service at the door, a fitness center, home health care agency on site, and a doctor/nurse practitioner that makes "house calls" to the residents. They have four different levels of care, ranging from "come and go as you please, and here's your parking space" to an assured care, locked dementia wing. She says she's happier than people who lived with their kids because she has/had more to do. The choice should be made by all involved after carefully considering all options.

Cielo Azure
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:10 AM
My mother didn't want to be a burden and wouldn't live with any of us when my dad died.

We used an assisted facility -fancy place (single apartment, sit-down meals, laundry, housecleaning all done by staff) until my mother needed more and had almost no short term memory left (small strokes).

THEN she lived with my sister for the last six months to die in peace. My sister was perfect as she had just retired, lives alone and near my mother (easy to move her and my mom knew her house). My sister was happy, my mom was comfortable and happy and it worked well. I (trustee) paid my sister a monthly stipend from my mother's savings. It can work. My sister had to find a competent babysitter when she went out, which is critical.

My mother just withdrew into her self, had to have help being bathed, was very fragile. Her wishes were always not to prolong life. In the end, she stopped eating and just slowly shut down. Hard to watch but wonderful being able to make all the decisions and not have nurses doing and making decisions. DNR was not an issue, she just shrunk up, stopped eating (age 86), stopped drinking and died two weeks later.

Nov. 27, 2009, 09:20 AM
Does anyone have an elderly parent (or two) living with them?

How is it working?

I ask because my Sisters seem to think or Mother should move to a swanky "retirement home". I feel like I should be the one to take care of her. It would be my pleasure after all she has done for me and hate the idea of shipping her off.

Any opinions? Helpful hints? Good arguments for the Sisters?

I just went through this. I wanted Mom & Dad to move to the farm with my family and my sibs would not let them. Mom fell got a TBI and withered away over 15 months and died. Dad is 88 sad lonesome and befuddled. Yet the sibs insist he stay at home because "the market is soft and they will never get the house sold". It's a sad time to be him!

If I could do it over again I would INSIST! I could have always put them in a home as the subs desired if it had not worked out!

Nov. 27, 2009, 09:33 AM
My MIL has lived with us for the past 15 years. It's worked out well, with remarkably little friction, mostly because she is a pretty special lady. She worked with a lot of younger people up through her 70's, so she's not shocked by the fact that my generation does things differently than her generation did. She also knows enough to butt out of my life unless her advice is requested.

She's handy to have around now that she's retired. I don't have to take a day off work for little household maintenance annoyances, like waiting for the oil burner repairman or cable guy. I also learn from her experience. One time we rescued a boater who had tipped his kayak in the little river behind my house and was suffering from mild hypothermia. It was obvious he needed to get warmed up, as he had the clumsiness and disorientation that is a classic symptom of hypothermia. I herded him into the house and prepared to stick him in the shower. It didn't occur to me that he wouldn't be able to tell the temperature of the water and might scald himself. Luckily MIL knew this, so she reached into the shower and made sure the water was the right temperature.

We did take some steps to minimize conflicts. She has a separate granny flat with its own kitchen. I'm an extremely slovenly housekeeper, but I'm a nut about kitchen sanitation. She, in contrast, keeps a tidy house but thinks nothing of drying dishes with the same towel she just used to wipe the counter. (Ewwww!) Separate spaces let us each do our own thing.

Eventually she will probably need to go off to a nursing home. I don't have the skill or physical strength to provide the specialized care that an extremely infirm person needs. I'm hoping, however, that we can at least bypass the assisted living stage. The women in her family typically live into their 90's, and she's in her mid 80's now.

Nov. 27, 2009, 09:43 AM
My grandma lives with my mom right now and it is a bit tough - but they are both drama queens and feed off each other.

Even without that, with my grandma's mental state and medical needs, it is hard to leave her alone.

I already decided that I could not live with my mom. She would have to go into a retirement community near me when the time came. I would be more willing to allow my fiance's mom to live with us if the time came. He is very attached to her as well, and I do not think she would be intrusive like my mom.