Caring for Seniors

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
70,010
13,215
Great Wet North
My mom is 93 and killin' it. Still drives, lives on her own in a big waterfront home (I pay her property taxes), paints, cleans her own home. We expect she will be fine until she isn't, and will change plans then. For now just keep her in her home. She enjoys watching the evening sailboat races and marine traffic. The main issue is that I'm the most local of her kids, and I live 2000 miles away.

She still has local friends, in particular at the Providence Art Club, where she still takes Tuesday lessons and paints. Her painting teacher, a friend, sent me this last Tuesday.

View attachment 542235
She looks 30 years younger.

The most impressive thing you ever posted about your mom was her doing the (NYT?) crossword - in ink.
 

shaggy

Super Anarchist
10,046
1,074
Co
Hearing loss is very isolating and makes it hard for FaceTime to work consistently. Even telephoning can be hard. That makes even a daily or weekly check-in increasingly challenging.
My dad lost most of his hearing on his right side in Alaska in army, Frostbite. He is an old german dude that refused to wear face coverings whilst teaching skiing to the recruits, but I digress. He is 87 now and man, I can't hold a convo on the phone with him any more(talk to them at least 3 times/wk). We tried headsets, facetime, bluetooth speakers, He even got one of those closed captioned phones recently and it still is a struggle. More frustrating as he tends to say ya ya ya when he can't hear and he does not get any of the details... anyway, It's tough...
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
45,317
10,142
Eastern NC
I'd like to make a brief, somewhat-OT, statement about assisted living, care facilities, and "independence."

First of all, unless you live in a cave in Somalia, you're not really "independent." Think about what happens when the electricity goes out... as it does once in a while. OK great, but now if you're already stretched in terms of your daily routine, taking meds, getting groceries, laundry, etc etc; then it means taking a hit in your quality of life.

That is simple fact.

My mother wanted to live "independently" in a house that she had owned for about a decade, no real big emotional attachment (ie not the house she got married/raised kids etc etc) but it was her home. Of course we all want to stay in comfortable home. However a house in the suburbs requires driving to the stores a couple of times a week, and she was not a good driver in her prime. After a few minor fender-benders and tickets, driving became an increasing hassle and very stressful. Her answer was to demand that either myself (lived a little over an hour away) or my sister (lived about two hours in the other direction) come and take her shopping. Then add all the little household emergencies, tree branch down, burnt-out light bulb, etc etc.

You can easily get in-home help these days and that takes a big burden off, but it still does not restore "independence." The elderly stay-at-home becomes more isolated.

I finally managed to coax my mother into moving into facility where there was care available- she did not need much BUT she did have cafeteria meals, laundry, and light chores (they didn't let residence trash their apartments). Guess what, suddenly she saw a lot more people and talked with a lot more people and had an actual social life again. By 6 months in, she loved it. As her health declined and she got nursing help, and eventually her social life began to decline again, she told me "I should have moved here sooner, it's been the best X years of my life."

Many people associate "care facility" with the horrible rest homes of a previous era. It doesn't have to be like that. And you don't get a merit badge for staying in your house as long as possible, especially as you lose the ability to do the chores to keep it up.
 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
70,010
13,215
Great Wet North
I'd like to make a brief, somewhat-OT, statement about assisted living, care facilities, and "independence."

First of all, unless you live in a cave in Somalia, you're not really "independent." Think about what happens when the electricity goes out... as it does once in a while. OK great, but now if you're already stretched in terms of your daily routine, taking meds, getting groceries, laundry, etc etc; then it means taking a hit in your quality of life.

That is simple fact.

My mother wanted to live "independently" in a house that she had owned for about a decade, no real big emotional attachment (ie not the house she got married/raised kids etc etc) but it was her home. Of course we all want to stay in comfortable home. However a house in the suburbs requires driving to the stores a couple of times a week, and she was not a good driver in her prime. After a few minor fender-benders and tickets, driving became an increasing hassle and very stressful. Her answer was to demand that either myself (lived a little over an hour away) or my sister (lived about two hours in the other direction) come and take her shopping. Then add all the little household emergencies, tree branch down, burnt-out light bulb, etc etc.

You can easily get in-home help these days and that takes a big burden off, but it still does not restore "independence." The elderly stay-at-home becomes more isolated.

I finally managed to coax my mother into moving into facility where there was care available- she did not need much BUT she did have cafeteria meals, laundry, and light chores (they didn't let residence trash their apartments). Guess what, suddenly she saw a lot more people and talked with a lot more people and had an actual social life again. By 6 months in, she loved it. As her health declined and she got nursing help, and eventually her social life began to decline again, she told me "I should have moved here sooner, it's been the best X years of my life."

Many people associate "care facility" with the horrible rest homes of a previous era. It doesn't have to be like that. And you don't get a merit badge for staying in your house as long as possible, especially as you lose the ability to do the chores to keep it up.
When my dad couldn't look after himself and came to live with us it was fine for a couple of years but then we noticed him starting to fade intellectually (he had a microbiology PhD so it was a big thing).

We figured it was due to a lack of stimulation since our place is a bit isolated so he only had us to talk to.

We checked out an assisted living place close to the library for him. After the tour our first question was "how old do we have to be to move in"? He had his own apartment and had to make his own breakfast - everything else was done - great restaurant "dining room", his medications monitored and doled out, linens changed etc.

He absolutely thrived there. Having a bunch of people to interact with, close to the library and seawall etc.

No-one should be concerned about moving into one, they should look forward to it - if it's a good one of course.
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
63,068
5,823
De Nile
I’ve got no answer for your mom, but here are the options we’ve used.

My dad had live-in help in his own home but we built that home with that eventuality in mind. 1 level, wheelchair accessible. Final straw was falling out of bed and breaking his legs.

My MiL and FiL moved in with SiL. It’s worked for a year but mom is now wailing at night and no one can sleep. They are buying a house a lot like my dads, it’s actually a manufactured home in a community that is senior only, and no rentals. We expect to have to get live in care. Challenge is language as she’s only fluent in Korean. Would love one of those assisted living centers but language and food is a problem.

My mom is still in her own, but I’ve noticed a slow down. Her house is too small for a live in caretaker, so maybe she moves in with one of us. It’s time I ask her what she will want.
 

silent bob

Super Anarchist
8,883
1,397
New Jersey
My downstairs neighbor rented the apartment next door to hers to move her 90 something year old mother into. Worked for many years, until her own health issues and her mother's memory issues got to be too much to handle. She recently moved hew mother into a residential care facility a mile away, and is able to visit frequently. Luckily, money doesn't seem to be an issue in this case.
 

sailm8

Anarchist
601
139
My mom lives alone but in a condo a few doors away from us. She maintains her own home and cooks and cleans. After much fighting we arranged a cleaning lady to come in every two weeks to give her place the once over. Thankfully the Doctor took away her car and we gave it to the grandkids. We visit every night at 4pm for happy hour and on thursday's other couples come over for drinks and then we all go out for wings. If she could see her life would be much better but it is what it is. She really likes the audiobooks from the library that are on an MP3 player. We used to get CD's but many times they were damaged or Mom couldn't see the buttons on the player.
We tried a cheap tablet but we spent too much time figuring out what she had done to it today. Did you know you can take picture of the home screen and get it overlaid? That was a brain buster.
Did I mention she is 101?
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
63,068
5,823
De Nile
I’ve got no answer for your mom, but here are the options we’ve used.

My dad had live-in help in his own home but we built that home with that eventuality in mind. 1 level, wheelchair accessible. Final straw was falling out of bed and breaking his legs.

My MiL and FiL moved in with SiL. It’s worked for a year but mom is now wailing at night and no one can sleep. They are buying a house a lot like my dads, it’s actually a manufactured home in a community that is senior only, and no rentals. We expect to have to get live in care. Challenge is language as she’s only fluent in Korean. Would love one of those assisted living centers but language and food is a problem.

My mom is still in her own, but I’ve noticed a slow down. Her house is too small for a live in caretaker, so maybe she moves in with one of us. It’s time I ask her what she will want.
ok, just so you know it's not all roses, MiL and FiL are moving out of SiL's house, to this senior care community. Cool. Now, SiL #2 wants the parents to buy her old furniture to outfit their new place. Every time #2 chimes in it's about how she can profit over the elder parents. FIrst it was to buy her kids homes, then it was to claim a higher % of the estate cause her kids don't have good careers, and the other grandkids either do, or are on the way to having good careers. Now, it's to unload her shit for profit on the elderly parents. I guess it's good that my wife is the book-keeper for mom and dad, and keeps the noise down so they don't hear it.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming. Good luck with your mom.
 

130lights

Super Anarchist
1,192
719
Lake Michigan
ok, just so you know it's not all roses, MiL and FiL are moving out of SiL's house, to this senior care community. Cool. Now, SiL #2 wants the parents to buy her old furniture to outfit their new place. Every time #2 chimes in it's about how she can profit over the elder parents. FIrst it was to buy her kids homes, then it was to claim a higher % of the estate cause her kids don't have good careers, and the other grandkids either do, or are on the way to having good careers. Now, it's to unload her shit for profit on the elderly parents. I guess it's good that my wife is the book-keeper for mom and dad, and keeps the noise down so they don't hear it.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming. Good luck with your mom.
Nothing about this sounds easy. My parents did not live long lives, so my siblings and I never dealt with these issues. Of course, we also missed that time with them and my kids only have a few vague memories of them. Never had to deal with estate issues either since there was none.

My niece recently had to put her Dad, my brother, in an assisted living facility, and her MIL at the same time. So they are in the same very nice facility. Her Dad is a complete curmudgeon and takes advantage of very few of the social amenities available; her MIL is the social butterfly and everyone wants to sit at her table for meals. She will soon have to put her Mom in a facility due to Alzheimer’s. It’s certainly difficult being the only child of aging parents.
 

Willin'

Super Anarchist
4,222
1,891
The Burg, Maine
My mom lives alone but in a condo a few doors away from us. She maintains her own home and cooks and cleans. After much fighting we arranged a cleaning lady to come in every two weeks to give her place the once over. Thankfully the Doctor took away her car and we gave it to the grandkids. We visit every night at 4pm for happy hour and on thursday's other couples come over for drinks and then we all go out for wings. If she could see her life would be much better but it is what it is. She really likes the audiobooks from the library that are on an MP3 player. We used to get CD's but many times they were damaged or Mom couldn't see the buttons on the player.
We tried a cheap tablet but we spent too much time figuring out what she had done to it today. Did you know you can take picture of the home screen and get it overlaid? That was a brain buster.
Did I mention she is 101?
Heh, heh! The one thing I'm assured of when visiting Mom is Manhattans will be drunk. Generally that's the first thing she asks after kisses and hugs is 'Anyone want a drink?'

At some point during each visit she coyly asks if I'll run to the liquor store for her. The shopping list is very specific if not cringworthy. She insists on Windsor Canadian as it was the whiskey my Uncle Fred from Cleveland (who first introduced her to the Manhattan back in the 60s) always used. Then, before I leave she asks me to mix a big jug full...750 ml Windsor, 375 ml sweet vermouth in case she needs one while we're gone. Usually there's some left by our next visit. Not to imply she's a lush, sometimes we've gone 6 months (or more during Covid) between visits and usually there's plenty left in the jug when we return. I just like the thought of some far distant day, her obit might make some reference that until she passed at 100+++ years, she enjoyed a Manhattan every afternoon.

Maybe 'Take That, Jack LaLaine' should be on her headstone come that day.
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
63,068
5,823
De Nile
Nothing about this sounds easy. My parents did not live long lives, so my siblings and I never dealt with these issues. Of course, we also missed that time with them and my kids only have a few vague memories of them. Never had to deal with estate issues either since there was none.

My niece recently had to put her Dad, my brother, in an assisted living facility, and her MIL at the same time. So they are in the same very nice facility. Her Dad is a complete curmudgeon and takes advantage of very few of the social amenities available; her MIL is the social butterfly and everyone wants to sit at her table for meals. She will soon have to put her Mom in a facility due to Alzheimer’s. It’s certainly difficult being the only child of aging parents.
well, I suppose if you're an only child, you don't have to deal with weird family dynamics. In a way we were lucky with Dad, no estate means no fighting over non-existent assets. As siblings, we were able to keep it all together.
 

Ventucky Red

Super Anarchist
11,572
1,306
No-one should be concerned about moving into one, they should look forward to it - if it's a good one of course.
My uncle, the last of that generation on my father's side, went into one in Santa Cruz... loved it. Use to go visit with him and go for lunch.. The stories he would tell of growing up with my dad and other uncles. I almost pissed myself laughing a few times.

Pretty interesting guy... Navy Flight Surgeon, worked for United Airlines as a medical officer in SFO for several years, battled alcoholism, and developed the recovery plan for pilots coping with the same disease. His memorial service was something else.

We're looking at in-home care when my in-laws need it. Being so close - walking distance - we're seeing this as a better option unless, of course, it is something that requires round-the-clock care.

ok, just so you know it's not all roses, MiL and FiL are moving out of SiL's house, to this senior care community. Cool. Now, SiL #2 wants the parents to buy her old furniture to outfit their new place. Every time #2 chimes in it's about how she can profit over the elder parents. FIrst it was to buy her kids homes, then it was to claim a higher % of the estate cause her kids don't have good careers, and the other grandkids either do, or are on the way to having good careers. Now, it's to unload her shit for profit on the elderly parents. I guess it's good that my wife is the book-keeper for mom and dad, and keeps the noise down so they don't hear it.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming. Good luck with your mom.

My parents had everything pretty well laid out, right down to who got the lint in the socks drawer. And there was a hammer in the trust that whoever challenged it absorbed all the cost - even though I was told this could be challenged.
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
63,068
5,823
De Nile
My uncle, the last of that generation on my father's side, went into one in Santa Cruz... loved it. Use to go visit with him and go for lunch.. The stories he would tell of growing up with my dad and other uncles. I almost pissed myself laughing a few times.

Pretty interesting guy... Navy Flight Surgeon, worked for United Airlines as a medical officer in SFO for several years, battled alcoholism, and developed the recovery plan for pilots coping with the same disease. His memorial service was something else.

We're looking at in-home care when my in-laws need it. Being so close - walking distance - we're seeing this as a better option unless, of course, it is something that requires round-the-clock care.



My parents had everything pretty well laid out, right down to who got the lint in the socks drawer. And there was a hammer in the trust that whoever challenged it absorbed all the cost - even though I was told this could be challenged.
The sad part is the 2 sisters are already saying they won't have anything to do with the brother after the parents pass, due to the brother's wife's focus on getting as much of the estate as she can. They believe he's too chickenshit to do it himself, so sends his wife as his proxy.
 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
70,010
13,215
Great Wet North
The sad part is the 2 sisters are already saying they won't have anything to do with the brother after the parents pass, due to the brother's wife's focus on getting as much of the estate as she can.
My wife's brother was the executor for their mother and was like that.

They haven't spoken since - and never will.

Do your family a favour and assign professionals as executor - wills bring out the ugliness in ways you can't imagine until you've seen it - worse than divorces.

I've rarely seen a family emerge intact from a will with a family member acting as executor.
 

130lights

Super Anarchist
1,192
719
Lake Michigan
My sister and I always remark that it was very easy when our parents passed…7 siblings, but virtually no assets to pass along. Ah, there were some benefits to growing up ‘poor’.
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
63,068
5,823
De Nile
My wife's brother was the executor for their mother and was like that.

They haven't spoken since - and never will.

Do your family a favour and assign professionals as executor - wills bring out the ugliness in ways you can't imagine until you've seen it - worse than divorces.

I've rarely seen a family emerge intact from a will with a family member acting as executor.
good advice. I don't think my wife will take it but I'll pass it on when I think she might be receptive to the idea...
 




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