A better place for my Mom.

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I want to convince my mother to move to where I live, which is a security apartment building where the majority of the residents are also elderly. It's mostly contained here, where you mostly don't have to leave the building to do laundry, take out the trash, or send out or receive mail. There are also special pull cords in each apartment, in case someone needs help. There is an elevator for all three floors here, as well. We even have donated shopping carts to facilitate carrying in groceries, etc.

She's lived where she is now for almost thirty years, so understandably it will take a lot of convincing. I've contacted relatives to try to recruit them to convince her in a positive way. I want her to remain independent as long as possible, and where I live is an ideal place for that.

14 Comments

What is not right about her current living situation? Needs more information to be able to give more answers. Are there financial issues? Health issues? Is she very lonely? I would (at times) love for my parents to live with my family, but then again, the financial Q's get very complicated (4 sibs probably would be jealous if I had Rent monies paid to me), and also I might feel like I had no privacy. Also, how old is your mom, how many years does she have left? I hope you will write back with more details.
I'm sorry, I did need to add more details. Where she lives now, there are a lot of stairs. There are quite a few outside of her apartment, and they're concrete and somewhat steep. There are some also inside of her apartment. She has lived alone since 1997, when my father died. It isn't so much a financial issue as it is a safety one. I live about twelve miles from her, at the moment. I would feel so much better if she lived much closer to me, and at the same time if she could still have her own place. She does seem to be lonely there, and she'll be 80 next month.

Her doctor suggested that she seek other living arrangements. He confirmed my fear, that she may well have dementia. He had ordered a blood test and CAT scan directly after her last appointment, and we had those done, on 1/20/15.

I rent an efficiency apartment in my building, and I can possibly arrange for her to rent her own place here, as well.
Oh, and we're still waiting for the results from those tests.
When is your mother's follow up appointment scheduled for?
At the follow up appointment, her doctor, you and mom Ned to have a serious discussion about next steps for her to live safely and as independently as she can for as long as possible. Emphasize to the doctor about the steps (fall risk) and the fact that you will not be able to be there every day.

Also, you need to have POA and health care proxy for your mom if you don't already. Start looking at her Financials visit a visit assisted living, which she may need before too long. Let us know!
Gosh 80 is fairly young, or did her parents die by 85? I guess since my folks are both in 90's I tend to think 80 is young! Regardless, maybe she would be better off financially to move to senior apartments, instead of AL. A senior apt is much less expensive than AL. If she does have dementia or ALZ then she will need memory care down the road.....do her financials allow for self-pay (most people can't afford it at $90, 000 per year). Talk with a financial planner who is senior-aware.
Thank you all for your input. I'm sorry it took so long for me to respond.

The CAT scan came back, and the doctor said it wasn't dementia. However, my mother is definitely presenting all of the signs of it. Sad to say, I don't know if I can trust him any more.

I helped my mother fill out an application for an apartment here where I live. The building manager said she would be more than welcome to move here, as soon as an apartment is available. But there are a couple of major obstacles:

1. We have no one to help us move here things.

2. She refuses to get rid of a lot of her things, since these apartments are smaller than the one where she lives now.

She keeps going back and forth about moving here. But those two roadblocks are not going to be resolved unless someone steps in and helps us. I'm all alone in caring for her. I take her to her appointments, the grocery store, the pharmacy, and anywhere else she needs to go. Sometimes she rails against my show of concern. She sometimes wouldn't take her medications. I'm afraid she's not taking them again and fibbing about taking them to me and the doctor.

About a week ago, I took her to look around at our local senior center, and she flew into a rage. She took it out on me and the Service Center Assistant there, who was very understanding. I was hoping she'd be into the idea of adult daycare (I hate those words). The SCA told her that they needed "volunteers" and that she would be perfect. My mother wouldn't have any of it. After we left, she let me have it. I kept insisting that I was doing it because I care for her and worry. Later, she apologized.

If I could move closer to her, I would. The housing complex where she lives now won't let me live there, because I have bad credit. I've been looking up rentals in her immediate area, and none of them are in my price range. :(

Please, wish us both luck in the future. I want to do as much as I can for my mom. It never seems to be enough.
It sounds to me that she would benefit from assisted living where there would be medication management and supervision. I hate to tell you that you may have to be a bit "creative" about her things, meaning, she (you) can select a few things for her new place and you tell her the resr is "in storage". I'm afraid that if you move her to that new place and then she has to go into assisted living, it might be too many moves. Best.
If she's showing signs of dementia, then I would hesitate to set them up some where new only for them to limited by their condition. I think people often underestimate the ability to function when your memory is impaired. It not only affects the ability to pay bills, but to take medicine, eat meals, discard spoiled foods, flush the toilet and bathe.

I would try to stay with her for a couple of days and really observe to see how well she's functioning. Often they cover how well they are doing. With dementia, staying by yourself really isn't an option, IMO.
Regarding #1, hire a mover. There are firms in most cities that specialize in small moves, often advertised on Craigslist and similar, with names like "Apartment Movers".

But I'm inclined to agree with others who caution that you mom may very soon need more supervision & care than your building offers. And more than you can provide, even if she lives "next door". I'm there right now with my father--he moved in with us 6 months ago, continues to decline, and needs to be in assisted living as I cannot meet his developing needs.

One suggestion I can make is to inquire around if there's a senior or memory specialist medical group within a do-able distance to you. Dad & I spent the afternoon in such a place (Florida has 15 of them), getting an initial evaluation of his cognitive and physical abilities. FAR more thorough than the GP office. And because the staff do this sort of evaluation day in and day out, they are amazingly good at seeing through attempts to understate problems. They ran some tests, sent us home w/ orders for more, and we go back in 2 weeks for a follow-up. NP told me on the way out that based on her exam today (he failed balance & stability tests miserably) he needs to be in professional care. I'm hoping that hearing it from a geriatrician with a wall full of degrees will pack a little more punch than hearing it from me.

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