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I keep reading posts here that posit problems based on false assumptions, i.e., my mom will decline in a facility, my dad will lose his independence if he goes to AL, my parents would never leave their home, I have to care for my parents because it's the moral thing to do, my parents have a house so they can't be eligible for Medicaid, all care facilities want to do is drug elders, antidepressants only work if you want to be happy.

Please, don't make life-altering choices based upon what your neighbor, cousin or friend told you. Consult with an Elder care attorney, Geriatric doctor or Geriatric psychiatrist, geriatric RNs, NPs,social workers and other professionals in the field.

And please remember that YOUR life and happiness count for something!

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sandwich42plus, thanks for pointing out that everyone values control above all else is an assumption and it does not apply to everyone. I fully believe it applies to Captain, for example. I believe it applies to my son -- at least now. But I don't think control is my mother's big hot button, and it really never has been. For people who value control above all else, it is very difficult to fathom that there are some people ready to give up control in exchange for comfort. But it is true.

Assumptions that everyone is like you can really get in the way of dealing with people who are not!
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Wish I could get my parents to tour this one fantastic retirement village that is nearby. My sig other and I went there ourselves to see what it was like, oh my gosh, it's like living a 5-star resort but instead of a hotel room, you get to choose from over a dozen different floor plans with some as large as the square footage of an average single family home.

And you can walk to everything within the complex... restaurants, barber shop, beauty shop, gym with personal trainers, gift shop, doctor office, bank branch, transportation to go shopping or to your own doctor appointment. Transportation to church. Full time security. Gated community. Beautiful walking paths. And just 10 minutes from the regional hospital. And the complex just opened up a *continuing care* facility for that next step.

Yes, pricey, but my parents could easily afford it. No, they want to save the money for me... I told Dad that he and Mom should use their money as they might outlive me [the stress is going to kill me sooner or later]. Whenever I say that, my parents look at me like my hair was on fire :P
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As far as losing my independence & authority in my home, when I'm too senile to make good decisions and stay safe, NO, I don't want to retain that obligation. YES, I want my kids to intervene and countermand my insanity and foolishness. At the best, it would be to keep me from stinking. At worse, it could be to keep me from being seriously hurt or hurting someone else.

I don't want the burden of self-determination when I'm not capable of doing it right anymore. I want to have that part of my life structured in advance, so nobody has to take this on in a crisis or by surprise.
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Ba8alou & JeanneGibbs - Amen & Hallelujah.

My mom's sisters projected their own personal fears about aging, myth & rumor, and unfounded b.s. onto my mom's situation and it was keeping her hostage in her filthy home. It was keeping mom shut in, without help or transportation to doctor, pharmacy, & grocery stores. Mom would have died there if I hadn't been the uppity, bossy, awful child who made her move into a clean, safe senior residence.

NONE of the horrors my aunts were so afraid of have come true - and they won't. They really need to join the real world and tour some places.

When they visited great aunt Mary back in the early 1970s in the nursing homes of that era, I'm sure it was traumatic. They probably had no education on dementia and how dementia patients behave, the confabulation, the hallucinations. The cries of "help me help me" and "take me home; please take me home" were probably extremely terrifying to witness without any context.

But that is not correct information today. It's not the asylums of the 1960s, or of b-grade horror movies. It's not Night of 1,000 Corpses.

But, if you are dealing with someone who is information-resistant, not even a tour of a really nice place is going to persuade. Depending on who that resistor is, you may need to just override them and take action anyway. Especially when the safety & health of the person at risk is involved.
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That is why it is so important to save like crazy when you are young to build up that good nest egg so that you can have choice on where to start the next chapter of your life. My parents taught me well, I had my own savings accounting when I was 5 years old, and just about every coin and bill I got went into that account.

Recently I read the average middle class American has only $20,000 in retirement savings. Now that is scary.

I realize it is harder to save compared to 20-30 years ago when we weren't buying new computers every couple of years.... iPods and iPhones weren't around with those high monthly fees.... back when TV shows were free, not $100-$200 per month if you want clear reception or sports programming cable.... back before credit cards were invented, thus one had to pay cash or write a check, no spending debts.
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jeanne,
re accordial players .
my aunt is hilarious . when the gospel noise polluters ( something to that effect ) are singing you can find her and i both scowling from the furthest corner of the building you can get from them . her family growing up were exemplary citizens but religion just wasnt part of the agenda up on their 40 acres . her and i mostly communicate by facial expressions now and some of hers are quite comical . the alleged musicians bring out the " just took a drink of soured milk " expression in her .
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oldmandme,
that was some really informative and believable information . my aunt is in nh and i think they do a great job and even have an incredibly large staff but it is still institutionalized living . clearly the best option for most of the people there . ( inmates ) im a bit like my mother in that id prefer to stay in my home if possible if nothing else for the purpose of having my own self determination . in my own home no matter how ill i am i would retain control of that household even if i knew it was only in figurehead form . this conversation has made me realize that my mom lived the dream . she lost her mind and still controlled her household . in nh you are only informed as your being pushed , pulled and prodded . i dont mean to judge anyone elses circumstances but i know id prefer to die on my own terms in my own shack if possible .
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We've been blessed several times with really outstanding discharge people who explained the ins and outs of going from rehab to becoming a resident of a facility. We were smart enough (actually my sister in law, who manages mom's money) as a family not to balk when the discharge folks asked for ballpark numbers on mom's financials and thus they were able to advise us on which facility would be most likely a good fit (and a seamless transition) for long term care.
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My sisters and I assumed that Mother would not be very happy in a nursing home. But she needed skilled nursing and we did our best to find a good fit for her. To our utter amazement she goes to pretty much all the activities. Our mother, doing crafts? Really? She made that bracelet? She loves the entertainment, especially the accordion players. She loves it when they have bingo more than once a week.

She is content. That is not so surprising -- she is a person geared toward contentment. That she participates and even flirts at the dining table is remarkable. There is one assumption that turned out to be wrong, even though it was shared by four people who knew Mother best!

Assuming that the care isn't as good in facilities that accept Medicaid is another possibly wrong concept.

Assuming that one HAS to take care of someone else and there is no other option is, excuse me, pure crap. Taking care of someone may be the best choice but it is never the only choice. But if you assume it is the only possibility you'll never explore the alternatives.

Yep, assumptions can really get in our way of making informed decisions. And we all have assumptions from time to time. This is a good forum for getting other points of view.
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Olmaandme, I truly feel for those who have no alternative to caregiving due their parents' economic circumstances. The folks I'm talking about are the ones who make false assumptions based on hearsay. Or folks who won't get their parents the full time care they in hopes of inheriting a house or other property.

My mother is given drugs for various conditions with my consent. I'm called if they want to change dosages, etc. I'm very grateful for the fact that they manage her bowels as her own mismanagement landed her in the hospital. I'm especially grateful for the geriatric psychiatrist who is able to keep my mom's lifelong anxiety and depression at bay.

I was simply trying to share what I've learned on this journey the things that I wished I'd known two years ago. I'm truly sorry if I've offended you or anyone else.
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Good advice but many don't have the insurance or the money to pay for a good nursing home.Many find that their insurance will not cover the cost indefinitely and are forced to make alternative living arrangements for their loved ones.
These things are true:
Nursing homes are not all created equal and eve the best are facing staff shortages due to cut backs.
Drugs are used as a matter of course to regulate mood, bowel movement etc.
It makes it easier and quicker for the staff to go about the duties of their day.
Seniors in nursing homes generally do decline rapidly because they are not eligible for admission until there health warrants a professional staff of nursing care around the clock.The bar for this continues to rise as too many seniors are in need of care.
The average life expectancy for a person in nursing home care is 3 months to a year.This is published info taken from insurance data.In other words once the money (capped by insurances )runs out the client can be forced to move to another facility that will be covered by medicaid.It may not be one you would choose.
Should someone become a caregiver out of a moral sense of duty?
No but though that might be the case initially by the time you realize you've made a mistake there is no choice.
However it seems to me that most contributors here did not have the luxury of making a choice at all.It was out of necessity that they took on the job.
If anyone is making assumptions here I think it would be you.
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I see that here too. Yes, excellent comment, ba8alou - especially "YOUR life and happiness count for something!"
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BINGO !! Excellent point, ba8alou.
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