Ok, Mom and Dad, what is your Plan B if I am not available?

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This is one talk I think many of us forget to ask our parents when we are caregivers, be it hands-on caregiving, or being the errand person/logistics, or both. Parents think their child [who could be in their 50's, 60's, and even 70's] are invincible. That we can go on forever.

My parents [mid-90's], still live in their single family home, had no Plan B... found that out when I was grounded [yes, play on words for the screen name] with an injury. My injury will take months in recovery then onto months in rehab. I can't use my right arm thus cannot drive because I can't start the car or use the gear shift. Can't lift squat. Can't write. Sleep most free time because the pain is exhausting [now I understand how elders with bone pain are napping all the time].

Ok, Mom and Dad, what do YOU plan to do? They look like deer in headlights. They never thought about what if I couldn't drive them to doctor appointments... I had to cancel all their appts, thus I hear a lot of grumbling. My parents won't ride with strangers, thus taxi cabs aren't an option. Nor do they like the aging care bus service.

Dad asked me, what do people their age do? Well, for one, they move to a retirement village where they never need to worry about transportation [my parents can afford to move]. Heavens, couple weeks ago Dad asked me to get him a 30lb bag of fertilizer... HELLO!!!

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Gardenartist thank you, I will look into that! You are a wealth of information!
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Stacey, yes, an OTist can make safety recommendations as well as alternate steps if the recommendations can't or are too expensive for you to implement.

But you'd need a doctor's script to get one to come out, and it would be in conjunction with treatment.

Alternately, in my area hospitals sometimes have classes on various topics, ranging from addiction to aging, the latter of which sometimes include presentations by doctors on safety for fall prone people.

One of the Area Agency on Aging caregiving expos also sponsored a presentation by (if I remember correctly) a neurologist who addressed the subject of falling in more detail.
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Feeling lost, thanks for the tip about task rabbit, I'll look into that. Transmission link........Like that. I'm an old backyard mechanic. I can make sure that car won't move till Inwant it moved. Also have some motor head friends down there if I'm not in town when the thing has to be done.
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Windy, look up whether Task Rabbit is active in your parents' area. It's an online platform connecting people needing help with people looking to make a little extra cash doing chores & errands.

As for the car, could you find a local mechanic to 'break' it? Disconnecting the transmission link would allow your dad to start and run the engine, but not to actually go anywhere. Just a thought....
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Gardenartist, I love your summation on men vs women's approach on implementing action, and brute strength when dealing with parents unending and unrealistic demands of us. They just never see to see us as getting older and not being able to do what we once could. And with the injuries you describe, their selfishness confounds me. We are currently dealing with alot of that in our home as well. Eleven years ago when I was dealing with my very ill parents, I was lucky enough to have 5 extremely caring and involved siblings to help to make everything run smoothly and make sure all the toughest life decisions were done til the end and with zero conflict, I know I am one of the lucky ones! But now, With FIL in our home X11 years, and he is getting weaker, we are that much older, are both disabled, hubby with his back, and me with Arthritis, and have no one to helping the same way, as his siblings are Poo! I've told my husband, that now is the time to begin preparing for Plan B, but he is clueless I just know that it will all fall onto my shoulders. It's time for a sit down with FIL, to get concrete plans in place for sure! I hope he is agreeable. It will be important to pick just the right moment. He has fallen 4X in 8 weeks, is it an OT that I have to come out to discuss safety recommendations? I need to do that too. Thank you everyone, great topic, sorry I strayed for a moment. Stacey B
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Sandwich, what are the details of the exhausting rescue effort you mentioned? I'm dreading 2 things, the car key snatch operation, and the get them in care mobilization. In either case my Dad will have to be physically restrained.

And Flyer, I like the delivery ideas. As you know I'm 600 miles from the folks. If their Krogers had a shopping and delivery service I could get their food and meds delivered. Then the coil wire is coming off Dads car!
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A small part of Plan B is now forming... ordering more things on-line with home delivery.

I hate shopping but don't mind roaming the Internet. But I need to try to get enough products to avoid delivery fees, as Dad doesn't want to pay those fees.... really now, most of the time the delivery fee is a lot cheaper than taking time off from work, driving to the store, parking, going in the store, trying to locate the product, waiting in line to check out, driving over to my parents house then back home. So now Dad gets 4 tubes of Aspercreme instead of one :P
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We have several factors working against us when it comes to shifting mom & dad into a different phase in life.

The status quo is very comforting. Nobody wants drastic change. At some point little changes are perceived as drastic. The human brain becomes less plastic with time, and can't process new information and change like it could 10-20-30 years before. Then you get resistance to the point of it being quite stupid.

My mom didn't have a plan B because she was always rebellious and refused to do anything she was told she ought to do. She was proud, stubborn, and fiercely independent to cover up for a whopping case of low self-esteem and paranoia.

I went through a phase of giving her the grand inquisition over her plans and it went nowhere. It made her angry that it was obvious that she didn't have a plan. It made her angry that she didn't know what to do and she couldn't understand what anybody was telling her. It made her angry to feel like everyone was pressuring her to be swindled. Nobody makes clear decisions from a base of paranoia, distrust, and ignorance.

So she didn't have a plan A or B. OK. I knew this would land in my lap as the only child. I made my own plans. One was to move her, then dispose of the stuff in the house, and have this go very smoothly. Another was to throw her underpants in a paper bag, hogtie her, and drop her off at the local senior apartments. What happened was a very frustrating and exhausting rescue effort that I am still pretty resentful over.

You have to decide what you can reasonable do. Outside that, you might have to let the cookies crumble for mom or dad to be willing to do differently. Things might have to get really bad. Then you get social services involved. A judge can order a guardian to manage their affairs and see to their care. It doesn't have to be you.
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Totally agree carlacb! Will WE say those same things when we are 90? I hope not. I wonder if it's a golden generation thing ? I have a plan b!
Btw - loved the comment by the person who said "I am plan A and when I'm not available I need to figure out plan B"!
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Hubby had to tell his dad that "yes , the license was suspended.
He did drive once since then at which point my bro-in-law went over and secretly disabled the car. Dad has people to drive him he is just stubborn. He has multiple sets of keys so taking keys won't work. Plan B is not even talked about. Lol. One day at a time. With my parents also! Thank you for this topic - I gained comfort from knowing others go through this. Knowledge is power - as in the posts that outline what an elders thought process is. They're world definitely narrows- freedoms are lost - doctors don't seem to want to get to "the bottom" of what is wrong. Sad. I definitely want a plan B and it'll be a senior living facility. There are so many nice ones and you don't have to keep up the home you've owned for 40 years!!
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