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I’ve been on the forum for awhile. What I have learned here was a great help getting me through this. Quick rundow:


I’m 63 yr old guy, last living kid


Been managing money, medical, the whole sinking ship for 5 years from 3 states away.


Mom with health/mobility issues


Dad with dementia which started increasing rapidly in the last few weeks.


Been dealing with all the nightmares, worries and problems so familiar to us all


Last week the big crisis, mom fell, head injury, Em room, then to hosp for testing and observation.


She was found by my cousin, a nurse, who just happen to stop by from out of state. There was blood all over the floor and her bed. Mom and dad were just going to tough it out. I JUST NEED TO REST A LITTLE. I had just been on the phone with mom an hour before she fell.


Jumped in car, 10 hour drive, had to get friends and neighbors to watch Dad till I got here.


Been running my ass off since, begging and paying people to watch Dad,


got mom in wonderful facility Tuesday


Took Dad to have lunch with mom today. Put another bed and his stuff in the room while they were eating.


When I left she was dozing in bed and dad asleep in his chair.


We are playing the JUST TILL MOM GETS BETTER game for now. I know I’ve still got some rough stuff ahead but this is huge! The staff in this place is amazing.


I cannot describe my relief.


Thanks to all you folks for listening to my tales of woe the last couple years.

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AND, Spent the morning cancelling phone, trash pickup, newspaper, transferred funds, and will be rolling home for holidays tomorrow.
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Yay, home for the holidays!!! Well done, Windy!
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Director of the facility tells me not worry about a phone, especially if it doesn’t seem to be an issue with my folks. She said with both having some dementia and as busy as they are kept in the place it won’t be an issue. Lots of folks get phone lines activated then regret it.

I can call the house number anytime and they will bring a cordless to mom.

Got the paper cancelled, address change done (on line. Who knew?) pulled the GPS tracker off dads car and cancelled that service, (That was just the greatest thing for the last couple of years) phone cut off and garbage pickup cancelled.

Banking today then maybe head home for the holiday tomorrow.
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Thanks golden. That’s the way I’m leaning at the moment.
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windy -there may be so much new going on for them that the phone call from you fades into the background. Combine that with increasing cognitive issues and they already have more than they can cope with. Their life is different now. People are caring for them, they can socialize, they are not alone in their home any more. I would let it be for now anyway.
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Golden, that’s my feeling so far. However mom is used to me calling and checking in every day. I guess I could make arrangements with staff to use a house cordless phone, call me and give the phone to mom for a chat occasionally.  I will check on that.

And, mom is already falling, forgets to hit her pedant button for her aide. Dads dementia is going off the charts. He’s just in the moment now. I could tell he had to think for a minute this am to figure out who I was.

So maybe not worth the hassles to get room phone.
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Windy, you have passed the test with flying colors on how to logistically get things ready :)

Ah, the telephone. My Dad had a landline telephone in his room, and the connection was to the facility automatic switchboard. Yep, Dad to remember a new telephone number, and Dad was like me, we just could not remember telephone numbers. So I had to tape the telephone number and his new address to the lamp next to his landline. The facility provided the landline phone which had really BIG numbers.

What was tough was for my Dad to remember to dial "9" first before making any outside calls. Eventually he got the hang of it.

The only junk calls he got were to the previous renter of his apartment. Thankfully there weren't very many.

Dad had to pay a telephone fee for the rental and use of the phone, he wasn't charged for any long-distance calls.

Oh, cable TV.... Dad had to bring his own cable ready TV... the cable set up was free [really not free if you consider the monthly rent !!!]. The remote provided was fairly easy to use, but Dad every now and then would mess it up. Maintenance would gladly come in to re-set the TV :)
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Having been through a situation in which Dad had to stay at an ALF for 4 days when his house was w/o power, I found it very inconvenient and unsettling not to be able to call him. He felt the same way. There's no way I could have dealt with this on a long term basis.

There might be a time when your folks suddenly feel isolated from you and the family, and w/o a phone they couldn't reach out. Nor could you get an update on what they might need that the AL doesn't supply.

In addition, with so many neighbors concerned, they may want to call or visit.

I would have a land line installed. They're going to get scam calls even with a new number, so I'd keep the existing number but ask the phone provider about a call blocker. Maybe one of the helpful neighbors (or the trooper) could periodically visit and block the scam calls, which are easy to spot with such clever names as "unknown caller".
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Windy - last year I cancelled my mother's phone in the ALF. She was using it less and less for cognitive reasons I think, and also mobility. She never said a word about it. If your folks aren't asking for a phone, I would not install one. Let it be and see what happens. You are doing great!!!
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I’m ahead of you guys FF and GA. When I leave next week there will be no mail coming, no paper, (already done) water main off, heat WAY down, fridge cleaned out with door propped open and unplugged, lamps with LED bulbs on, keys to car and house hidden in garage for nephew in emergency, cop neighbor is already on alert, and everyone in the state of West Virginia has my contact info.

I’m going to have all mail redirected to me. The AL will also accept mail for residents, sort it out, throw out junk, and give important stuff to me, and cards etc to mom. But I don’t want to risk that. Lots if potential for screw ups.

Need advice on the phone. They can’t use a cell, can barely use a landline. This facility is set up where I have to arrange for a land line connection like you would any other residence.  Bill in my name and so forth. So,
Do I:

Go with no phone? They haven’t made a peep yet about WHERES THE PHONE.   

Have local phone co connect land line?

Keep old number? Along with 25 scam calls per day ?

Get new number?

What do most people do with a similar situation as mine?
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FF, winter caregiving is hard, really hard. The worst are the midnight or early morning emeregency calls, getting dressed after a few hours of sleep and driving out to the hospital, then later driving home after admission has been completed. And after all that, it's a shock to the human system to leave the warm hospital and go out into the frigid air.

I remember one time in the last few years that the temp was down in single digits when I left the hospital after being there almost all night. BRRRRRRRR!


Windy, thought of something else. I'm guessing you've probably already thought of this, but I'll mention it anyway.

It's access for emergencies after you leave. Sounds like there are enough neighbors there to keep an eye on the house, but installing a lock box on the door would help in the event the FD had to be called. Hopefully there won't be any emergencies though.

The lockbox with house key in it has worked so well for us. I give EMS the combination when I call and they can get there before I do since I'm about 30 miles away. I've also given it to one reliable and resourceful neighbor who stayed with Dad until EMS could arrive. At that time he just didn't want to be alone and during the day it would be almost an hour drive for me.

You can give the combination to neighbors or just to emergency responders. A neighbor can check on the house, especially to make sure the furnace hasn't decided to take a long winter's nap itself and stop working during the cold.

If you go this route, the lock box that's attached to the house is the best. Dad decided the lock with a u-shape handle can be sawed off. I tried it and found that in fact I could get a narrow saw inbetween the u-bar and the door handle.


But perhaps you should warn the neighbors not to call for assistance for you if you wear fuzzy slippers outside again.

There's also the phone. I don't know if their calls could automatically be transferred to the AL by the phone carrier. Do they have a phone in their room yet?
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Windy, cancel the newspaper if your folks had delivery. How about the mail? I know you have bills already sent to your home. Your Mom might start worrying about holiday cards coming in the mail, or package delivery.

Isn't it something, the folks are enjoying themselves at Assisted Living and here you are running amok trying to get the house in order for winter. It was winter when my Dad had moved to senior living. Thank goodness the neighbor across the street would snow plow the sidewalk in front for the school children bus stop.

With my parent's old Oldsmobile, which felt like I was driving the Queen Mary down the highway, hated that car with a passion, I just donated the car due to its age. I filled out an application on-line with the charity, and they sent me e-mail saying when the tow truck will arrive, and told me how to fill out the Title. It was so easy.....

Except for trying to empty the car before hand. Example, Mom had on the back seat an old heavy cotton curtain to help keep the seat looking new, curtains I remembered in the dining room from my childhood home back in the 1950's. Talk about recycling !!
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I’m so happy for you and your parents. I too found a wonderful place for my mom who has dementia. My dad’s still doing pretty good at my parents house. He goes to hang out with mom every other day. I do believe God saved my mom this room in AL. I hope your mind will be more at peace now! Congratulations!
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lol windy - keep your sense of humour!!! It helps.
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I appreciate any reminders GA. I’m pretty organized but I gotta tell,you. I was so frazzled and tired this am, I was heading out in the car, pulled over, got out to get the mail, and realized I had my fuzzy slippers on. I woulda fit right in on the old cruise ship
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CHD
Great tip. TV simulator. I gotta check that out!

Wow . So you got a newbie also. I’m amazed so far how my guys are doing. I’m stepping back quickly. I putz around their room while they eat, stop in the dining room for just a few minutes then take off. They have to figure this out. I’ll be gone in a few days.

But they are kept so busy, fed, nap, lunch, bingo.....Hell. It would wear me out! My dad keeps trying to tip all the staff.
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I figured you'd take care of the water and similar house issues, but just thought I'd raise the issue. With so many drastic changes, it's easy to forget about something, which I do even with multiple "to do" lists.

I remembered during our first storm this year that I don't even know whether Dad's outside faucet has any shutoff valve. But he's still got water, so I'm assuming it didn't freeze, as I also assume if it did he'd have low water pressure.
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My brother also compares my Mom's new AL to a cruise ship. Every morning there is an activity schedule posted on the door. She's still very new there (only 2 days) so I am curious how involved she gets.
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One option available for security is a fake led tv simulator. You place it so it shines its light on a wall and it looks like the tv is on. Not expensive, it comes with a programmable timer, and it really looks like someone is in the house. Search on LED TV Simulator.
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I’m all over it GA. Water main will be turned off, hot water tank off, heat set very low, and all food out of house.

I still need to get some LED flood  bulbs for outside. Not even going to mess with timers. LEDs use very little power and last for years.

And yes, will deal with insurance on the house.  Good tip. And also the car.  I probably won’t have time to sell it on this trip and I haven’t found the title yet.   But I should be able to get a cheaper base/liability rate till it’s sold.
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That was long ago GA. Like 15 years past. Even before the dementia began, extracting honey and bee keeping is lots of work. My dad starting slipping about 5-6 years ago. I began to notice botched fix it jobs around the place. He was a skilled craftsman for about 100 years. Very meticulous. It all slowly faded away. He’s just now started to have a little trouble getting dressed.
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FF, good reminder about the lights. I forget to do that when Dad goes into rehab, then can't find my timers, forget about it again, find the timers, forget to set them.....by that time Dad's ready to come home.

Windy, I don't know if you'll want to do this, but notifying their HO insurance carrier might be a good, if not expensive idea. Vacant houses are more costly to insure.

And don't forget to drain the pipes!
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I didn't know your father kept bees. Have the hives been winterized?
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Thanks FF. I’ve already stuck a few LED bulbs around in some lamps. About half the bulbs in the house were burned out. The LEDs use about 6 Watts. I’ll just leave them on, no timers to worry about.

My phone has been ringing as word has gotten out about my folks. More neighbors than I realized had been watching out for them. A neighbor at the foot of the driveway is a state trooper. He’s 100 yards away and is keeping an eye on things. His son does mowing and landscaping. He will do the grass this summer.

My folks have a 5 acre farmette in the midst of suburbia. My dad was the local handyman, tomato, cider producer and beekeeper. The neighbors all loved him. Did I mention the strawberries? Dad didn’t care much for them but he’d put out 100 plants and supply the neighborhood and grandkids. Dad used to send me huge tomatoes in the mail to Michigan.

Time the check the laundry. Got moms undies going.
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Windyridge, just a suggestion about the house for right now. Buy some timers to put on some of the inside lights. I found the light sensors ones work best, thus if there is a power outage, no need to worry about resetting the timers. And put in very low watt bulbs in those lamps.

I have those at my house. In one upstairs front bedroom, the light is on all night, so it looks like someone is awake and into the early mornings.

Or set up things like the young boy did in "Home Alone" :)
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Windy - You did great! The hardest part is over. Stay strong and know that we are fully pulling for you and sending you lots of love and light.
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Things still moving along. Folks eating their brains out and chatting with demented sweet ladies at meals. No one even looked up when I left them at lunch.

Starting to sort through the ungodly mess of a house. Cleaned out fridge before it became radioactive on me. Lord give me strength.
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OMG Buddy, that's Incredible News!!! While I am sorry your Mom has suffered a medical emergency, you always knew that this is what it would take to get them settled into AL. Now you can take that great sigh of relief, and get on with all of the many things it's going to take to keep them there, safe and secure.

I hope and pray they continue to settle in nicely, and that they enjoy living there TOGETHER!!! That is the wonderful part, that they are together, and now you will feel secure that they are in the best place possible, now and in the future. I am so Happy for you!!!

I suspect that you will be making their new place homey, so they are comfortable and happy in their new surroundings. Will you have to sell the family home? While this is the first step, I know that there are still many steps you are going to need to do to keep them happy, but for now,

Congratulations Buddy, you finally did it!!! I know you must feel incredible relief! This is the Best new I've heard in a long long time!

Merry Christmas!! What a gift! You deserve the Peace that this will bring you as the constant worry you've been under is no good for your own health. God bless you Windy, your such a great Son for staying on top of this, and for taking such great care of your folks for so long. I a so stoked for you!!!
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It’s amazing, isn’t it - how they ( your folks, my folks, lots of folks) dig in to staying in their house when it’s long past viable.

Dirty surroundings, dirty laundry, unkept yard, crap food in the cupboard, spoiled food in the fridge.

But as my dad said “the only way lm leaving is in a body bag”
He almost got his wish.

Instead he had The Crisis and spent his last 16 months in Independent Living - with my mom - a young pretty caregiver waiting on him hand and foot, a housekeeper cleaning the apartment every week, meals in the dining room where bow-tied waiters handed him the leather bound menu and listed the daily specials. Weight-room, sauna, heated pool, barbershop, coffee shop, putting greens...

Daddy was well taken care of - rested and relaxed for the first time in years. Said they should have moved earlier... Huh. Ya think???

I’ll never get it...
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Wonderful! So happy for you and your parents. They are lucky to have such a loving son.
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