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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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".
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,
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?
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?
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 !!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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" :)
Starting to sort through the ungodly mess of a house. Cleaned out fridge before it became radioactive on me. Lord give me strength.
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!!!
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...