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Dear ones,

I posted a long drawn out message to you all several months ago about my Mom and what to do, my Mom refusing to go any where! EVER!!!! wanting to stay put in her home..her depressing, dark house..she could not even cook or drive let alone barely walk..and I mean barely.
My post consisted of being angry with my Mom about her not wanting to go to Assisted Living, how she was so isolated and not wanting to talk to any one. Her disability is mobility..falling, and being over sedated with xanex.
Well, I have great news.
On Aug 26th my husband and I successfully placed her in a wonderful Assisted Living.

She has a very small apartment in a B facility (B means that most of the people in the facility have mobility issues, if there was a fire then by law they would have to be able to get out of the building with assistance) A facilities are much different, they are usually multilevel.

I was in shock when my Mom agreed to go have lunch with us to meet with the Director and talk.... it took some reasoning and just saying to her, "Mom this is killing me to do this, I do not want to, but for your safety and for my health we must check it out. period at the end of that sentence. Inside, I was dying, I was angry, afraid..every emotion you could think of.
She knew that I could no longer take care of her due to my Fibromyalgia and Migraines.

At one time she told me that my Dad would turn over in his grave if he knew I was placing her in Assisted Living. I replied, MOM, he would NOT.

Thing is, she had no idea it could be as wonderful as it is.
My Mom is NOT a social butterfly..and has always been a loner. She was married to my Dad for 60 years until his sudden and painful death...
Always depending on him for every thing because of her challenges with her health.
She just wanted to stay in her dark house and have me come over and make her meals..but it came to the point where I could not do it any longer..my husband and I moved one door away from them when my Dad got sick, he only lived three months after we moved, and we took care of my Mom for one year after his death...it got to be where I wanted to crawl back to my house due to the physical pain I was having.

She would use her walker to go the bathroom, but only part time.. She would depend on my husband pushing her on her walker seat..I couldnt do it, I was too weak...and she fell several times during that year.. She weighs 210lbs and I weigh 95lbs so there was no way I could lift her, we would have to call EMS every time.
Her quality of life was going down fast!!!!
I have two siblings, they live in different states and do not do any thing to help.

So, on Aug 26th was her first day in her Assisted Living, she was not jumping up for joy, but she knew deep down that this is the way it had to be.

BY the way, it was murder in my heart having to place her..I did NOT want to! I expressed to her several times over that yr. how I myself was going down hill.

Now, she LOVES it, she has meal mates, breakfast,lunch and dinner..she loves them, oh my goodness, the things they talk about are NO different then the things We talk about...life, politics, all kinds of things...like they are back in high school!
not immature..but just stimulating for their brains. She also gets her hair set every week. Medicare does pay for her Doctor to come in and visit her, and the nurses from a facility. Assisted livings have a nurse but they are there to over see residents and make sure things are going smooth medically with them. There are Med Techs that dispurse meds to the residents if that is a need. Medicare and her Tricare does not pay for her assisted Living, she does have savings and also a paycheck come in every month from my dads social sec and his Military pay, even though the pay in half then what they made, she can still make the pmts. We are in the process of selling her house so that will help save money on her part.

I am shocked this has turned out the way it has!!!!!
She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is contained in one of her breast and no where else, she is taking a pill for the treatment that has a high success rate.
Her attitude is amazing!
Never in a Million years would I of believed my Mom would adjust..would actually like her apartment.
EVER!!!!!!! Once we got all of her things in her apt. she realized this is MY home and I like it.. and she feels safe!!!! The staff are very good to her!!!!

She was one of the most private people I have known.
She still has her privacy..just that now, she is loved by the people there!

So, behind that dark cloud is the sun!

Note: I did check out several Assisted Living Facilities, I also went to my states Department of Aging, it helped. Very good website!

BEWARE: many places just want your money, ask the residents when you check it out, how they like their place of residents, how the food is..ask more then one.

God Bless every one here!
Thank you for reading this!

Best Regards,
Jan

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I hate to have to admit and agree with Jan but she is absolutely right! BEWARE. there are assisted living managers out there that are pension predators, they're tanking financially and they have wolves for managers, they will phoneAdult protective services if you give 30 days notice and they will say you are harmful to your parent and fabricate out right lies on paper to a judge, and phone your syblings to intervene, who are all to happy to take away your POA and any of your inheritance, family that thinks anything that belongs to their mother THEY own and are entitled to! Meanwhile the assisted living managers act the same, like another sybling to keep off of mama's money. It's insane.
Once Mama's mind is gone, you got no one on your side and the rest of the family in colusion with the managers makes a deal to keep grandma in the same place as long as we get rid of the one family member grandma can trust, will split the purse-strings together! I'm in litigation right now with a sister who broke the law by soliciting the mangers with a tape of me yelling at mom, who then broke the law by listening to it, deciding they were judge and jury and called adult protective services to stop me from giving 30 days notice and taking my mother to another assisted living. My sister is now trying to get conservatorship around my POA even though my mother doesn't speak to her in 7 years (she ripped mom off) I have had executor the the will since 1999 and inheritance of my mother's house as well, she is now claiming I harm my mother, withhold my mother's dog from her to punish my mother when she does something I disapprove of and ei ei o.
All she is doing is meddling and costing us a fortune in litigation/lawyer fees. BEWARE the predatory assisted living, can we say Holiday Retirement?! Beware!
Remember - It is federal law that every assisted living community is bound to: It is absolutely illegal for managers to divulge any personal information of the resident to any friends or family except to the Durable Power of Attorney. If they cross that line and essentially appoint themselves conservators of your parent, they are breaking assisted living federal confidentiality laws as well as the mandatory wording in the contractual leasing agreement that is required in all assisted living facility leases in the confidentiality clause.
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Here here! The managers at my mom's assisted living were beginning to doubt she would be able to stay beyond the first month she was so miserable. Now she loves it, well, it's completely re-socialized her and people are fond of her, they all pull for each other and everyone gives her hugs after meals at her table - it's beautiful. really beautiful, these are accomplished people with great wisdom, education and wonderful memories, they sing and dance and remember the good old days - together! there is more touch, physical affection along with the occasional "up yours you old fart." all in all it has transformed her from a lonely old mentally ill malcontent woman to someone who values affection to others and love from others much more and is much more at peace with herself. She still wants to move and someday we will spend time back at home with nurses only because we can afford assisted living in and out of home. She's 1 in 3 women who has any healthcare or pension at all. That's the plight these days of our elderly. Most don't have retirement but even those who don't qualify if they don't make any more than 1900 a month, still, it's difficult and only for the privilege few to be able to live in assisted living and I thank God that Mom has had the experience, adjusted eventually and gained benefit from the experience the last year she has been in assisted living and I have been able to be with her and spend quality time in such a way that we have reconciled and never go a day without saying "I love you" to the other, always whenever we speak, we end with "I love you" and hugs. It's great. We're at peace and assisted living is just that. It has helped us in many ways.
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awww, its all cool We are all in this together for sure! Thank you so much for wiring me. NOthing negative here, i did not take any thing but great news helpxxoooo
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Oh Jannie, I should have known you have thought this through thoroughly. I apologize for causing you to think negatively a little, but I know that having your ducks in a row is because of hard work and you deserve to be proud of that. Isn't it great to have this forum? Be well, and enjoy some peace and quiet for a little while!
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It is like walking a line and not sure which way to go, that is how I felt in the beginning. I talked with my Mom on the phone tonight and she was down in the blues some, I finally said to her that her chemo medicine is causing it. She is on a pill type of chemo, so will talk to her doctor about maybe trying to up her antidepressant, it is hormonal with the chemo. We want our parents in the right place and yet not sure where. I bet you have done a lot of research. We worked on getting my Mom in a place, or I should say at getting her in a place for several months. My husband of 30 years, and he helped take care of my Mom before, and my 30 yr old son and 25yr old daughter are here, until they could figure something out if something happened to me suddenly. I have a chronic pain issue I deal with..and Heavens knows what I will be like in a few years..I hope better. My brother and sister are on all of her bank accts, have talked with the bank so nothing would be frozen. It begins to become a blur after a while...because of so much to do.. I wish you the very best!!! you and your Dad, and family. I commend all the caretakers near or far away from their parents.
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Ya know, I looked at local senior living facilities, and I realize the difference between the kind of facility that looks after you closely, and the kind that just provides support when you need it, and my Dad is sort of in the middle. Meaning I think I would need to live with him for a while and see what he's really like. I can't always accept what others say on face value, we all put our spin on things in life. Plus, if he were to realize what was at stake, he might behave better,IF it is a controllable behavior. I suspect he's one of these people with no 'affective filter". I don't think it's Alzheimers or a memory thing that is the problem so much as his behavior. He says and does things without thinking. He wouldn't wander off unknowingly, but he might do it on purpose and then break some law or get in a fight. Plus, the place I saw today was mostly sweet little independent ladies in the 80s who would be really upset if he were to suggest they needed a hug, or something..... he can be inappropriate with his hugs etc. I think he's trying to help, he doesn't realize he annoys instead. So if he would realize it too late, he might not be able to go back. I am going to look for a place where he can start out independent but move into something with support for those who lose memory, etc. I was surprised that I think with his VA pension he probably could afford something. But here in CA, not on the east coast, everything there is too far away from family, since the family home is so rural. So how to get him here for a while, and then into a spot near me.... working on on it.... Do you have plans in place as to what will happen (for you Mom) if got forbid something SHOULD happen to you?
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The out of state siblings one comes 7 days a yr. One 7 days in 4 yrs. It depends with your Dad, does he wander away, can he get out of a door and wander in the street? If he is safe. There are several memory challenged patients at my Moms Facility. Limited memory. Meaning, they will not walk out. Or get out of bed and run away. The facility has unlocked doors from 6am til 6pm. 5 to 6 activities a day. Sun morn worship. Shopping trips, transportation to Dr. appts. As far as paying for her care when her savings run out, she has almost enough pay coming to her every month, my self and brother and sister will help make the difference. I realized we are very fortunate. If it were not for my husband and I, my Mom would have to be moved to either my sisters town (a facility there, or my Brothers town) if something were to happen to me. I do have an illness that keeps me down, but I am still able to do her bookeeping and visit her.
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To add to that- It is horrible how our government treats our elderly...with their care and the way they treat them...sad.
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Hello All,
I typed a long message for all then my computer freaked out and erased it all!
My Mom is in A.L in Cedar Park Texas. The cost is 3000 a mo with one step add on care of 350.oo. She does not qulify for V.A. her income is 400.oo too much to qualify. My Dad did leave her a savings and he did have a very good income she gets half of it, he served in the air force for 27yrs and was at the highest rank there was...so, he def. helped my Mom, Thank God! If not for that, I do not know what we would do!!!!!!
My heart is with all of you.
My mom does not have memory issues, small ones not large ones. She is very fortunate as 5 of her siblings did have memory issues, she came from a family of 10 and she is about the youngest and she is 81, so they have all passed.
I hope I have answered your questions, if you have more pls let me know xo
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Jan, blessings, blessings, blessings!! Wonderful to hear such a success story ---Thank you immensely for sharing. I can only wish it will turn out that way for me someday. My mom is still extremely resistent; but your story gives me hope! Hugs to you; now enjoy this triumph and take care of yourself. I hope your health improves with this enormous stress lifted off you and your husband. Live a long, healthy, happy life with your family and enjoy wonderful quality time with your mom! Tell your mom how proud we all are of her for her compassion and decision to do the right thing for herself and her family.

The costs can be high as you pointed out and all over the board depending on the facility and location. Please read "A Bitter Season" for more insight in costs, expectations and managing costs. Not affordable for everyone. Try to pick a place with graduated care so as their needs change, they can go to the next level without being forced out.
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we had N. in two of them, both were $1500 a month. homes with a few caregivers, both family run. this is san diego, ca, not a cheap place to live by any stretch of the imagination.
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the cheapest AL I've found is over $4000 a month and that isn't for memory care. This is a "red state" and they do seem to cater to the upper middle class and above. Nothing for someone like Mom. I'm at my wits' end on it. Nothing. I do not want her in a Medicaid facility in MS - just sayin'.
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Thank You so much for sharing this, its so encouraging. Our mothers sound like the same person. Have you checked out Veterans Benefits for surviving spouses. They will pay $1113 a month if your father served during war time or conflict.
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Good news are always welcomed at this site. There is still a difference from Assisted Living to NH. NH is the negative side. Love
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The assisted living facility I toured with my Mother was beautiful. It cost 3500 a month. I have seen other assisted livings that are only 1200 a month but they are not the same bright, cheerful places. Like everything else you get what you pay for which is tragic as you age. The rich get taken care of well and if you don't have the money - oh well. The way we treat our poor elderly in America is revolting.
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"Jannie" makes a good point – ALWAYS meet residents when you are choosing a community. Have your parent visit to take part in an activity, have lunch with a resident, whatever. I would be very suspicious of a community that didn't actively encourage and facilitate prospective residents meeting with current ones.
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One question - how much does this cost per month, and what state do you live in? (ok, that's 2 questions...heehee!) Sounds wonderful!
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I did wander far from your situation, and perhaps should repost as my own question, since it leads into another, although related question....
Thank you for your patience in reading this.
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So happy to hear this - appreciate your detailed comments on what AL is like from the viewpoint for someone who needs more than just a little assistance. No mention of dementia or muddled thinking. My Dad repeats himself so often and can not lead a meaningful 2-sided conversation because of that and because of hearing loss (although when his faculties are good, maybe 40% of the time he has fascinating ideas) I wonder how he would fare. Would people put up with him and go out of their way to engage him.
You don't mention group activities and that is good I think since forced participation would be unwelcome for many people except those who really need it for a clinical reason. I guess they don't do that in AL like they do in some nursing homes. He loves people, but often requires they treat him as the center of attention. I wonder if being in a group would bring some humility and reality to him regarding his own limitations. (he refuses to act responsibly, quite impulsively excercising etc in spite of his frailness, quite aggravating to his caregivers). I am, by the way, one of the "out of state" family members who 'do nothing to help". I listen, and worry from afar, and visit as often as I can, maybe every other month, and provide respite for a week once in a while. We all do what we can.
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People don't always respond the way we fear - sometimes things turn out better than we imagine and this is one of those stories. I am glad to hear that this has worked out so well. You might need to look into what could happen if/when her money runs out, however, since she will then be eligible for Medicaid which doesn't pay for many assisted living settings.
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I am happy this all worked out for you and your mother. I think if there were more assisted living facilities as you described at a price most middle income seniors could afford or supplemented for low income seniors, both our elderly and disabled and we, as caregivers, could have a great burden lifted knowing that they are being cared for and we don't have to surrender our lives and our savings to trying to help our family members. This is the way it should be. Why is it not? Since my family member is has a very low SS check, I have searched for assisted living in that price range. And they are dumps, not in whether they have fancy furniture or facilities, but that you can see that people are being warehoused and not properly give the care and attention they need. I'd like to hear from others as to what price range they have found good assisted living facilities in. And the senior housing out there is the same issue. For the very few low income facilities, like 202 subsidized housing, there are waiting lists of years. This is something we all should desire because we will find ourselves in the same situation some day.
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Thanks for sharing the wonderful news!
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So good to hear a success story...one with a happy ending for all. You did the right thing for all concerned. God bless you for your courage!
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That is GREAT! If only my mother has money. That is where she would be. I am glad she has the income to do it. That is the best place for elderly people I think.
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Thanks for updating us. I'm also glad that your mother loves her new home. I guess there's always a light at the end of the tunnel.
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it IS very important to talk to as many residents as possible when looking at places, and keep notes during your search.
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Great news for you and your mom. Take care of yourself!
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