Mom is 97, lives in her home, very pleasant, only 2 prescriptions (1 is eye drops), fairly mobile, great appetite, just frail. We (4 siblings in our 60's/70's) worry about her all the time, that she could fall. Days are long and exhausting for us care givers (who live out of state, taking turns staying with mom). We have a retired nurse coming in 3 days a week. Maybe I should just stop worrying and enjoy her while I can. (somehow this doesn't help the stress)

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Hi OP! I read this article from Seasons Retirement where they mentioned some changes that you can take as signs that indicate the need for more support in the form of assisted living. Some of the changes that they mentioned include lack of personal hygiene, sudden weight loss or significant weight gain, increased falls/accidents. I suggest you read the full article if you’re planning to talk to your parent about assisted living. Hope this helps!

dmrhodes849: When you feel the time is right, i.e. there's no easy answer to your question.

Old lady here: it's possible that falling need not always be the super bugaboo it appears to be. My husband (94) has fallen once in the past 5+ years, due to a poorly placed bench. He wasn't injured. I fell once several years ago after accidentally slipping on an icy driveway (lesson learned as I stated in an earlier post). I had only minor bruising.

Yes, we're old and we could fall. That's a fact. However, we try to minimize fall risk. We're careful and watch where we're going. We live in a single-story home. Although we stay as active as we reasonably can, we don't get around as much or as fast as we did in our younger years. We no longer use a ladder or try to perform tasks that require intact balance. He uses a cane. I don't yet but may in the foreseeable future. Luck undoubtedly plays a part, as well, but repeated falls may not necessarily be inevitable for all old people.

Safety and level of care needs are 2 primary deciding factors. And, family availability, financial resources to keep her in her home if that is the choice. You may want to request her PCP assign a Geriatric Case Mgr or a Licensed Social Worker to her so they can visit in her home and further assess needs and make recommendations, options, further assist her and the family toward making a best case decision for all .
If she is spouse of a veteran or veteran herself, you may benefit calling VA Services to inquire about VA benefits to assist with her care in home or other assistance.
What does she want? What is quality of life for her? What are safety needs? What is family availability? Finances?
These are all questions to ask self and also confer with Elder Law Attorney for advice re accountability in caring for aging.

All of you should have a conversation about how travelling to help her is affecting you. Then I suggest that you take her to some local IL and ALs. Your statement about a nurse coming in seems confusing since a nurse is for medical care and her meds do not warrant this.. Do you mean someone comes in to help with personal needs like bathing? Then an AL is what she needs. Try to go around mealtime or afternoon. My mom went in with early stage needs. She found a friend in one facility and that made transition easy. No one realizes that these places offer lots of enrichment opportunities that mom may not get staying in her home. Check out thier daily activity calendar. Take her to visit one or two of them

Whenever you feel that it’s best. There isn’t a specific time frame.

Best wishes to you. Take care.

I’m going to suggest that mom is fine and it is you having a hard time. Sadly death will find your sweet mom no matter where she resides. Perhaps consider that you are grieving as you feel yourself drawing closer to making a decision to place her. Perhaps the “fall” signifies death to you? You can’t save her from either no matter where she lives.

Consider hiring more help, go on the visit but not to work, rather to enjoy her and relax with her.
Hire a housekeeper for while you are there or an extra caregiver so you can work in a bit more relaxation for yourself. Whatever makes more sense to not distract yourself with chores. Try that on mentally to see if that would work for a little while. Perhaps be a little more intentional with your visits.

Acknowledge that you are getting older, her time is getting shorter and you have anxiety. That won’t change no matter where she lives.

Check back in and let us know how you are feeling. We care.

I don't think there is an easy answer. No rights or wrong. No exact time. Many will say move now, some may say no, stay home as long as possible.

When does *possible* change to *non-possible*? Do you want to wait for an event? Just work it all out as you need? As a team?

Or are you a planner. Prefer to have a good path laid out?

Is it worry about falls?
Or falls are a worry?

That can be a factor but even then not the decider. The well & active can move into AL & can adapt & socialise. A quiet homebody may quietly accept the care & had not spoken up about how lonely they were. But then, others miss their home terribly, don't accept or adapt quite as well.

Some prefer to stay in their home til they are carried out. Taking copious risks but choosing to do so. Some families rail against this - some are the biggest supporters.

I guess it's a good time to start the conversations. With Mom - are you OK? Is living here ok? Or getting tough? Talk to your siblings. Are they finding the current setup OK? Or burdonsome? What's the plan when one drops out or reduces their visits? Will it be time for change then?

Sorry I offer no solutions. Just things to think about. Take it easy & let new thoughts emerge.

As I learned here on the forum, the caregiving arrangement needs to work for both sides.

It doesn’t seem to be working on your side.

It’s time.

You matter, too.

I moved my mom with moderate dementia to AL a year ago after she'd been living with me for 7 years (probably 5 with memory issues). We had a cleaning lady and home caregivers but it was not enough to allow me to live my life and was instead tied to helping my mom and answering her incessant and repetitive questions all day.

Since someone is uprooting their life and going to stay with mom on a regular basis, I'd say that it's time. If you were all taking turns staying there for a short term recovery, that'd be one thing. As this is a case of age related decline, it's not going to get better and won't end unless you place her somewhere.

Please stop worrying about her falling. I'm sure you have her house set up in a way that makes it less likely that she'll fall, but elders can and will fall no matter how much you watch them. It's inevitable so look at it as a fact of life and reduce your stress level.

You should be staying in FL with your hubby in your lovely community. And going to visit mom when it works for you.

Best of luck.

I had a similar issue. I live in Florida and my mom lived in north Georgia. While she was still functional but needed a little help, we hired a caregiver to come by and keep her company, help with meals etc every afternoon . I traveled there every 8 weeks to check on things. I made the decision to move her to Florida with me when her safety became an issue. I took care of her in my home for almost 5 years and moved her to an ALF only a few months before she passed.

If I could do it over again, I would have moved my mom earlier, when she still had a clear mind and could have enjoyed the facility more. She was an introvert, and I do not believe she would have every embraced it completely but I have learned that if they move when they are still clear headed and can enjoy the social aspects, it is a much easier transition.

What makes an ALF great is the social aspect, nice dining, friends her own age with the additional security of knowing someone is watching frequently. The hardest part for me was knowing when to make the next transitional move based on her decline.

Hope this helps as you consider your options.

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