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I remember some seven yrs or so ago, before mom died, we all had had a family discussion about how hard it was to get my grandmother to realize she needed help. Both mom and dad said then that they promised not to be that way with us kids, that if the three of us agreed they needed help they would listen us, knowing we had their backs and were acting out of love. Now my dad, age 84, is refusing the help he needs, although all three of us are in agreement that he should no longer be living alone and needs to go live with my brother or, at least needs some kind of home health care (which he can well afford).

What is it that turns advanced seniors into turncoats when it's their turn to give up the independence when they knew this time was coming and when they felt completely different when they were young enough, or healthy enough, not to need the help?

Wouldn't you think the trouble they had with their elderly parents would have taught them a thing or two. Are our troubles going to teach us or are we going to be just like them in 20 or so years from now?

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I've told my kids do what is best not what I want!!! They witness what I'm going thru and I beg them and reiterate all the time to shoot me or just put me in AL or memory care with no regrets. I hope they can do it.

I'm in an awful situation with my 90 yr old mother who insists on caring for herself and staying in her home. She isn't doing a very good job but I don't have legal power to force her to do otherwise.

No one, even once trusted friends and relatives, drs can get her to do better for herself. We are reminded it is their choice and even as a senior they have rights and can chose to live poorly even if we don't agree with it. It has to be really bad even for APS to do anything and if it isn't imminently dangerous they just put on hold and say they will reevaluate.

My parents thought they had set everything up, expressed wishes to remain in the home and hire assistance. Even built a special bath and bedroom to accommodate...but when the time came, they refused all outside care and still do even when they have the money. I'm powerless to make them move or accept outside help without their consent or taking them to court.

I chose to let mom live in the house as she wishes and wait for her to go to hospital and then make hospital dictate care.
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Annet...I'm going to try to do the same...move into assisted living early on if I'm not blindsided by ALZ or Dementia first. I'm also going to make sure my daughter has POA, both financial and health in case I am blindsided.

I don't want my daughter and granddaughter to remember me in a bad light because I caused them no end of grief in my old age. A lifetime of good memories can easily be overshadowed by years of being a real burden to family because of poor or selfish choices (no savings, no life insurance, not planning for the inevitable, etc.) made before old age made it impossible to correct the problems.
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Jinx... Loved your comment "As if that'll work". Exactly!

Well, he's not demented so we've no choice but to leave him to his own devices. But I'm betting it's going to end in disaster with him being so much worse off then he would be he could just "see" the circumstances he's in now and do something about it while he can..
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My parents never thought about it before or after. To avoid this problem for my kids, I want to move into one of those assisted living communites that have the spectrum of independent through end of life care, sometime in my 70s when I'm still with it enough to choose the right place. I should probably start thinking about where now which is 20 years out. If only my parents had moved in when we looked at one before my dad died, a ton of grief, resentment and money would have been saved.
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kathyt1 comes across as a little bit harsh, but TRUE!

I have said to my father, "Do you want to go to the hospital, or do you want to lie here and bleed to death?" At first, he chose bleeding to death, and I said, "OK." He did change his mind later that night. I think the fact that I didn't fight him made it easier for him to back down.

It might help to back off, and ask him how he wants to handle various possible situations like falling, becoming unable to cook, losing his good vision. How would he handle it if he were still on his own? Start a conversation to learn why he doesn't want to leave his home. Listen to what he says, and agree with his reasons. Really understand where he is coming from, and appreciate his position.

Only then, maybe on a different day, give him your reasons for wanting him to move. Tell him that you worry he will lie on the floor for hours, that you love him and want him to be safe, that it's hard to drive all those miles, that you will be so ashamed if something happens to him and you allowed him to be alone. Tell him something could happen that would FORCE him into a NH.

Then suggest ways that he can hold onto his independence while relieving you of worry. Mention every way that he will still be independent. Every piece of furniture he can keep. Every hour he can be on his own after the caregiver has left for the day. Let him think about it. Don't fight or argue. Let him slowly change his mind.

As if that'll work! Good luck with a hard problem.
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They see the real picture. Freedom and control are precious to them. You see your needs trumping theirs. It's theory versus reality. Unless your Dad has dementia, he makes the decisions that effect his life. Let's be honest, it is to relieve your stress you want him to live with someone. Do you know what your asking? You want him to give up his freedom, his memories, his control over his own life. Would you?

Maybe he values automony more than safety. Life is risky. He is willing to take the risk. If you insist you know best, you imply he is a silly untrustworthy fool. You got an angry intransigent man, who would let the house burn down with him in it, rather than admit you might be right. Maybe honoring his decisions, his intelligence, and his courage, would make you a trusted advisor.
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It's not about you, the caregiver. They are not "selfish" any more than a 2 yo is selfish. They are only thinking about themselves because they are trying to survive. Leaving their home, or accepting the care of strangers is not surviving. They still love you as much as they can, which is LESS than it used to be.

Drives us crazy!
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I had an 'Aha!' moment when I was trying to tell a doctor what my mom was doing. He said: What do you want? She's demented!
That put it all into perspective for me and I was able to move forward from there. Not saying it's easy but demented could also be defined as 'nuts' and that tells you that nothing is going to make sense.
Hope this helps a little.

lovbob
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"Wouldn't you think the trouble they had with their elderly parents would have taught them a thing or two". I for one am still learning my lesson from not so wise choices, if only I'd listen to my own advice....................
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I think it is all about independence!! Losing your independence when you have been making your own decisions for sooo many years!!Your children are always your children no matter how old they are, I mean really....don't you think your years of experience out weigh your childrens??? This is not to criticize anyone, believe me I have been through this and still going through it. Denial is also a problem. Parents don't want to admit to their children they need help. My mom has Alz, is mentally incapacitated and still maintains there is nothing wrong with her.
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Love the idea of writing to my elderly self, but if it's as vstefns says,and we lose our judgement and think only of the here and now, don't know that the letter idea will do much good. It will give our daughter something to hold over our heads though, if we get argumentative with her.

I guess all we can hope for to help our children not have to shoulder the burdens of our advanced age is to keep our judgement intact until we die. So I, for one, am going to do just that, as soon as I figure out how.

We have thought about the future and have set up our daughter (we've only the one child) as signatory on our bank accounts so she'll at least have access to money to help us, or to hire help for us when the time comes, at least as long as the money lasts.
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We are in that same type of a situation. Parent swore they would never live with any of kids and be happy to go to NH. Now it is just the opposite: when in the hospital cannot be left alone for one minute; no one but kiddos can dress and do diaper duty and it is a battle royal to have help in the home. Do they want their kids to die first from 24/7 caregiving and related stress? I have days when I really wonder.
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The simple answer is that you lose your judgement and perspective, and think in the short term, self interest mode only. And if you have ever been on a medication that affects your thinking skills, you have a vague idea of this ...it seems to take FOREVER to realize what is happening, though once you are off it, you can hardly believe that you kept on taking it as long as you did. Plus just being human and naturally coping with the unthinkable with a hefty dose of denial. .
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I for one have written a letter to the 80 year old me. I have given a copy to my children (who find it very funny) and kept one in my file. Seriously! I would hate to have my children go through what we have been through with our parents. I am angry and resentful frequently and feel that MY time when I could be doing the fun stuff is slipping away one day at a time. My parents never had to deal with it because most of their parents passed in their late 60's and the one, my maternal grandfather , that survived till he was 90 was not taken care of by my parents and in fact he came to live with me in the winter times. I don't get the attitude of expecting servitude.
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