We moved my elderly parent in with us after relocating to a new state, thinking this was an ideal plan. It meant my parent wouldn’t have to be alone, and we could help out. Fast forward several months, and we are to the point that we want to help my parent find a new place. This parent refuses to do anything to help out unless specifically asked, and when confronted about the issues, excuses are made. I feel like I’m running an assisted living facility. We have 3 kids to take care of and their grandparent refuses to lift a finger. We provide all groceries and everything else, including driving to appointments. My elderly parent is afraid to drive despite never having an accident.
We were all new to a situation, then found it impossible to continue.
In my case, 6 weeks about did me in.
It’s okay to hit “pause”, and reassess.
I loved her dearly, and considered her my best friend, but she no longer knew me.
She LOVED her residence, about 5 minutes from my home, and I visited everyday for 5 1/2 years, because I wanted to. She made friends, I made friends.
I would tell your parent that you made a mistake, in hindsight, and that the living arrangement is not working out for all involved, which is what's required when a housemate is taken in. It has nothing to do with love, either, and everything TO do with the need to take your home back and have more time to devote to your husband & children. My mother also decided she was 'afraid to drive' after my father became unable to, which forced a move to be closer to me and turned her into a totally dependent human being. That helps NOBODY, including her. What your elderly parent needs, in reality, is Assisted Living where they can BE totally dependent and where they don't need to drive; they pay for that privilege AND for the autonomy of having their own apartment w/o any cares or responsibilities in the world. Being a housemate is something else entirely; it DOES come with responsibilities your parent is unwilling to accept.
Others will come here and tell you how Horrible Assisted Living is, and how awful and ungrateful YOU are for even considering such an abomination for your elderly parent who gave you life & raised you. In reality, AL is a hotel for seniors where they get to play all day, socialize & have their meals served to them in style. Plus they get help from caregivers on an as-needed basis. Make no mistake; my folks have lived in AL since 2014 and have loved it. My uncle George is a multi-millionaire who lives in the same AL my folks lived in and he's 101 and can live anywhere on earth he'd like. So, anyone harping on that old violin hasn't a clue what they're even talking about!!
Help your parent find a new place to live where they can be happy and have others wait on them. Where they can get rides to appointments and their apartment cleaned, laundry done, meals served and not feel like they have to do anything at all in return.
You are entitled to live YOUR life and your parent is entitled to live theirs.
Wishing you the best of luck making this move happen sooner rather than later.
If your current arrangement is not working, help find your parent an apartment or senior living facility. Do not base your decision on what other people think of you. If you make decisions for honest reasons, you will not feel the need to make excuses for them.
This is also the elder parent's new home, correct? An entirely different way of life from what the person is used to, with new routines, new meal patterns, a complete change from living alone to living as part of a small community. There are regular patterns, daily tasks and chores, the everyday timetable, shared kitchen/bathroom/living facilities, and the presence of five other people in the house. That's quite demanding in terms of adjustment, especially for an older person whose self-confidence and abilities are perhaps not what they were.
It isn't working out as you had - I don't know if expected is the right word, because perhaps you and parent didn't have any clear expectations, so let's go for hoped; and you're finding yourself overburdened and frustrated.
So two questions.
1. Have you discussed the possible alternatives with the parent? - i.e. have things come to a head to that extent?
2. What happened that brought you to the forum now, to write this post?
And one note: in general, the consensus of the forum is that it's best for older people to stop driving *before* they have an accident. We wouldn't often encourage someone who's lost confidence in his/her ability to pull him/herself together and get back behind the wheel. Do you live in a very remote location with no access to public transport or taxi services?
I assume you did what so many of us do: See this 'problem' and then think 'easy peasy, we just move them in, they can be helpful and what a cozy multigenerational family we'll have!'
A few months in, the glow has dissipated and you're essentially raising 4 'kids' and it's not working and you feel guilt--which, BTW, is NOT necessary.
Time to be upfront with parent. Do some research on ALF or NHs, whatever level of care he may need first..then tell them as much of what you need them to know 'Dad, you're not helping us as we discussed. I'm stressed and tired. I need to have you in a safe place that can meet all your needs. We love you and want and need you to be safe and cared for. We can't do it.' Take time to tour these places and be firm throughout. He (or she, you don't say which) will balk and promise the sun, moon and stars that they'll change--but you know better than they do--will they change? Will they be able to make this work?
Probably not. Parent feels entitled to the care, and you aren't able to make that happen.
I wouldn't expect an aging parent to do much beyond being an adult in the home if you need to go out and need a babysitter--which they maybe do not want to do. But if you are doing 'all the things' AND you have 3 kids, you are running an ALF.
As far as the driving--well, I have come to love the Uber/Lyft businesses. I can see when I quit driving I will be a constant customer. Be glad you won't ever have to have that "you cannot drive any more' talk with parent. It's awful.
Basically, do what you have to do to care first for YOURSELF, then the kids, then parent.
Some families are able to make the generational-group living really work--some can't. So many personalities, etc.
Don't get pulled in the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) that can come with this.
If this seems to be relatively new behavior for them, then do some due diligence as to the cause. Likely it isn't deliberate.
Assume, until you know more, that these behaviors may have an underlying cause and they can't help it.
It may be that some of what you're seeing is actually mild cognitive impairment or an early stage of dementia. A move to a new home can be tremendously disorienting for the elderly. If there's been a recent death of a loved one, depression might cause some apathy. I would get them to a PCP, explaining to the PCP your concerns. They can evaluate possible causes for these changes (low vitamin D or thyroid levels, depression, etc) and if those are ruled out set up a referral for a cognitive assessment with a geriatrician or neuropsychologist.
Here's a few links you might find helpful.
A lot of times with cognitive impairment there's anosognosia, or an inability to recognize there's some loss going on. As well, people have a tremendous neurological reserve and an ability to be socially appropriate, which helps them seem like they aren't experiencing much in the way of losses. It might look like to you that they're being 'lazy'. One of the early losses is memory--they can't retain new information. At all. So there's no learning of a new routine, or new route. The intuition to see things that 'need done' will be gone, as is the ability to initiate actions, or do complex multi-step tasks. The reluctance to drive should be a big clue. Be grateful they don't want to drive, and do not expect them to. It could be they don't feel like they can make the sequence of rapid decisions required to drive safely, r they could be concerned that they will get lost.
I would move ahead with looking around at assisted living places nearby, and if this does turn out to be an early stage of a dementia, keep in mind that an eventual move to memory care (MC) might not be off the table--in that case you would want to find an AL that also provides reputable MC. This forum and the Alzheimer's forum has great threads. https://www.alzconnected.org/discussion.aspx?g=topics&f=151
Stage 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIkTO4d8YyI
Stage 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coiZbpyvTNg
Moderate dementia changes, behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cZTgG6kDjs
Moving to AL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22ZNZvN9UyY
Moving to AL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br5M3s7H7l4
Just like me ….I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into. My mom also doesn’t lift a finger to help except she will put the dishes away in the mornings which I always thank her for. It’s hard and I feel your pain! My kids are older so it’s a little easier for me. I think you need to find AL for your parent.
If your parent says they don't feel safe driving, listen to them. Why do they have to have an accident for your to understand that they have slowed down while everything else has sped up. You have made an error in judgement. Fix it by helping them find an assisted living facility or senior housing of some sort.
If you need help with the three kids, hire someone.
it seems that many times people move in their parents to just be live in babysitters without acknowledging the needs of their parents.
Which often leads to elder abuse.
OP, I’m sure that you are concerned about privacy, but a fuller profile (and more information about what you would like P to do) is important if you want more helpful responses. Best wishes in sorting out a situation that has made life worse, not better. We all make mistakes!
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