Currently living in our home with Alzheimer's. I have three siblings that agreed to take care of twelve hrs per day and my wife and I would give up our privacy, move her into our home and take care of her the second twelve hours per day. Two of the siblings bombed within 5 weeks, drinking and drugging. The third is on his way. My wife is at the point that it is affecting her health, physical and mental. It is also not doing me much good. Mom is physically in good health but needs 24hr supervision. Finances are getting low. Although we do not know how much more we can take, we are feeling guilty about looking into nursing homes.
Folks, encourage your folks to live together in sin. While my Mom's social security benefit will increase if he passes first, they have to be married for 10 years for that rule to go into effect. And when you marry at 80 what are the chances that both will live another 10 years?!
As I said, two of my siblings decided to continue their lifestyle of drinking and drugging with in 5 weeks and the third is on his way back to drinking. My wife was not supposed to have to deal with any of this unless I could not be there at night. My mother is in good health, knows who everyone is but is sometimes confused on where she is, what she had for lunch 5 minutes prior and is a fall risk. Her dementia is getting worse however. The reason we wanted to move her back home was to give her the best quality of life possible for as long as we could before she slipped away, mentally. She is on medicare right now. I am going to see an elder law atty on Friday to start the ball rolling toward medicaid for when the time comes that she will have to go to a nursing home.
I know this is a long comment but I guess I'm just venting.
If your mother has full-blown dementia but is in good physical health, the average family home is not a safe place for her to be: she is a serious accident waiting to happen. So not only is this situation not good for your wife, or for you, and sounds as if it's been the last straw for your siblings one by one, most important of all it's not right for your mother. The earlier your mother moves to a dementia care setting the better her chances are of doing well there. Start looking now.
And I know I say this (because it happened in my family), what if the patient outlives you? Someone will move mom or dad, then. I say make it happen, now.
I don't think families should worry about cost, until they have checked it out. The nursing homes are full of people, that I know are not wealthy. Most everyone does need full-time care, at some point. I think that we need to plan on it.
They are trained to focus on people with dementia. That is very important. I have heard that it might not be a good thing if the resident is not advanced in dementia, but I wish I had gone that route in the beginning, because a sharp decline can cause you to need to switch quickly. In hindsight, I would go with a Dementia Unit from the beginning.
My mom didn't setup her bank accounts ahead of time, so we are just paying cash out until it's all gone, selling a piece of property, and using up all her assets until there are none. Then it will be Medicaid.
And, actually, all marrieds in their 50's ought to see one so they can plan well in advance.
For someone with dementia you do this by asking consistently and answering sincerely, "What is in the best interests of my loved one and others involved at this point in the journey?"
That answer might be "Keep him in his home by providing support services," or "Bring her into our home," or "Bring her and some outside services into our home," or "Find a quality care center that can provide three shifts of caregivers." The answer may change in the course of the journey, or it may remain constant. It is critical to keep reassessing the situation.
Placing your mother in a care center, advocating for her, visiting her, shopping for her needs, and being there for her in crisis is NOT "calling it quits." It is acting out a new answer to "what is best for everyone concerned?"
If you ask the question sincerely, answer it honestly to the best of your ability, and then fail to follow through doing what is best at this point in time, then you might have cause for feeling a little guilty.
Your Mom would probably prefer to live at someone's home, but in Assistant Living she would make a lot of new friends and be around people of her own generation. Once she settles into the routine at the AL, she might enjoy being there. Plus whenever you and your wife visit it would be quality time :)
You use the money from the sale of her home to get her into a nice private pay place that will take Medicaid when her money runs out.