How do you know when they can no longer live alone and be safe?


My mother in law is 83 with the start of dementia. She i living in her own apartment, but calls every day at least 5 - 10 times with problems. She misses her medications, can not operate her own television remote, can not operate her heating or air conditioning, can not write checks properly to pay the bills, and walks to the neighbors house at 6:00 a.m to tell them she is cold.
She throws a fit when ever we mention assisted living. She was just at a doctor's appointment last week and they were very surprised when they learned that she was living alone.
What can be done? She is stressing out my husband. He has to pay people to mow her lawn, check on her, take her grocery shopping, etc.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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freqflyer, if we mow every 2nd week we would be baling hay. LOL.
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Time to start saying *no*... it won't be easy, but do it gradually.... example, don't have your husband take his Mother grocery shopping, instead get her grocery list, her credit card or cash, and have him do the shopping himself, it's a lot quicker. If you have a grocery store that has on-line service, order on-line and the store can deliver, for a fee.

Then slow down on the lawn mowing, do it every other week. Set up her routine bills to be paid automatically via the bank.

Even though your MIL has the start of dementia, she will be times where she has a clear thinking mind. Hopefully she will realize she needs to be in independent living... imagine all the new best friends she could make :)
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Mom got $1600 a month in SS. We rented out her double and got 600 for one apartment and 750 for another. So her income is $2950, which covers the ALF and the mowing, etc. A good facility will help figure out the financials, including VA funding if she is a widow of a wartime veteran.
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It is time. Mom was very resistant too, she had this preconceived idea that an ALF would be a dungeon. So we told her "let's go to lunch" and lunch was included with a free tour of an ALF nearby. We told her it was not for NOW, but we needed to look around for when the time comes. We made a point of attending a Valentine's Day party at one place, a quiet dinner at another. We made sure it was a place with lots of activities, nurses on 24/7, bus trips, large common rooms and a resort-like atmosphere. We wanted fewer than 100 residents, all on the first floor, cheery rooms with space for her favorite table and chair. When they offered her a one month trial at half off, she agreed to try it. She decided to stay. It was just in time, too, because her memory kept getting worse. Give it a shot.
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