How do you determine when a parent can no longer live alone?

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I just turned 62 this past September, and I would like to go into senior housing. I have been accepted at two complexes in another state; I am considering moving there to be closer to my sister since I have no family in the area where I live. I am on a waiting list; it could be anywhere between one and five years, and I don't feel like waiting my turn; I just want to butt in line and get there. I have two falls on complex property, one resulted in a bruised back; the other resulted in a fractured right wrist, and I would like to sue the complex. I am by myself a lot, I am not on very good terms with my fellow tenants, all a bunch of druggies or kids which I totally dislike; I also do not attend church on Sunday. Any suggestions here? Some of the libraries here have knitting groups, and I like doing that sort of stuff.
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Just ta, lked with my mom today about possibly moving to assisted living....we have visited several in past, and never signed up since they cost so much. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could somehow "fix" the price to be exactly what you were paying in your home? My mom lives on about $29,000 per year in her own home, with some paid in-home care and lots of free help from me. If we found a place with a large private bedroom and her own TV room, large bathroom, deck, kitchen, and it cost the same as now, she (and I) would jump for joy. But they all have very small bedrooms, no den (unless you pay extra), no deck, some have hardly any bathroom space to maneuver around, and the help is all charged extra, as are meals beyond the first 10 or 14. They try to spin it as "customized" care, or a menu, or "we only charge for the services you really need" but we can see right thru that. They can't wait to get someone in there, to get at their money, that's their reason for existing. So we will continue to stay at home as long as possible--that is the only way we still have some control over her costs. Once you go to a facility you can pretty much figure everything you've got will go to pay the bills there. But I've already told my mom I refuse to change her diaper--that is the line we know, if it gets to that point, she will have to move.
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Best to be proactive as you can verses reactive. Hindsight always seems to be 20/20 when dealing with someone that is declining. It doesn't have to be your decision alone...but yours in the end. Involve EVERYONE you can in the decision and fact finding. I really leaned on the care-receiver's primary physician...asking for a geriatric nurse that specializes in elder care and evaluating when its time to leave the house for an ALF. Set a baseline and a threshold as soon as you can so that once the person crosses that threshold you & professionals have set, the decision becomes more clear. Maybe not easier of course...but you will feel confident that you have made a good decision with the information you have been given (your care-receivers decline has reached that point) Its the whole boiling frog lesson we as caregivers can become susceptible to: Slowly things decline (just as a frog gets slowly lowered into the boiling water) we get used to it...adapt...sacrifice mind, body, soul for the greater good of the slowly declining care receiver...when do we jump out of the boiling water? We are getting so used to it. Only some care-receivers will go through the quick injury, rehab, alf...just like the frog being dropped into the boiling water...only to jump right out!. Think about other things you have already done and learn from them that it is better to take action than be lucky! We took her car keys away only after she side-swiped a car, backed-into the house a few times, and told us how she pulled out in front of a fire truck with its lights on and sirens blaring. We installed grab bars and handrails only after she fell multiple times (86% of us only install grab bars AFTER we have fallen!). We listened to her and let her remain in her house after she left the burners on the stove for a whole night, cooked popcorn too long, caught the microwave on fire and filled the house with smoke, was found wandering the neighborhood. I had to get counselors to talk, consult, re-assure the care-giver's POA's that they were doing the best thing for her by transitioning her out of her home. The thing you will find is that the caregiving doesn't stop even when your care-receiver is in an ALF. There is just the satisfaction that you know if you are ill, busy, working, that she is being cared for by those trained in care-giving. You worry less. You can enjoy more. You will sleep better. Good luck with your transition decision. (Note, if you can realistically & financially afford to keep your care-receiver in his/her own home, all the more power to you...just don't become the frog being slowly lowered into the pot of boiling water!)
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The changes are gradual. There is also a test, a questionnaire, if answered honestly, can give the patient and caregiver an insight as to what level of care is needed. The test confirms whether the patient needs (or wants) a 55+ housing, or Independent Living, Assisted Living or Nursing Home care. The big gap is between Independent and Assisted Living.
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It's best to place a parent in some variation of 24/7 assisted living a little to early than a little to late.
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Praying for every patient and caregiver out there. The core to Ed's situation is everyone is different---their situation is different. But, unless the medical field comes up with cost effective and emotional solutions, I do not see much changing. What is most discerning is the increasing need for caregiving is rising. In another decade with more and more people being diagnosed, I struggle with this. The economy is the pits. Most people do not have well paying jobs to cover $6,000 a month for nursing home care. Who will pay for all this? Will hospitals be built for dementia patients only. What will the quality of life for loved ones be? Yes, Ed, having Alzheimer's disease is very frightening. But, in the end after all the emotional struggles, the patient lapses into a peaceful, coma-like state unaware of happenings. I like to feel it is God's gentle touch giving them peace. But, do you know who continues to suffer? It is the caregiver that has given 10-15 years of their life--sometimes an isolated life. They no longer know, or care, how to pick up those years lost. Some caregivers give up, some die before the patient, some commit suicide, others are so depressed they never recover. I've often heard that the bond is so strong when an Alzheimer's patient dies, so does the caregiver. God bless you and those who care for you. Count each day as a blessing. Appreciate all the little things in life. Be positive and live each day to the fullest. Thank God if you can walk--many cannot. Thank God you have feelings, can see, hear, laugh, cry and hug. I will be thinking and praying for you.
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OMG Yvonne wrong thread to post in. Sorry.
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Is it extra expensive to have cremation done out of the US and send the ashes back home when you pass on?
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I have to disagree here just because so done can potty, bathe and feed themselves that doesn't necessarily mean they are safe to live alone. Sure it makes it easier if they can do those things but what about mental ability to stay safe and make smart choices? What about being able to safely administer medication and not forget? People pray on the elderly and they often fall victim to scams and don't always make the safest choices. Assisted living is wonderful if you find a great facility. They are out there you just have to search long and hard. After many sleepless months wondering if my mom was ok by herself I'm relieved to know she is being looked after and has those extra eyes on her if she needs help. I would much rather deal with the guilt of "putting her away" as she loves to calls it then god forbid having something terrible happen that could have been prevented.
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The activities of daily living are : feeding oneself, bathing, potty care, and dressing.
If one can do those things, no matter how immobile one is, then assisted living is not necessary. Of course, all the help you can get such as a lift chair, wheel chair, potty lift ( at least 16 inches), and walker/canes are all helpful. One on one help is the best way to go, in my opinion.
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