My parents live alone in their large home an hour and a half away from me. My dad has been struggling with Multiple Sclerosis for 10 years, and my mom quit work to stay home to take care of him. 2 yrs ago, while waiting for an MRI to see why she was having trouble walking, she had a traumatic fall, broke neck and back and other injuries. She miraculously recovered enough to return home. She was diagnosed with a movement disorder which is stealing her life moment by moment.
I have been trying for years, even before their decline, to get them to move closer to us. They chose to live in a little town which is almost 2 hrs away from me because they liked the house.
I go to help at least one day every weekend- we shop for them, do things to help around the house, get prescriptions, etc. anything they need.I work and I am raising my son. Finances are very tight.
I want to do all I can to bless them- but I feel like they are so stubborn, and wanting their own way. They have a few neighbors to count on for small things- and they are God sends. But... Still, even though I have brought up small apartments closed to me, assisted living, etc, it is met with
Defensive comments, and it ends with arguing. I know they are adults- but I am frightened for them.
When do you decide, as a child, to let them do it in their own time- even if that means it will prob take a big event to change their minds- or keep trying to gently away them to safer situations?

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Shoregal, if you parents are still the least bit reasonable you might try diplomatically letting them know how much you worry and this has become a burden to you. My Mom understands this and would cooperate with me on moving to a facility but dad with his dementia is impossible. Some elders will respond if they realise they are making things hard for the kids.
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I am so thankful for each of you.
Babalou, jeannegibbs, and freqflyer- so appreciative for your support.
I am so sorry for all of having some of the same issues, but I am so thankful I do not feel so alone.
Just be aware what blessings each of you have been to me, in the midst of your own struggles.
I am weary tonight- called mom and she said she had forgotten most of what the dr said. Sigh.
So I know she did not tell any of today's happenings to dad.
I will gently tell him on Saturday. Pray for me.
It may make no difference, but i will hold out for hope
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Shoregal, I have the same issue with my parents, nothing will get them out of their house, except an act by Mother Nature storm wise. But I look back and their siblings, they parents/aunts/uncles and grand-parents all stayed glued to their single family houses. That is how it was with their family.

I believe if an elder moved out, they feel like they are being defeated, that all their independence will be gone.... my parents don't understand that if they move to a retirement village that they would have MORE freedom and MORE independence. But since they are still of clear mind, I just sit by the phone waiting for that call from Mom in her weak shaky voice saying Dad fell in the backyard... once again Dad is face down in the dirt as he was pulling weeds... [sigh]. Oh my parents are in their 90's.

Shoregal, so sorry to read about your parent's medical diagnoses... as you can see with your Dad, even with MS they never decided it was time to downsize and move to a more elder friendly environment. Now with your Mom's new diagnose, do you think anything different will happen? Play it by ear now... become a bystander and just listen to see if they have any plans.

And what would your parents do if you couldn't help them? My parents are experiencing that now because I can't drive due to a broken shoulder... oh my gosh, who's going to drive them to their doctor appointments or run errands? I am hoping this is a light bulb moment for them... or maybe not... [sigh]
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You ask if you should "let" your parents continue to live at home. I'm afraid you have no authority at this point to control where they live, no matter how sterling your intentions are. And it is going to take some traumatic event that takes the control out of their hands for things to change. Sad. But "competent" adults are allowed to make their own decisions, even bad or self-damaging decisions.

Maybe this diagnosis today is the event that changes their perception of things. Maybe. Or maybe it will strengthen their determination to hold on to their familiar surrounds until the end.

I know that people with PSP should not climb stairs. Is the house they are living in a one-level building?

The wife of a caregiver in my support group joined us because his wife was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. Later the diagnosis was changed to PSP. He continued with our group for support. PSP is a progressive disease and eventually his daughters convinced him that he could not take adequate care of her at home, even with help. She went into a care center where she did somewhat better than she had been at home, in some ways. The disease progressed and she died after about a year in the care center. Listening to his regular updates about his wife and reading a little about PSP leads me to think that your parents are definitely going to need some help. It may be in-home help to start with. Perhaps a social worker will be the one to convince them to accept help, to make their time together as comfortable and stress-free as possible, and consider other residential options.

Would your parents qualify for Medicaid, do you think?

My heart goes out to you and to your parents. This diagnosis is a heart-breaker. Hugs to all of you. I wish you strength through this journey.
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Shoregal, im sorry for the terrible news. But perhaps this will be a wakeup call to your parents that the big house is no longer a viable living option. In any event, please let us know how this is going.
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Sunnygirl1- thank you. I appreciate all the suggestions. Went to an appointment today for mom, and the swift decline is so apparent.
She was hofficually given a diagnosis of PSP- progressive supra nuclear palsy, instead of generic Cerbellar ataxia. He told her today.... To put her affairs in order.
We sat there and cried. The dr is compassionate.
I feel like finding you all is a God- send.
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Should say...Without my Mom.......

Love this site but hard to proof comments!!
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Welcome to the neighbor hood. It is a great place to vent, learn and share experiences. My dad has dementia with no short term memory. If you or his doc were to ask, he's just fine, nothing wrong, doing great, don't need any help etc. but without my man to wrangle him around each day he would have to be in care.

Don't be shy. Ask, talk, and learn.
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Windyridge- thank you. Finding this forum has been s god send, and this was my first posting. I am so impressed by the support everyone shows one another. I know all circumstances are different, but when you do not have friends going through anything similar- it makes it harder for them to comprehend what you and they face.
I spoke with a social worker who was familiar with their case, and she said the same thing you did: that it is going to take a traumatic event to change the situation.
I wish it were not so with all my heart.
They constantly tell me they are ok- and they are not.
It breaks my heart.
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It's such a tough situation. I'm not sure why when people become seniors, it's so hard to get them listen to reason. I know that's the case with my parents.

You don't mention any dementia, so if that is not a factor, I would just do as you are already doing. I know it's difficult, but unless they are mentally impaired or actually suffering from lack of care, food, etc. I don't think there is any way to force them to move into something more reasonable. It sounds like an assisted living for couples would be just the thing for them. Do you know someone you could take them with you to visit. So they could see what it's like? For two people with medical conditions like theirs, maintaining a large house makes no sense. but if they disagree. what can you do.

I would make sure you have a signed POA and Durable POA, Healthcare POA, etc. for both parents. You will likely need it to act on their behalf. If you don't have it, it could be costly and time consuming to have to go through the courts to get a guardianship. You need to have the originals too. If that won't provide it, oh my......

You might explore local Senior Center to check for resources, but if money is tight that's an issue. There are all kinds of things that an assistant could do around the house, but eventually, it's not feasible and the more care they need, the more costly that becomes.

Often the only thing that resolves the matter is when someone gets hurt and cannot return home. I would go ahead and start visiting places you think is a good fit for them. Get all the details, costs features, etc. so that you can step up to take care of things when the time arises.

How was your mom returned home after her injuries. Certainly, due to his condition your dad was not an appropriate care taker. Normally, the hospital ensures there is one in the home before releasing a senior with health care needs.

Always keep in mind that they are requirements, rules regarding Medicad. I'm not sure if they would qualify, but you might read about it, so you can get some good advice. Timing is important with that.
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You have described my situation also except I'm 600 miles from my aging parents. You can look around this site and find this is a very common dilemma for lots of people. My folks are just hanging on in their home and I cant get them to get the carpe cleaned mush less move to assited living.

I have discussed it with them ( mostly with mom. Dads dementia is impossible) in very general "Down the road" terms, but have resigned myselft to th fact they will never move willingly. Its going to take a crisis that creates a no choice situation for them. I worry and feel guilty like all of us but in my case, and maybe yours as well, I don't see any other option, unless I would drug my dad, put him in a strait jacket and let him wake up in memory care.
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