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My husband & I live together in our own home. We are very happy here, Doctor insists that we look into ass't living and move somewhere by winter. We don't want to move, I have short term memory loss from Alzheimer's and my husband has grade 2 diabetes. He is 80, and I am 75. We get meals on wheels 5 days a week, we have paid help that does the laundry, and cleaning every 2 weeks. She is a certified person and available for more hours. We have a person that cuts the grass and blows the snow. I also have copd and scleroderma. I can take care of myself dressing, washing hair but need help with the shower getting in and out. My husband helps with that. We get along very good. We have been together for about 55 years and married for 53. I pick out my clothes, wash my hair and comb it, and make my bed in the am. My husband does the same and still drives. We go together to the grocery store, great clips for haircuts, Walgreens, Salvation Army for clothes, etc. We don't understand why we should give up our home at this time. Her response is that one of us could fall and end up breaking something. She said if we don't do it on our own the authorities could insist if one of us got disabled and then we might not be able to pick where we want to go. We are actually disabled now anyway. My husband's doctor says he's in good shape and going strong. We both passed our drivers exam in 2013. I could still drive if needed. I have a brother and nephew close, and my husband has a niece close too. All are willing to help some. My brother takes care of the flower garden and bushes so the place looks real nice. I do the checkbook each month and most of the bills come out on auto-pay. I put together a Sunday newsletter that gets sent via email to hundreds of members. I don't know if I forgot anything, but I think that's enough for now. Oh, we have a dog too, a little Rat Terrier that we love, and get loved back. We couldn't part with him. He is part of our family, like a child. We do have a 44 year old son that left many years ago and is in Florida. We haven't heard from him in years. We need help in convincing her that we plan to stay at home for now at least. Thank you for all help and ideas.

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Bunnyo, I think the expression is "staying ahead of the curve." By planning your care together (with your dog!), you and your husband can look forward to moving into a new home on your own terms rather than being carried in on someone else's - and the sooner you move, the easier it will be for you both to cope with the change. May you have many more, happy years together, God bless you.
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So many good ideas here. I just want to reiterate that as stated above, when you need to be in AL you often don't realize it. You may think you're doing fine and everything is okay, but in reality, it's not.

I would imagine that if you're already in a place where people are looking out for you on a daily basis and meeting your needs, then a traumatic intervention could be avoided if the time comes that you aren't able to take care of certain things.
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My mother in law is in ass't living and loves it. You could go for a short time and try it. You certainly aren't required to stay.

If you were my folks, I would be worried to death about you.

Continue to wait and you will be in too bad of shape for assist. living. My mother tried it. She was a one person lift at the time, but she thought that she needed more care than that. She actually loves the local nursing home, because of the great care that she receives.

Do the right thing and go try it. Then, you have control over what you take with you and what you sell. My mother is leaving that mess for me and I live 1500 miles from her.
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My hat's off to you for doing so well. You've got all the current needs covered.

I'm not one to take a doctor's advice for institutional living as a mandate, for a variety of reasons. First of all, he/she's not paying for it. But beyond that, I think if you view it as others suggested, as a contingency plan, then it's a good idea to have that kind of forward planning mapped out if the time comes that you need it.

You and your husband seem to be very organized and thorough in finding resources to stay at home as you age, and you're to be commended for that.

You can view the alternate living arrangements as something that might be necessary, or might not be necessary. One never really knows how life will progres or at what rate, even with memory and cognitive related diseases.

My father is 95, has had 2 hip fractures, lives alone, is a tough man and is still going on walks daily when the weather is good. He has multiple support sources in teh community and in his church. He will never consider a facility placement, and unless he becomes unable to walk neither will I. We've worked, as you and your husband have, to provide alternate sources for what he needs so that he can stay at home.

I know that if he did have to move to a facility, he would go downhill faster than an Olympic racer.
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The personal care home where my mthr lives allows one doggie and husband and wife can stay together. People can have their cars if they can still drive. There are activities planned, and it is a very social place. The best part is that people can live there for the rest of their lives. They can make the choice to live there, and never have to move again.

One dear lady I knew lived there for 5 years while her husband declined. She said that it was hard to watch him move towards the end, but she would not have had as much freedom to have her own life if she had to be at the house constantly watching over the help. At this home, she was able to have meals with her friends while her husband was fed by the nurse. After he passed, she moved to a home in FL to be near her children - they wanted to be in their home town while he was alive but she was ready for the change.

It was good. I wish that for you!
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Speaking as the adult child who had to come in and rescue a very stubborn and independent mother who refused to change, if you have the chance to plan ahead now, and do this change in stages, then DO IT. You are only hurting yourselves by *not* planning ahead and being willing to make changes. And you might be hurting other people who have to come pick up the pieces behind you.

By the time you will need help, you won't know it and won't be able to do this kind of planning work. You need to build the help in around you ahead of time.

I had to put my life on hold for the better part of a year, use up all my vacation, and go to great lengths to get my mom out of her filthy, disgusting house and into a facility where she can get the dementia care she's needed for the past 10-15 years. This was REALLY unfair and I have a lot of resentment about it to this day.

She would only say that she was not ever moving, saw no need to ever make changes in the house, and was just fine thank you, right where she was. I guess she thought she'd be 65 forever with no changes until the day she dropped dead. So she didn't have a long term care policy. She didn't put any of her money in trusts or anything. She didn't let anybody help her stay out of collections and keep her bills paid when she couldn't do it anymore. She just let everything go to h_ll, all while insisting everything is just fine, just like normal. This turned into almost a full time job for me to clean up after, on top of my real job, family, and life obligations. I will *never* do this to anybody.

My mom refused to plan ahead. She refused to think about tomorrow in any sense, and put herself in the position of having NO CHOICES. It had to be what I could do on my own with no help from her side whatsoever. She did not get to pick what facility she ended up in. It was the one near me with an opening. She is lucky it's as high quality as it is.

By the time she was moved out of her home, she was on the fast decline from so many years of neglect and obstinate refusal to do anything the doctor said. She stayed in her independent apartment for 6 months (which was probably 4 months too long), and is now in a care center for the rest of her days. If she had worked with me, the doctor, the bank, and an elder lawyer years ago, she might not have degenerated so fast from being a shut in who didn't get to her appointments, wasn't taking her meds, and was eating rotten food. She might have more good years if she had downsized and moved from home owner to townhome to senior apartment when the time was right. She might still be in an senior apartment or even assisted living, and might still have choices in her life if she had done what the doctor told her all these years, but that is not what happened.

Her stubborn refusal to see the reality of aging and that change is GOING TO HAPPEN, like it or not, and her refusal to plan for those changes versus being a victim meant that she did not get to decide anything along the way.

This is my answer to anybody facing these choices in life who has any hesitancy. Your needs are going to change and you can be ready in time or you can be a victim and just have to put up with "whatever".
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You all have some great ideas, and have convinced us that we need to look around, and check some places out. All of our end life decisions have been made, and I am in the process of filling everything out, then it goes to the attorney. We have a great attorney whom has been with us for many years. We are happy to hear that our dog may be able to come along too. Every one of you has been so kind, and it is appreciated. Bunny
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I do agree with everyone else here. At least have a few picked out and maybe be on a waiting list if they have them. That way you do not have to have the extra stress of finding one last minute. If your doing good now, that is wonderful! But always remember, you and your husbands safety and health must come first. As the other mentioned, many should accept your dog :) Good luck to you both
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I fell on black ice in Jan of 2013, and it has pretty much downhill since then.
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Bunnyo, I noticed in another question you had asked earlier, that you had fallen and am using a walker. Curious, what was the cause of that fall? Maybe that is why your doctor is so concerned.
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Plan ahead. See an attorney who specializes in Elder Law and discuss how your wishes can best be protected, who you want to make decisions for you when you can no longer make them yourself, how you want your end-of-life handled. Get the paperwork done now.

As the others have said, look around at other living options for if/when the time comes when you cannot function so safely and pleasantly in your own home. Short term memory loss may go on for years as a minor problem, but it can also develop very quickly into a serious problem.

But it sounds like for right now you are doing fine. Plan ahead and be prepared to accept change when it is needed. For now, don't let anyone bully you into changes that you don't need yet.
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Have you thought about a 55+ retirement community that has assistant living on campus? Many of these places do accept pets. By moving soon, then you can create new friendships and get to know the community and staff. It will make it an easier transition to going into assistant living when the time really comes.

I've been trying to get my parents to move to such a place, there are really nice ones around the U.S., some are like a 5-start resort. But my parents won't leave their home. I can no longer help them with their yard work, that ship has sailed. They do have someone to mow on a weekly basis. And I can no longer help them with chores around their house, because I need that energy to do the chores at my own house. Do they do what they can on their own or they talk about hiring someone which means fix it items and major cleaning never get fixed or done.... [sigh].

We are all aging, each at a different speed, and each with our own medical problems.

It is best to plan ahead for those times when your husband can no longer drive... when your brother can no longer tend the garden... and when the niece and nephew are caring for their own parents or other older relative. Better to do it now, then find yourself scrambling later.
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Take a look at some assisted living places, not for right now, but for when the time comes. Better to know the one you want than have your son pick one out later. And they do take pets! I'm not saying move now, I'm saying make sure you know which place you would like. Make sure they have good food, nurses available all the time, PT available on site, a beauty parlor, bus trips and all the things you want, and that they allow pets.
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Bunny, I admire your indepedence and ability to care for yourselves. What your doctor is seeing and encouraging you both to think about is the fact that you both have progressive illnesses; in particular, your ability to plan wisely is going to deteriorate. Your doctor is trying to help you get into a situation, like a good assisted living facility, that will provide you and your husband with the kind of care you're both going to need, going forward. If something were to happen to you, say a stroke, woukd your husband be able to care for himself? It seems wise to start checking out assisted living places now, before you need to move precipitously. Wishing you all good things!
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