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My elderly MIL wants to continue to live at home, but my husband and I fear for her daily safety. She is in her late 70s with Parkinson's disease. She admitted she has fallen more times than we know - she has been hospitalized 3x in the last 5 months for falls, dehydration, hallucinations and 2 of those she had fallen and was there for hours or over a day. She still suffers double vision from the head injury. She does not always take her meds properly. She is supposed to be cleared to go home from a nursing home, alone, in a few weeks. Her house has 3 levels with many steps. It is proposed she will live on the 1st level only, but there is no way she will stay on just one floor. We know due to the Parkinson's, her health will continue to deteriorate. We think that she needs to be in an independent living or assisted living facility. My in-laws think she is fine to go home and live alone. We fear that living alone will end up the way it has the last few times - she will fall and get injured, or even die, alone, which is awful for her and will of course hurt our hearts as well. But it seems like there is nothing to do but let it happen? (We have argued any number of suggestions, but no one will hear us....) Suggestions?

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Would she consider a board and care home? Or a in-home care person? Institutions are not the only options.
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I haven't seen anything about anybody have POA; know that hub's aunt says she hasn't give one to anybody and don't think uncle has either
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Who has POA? medical POA & financial POA. This is the person(s) aside from the patient that can legally "do" anything. No doubt stress is across the board for the entire family which put's the most pressure on the POA(s). illustrious job? Not! One word "parkinsons disease" she already needs to be in a facility from what you have described is already going on. To those who think she can stay @ home are they the POA(s)? if they are someone else needs to take over the job (lawyer needed) otherwise tells these nay sayers that if they feel that strongly about keeping her at home offer to transfer POA to them and let "them" care for her and you will gladly step aside. Unfortunately if they agree you have to decide to agree (which in most cases they don't) then it's time to put on the heavy armour, get a lawyer if you know without a doubt that noone else is truly able to oversee her care safely. This is the sort of thing that has a well known reputation for family splits. Put on a very thick skin and do what you know is best for mom. I said a prayer for all of you. You can do this.
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One suggestion is to change access to other floors. I had locking door put to basement so my 90 year old partner cant go down the stairs. Make sure all they need is on that main floor. A kind reminder the meds fog their cognitive ability and they are frightened. But you know that!
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Here are options for her that I can think of:
*Safety proof her current house. Block off all stairways by placing locked door or build a wall at all stairway entrances. Remove all rugs, put grab bars in shower, remove floor clutter,.... Have Home Health Physical Therapist visit her house to point out more ways to safety proof it &/or search the internet for How to safety proof house for ___ (elderly, parkinson, to prevent falls,..)
*Family members give 24/7 care in her home.
*Hire round-the-clock stranger to care for her in her home.
*Move her in with family member who takes care of her.
*Move her to Assisted Living.
*Move her to Nursing Home.
I would think she would be happiest staying in her own home as long as possible unless there is a risk she is in danger of falling down stairs, getting lost outside, starting fire while cooking, ...
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There is no way she should be cleared to go home, where she lives alone. The in laws are very wrong.
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This may be what has happened with hub's uncle; he's finally fallen and in so much pain he finally agreed to go to hospital and this time, after x-rays that showed he'd actually broken bones, he's been admitted and talking of sending him to rehab; I, too, am wondering if that's where op's mil was because wondering how long she was in hospital each time; why they talking way they are, saying Medicare won't pay for him to stay any longer but they did for my dad, so just wondering what might be the difference there
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You do not say your MIL has any dementia, so she still gets to make decisions about her life...even dangerous ones. She will fall in an assisted living facility just as she will at home. If she is set against AL, get her one of those buttons she can wear around her neck to call for help. If she was in assisted living and fell, she would call for help they would come and if necessary take her to the ER. The button achieves the same scenario. I know it does not provide you with the same peace of mind AL does.

You could also bring in a caregiver as a "housekeeper" for a couple of days a week to keep an eye on her for deterioration, to keep her safer, and prepare some meals for her to just reheat in the microwave etc. Ideally the other days one of your husbands siblings would stop by for a visit to make sure she is okay. Everyone could have an assigned day to visit and assigned day and times they call. That way you could have someone call and someone visit most every day. It could be scheduled so there is contact morning and early evening of each day. This may be your best option for the time being.
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Estnibor it's good you've come here for information and advice, and you are right to be concerned about your mother-in-law's safety. From your description, among other things, it appears her Parkinson's has progressed to the point she falls frequently and has hallucinations. There could be other causes for these, but first i would argue she needs at least Assisted Living level of care to get her Parkinson's meds delivered to her on the schedule her body requires. The doctor who is treating her Parkinson's should help with that schedule and dosage. It would help you help her if you found a local parkinson's support group. Her double vision could be related or not; my sister's periodic double vision, for example, was a symptom of mini-strokes.
Everyone here has given excellent advice, and there is a lot for you to think about! Please let us know how you are doing.
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Estnibor, regarding your Mom's double vision, has she seen an ophthalmologist? Not long ago I was having issues with double vision which was age related, and the eye doctor prescribed a "prism" be placed with my eyeglass prescription. What a difference :)
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Believe it or not - the longer your mother is self-sufficient, the better off she is. There is nothing worse than being put in a hospital bed to await death.

You're worried? So bring her a meal a couple times a week and bring one for yourself too. The company is very therapeutic.
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You absolutely should be concerned for her daily safety--she's more than proven she can no longer live alone.

It is hard in families to reach ONE consensus--esp hard if some of the family has been off board and don't see the whole picture. Painted in the rosy light of "Oh, we'll make one floor nice and livable for mom and someone will come in a few days a week to check on her and won't that be great?" is just not the way it works out.

The falling is a daily hazard. Any fall could be "the one" that causes the big move to a NH that you weren't ready for....and she has double vision? She shouldn't even be walking around w/o someone in attendance.

I realize you are an inlaw. I know how much weight my opinion carried on my FIL. None. But I could be a little bug in my hubby's ear, helping him to THINK and make decisions. If he has DPOA, he can override the others, something I hope will not have to happen. It's so much better if everyone is on the same page. Good Luck!!
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Clearly your MIL needs to be in Assisted Living. I would secure a DPOA asap and start that process right away. Your husband needs to step up and take control for the safety of his Mother. Take that step - you will regret it more if you don't and something happens to her.
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When your MIL is discharged, she should leave the facility with a care plan already established. Have the nursing home staff addressed such a plan?

It strikes me, too, that your MIL's fall risk is an indicator that she is not able to live independently. Calling on her GP or neurologist for an evaluation may result in a recommendation that she be moved into an assisted living facility. If a doctor makes that determination, your in-laws' objections may subside.

Best of luck to you and your family.
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You are absolutely right. She needs to move to a community and the sooner, the better. Right now, she may be able to enter as independent living and, once she's a resident, the community will be working to keep her independent as possible which will benefit not only her finances, but her quality of life.
However, if your husband has a good relationship with his siblings, he will have to think about whether to damage it over this. Bring in home care as a first step. They could become your allies in persuading the other siblings. They will speak up if Mom isn't safe on her own and that will be the 'official' word your in-laws need to get moving on a move for Mom.
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It sounds like she would be safer and better off in a facility. When my mother started hallucinating we had to put her somewhere safe. You couldn't talk to her and she was becoming farther and farther away from reality. My main concern was her saftey.
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Yes, agreed, and the big issue is: "SUPPOSED to be cleared to go home from a nursing home, alone, in a few weeks. But will she be? If what you say is correct, there is scant chance of that!

As for the in-laws, let's face it, they just don't want to spend the money.

Remember that in the end, you can only do what you CAN do. Without legal authority, not much. But I doubt that she will be approved to go home.

Good luck and keep in touch!
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Yes, agreed, and the big issue is: "SUPPOSED to be cleared to go home from a nursing home, alone, in a few weeks. But will she be? If what you say is correct, there is scant chance of that!

As for the in-laws, let's face it, they just don't want to spend the money.

Remember that in the end, you can only do what you CAN do. Without legal authority, not much. But I doubt that she will be approved to go home.

Good luck and keep in touch!
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Sunny asked the right question....Who is in control? Anyone have poa? She still competent?

I think your evaluation is correct, she can't be left on her own. Hubs needs to duke this out with his family.
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Is your husband her appointed Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare POA?

Who will be present to work out the discharge plans from the rehab facility? Can someone tell them that there is no one at home to assist her and that other arrangements need to be made? Can she get someone to come into her home to help her around the clock? I'm not sure how they could release her if no one will sign that they will take responsibility.

Sometimes, seniors lose their good judgment and have magical thinking about what they can do. Some say they can live alone, when in fact they are bed bound. Or that they can manage with only a little help, even if they are incontinent. They cannot be relied upon when this is the case, because it's dangerous to their welfare. Her doctor may have some input too. My LO insisted that she would be okay living alone, with her neighbors checking on her a few times a week, but, in reality, she needed constant supervision, due to dementia, falls and medication needs, but, her doctor said that was completely out of the question and presribed AL for her. (She was not able to afford around the clock care in her home.)

If your husband doesn't have DPOA, I might consult with an attorney to find out the options for Guardianship. They can explain the process, the evidence you need and the costs.
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Has your MIL been in a rehab facility and that’s who cleared her to go home alone? If it was the facility that gave the OK, did they set her up with home health care? When my husband was released from rehab, he was provided with therapy and a nurse visit weekly. Since you seem to be the only one who realizes what MIL’s true situation is, enlist the help of the facility’s social worker. If MIL does receive home care, they would be the ones to report to their supervisor that she cannot live alone. Otherwise, you would just become embroiled in a war with your in-law family and from experience, I can tell you that’s not fun.
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