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I've posted here once before about my dad (81), who has lived with me for 35 months in my house since my mother died three years ago. I am now seriously considering a care home for him. I had a taste of what that would be like earlier this year, when he had surgery on his bunions and went to stay in a care home/hospital for 8 weeks as part of our public health system.


Since then, my girlfriend has moved in with me and I've been having a hard time having him back at home. It can be really hard to get space from him, as he spends all his time sitting in the kitchen/dining area, despite having the best bedroom in the house.


When he first got back he was wearing a moon boot and was very resistant to the idea of taking it easy while it was on, and as a result had a fall down our back stairs while trying to take some rubbish out to the bins.


I actually enjoyed visiting him while he was in care and we had a lot more quality conversation. At home, he just seems to be in my way constantly, asking me questions, wanting to talk about his bowel movements and it's just making me resent him which isn't good. He's also obsessive about dishes and tries to tell me and my girlfriend off when we leave a plate or two out, even though it isn't his place. And that annoys my girlfriend and makes things tense.


His doctor does think he has the beginnings of dementia. I feel very guilty about wanting him in a home and I am worried he will decline - but he actually seemed to kind of enjoy his temporary stay and liked the staff and nurses. It will also be quite expensive, as it won't be covered by the public system which also makes me nervous.


He's not entirely helpless - he goes to town, goes to the supermarket and goes to a gym class for older people. But he can't make his own dinners, or manage his finances. I had thought assisted living would be good, but a family friend who is around the same age thinks a rest home would be more suitable.


I guess this isn't really a question - just looking for some reassurance!

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Hello again - I'm actually in the UK, where the system is slightly different again, and don't know much about availability in NZ. Are you getting advice and support from your social services? - I'd expect them to be pretty good.

Is it going to be a problem if you liquidate your father's assets, use them to pay for his care down to the threshold, and then transfer him to the subsidised system? Perhaps the best thing to do would be to identify the particular care home you're most interested in and then talk to their admissions people about how to manage the funding.
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Maybe a continuum of care facility. It sounds like he is very independent and just wants people around and activities to participate in. Independent living initially, then assisted, then either memory care or skilled nursing.

Is he on Medicaid? Are you in US?
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littlegreen Aug 20, 2019
Hi! I don't know why my profile says US, but I'm actually in New Zealand. You can get a subsidy for care, but my dad's assets are too high for that. The government has it set that care homes can only cost up to around $1000NZ, which is about $640US.

I thought assisted living at first, but my family friend (who is close to my dad's age) thought he was more at a rest home level - which I see is different terminology. It's like a group home, but not necessarily a medical nursing home.
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I know how you feel. I moved my 96 yr old mom to an assisted living facility last March after she spent 2 separate visits in the hospital for taking medications incorrectly. She had spent time with me at home and I found myself getting resentful and angry with her. She was demanding a lot of attention. I live in another state and kept mom near her home because of extended family and church friends that could visit her. I visit every 3 weeks and it just works out better for everyone. Remember nothing is permanent and can be changed.
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Littlegreen what country are you in? It does make a difference, if only because of the variations in the structures and availability of social care.

Meanwhile, do be reassured. Your father, being social and largely capable, will thrive much better as part of a community of his peers than he can do while he depends entirely on you and your girlfriend for interaction (which is already beginning to grate on both sides). This will be the right choice once you've found the correct level of support.
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littlegreen Aug 20, 2019
Hi! I don't know why my profile says US, but I'm actually in New Zealand. You can get a subsidy for care, but my dad's assets are too high for that. The government has it set that care homes can only cost up to around $1000NZ, which is about $640US. 

I feel like my dad would do better in a community of his peers too. He is actually not all that social - my mother was more the one who got him out to social events - his gym class is about the extent of the socialisation he does. He is actually quite bored at my house and spends most of his time reading and occasionally watching movies on TV, which he is also getting bored with. During his stay at the care home/private hospital he actually seemed to enjoy interacting with the staff and getting to know them.
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Your profile says that you are in the USA. What do you mean by a ‘rest home’ and a ‘care home’? Assisted Living? Or a group home of some sort? You may not have your head around what the options actually are, and it’s worth finding out. Many people do enjoy Assisted Living, just as your father did earlier. There is no need to feel guilty about it! Things with your father are only going to get more difficult, and then the options are a lot less attractive. It would be a good idea to do a bit of research about AL around your way, and then take your father to the top two on your list. Ask him what he likes about them, and what he doesn’t like, then think again and try again. This is a good time to stand up for your father’s best interests and for yours too – before bad choices get cast in stone.
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littlegreen Aug 20, 2019
Hi! I don't know why my profile says US, but I'm actually in New Zealand. You can get a subsidy for care, but my dad's assets are too high for that. The government has it set that care homes can only cost up to around $1000NZ, which is about $640US. 

It seems we have slightly different terminology. A rest home would be like a group home, with medical care on call but not necessarily in house. A care home would be more like hospital/dementia care, which he's definitely not needing just yet.

I think he's somewhere between AL and a rest home, although my family friend strongly leaned towards rest home. Aside from his gym class, he's not the most social person and I feel like he could get lonely and isolated if he was in his own apartment, rather than a group home. He spent some time in a nursing home/hospital type situation and actually seemed to enjoy it, aside from having a large cast on his foot. Just having staff to talk to and meals at set times seemed to work.
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Which country are you in? Are you certain a care facility will not be covered through your public health system? I know they are in BC Canada. They take your CPP and OAS to cover the costs, but it is not nearly as expensive as in the US. Yes, there are wait lists for publicly funded spots.

You are a young man and deserve to have a life with your girlfriend. It is not ok for Dad to be bossing you around in your own home. But it is also unreasonable for you to expect him to stay in his bedroom, whether or not it is the best one in the home.
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cwillie Aug 20, 2019
Unless things are vastly different in BC assisted living/retirement home level care is still self pay, the only care covered is in a nursing home, and for that you must be medically qualified to be admitted.
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