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My grandma is a stubborn old women who is about to turn 94 and lives alone in Fairfield, OH. The family is concerned with her mobility and safety within the home. No family member is able to check on her every day due to location and work schedules. The family is unsure of how to handle her care. She does not want to go into a retirement home. She associates leaving the home with failure and would want to stay living in her home as long as possible

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When a neighbor of my parents became a widower, he made an arrangement with my dad. If the daily newspaper wasn't picked up from the driveway by 9:00 am, my dad would call his house. If there was no answer, dad would let himself into the house to check on him. Sure enough the plan worked. Dad found Charlie who had died peacefully the night before. Dad called the daughter and police. A good plan and one I plan to use myself one day.
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Does any one in the family have power of attorney, or does the family know the financial situation for your grandmother? Is there a plan for how to step in and take over when she does need it??? These things should be in place for someone this old, with family around, before it is needed. Does she have financial resources to cover expenses should she need some in home caregivers any time down the road? Someone in the family needs to know what the financial situation is. Does she pay her own bills now?

I believe all elderly people prefer to be in their own home until they die. Both of my parents always expressed that. My Mom is still home though she is 88y old with early alzheimer's. I believe owning their own home is such an achievement that most elderly cannot fathom walking away from it. They also do not want to admit that they can no longer do it all themselves and need assistance.

All the suggestions by others are things I have done with my parents, BUT, I could only do them once POA was initiated. Before than, they were totally in control of their money and they weren't paying out their money for any assistance in the home.....they were just fine, thank you! So I had to wait until bills were unpaid, and utilities were about to be turned off due to Dad's dementia getting so bad. I am the only child left, and I didn't have the financial extras to simply pay out of my own pocket to help them. So eventually I had POA, started taking over the bills and getting some help in the home for them both. Eventually, Dad had to be placed in a memory care facility. Mom refused to have a caregiver coming, and she's been alone almost a year now. But with a panic necklace, an alarm system, and I added on upgrades so there is a video camera in the home, and that way, I can monitor if she's up and around doing OK, and can tell when she goes to bed, when she gets up and whether or not she is laying on the floor (hasn't happened yet, thank the Lord!) I can see what she is doing before I phone her, so that I don't get her while she's on the toilet or has her hands in the sink. That way, she can not have to rush to the phone and will be safer. We do need to put a lock box on her door too....so that neighbors or emergency personnel could get inside if she did not answer the door. I arm her alarm system at night and disarm it in the AM from my laptop....so she would get an alarm if someone got in. the alarm system also monitors for smoke, fire, if doors are left opened or unlocked and if she pushes her panic necklace. If the alarms go off for any reason, I also get a message on my cell phone. If I don't respond, the alarm company calls me directly to be sure I know her alarm went off. It helps me a lot, because I live 5 hours away. Also, you say there are several family members...and with this alarm system, anyone with the sign in info, can get on their computer and check on her whenever they want to. It can also be accessed from my smartphone if I am traveling. There are many companies, including DIY that have such systems. The system is very reassuring for me. It is confusing for Mom, who doesn't understand a thing about how to arm, disarm, lock doors windows etc. So I simply tell her to push her necklace button if she needs help or thinks something is wrong. When I arm her, she thinks I am locking her in....and repeatly asks me how she is supposed to get out if the house catches fire. I have to repeat regularly that arming it at night is just so the alarm would go off if someone did get inside the house and she can get out whenever she wants. Just unlock her door and leave and go to the neighbors. She thinks she cannot go out because she doesn't want to hear the alarm go off! I try to point out that the reason for the noisy alarm is to chase away any burglers and alert her neighbors that she needs help! Anyhow, I hope some of this gives you good ideas for helping your grandma to safely stay in her own home.
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Oh and another thing, some communities have "meals on wheels" to bring out lunch daily and check up on the elderly. My in-laws worked as volunteers in this program until they were in their late 80s and my brother in law secretly sold their house and moved them in with him. My father in law signed the deeds and my mother-in-law was horrified. They both died shortly thereafter even though he was very attentive and took care of their physical needs, they lost their way of life.
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I agree completely with Garden Artist. First off, I got an emergency call button for my mother. She wore it around her neck in case of a fall, she could push the button and the operator would notify me and the paramedics in case she was unresponsive. Second, she is an adult and as long as she is happy and doesn't have problems, let her have her quality of life living in the place she loves. Third, hire someone to come by occasionally - maybe a younger neighbor, I did that with my mom. She was still cutting her own grass at 97 and happy. Let sleeping grannies lie lol. My mother is with me now that her health and eyesight are failing, but we keep her house and visit there monthly (3 hours from where we live) because I need to make a business trip there monthly. She just now decided maybe we should sell it.
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Sorry about the rant - I think if your Grams is happy living at home just leave her alone.
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She actually sounds like she is doing well living on her own. However there will be a what I like to call a defining moment. When elders live alone it is usually a fall and an admission to a hospital. I live with my Mom who is 91 with moderate dementia. Even with me living here the defining moment will still happen. We age and die - it is normal. When I moved in with my Mother my family seemed to think that would be all she would need - not the case. I do not watch her 24/7 and need time away also - she may fall when I am gone - even with the necklace on for help. We are caregivers not the fountain of youth for elders. I cannot make my Mom be who she used to be - that woman is gone. What I can do is the best that I can but really am I supposed to wrap her in bubble wrap so she cannot hurt herself? In this country we have longevity but no real quality thanks to the medical profession.
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I also agree with Garden Artist. My mom wanted to live at home. I covered the options with her (and did many of the things Garden Artist suggested) then people as remote as her dentist's assistant told her she should move to assisted living. So, on that ridiculous source of "well meaning advice" we went and visited a number of places. It was a huge waste of her time and completely depressing to my mom. Not a joyful endeavor.

All of her grand kids told me if I moved her, they would move me! Everyone in our family wanted to listen to her wishes and I'm so glad we did. Think of how you would feel if you told all your family you want to live a certain way and they decided you have to live their way instead. I think it is abundantly important for us to listen and do everything we can to honor the wishes of our elders.

In my mom's case, I checked on her often and her sister called her twice a day from afar. If my mom was out and hadn't told her sister where she was going, my elderly aunt would call me. In the worst case if we needed to, we could call a neighbor to check on her or the police, but that was never necessary.

One day, my mom went to sleep and didn't wake up in the morning. I know she was happy until the last day of her life. Today, I'm so glad we listened to her wishes and didn't let anyone unduly influence her to do something she didn't want to do.

She was NOT clinging to the past. She was NOT a pack rat. She was not dwelling on happy memories in the house. She was a happy, independent woman, often at the library getting books or attending exercise classes with friends. She passed a 1.5 hour on road driving test and intelligence test 6 months before she passed away, because we were worried that she shouldn't be driving (she snuck out of the house to get tested when we took her car away for a brief period when she was recovering from an illness). She passed away one early morning, after eating a bit of an apple and half a banana, at 93.

I hope the best for you, your family and most of all for your Grandma. If she tells you not to worry about her, try to listen to her. I know it's hard, because I worried about my mom every day. In the long run, I'm now happy that my mom got to do what she wanted to do and live the way she chose.
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GardenArtist gave great advice and seems to have covered everything. Good luck!
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My grandma lived in her own home until she was 95. She was in her right mind. My mom got her one of those necklace things that's the "help I've fallen & can't get up". The only problem was when needed to push the button for help cause she was having a stroke she wouldn't do it cause she didn't want to put anybody out. But at your grandmas age of 94, we'll I'd say let be home and be happy. Putting her in a home would most certainly end up her end. My grandma passed away cause after her stroke she couldn't go home but still had her mental faculties. And just miserable.
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Explore your options, and consider her safety. There are various options in every community. Speak with her doctor and senior social workers, and hopefully she will get used to the company and appreciate it. Your peace of mind and your grandmother's safety is of the utmost importance. My mother is 87 and lives alone with support from me and eventually some in home care. Each situation is different and once you know your options, you can select from those that work for your grandmother and the family. Best of luck!
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Kudos to your grandmother! I'd say if that's her wish and she can live alone, then find ways to address as many of the possible concerns as you can.

Install grab bars if/where needed, make sure there are safe paths from room to room, get her a walker and "pretty it up" if needed so she doesn't resent using it. You can add ribbons or bows or even some pretty cloth around the legs where it won't interfere with movement or operation of the walker.

Remove throw rugs, add corded phones in every room, and create call schedules to check on her.

Next time you're able to visit, ask her which neighbors she likes, then surreptitiously visit them, explain the situation, provide your phone numbers, and ask if they would contact you if something's amiss.

Let the local PD know she's living alone.

Get a lockbox and install it onto the front of the house. Give family members the combination, and provide it to the PD or EMS if you have to call them. They'll be able to get in the house without any of the family having to come and let them in.

If you trust any of the neighbors enough, give them the combination as well.

Get a medical alert button she can press if she needs help. She probably will insist she doesn't and won't wear it for a while, but eventually she may give in. Dad initially didn't want to wear his but now wears it all the time.

And at 95 he still lives alone and goes out to work in his workshop, even after 2 hip fractures!

On a more expensive level, install a security system which provides in-house monitoring so you can check her remotely. Someone posted on another thread about getting such a system which I believe she monitored on her laptop.

Try to get Meals on Wheels - it will not only provide her with decent food and alleviate the challenge of cooking, it will also provide someone to see her if just for a few moments every day. Just a little bit of social life helps.

If she's a church goer, arrange to have someone pick her up regularly for services, and perhaps come to visit to surreptitiously check on her status.

In short, consider all the possible situations for which she might need help and try to identify solutions, or at least monitors, for as many as possible.

And hats off to her - I truly support her independent spirit!
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No one wants to go into a nursing home. All want to live at home for as long as possible. But until something happens to your grandma that you can point to and say, "See!? This is why you need help!" there's probably no moving her.

If she needs daily help consider hiring in-home caregivers.
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I can never figure why someone gets so attached to a home, but they do. If she wants to stay at home, you will need to see if someone can come in. Check "aging in place Ohio" to see what resources are available. You can have people help with making sure the house is safe and caregivers come in as needed. What your grandmother may find is that remaining at home could cost more than going into a retirement community, since she does not have a free caregiver.

It is a difficult situation with no easy answers. Sometimes we just have to take things a day at a time and do what needs to be done as things change.
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