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My mom lives in southern CA with my stepdad. Mom has moderate Parkinsonism but is in good mental health. She is a sweetheart. Stepdad has a variety of serious ailments, including severe COPD. They will be moving into a lovely AL apartment soon.


I am wondering if Stepdad passes first, if one of her children might choose to live with Mom in an Independent Living apartment, paying the "extra person" fee. He or she could help Mom with primary care and use paid caregivers for certain tasks and respite. The siblings could swap out for a couple of weeks or a couple of months. This would enable Mom financially to stay in the community after Stepdad passes and give the sibling a very nice place to live and eat while enjoying the gorgeous weather and use of Mom's vehicle.


Has anyone had experience with such an arrangement or know someone who has?

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Yes, their money would last a lot longer in Arkansas than in California. Mom would be willing to move here to be near me and closer to her other children but Stepdad has refused to leave their current home in southern California. He has severe COPD and even his doctor says that the climate here would be the end of him. So there they be.
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Isthisrealyreal Dec 21, 2019
That is truly unfortunate for your mom.
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Would having them move closer to family now be a viable option?

Maybe have them get situated where they will receive the most visitors on a regular basis. Then mom will have the community to help her when she is widowed.

Not doing this in California will make the financial resources go much further as well.

Best of luck finding the solution that works for everyone involved. Getting old is not for sissies, but beats the alternative.
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It is wonderful that you're trying out ideas for the future! So many of us wait until the crisis is upon us before even trying to think of any need to consider there may eventually be a need for thinking about a plan. (Tangled sentence is deliberate.)

That may explain some of the responses you've gotten ... including from me. Forward-thinking is so rare (albeit refreshing) that we may have trouble recognizing it when we see it!
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DePopa Dec 20, 2019
Thank you.
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All of these are very good points. Mom wants to be around her children and said she would be willing to move to an AL in Arkansas to be near me if Stepdad passes before she does. But there is no telling if she will be able to travel by then. We'll see.
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I haven't, but do agree these kinds of ideas sound pretty good on paper, but the reality is not.  That sibling would be mom's primary caregiver 24/7 and completely immersed in that with no life of their own, and eventually burn out no matter how many breaks of a couple of weeks/months may be given by siblings in swaps and paid caregivers.  No amount of a very nice place to live, eat, use of mom's car, and gorgeous weather can make up for that.  And who would be sibling's friends?  What activities would sibling have with anyone besides mom? 

That sibling would be making an extreme sacrifice of whatever life of their own that they have.  Where would sibling live if mom needed to move somewhere else for more assistance?  Or something happened to mom? 

Better if mom's living where she can get 24/7 help and transition to more help easily than moving.  If finances are an issue, maybe mom can live in a smaller AL apt.  If mom can't drive and sibling needs car, maybe car can be given to sibling or sold for small amount if needed for mom's financial needs.
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I think it always sounds easier on paper to care for an ill elder than it turns out to actually BE in reality. Giving your sibling 'a very nice place to live and eat while enjoying the gorgeous weather & use of mom's vehicle' sounds great........but the reality is different. The reality is the emotional cost of such a thing. The IL facility is full of old people who the sibling won't be able to relate to, most likely. The care giving for mom will be hard and arduous, and not something great weather can make up for. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, complains bitterly about the food in these places. I work in a Memory Care Assisted Living community & one family member actually took PHOTOS on his phone of the 'slop' his father was served for dinner on Friday night. I have no idea what he intends to DO with those photos, but he was THAT appalled with the 'quality' he felt the need to photograph it for proof.

It all sounds good, but the reality is normally a completely different story. If your mother likes AL living, leave well enough alone and let her be. Allow everyone to have their OWN lives, their OWN living spaces, their OWN friends and meals of their OWN choosing.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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DePopa Dec 18, 2019
Points taken. Thanks.
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My mom has Parkinson’s disease. You must know how challenging this disease is. First of all, it is a progressive disease. It will not improve. Sure, meds help control the symptoms but they don’t cure the disease.

Please don’t remove her from a professional staff with the idea that you will be able to provide the same care. Especially when you say you can rotate caregivers with your siblings. Siblings will promise the sun and the moon and back out of promises. Stick with reliable paid professional caregivers.

You and mom will have peace of mind. You can visit. Her home is not a timeshare for family. It is healthcare for her.
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DePopa Dec 19, 2019
No, of course Mom's home is not a timeshare. I must have given that impression when I mentioned how nice the IL/AL community is in southern California. Also, when I mentioned that the siblings might be able to make arrangements to share the caregiving so as to prevent burnout.

Some of the responses on this thread seem to indicate that we intend to snatch Mom out of the loving arms of dedicated caregivers for our own selfish purposes. All of Mom's children absolutely want what is best for her. The idea of staying with her in IL isn't a plan, it's just speculation. That's why I put it out on this forum, to ask if anyone else has done this. So far, there have been no responses for anyone who has, although a few people have mentioned that they have considered doing the same.

One thing I guess I should have clarified earlier is that Mom may be a very pleasant person but she is no pushover. Her mind is good and, with the exception of decisions she makes with my stepfather, she certainly can make up her own mind. And that is certainly the way her children want it.
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DePopa, I do not recommend moving your Mom from her Assisted Living facility to an Independent Living environment. Your Mom's Parkinson will advance. Thus, better to leave your parents at the same facility.

I know when my Dad had private caregivers taking care of him in Independent Living, even through they were from a professional Agency, they were required to have their flu shots, TB testing, etc. and such proof needed to be given to Admin. Thus, I wouldn't be surprised if the facility would require the same from one of grown children living with Mom if that plan was put into place.

Swapping out isn't the best idea, as I know my Dad's Independent Living prefer the same caregiver be there on a regular schedule. The reason was not to make the other residents anxious thus reporting a stranger in the building.
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NeedHelpWithMom Dec 16, 2019
Thank you for understanding and explaining Parkinson’s disease. My mom has Parkinson’s disease. Her deceased brother had it too. It’s a tough battle.

I am no longer mom’s caregiver. I do have empathy for anyone struggling with this awful neurological disease.
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My cousin lives in independent living because she is healthy enough. If your mom needs someone with her then shouldn’t she be in assisted living?

I just want to say visiting someone and living with someone is a totally different dynamic. With visiting you can walk away from the stress and happily return to your own home. With living with someone, that is your home and you are stuck. So if conflicts arise where will you go?

It may sound ideal to you. It isn’t as ideal as you think. Too much togetherness causes friction. You’re inviting codependency. You no longer have your own privacy and so forth.

There are leases and stipulations. I am not even sure this would be allowed. Have you looked at this from a legal standpoint as well?

Best wishes to you and your family.
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DePopa Dec 18, 2019
All good points and well taken. Thanks.
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I thought about it, as far as making enquiries, but at the time I was too young and the organisation that ran the facility wouldn't have me, not even as my mother's primary caregiver. The cut-off age - just to be clear - was 55.

I still think the idea *could* work but it would need a lot of careful, detailed and above all realistic thought; and it would depend too on the age and preferences of the sibling. But if this is to be the sibling's home, the idea of swapping out for a couple of months doesn't quite add up. The sibling isn't staying there, s/he is living there.
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DePopa Dec 18, 2019
All of Mom's children are 65+. I see your point about probably not being able to swap out the arrangement.
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Yes.. before I moved my mom in with me last November... she moved from PA to SC... I completed an application for the both of us to live in one of the Independent Living Apartments. I gave them the $500 refundable deposit. After she moved here I realized she could not live alone. One of the stipulations of getting an IL apt was that both if us would have to be able to live independently without the other. Management would verify that with the Doctor. So my name is still on the list but my mom would need assisted living which In PA she could afford but here in SC it costs more than what she gets in SS. So she us living with me. I know IL is less expensive than AL...but I do not think you would be able to trade off with other siblings to take your place... They would need to be approved first. It seems that the AL where she would be to begin with, would be the place for her to stay...she will probably have made friends there and they have lots of activities to attend.
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DePopa Dec 18, 2019
You are probably right about not being able to trade out the siblings to stay with Mom. I hadn't gotten that far in my investigation of this possibility.

And it may very well be that Mom would, indeed, be better suited to stay in AL. I just hate to think of her being across the country without family around. She loves her children and misses them terribly, being so far away.
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I highly doubt any IL or even AL will allow family members to rotate living with with your mother for a few weeks at a time. And if your mom needs someone with her then IL is NOT an appropriate setting. Because she’s NOT independent.
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DePopa Dec 18, 2019
The AL communities I toured all had studio apartments, so it would not be practical, even if allowed, for a family member to stay with the resident. However, all of the IL communities I've called in Mom's area allow outside caregivers to tend to residents in their one- and two-bedroom apartments.
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There is a difference between an AL (Assisted Living) and an IL (Independent Living). Are ur parents going to a facility where both is offered? Where u start out in an IL and transition to AL and then LTC? I read this post the same way Grandma did. The OP is planning on moving Mom to IL from the AL Mom was living in after Dad dies? If ur thinking of keeping her in AL, no you won't be able to stay with her. And I think you may be assuming that your siblings would be willing to swap out.

IL does have an age limit. Probably 55 and up. A family member may be able to live with them if they are providing care. That you would have to research. IL do not take Medicaid. ALs may after private paying for at least 2 yrs. in the same facility. (In my state)

I agree, why would you take Mom out of an AL that can provide some level of care. Also, she has made friends and there are activities. She is fed 3x a day. An IL is just that, your independent. Services like transportation and some activities are provided and meals. Other than that you are on your own. You have to do EVERYTHING for yourself.

Parkinson's is different with everyone. Some its a slow progression, others its constant. Dementia goes hand in hand with it. Your Mom may end up in a wheelchair. If Dementia sets in, thats a whole other series of problems. Dementia is not that little old lady sitting looking out at in the distance. Weird behaviours are involved. If you end up being a 24/7 caregiver, you have to give up your life. Can't leave Mom alone. You don't work, so can't afford someone to sit with her. And if you do work, you have to pay someone to care for Mom and that could cost maybe $150 a day. Then its depending on someone to show up. And don't depend or assume others are going to step up to the plate. And then there is Mom, what are her plans?
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DePopa Dec 18, 2019
The community Mom has put a deposit on has both IL and AL. If Stepdad passes before Mom does, and she is still in good enough health, the idea is for Bro or Sis ( I cannot go, myself) to perhaps move into an IL apartment with her. Mom would not have to leave her friends and will have plenty of activities. She can afford to hire paid caregivers/sitters as the need arises.

This is just a thought, not an actual plan. I am surprised by the reactions on this thread. I really did think it would be a good idea to have Mom's children overseeing her welfare. We are all too far away to watch out for her otherwise. I've read that not all caregivers are as attentive as we might hope, and that there tends to be a great deal of turnover in that occupation.

As for Mom's plans, she very much wants to be near her children. She said she would be willing to move to an AL in Arkansas to be near me if Stepdad passes before she does. But by then, Mom might not be well enough to travel. We'll see.
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I am a bit confused..
You say they are moving into Assisted Living soon but then you plan on moving in with mom to Independent Living when her husband dies.
Why would you move her from AL where she knows people and staff and is used to the help to another area where she will depend on you for help. I can only imagine that will get tiresome for you fast. Independent Living is just that and staff is not permitted to help in any way so it would be just you. And I do not know your age but most IL do have a lower age restriction (usually 55).
I think once a paid caregiver is coming in to help out the facility will strongly advise moving to AL rather than remain in IL.
I also think this verges on "using" mom as a timeshare hotel or an Air B&B.
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Confounded Dec 18, 2019
I read it as Stepdad needs AL, and so they're both moving to an AL.

If he passes, it's expected that Mom will be able to move up to IL.

(My FIL is in a community where there is no need to change rooms; IL and AL rooms are the same. They simply add fees for more services. That was the plan for MIL and FIL. Sadly, and fairly unexpectedly, she passed very recently. My FIL may eventually need to move to Memory Care in the same facility, and that is in a different wing.)

From what I've read, we have no way of knowing what Mom's wishes might be ... but the IL room would be in the same community, so she could continue with her social life and activities.

Thaaat said ... am unclear as to why one of her children would need to reside with her ... unless, perhaps, one child has a housing problem of their own. Child moving into the facility (assuming it's even allowed, which is doubtful) would not seem to be a great solution for such an issue.
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Most AL will not allow a tenant that requires constant medical assistance. It is just not how they are set up.

so, how would you justify trying to live there too?

it really isn’t like living in a condo or a single family house. The AL sets the rules.

even in a regular apartment or condo you would have to get a caregiver waiver to live there too. And remember, you are not a tenant...so, when Mom dies you are immediately required to make a plan leave within the month ( after all, you are just that persons employee by definition).
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DePopa Dec 18, 2019
I, personally, would not be living with my mom. My sis is retired and my bro is nearing retirement, so they would be the ones to go. I am stuck in Ark. with a farm full of animals to care for.

The director of one of the Independent Living communities I visited said that they do not have assisted living but that many of their residents get extra care from outside caregivers. It seems sensible to me for a family member (we are all over 65) to reside with mom with extra help as needed. I've read online that having family involved tends to result in a higher level of care than when the staff knows no one is looking in on the resident. Since Mom lives across the country from all of her children, none of us can be there to check in on her except for brief yearly visits.

As it turns out, Mom will be moving into a community that has both Independent and Assisted Living. So Mom could conceivably make the move from AL with Stepdad to IL with one of her children, should he pass first. She would not have to leave any friends she has made there. And should she need to return to AL or pass away, my sis or bro could just move back to Louisiana with short notice.
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Not me, why does this seem like a viable plan? Everyone needs their own life, including your mother. In AL people are surrounded by people their own age, they make new friends and are cared for by people who are clinically trained.

Most AL facilities do not even encourage family members to visit everyday or hover over the patients, too much interference is not good for the patient.
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