My sister who is in IL with my parents now (we three sisters have been taking turns traveling back and forth to IL this summer) wants to know what it is about us girls that we don't just take charge and let Mom and Dad know that if they are realistic about selling their home in IL we need to get dumpsters and throw items out! Truthfully, my mom and dad NEED MORE CARE and we are very unsettled by their current situation. Myself, my husband, my 73 and 84 year old in-laws (who moved to MN from New Mexico to be near our family a year ago--so far they are independent-- although Roy 84 years old has serious heart and some health issues-we see them 1-4 times each week) live about 20 minutes from us. We are happy they have joined our family here in MN. They bought and live in a one bedroom one bath unit of a Co-OP for 55+). Unlike my parents, they seem to be making decisons that allows them both independence AND family support. Also living in MN, are my two sisters and some of our children (ages 20,23,24, 26) and son-in-law (age 30) and grandson (18mos). Seems logical to us to have my parents live in an Assisted Living/ Nursing Care facility here in MN. My parents claim that they want to sell their home in IL and return to AZ to continue to live with their in- home health and living care. My folks w/ my brother have lived away from us for many years. Seems like we'd see them once a year in AZ and then several times during the summer in IL. We all have our own jobs and lives, but if they lived in MN we would do our best to pull together to offer "family" of love and support to my parents with visiting and taking them places they needed and wanted to go as well as advocating for them.
None of us live in homes where a bathroom and shower is on the main level. For the past 30 years our parents have spent 9 months in AZ and 3 summer months in the house in IL that they purchased back in the early 1960's. Mom is of sound mind (except has hoarding issues). She has serious leg wounds (which she gets in home skilled nursing care or goes to wound center appointments) plus she has both bladder and bowl incontinence. She seems to go into the hospital due to infection and blood clots and then spends weeks in rehab to regain strength. She is in pain due to needing a hip replacement but doctors won't operate due to serious leg wounds. Dad, had a neurological work up a few months ago. He has serious short term memory loss (dementia mixed w/ Alzheimers-memory issues). He basically shuffles and needs help knowing what to do next. When he is driven to visit my mom in hospital or rehab he asks what he is doing there. My mom tells him that he is visiting her (we feel that he is afraid that he might be the patient there). To complicate everything, my 59 year old brother has mental health issues and has lived with them most of his adult life. The past year he has helped greatly with their care (driving them to some of their appointments and some of their errands, some grocery shopping, taking Dad out to eat, we set up the pill boxes for Dad and our brother checks off on charts created by my sister (RX, Blood pressure readings, breakfast, lunch ,dinner and shower 2x each week (the meds and blood pressure check seems to happen..but Dad won't always take himself in for a shower). Our brother helps with getting mom some food throughout the day when she is home. My brother is capable and good intentioned, but still plagued with his own issues so not sure of timeliness and consistenecy. However, Mom ( who is an intelligent and kind person) won't let go of items in her house (including things like lots of cardboard and plastic bags and old sets of encylopedias and too much stuff where there is no table space and not much walking or living space (true hoarding issues but is blind to this aspect). Even with the help they have in AZ we still feel that they are vulnerable without family nearby. Their health issues are significant and getting worse. Any advice?