Mom’s health is declining, impacting her mobility, vision, memory, and general well-being. There is not much she can do for herself as she has taken several falls which took her already crippled back in the wrong direction. My husband and I retired in the last 5 years. I lost my only sibling 6 years ago and mom’s family are also gone. She is the last one standing, well, lying, in bed a lot at the time now. Due to physical pain and limitations, her only outings are to medical apts and an occasional ride to the beach or sitting in the car while I shop for her. She is tired and I am tired. We have a caregiver who comes in 2 mornings a week, and it feels like jail break on those days. I would like to know what the best situation for us would be at this time. Because of my feelings of responsibility and loving my mom, I feel guilty about the idea of her residing somewhere else. At the same time, my husband and I are deferring our retirement dreams, in part due to mom. I never thought about her living well into her 90’s, with lots of wear and tear but no major terminal condition. Just a slow and steady chipping away of her life force….and ability to take care of her needs and joys of daily living. I’m wondering if her primary care doc could help with an assessment of her needs and where to get those met? Has anyone had an outstanding good experience with a geriatric care assessment by a geriatric care manager? Or do I leave well enough alone? Any input, would be so appreciated. Thanks!

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Imho, you are definitely voicing your concerns very well here on the Forum. You should also voice them to her physician and/or her specialists, assuming that she does have some.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Llamalover47

You aren’t getting any younger either! You and your husband are in good health. This may not be the case in a couple of years. My almost 96 year old mother lives in an AL and has been well cared for and content. She too has no real illnesses but is on a steady decline. I am a retired only child. My parents lived their lives and we have to live ours too. It wouldn’t be fair to me or to my husband for me to be a full-time caregiver. By all means get a referral from her physician and find the place that will be right for your mother.
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Reply to Susanonlyone

Speak to your mom's doctor about what s/he feels her best options are at this point. Truth is, she's not living as full a life as she can live in your home b/c your not equipped with a chef, an Activities Director, and teams of caregivers to provide her with 24/7 care & entertainment every day. I truly believe my 94.5 y/o mother would have died long ago had she not been living in Assisted Living & now Memory Care AL since 2014. She schmoozes with others all day long & stays occupied so she doesn't lay around in bed feeling sorry for herself and pining away. Had she been living with me, that's exactly what she would have been doing!

Love comes in many shapes and forms. Those telling you to keep her at home b/c 'that's the only place she will feel loved' do not know what they're talking about and are playing the guilt card on you HARD. My mother knows darn well that I love her and have been doing tons of things for her for my entire life! There should be no 'guilt' whatsoever in taking your OWN needs into account now b/c it's not JUST your mother's life that's important here! Why does an elders' life matter more than yours? It doesn't. Yet we're supposed to feel 'guilty' or told to feel guilty by others if we dare to take our own lives into consideration! What's wrong with that picture? You're allowed to be tired & your mother is allowed to be old & in need of more care than you're capable of providing.

Hire a geriatric care doctor for your mother & get her evaluated right away. Allow common sense to prevail instead of emotions & a useless sense of guilt, and take things one step at a time. Once you figure out which type of elder care community your mom belongs in, go visit a few of them to find one that feels good to YOU.

Wishing you the best of luck.
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Reply to lealonnie1
Bootsiesmom Jul 28, 2021
This response is perfect. So often it seems as though the older adult's life is more important than the adult child caregiver(s). I still don't feel guilty for leaving my mother in the care of my brother and SIL (he is POA and could place her in AL but I doubt he will). I did it for a few years and realized it could go on another decade or more. I still work, and have adult children and grandchildren I want to spend time with, friends, and travel to get to. I can't do that looking after her AND myself. Taking care of me and my own needs is quite enough. She has the resources to get to AL.
Maybe she is just bored and needs more mental and social interaction. That is the main reason we encouraged Mom to go to AL. She enjoyed the bingo and gossip plus talking to people of her own generation.

Perhaps you could explore adult daycare a couple of days a week. See if any local service clubs might be visiting, Covid carefully, shut-ins like Pet visits, reading, singing, etc. or just talking. Anything to give her something to look forward too.
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Reply to Frances73

Her best place where she would feel loved, safe and as happy as she can be would be to stay at home with you.
I understand caregiving is a lot but if you're asking what would be best for your mom, the answer is staying where she is.

What you need is yo hire more Caregiver help so you are able to enjoy your retirement.

You and your husband should plan a vacation and hire 24 7 Care for mom while you're gone.

If your Dad was in the Military, they you can check and get up to 30 hrs a week free Caregiver help.

Im not Keen on Nursing Homes because they are all understaffed and not a nice and loving invirment to live in.

Please consider hiring more help to give you and husband much needed time off and keep mom at home with you.
Ots of accidents happen in Nursing Homes and Way too much medications given to patients they say to calm.them or keep them from being depressed, ect when all it's given fir is to.maje it easier on the Employees and make the patients zombie like giving them no trouble.
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Reply to bevthegreat
lealonnie1 Jul 28, 2021
You have no right to say "Her best place where she would feel loved, safe and as happy as she can be would be to stay at home with you." nor do you know that to be a true statement at all.
I had made an appointment for my mom for a geriatric exam, before I placed her in memory care - then I cancelled it. Now 2 1/2 years later, I think that a thorough exam would have been helpful.
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Reply to GAinPA
againx100 Jul 28, 2021
In this case, I don't know if mom's condition is really the issue. The OP wants time to live her own life and travel and be retired. That's my take anyhow. Sure, an exam won't hurt any but I don't know how much it will help?
Since there is the retirement flat already, could you hire more help for her? Perhaps 7 days a week if your mom has the money. There would still be a lot for you to do, but to at least have that help for now would give you time for yourself. Eventually, she may have to go to a facility though, and now might be a good time for her to get used to a different environment. She might like it. My mom was happier in assisted living and memory care than she had been at home. I have never had the kind of retirement dreams people talk about, except to get more hours in the studio, but I do understand needing to have time doing what you want and need. You will still be her advocate and will still see her a lot. Something seems to need to change for you, so begin the search on what will work best.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to ArtistDaughter

What does your mother think? You don't mention any dementia issues so perhaps you should have a gentle respectful talk with her. Who knows she might be afraid to tell you she is ready for assisted living because she thinks it would hurt your feelings or seem ungrateful after you have provided her with a home for 10 years.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to paintertr

Seems you are taking good care of your mom on a day-to-day basis. Good job! My grandmother lived to just shy of 100 years old. Are your and your spouse willing to wait 10 years, more or less, to fulfill your own dreams? Most likely, you are not getting enough "time off" to enjoy time with your spouse. You have a couple of options:

1 - Respite care. Use mom's finances - or yours - to pay for mom to be cared for 24/7 for a short period of time. She can either be cared for at home or in a residential facility. You and your hubby can have some time to travel or fulfill some of those retirement dreams.

2 - Move mom from your home into a residential facility. Seems your mom may need "total care" since she can not move enough to eat meals in the dining room of an assisted living facility. Research facilities in your area and compare prices and services. Then, you can move into fulfilling more of your dreams while visiting mom regularly.

3 - Enroll your mom into an adult day program. She would be cared for by others in either a personal care home or residential facility Monday through Friday during the day. This would give you more "time off" from caregiving during the daytime to do other things.

Whichever options you decide to use, know that having others care for your mom is more expensive than caring for her yourself. Consider that the price is and investment into nurturing yourselves and your relationship, not money down the drain.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Taarna
againx100 Jul 28, 2021
These are good options. Looks like you really need some time to yourself. And you really, IMHO, should not be deferring your retirement plans. You will regret it.
I agree with what's been posted regarding the fact that things will degrade, not improve or even stay the same. A facility, or in-home care, or even hospice are your choices. Does your mom have the resources to pay for increased care? If not you will need to pursue Medicaid for her. Wishing you peace in your heart with whatever path is chosen.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Geaton777

Nessa524, yes, I had good experiences with elder-care doctors' assessments of my dad's needs.  If your mom's primary care doctor specializes in geriatric care, then that doctor should be able to do a current needs assessment for her as well as a short-term prognosis of how that will likely change. With that information, you and your mom and your husband will be better equipped to decide if continuing to have your mom's needs provided in your home is even feasible for months or years longer and, importantly, best for all of you. Unless it becomes obvious that it is not feasible, making that decision will involve a lot of soul searching and prioritizing of what's important to each of you.

While I'm not able to advise you about what your priorities should be, your post does suggest that you're feeling at least a little burnt out, but wanting to avoid feeling guilty -- both of which are pretty common feelings, if not nearly universal for caregivers. To answer your question about whether you should "leave well enough alone," it doesn't sound like things are really "well enough" to leave alone. So, I recommend getting the elder care assessment for your mom before things get worse, as they almost certainly will. I think that assessment will increase your awareness of your situation and its likely progression and thus, will help you start investigating and planning options. Best wishes to all of you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to bicycler

If it were well enough, it might be better left alone. But it ain't, and it won't improve.

I can't see how it could possibly do anybody or anybody's feelings any harm at all to go and have a look at what's available locally. Have you started any research into facilities or communities or residential care homes near you?

It might be, you never know, that you will stumble across a place that seems to fit your mother to a T. In which case, rather than starting out feeling hang-dog about it, you and she will be looking forward to a positive change *before* it's really too late for her to adjust.

But you know her best. Has she said anything about how she feels about her declining abilities, and how they affect her living in her current home, and impact on you and your husband?
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Countrymouse

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