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As of last month, she actually began to live with my sister at home. She had been in a rehab facility and was in bad enough shape that it was determined that her ALF could no longer keep her. So my sister had to scramble around and get the best situation possible as soon as possible. She was able to acquire a hospital bed and other equipment/supplies to bring Mom home. The problem is that she (my sister) will be going back to work, and has only been able to secure some part-time help through agencies. As a result, since my sister manages all of Mom's affairs and is now providing almost round the clock personal care as well, she is completely exhausted. She is in the process of trying to secure as much help as possible since she'll be going back to work. Her job is extremely demanding and requires working "off" hours as well. She has taken excellent care of Mom, and Mom is thriving and happy. I just don't know how long she will be able to keep this up--coming home from work after having put in a full day--and immediately doing tasks for Mom when the part-time helper leaves, and waiting/hoping that the next one arrives on time so that she can leave for work on time. (And experience has been that many of the part-timers have been late).


Although skilled nursing wouldn't have been nearly as nice for Mom, I don't see how long this can go on. I live 2 hours away, and am married and have many obligations as well--and am in the process of trying to get a job, as we need it financially, and I have no health insurance and have been putting off getting things done medically. I DO go over one day per week to help, which is the most I am able to do right now, and when I become employed I will hopefully be able to still squeeze in a day or so.


I am just concerned that now that my Mom has been able to live in her own home so well and comfortably, I will hate it if we have to pull the rug out from underneath her, so to speak, especially now that facilities won't allow family members to visit.


Anyhow, what I had in mind--and I can pretty much expect my sister to "veto" the idea--I wanted to check into signing up for a temporary live-in person to take care of Mom. I DO know the costs, as I have checked into it--and I thought we could have someone, if we found someone we liked, to be a live-in for 2-3 months (agencies said they will hire for temp., for any length of time you like). And while it would be expensive, it would give us time to figure out our next move, and hire a couple of part-timers to be companions, and there would be no "gaps," and no worries about people not showing up on time.


Anyone who's had this dilemma, and any thoughts? I haven't brought this up to my sister, who seems to cut down every idea I have.

Hi mgrace 45,

I am in a similar situation where my 95 yr. old mother has been happily living for the past 4 yrs. with my younger bachelor brother who is retired but quite sick himself. He had a great house to take her to and mom had enough money to pay for caregivers in 2- 4 or 5 hr. shifts a day. They would help my brother with what he needed also and clean and sometimes cook since the only care my mom really needed was for her incontinence and inability to walk. She was so happy there, but great as they were, we had caregivers absent a lot or leaving for other jobs and I was often running over (1 hr. away) to take over for them. Life happens for everyone.

Right before Covid my brother's health worsened and he had to go himself to a rehab and then in hospital for 2 1/2 months. My older brother and myself took turns weekly staying with my mom all day and night for all that time. Then it got to be too much and we had to come up with another plan not knowing how long this would be going on. I couldn't take mom since my husband is ill and has macular degeneration too and is nearly blind. I gave it a lot of thought since I felt it was a daughters place( I have 4 brothers, no sisters) but I had had my mom with me for 3 months years before and 3 months about did me in even then! I also had another brother stay with me for 3 months before he died and I knew my limitations.

Anyway, my older brother and his wife decided to take her in temporarily and it has been a nightmare! No one realized how long this covid would last and with almost no help my poor sister-in law is doing it all. She is bitter and resentful for having to take this on and I can't really blame her. This has almost killed my family. We were all hoping my younger brother would get well and take her on again, but he just came home from the hospital again and was told he should really be in hospice. So there goes all our plans including his. He really enjoyed her being there.

We now have to start looking for nursing homes for mom and she will be devastated but it has to be done. Sometimes you just have to steel yourself to the process and realize your limitations before all your strength is gone. I feel OK with my decision which is a place I never thought I'd get to. We had all promised my mom never to put her in a nursing home which makes it even worse.

I think your idea of getting a temp in for awhile to figure out your options is a good one, but I suggest looking into a home for your mom before it really has to be done. It doesn't sound like your sister will be able to make this a really good arrangement with a job and everything and your fill- in status will get harder and harder. Ultimately, you will wind up having to put her in a home and it won't be any easier later than it is now. In fact it may be even harder since she will have gotten very used to the constant care like my mom had. But there is a good chance that a lot of family resentments will be brewing and that has to be reckoned with too. When your mom dies, it will be better if you and your sister can face it together.

It sounds like you will both be good advocates for her and hopefully find a place that will make her happy and you happy. Best of luck to you and your sister.
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mgrace45 Jul 1, 2020
Thank you for that answer, and I had told my sister a LONG time ago that you should NEVER promise to never put someone in a nursing home--because I frankly think this will happen, though I don't know when. Eventually all the money will run out that we're using for in home care, and then we will have no choice--at that point, with no more assets, she'd become medicaid eligible, which pays for nursing homes, but NOT in-home care. (Ironically, she'd be able to keep her home, but not live in it... sad)

As I am 62 myself and have now gotten up close and personal with aging issues, I wonder what will happen to myself--and my 65 year old sister--if
we live long enough to face something like this happening to us. I have a daughter who has scoliosis and extreme pain from it, and she's only 28. I would not be able to have her take care of me, and I know that she couldn't anyway. And to be fair, my sister and I have enough physical handicaps ourselves that it's not a good idea for us to take care of an elder.

I will take it one day at a time, and I think after everyone's feedback (and I appreciate all of it) I will know my limitations--in terms of physical and emotional factors, my lifestyle, marriage, my small "not handicapped friendly" home, and other obligations--and I will try hard to not let myself be guilted. Thanks once again.
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If sister 'cuts down every idea you have', then it's up to her to come up with better ideas. Stop worrying. At a difficult time, I had pinned up on my wall 'The worst case outcome is not the most likely outcome'. Just wait and see what happens. You aren't in charge.
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Barb and Geaton are right on. I esp. love the "Your sister is juggling flaming balls and will eventually catch fire". I don't think I have ever seen it put so perfectly.
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I totally agree with what BarbBrooklyn has wisely observed. Even if your mom has become more pleasant, your sister is juggling flaming balls and will eventually catch fire. I hope she comes to an epiphany before she has a total system failure. For some problems there are just no perfect (or even good) solutions and caregiving for the elderly definitely runs into this issue all the time. If you have children, is this what you would want them to do for you in the same situation? There is always a cost to being a caregiver. Have you or sister even been on the inside of a nice NH? They are not as bad as you may be imagining. Would I want my children to dote over me in their home in my sunset years? Heck yeah, who wouldn't? But that's not the eventuality I'm prepping my mind for...I would never foist that on my children. I sincerely wish you all the best in managing this to a workable solution, and may you have peace in your hearts if you do need to place her in alternative care. (P.S. thank you for the update)
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I read your other post; the one where you describe you incredibly mean and needy mom who screamed at you when you were kind enough to have her live with you briefly.

You told your sister this was a bad idea. She was determined to make it work. Let her figure this out for herself.

You are under NO obligation to try to keep this insane idea afloat. Your sister has to own her own consequences and come up with her own plan.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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mgrace45 Jun 30, 2020
Thanks for the feedback. On the "up" side, my mom has become considerably more pleasant, and has been grateful for all my sister and I do for her. I AM glad that for now at least, Mom is able to stay in her nice home, and gets to see family members (which unfortunately would NOT be the case if she were in an ALF or nursing home).
Mom has become quite a bit more pleasant and less argumentative, not to say that means I could handle her in my home. My home is NOT at all handicapped accessible, and has no space for her special equipment, and since I am two hours away, I am not able to come and help more than once a week. Honestly, I am not even entirely sure why I asked for thoughts on this; more than anything else I guess I just needed to "vent," as I am naturally concerned that when the money runs out, Mom could end up in a nursing home--I am very afraid of that happening, especially that with the current situation, we would not even have the luxury to "drop in," and make sure Mom was getting taken care of properly. I just have a lot of worries; that's all. I guess I could go crazy trying to anticipate the worst happening.
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