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My mom is 86 and due to 2 recent hospitalizations is anxious and less strong. She is overweight, has a history of falls and is a prime fall risk. She lives in her own house in a continuing care community. She chose this place for her and my dad 6 years ago, proudly saying that they would always be cared for at whatever level they need there. She does have some "help at home" people coming various hours during the week (cleaning and errands), which she pays for. Going to the next level of care seems a no brainer to me, but my sister says it's too risky bc they have some COVID cases in the buildings (segregated).


So my sister, who has 3 teens and husband at home says she's staying overnite, partial days, and cooking meals for mom every night till there's a COVID vaccine (!) This she and I have been doing for a week now since mom got out of hospital after a kidney infection last week. She believes mom will be one of the first to get the vaccine in a couple of months bc she's elderly. I think it will be waaay longer than that before mom or any of us regular citizens gets vaccinated. We both live within 25 miles of mom, we're in our 50's. Sis is currently working from home, (like all state employees in my state) but part of the workday, she is is really with mom (ethical problem but not my problem). She has suggested maybe Mom should come live with her for the duration of the pandemic or at least till it calms a little. That could be the solution.


My children are grown, I'm not willing to sleep away from home and my husband half the week, and I can't take that much time from work. Added to this - my dad entered the nursing home building in their community last week and has hospice involved. So, there is an added need for us to be visiting him there too.


Anyone else putting off assisted living bc of COVID?

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is a "new" vaccine really trusted? where are the 'WHAT IF's"? I prolonged vaccinating my kid, as long as possible...maybe to get a bit older and physically stronger...
France wil not at this point mandate a covid vaccine, because, they are not sure what affects may happen...
So, keep mom safe, ask for palliative or hospice care..not sure if lthat is even a good idea.
yup falling is not fun.. I am a bit younger than your Ma, and I too slipped. I fell over a rock at the ocean... yikes... Where is My Balance? It doesn't take much now..
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Reply to MAYDAY
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Prayers sent for your dilemma.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Get the protocols and parameters for assisted living at your mom's facility. Ask to tour or spend a day in assisted living to see if you/sister are comfortable with their staff and safety protocols. Then you can discuss with sister about whether this is the right time to move your mom.

You are correct that mom will not be the first to get a vaccine. Medical personnel, first responders, and our military will be the first to get the vaccine. Everybody on Medicare will come a little later. Even with vaccines, CDC protocols will not go away anytime soon.

When you have those series of discussions with your sister, let her know what you are willing to do to help your mom and what tasks are off the table. Nobody should be guilted into doing something they are uncomfortable with.
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Reply to Taarna
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What does your mom say, it is her decision to make as long as she isn't incompetent.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Please try not to make any changes until after Covid. With the shutdowns you may very well be unable to visit if she moves into an AL apartment with other people. Have you read any of the horror stories from families, with their loved ones in care facilities slowly fading away due to isolation and lack of family contact and touch?

JMO, I would NEVER place a loved one in any care facility until things settle down. If Biden assumes control in January, it is almost guaranteed that there will be a FULL lockdown soon after. (Did not mean to get political; but it is a reality). Either way, I have to agree with your sister on this one.
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Reply to tornadojan
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It's actually safer to live in assisted living. The staff and residents are regularly tested for Covid and quarantined accordingly. There are protocols in place for infection prevention. And, most of all, there's a social life there - adapted for sure, but still active. That's what many seniors who are holed up in their homes are missing most.

We are all at risk for Covid no matter where we live, but an AL is less risky than home.
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Reply to IsntEasy
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FloridaDD Nov 20, 2020
I don't think that is true.  VAST majority of Covid deaths are people living in facilities.  If at all possible, OP should wait.  And many protocols will be increased and these AL activities will be cut out
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Actually I placed my dad in assisted living memory care a month ago. I had been paying for around the clock care at $12,000 a month. I did not want to move him because of Covid. But because I was running out of money and he was start to wander I started visiting facilities. One day he walked out his back door headed home. I knew it was time.
One thing is you have a better choice of a room because less people are moving in. He got a room near the attendant station. It is not a perfect situation but I show my face so they know that he has family who cares. I keep the lines of communication open with the administration. I am kind to all but I am my dad’s voice.
I would not move her if Covid is in another area of the building. No way.
They do Covid testing every 6 weeks where my dad lives now. All residents are tested.
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Reply to THretired
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NeedHelpWithMom Nov 20, 2020
$12,000 a month! WOW!
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My mom's independent living locked down early in the pandemic and did not allow outside visiting aides into the building. The facility is not allowed to bill the assistance plan she has. This was an aweful situation. We decided that if her IL locked down again, she would move, at least temporarily to AL. Well, after lockdown it got very hard to have help come in when she wanted them, so we decided it was time to move to AL. The DAY she moved, IL went into lockdown again. The AL has had NO cases of COVID, possibly due to some procedures. Check the infection occurrence of the considered AL. They are required to report it.
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Reply to MaryNTN
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My mom was looking to move my 89 year-old grandma into assisted living before the pandemic began. When the pandemic began, we made the decision to keep her in independent living unless something happened that forced a move. They just had their first confirmed covid-19 case a few weeks ago and we think a few more as well. Its been next to impossible to get anything out of management. I may call the health department today and see if I can get any information.

If your mom can maintain some independence, it may be best to hold off on assisted living as long as possible.
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Reply to SNeedsAVacation
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I would put off Assisted Living not only during this Pandemic but Forever if there's a Choice, staying home with help or a Live In is the way to go and thrived One is much Happier, Safer, Feels Loved and Less Confusing staying in their own home.

If your mom has savings, Install Cameras in her Home and and Hire Help or Find a Live In.

2nd Choice would be to live with Family.
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Reply to bevthegreat
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KaleyBug Nov 20, 2020
I agree, after having experience with both.
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If you take mom out of the continuing care facility will she be able to go into AL later once COVID is no longer an issue? Have you discussed the options with your mom? If her mind is working, she should be the one making the decision. If she is not competent, then who has been designated as POA?
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Reply to annandpaul1629
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I agree with your sister. While all of this COVID going around, I would not make a move with mom.

Leave her where she is at for now, at least.

Safety for mom is the most important for now.
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Reply to haileybug
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There are Residential Assisted Living Homes throughout the country. They usually have 6-12 seniors living together, as a family unit, in a single-family home in a residential neighborhood. The ratio of care is often 1:4 or 1:6, rather than the 1:10 you see in large facilities. The Covid rate is MUCH lower in these homes, oftentimes the rate being 0%.
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Reply to ApplePie
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The CDC had a report out mid October. Skilled facilities finally got on board over the summer and you may have noticed that there are fewer reports in the media. Death incidence is way down in facilities. The bulk of senior deaths is now on those 65 and older who are in the community.
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Reply to MACinCT
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What does your Mum want? Quite likely she is feeling lonely now that your Dad is in another wing of the facility.

I do not know if it is a good idea for her to move in with your sister, so far away from Dad. Also with 3 teens in her home, there is likely a greater risk of acquiring Covid at your sister's house than in a facility with access to PPE.
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Reply to Tothill
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I will be placing my mom in AL tomorrow morning. She has Alzheimers but she will not be going to Memory Care...doesn't have the money for that...but mgmt thinks she will do just fine on the 2nd floor where there are other cognitively impaired person's.

One of the main reasons I made the decision, and every time I start to feel guilty, I come back to this reason is : what if something happens to me? It would be a mess! This may not be the case in your situation since you have a sister to help you nearby. My mom has lived with me and my boyfriend for 2 years. If something happened to her, even though he has been wonderful to her, he would be calling my brother 1.5 hours away who works full time and has a house that is not conducive to an overnight stay, to come and get her. My other brother is in PA. If she is in AL, this would allow my brothers to plan together for her welfare.

Yes I worry about the virus also. They were clear until october. They have had their share of caes...and they were so careful. But they are clear now. I doubt that many people will agree with me on this...but I am a realist... I don't want my mom to die of Covid...but to me that would be a much better way to die than going through the progression of AD. That will only get worse and it is a terrible disease. It could take years!! My mom has no joy left. She has complete apathy and no short Term Memory. She is 86 and is in good health except for her AD. She shuffles...but she really has no joy in living. It is so hard for me to see her like this because she was always a fun filled positive person.
Even at its easiest caregiving is very difficult. I have done the best I can do for 2 years. I will still be her advocate. I hope you can find a solution, maybe more in home help. Hugs to you.❤
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Reply to evander09
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97yroldmom Nov 17, 2020
evader
That is my biggest worry. What if something happens to me or my DH. My DH aunt has no other person willing or able to step up. I was in the hospital twice in June and it never leaves my mind just how fragile we all are in current times. I’m getting there on placement but it’s very hard. Good for you making that difficult decision.
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Calm,

Thanks for your response. This has to be so frustrating for you.

It’s very difficult to watch a parent decline.

We don’t want them to be alone if they aren’t safe.

I hope that you and your sister will find a viable solution soon.

Best wishes to you and your family.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Calmwaters, first, kudos to your parents for having the wisdom to move to a continuum of care community. I'm in a multigenerational home with a 4th grader coming and going to school, a 91-yr old mom who goes out shopping every day, a husband who plays hockey 3x every week, my son has an outdoor job but is interacting with people, and I also play in a tennis league 3x per week. My MIL is nearby in LTC.

Any new people one comes in contact with increases the risk of covid. I understand your sister's strategy but not sure it won't create a larger problem, which is a weakened marriage. This past summer after covid hit my MIL's facility (and she had it for a month and completely recovered) the admin sent out a summary letter. Far fewer people in AL had it than in LTC and MC. 0 people in IL had gotten it. Now we are in round 2, and so far 1 LTC resident got it and 1 AL resident, but it is early in this new round. I'm sharing this so you can make an informed decision from people's real-life experiences. MIL is in an outer-ring suburb of Minneapolis. There is no right or wrong answer for what to do in your mom's situation -- they all have down sides and risks. It just depends on which risks one is willing to take. I hope you and sis can come to an agreement and have a realistic contingency plan B should covid hit closer to home.
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Reply to Geaton777
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"..my sister, who has 3 teens and husband at home.."

I know there are real risks in AL - but home environments are not completely risk-free.

I don't mean to imply in any way your sister won't be super careful - but with 5 in the house, unless everyone is staying home ALL the time there will be a Covid risk there too.

Do the teens attend school? Have part-time jobs? Socialise with friends? Does her Hubby work from home etc?

Just something to consider & discuss?

Another thing to consider/discuss - Can Mother leave her accommodation for an indefinite time?

If your Sister & Mother decide together to move to Sister's home you are not obligated to make their decision work out for them.

Politely warn your Sister you will keep to your current level of care. She may even decide it will be too hard all on her own & that it would only work if you shared it (eg took Mother every second week). Best to sort out her expectations now.
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Reply to Beatty
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calmwaters Nov 17, 2020
Thank you for your views. Yes, sister's family all go out to work, go to school, etc. They aren't good about wearing masks, although they do when near mom. My sister has pretty limited contact with people at work. I work in a rural public school where we are hybrid schedule. We've already had several administrators (!) test + for COVID. My home has steps mom cant negotiate so thats out. Mom has the means to pay people to come in and help her. Not sure why that's not being considered right now, other than since my sister and I are staying there's not a need for it. Mom always said she didn't want to be a burden, and that's why they bought into the continuing care place, but since her hospitalizations, she has sort of retreated into herself and become more just concerned about herself. She has stopped being concerned about any stress on our families, and isn't showing much concern for my dad's care in the nursing home. COVID has really been a disaster, and I know we are so much more fortunate than most
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I am sorry that you and your sister are not in agreement. I can see both sides of this.

I don’t think that I would be willing to spend half of a week with your mom away from your husband.

You also have your job to consider.

Does your sister want your mom to move in with her because she thinks it will be easier on her? Trust me, it won’t be. I had my mom living with me and it seems as if it will be easier but in reality it isn’t usually the case.

Can your mom hire additional help temporarily and stay at home? Then she can go into assisted living after she receives the vaccine.

The news in my area did a report favoring your sister’s viewpoint.

Healthcare professionals in my area are saying that the elderly that are in facilities are the most vulnerable and at a much higher risk of getting Covid-19.

It’s a tough situation and it is hard to know what to do.

What does your mom say? Is she leaning one way or the other? Have you discussed it with her?
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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calmwaters Nov 17, 2020
Thanks, I know the concerns in the AL are real! But sister and I and our families are out in the community too, then going to her...being careful. We need to discuss some options with mom, but I know she feels she can stay home alone.
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