Divorce is forcing me to find my own place, which gives me a chance to move my parents from their place into one we can share and where I can live and more easily care for them.
Right now they are in a comfy rental and able to live alone so long as we help them shop and monitor their meds.
Mom has advancing Alzheimer's with very poor memory and some confusion, but is otherwise happy and pleasant. Dad is also slowing down a lot after a stroke last year.

Since Mom is destined for memory care eventually, I do believe I will be living with Dad at some point, but my concern now is whether the stress of moving them will trigger more decline in one or both.
This is a big decision for me because I will be locking myself into a lease for a year.

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They're probably not really safe where they are. If anything happens out of the predictable daily routine, they won't be able to deal with it. Salesman shows up at the door? They commit to a 10-year payment plan. Annuity saleswoman shows up at the door? They close old accounts and fork over $$$ for the new annuity. Household cleansers spilled, creating toxic fumes? They can't smell it. Alarm goes off? They can't hear it. Dad falls and hits his head? Mom doesn't call anyone because dad says he's OK. Mom has been wearing soiled underclothes for a week? Dad has no idea because mom always kept herself clean before. Mom's behavior or cognitive status has suddenly changed? Dad did not notice because he went to bed early.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to Beekee
swingwing Jan 16, 2020
I agree. It's been hard to balance giving them dignity and freedom and knowing risks. Some close calls have already happened.
I'm conflicted on this because I think I would want my kids to give me my freedom for as long as I could manage it.
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Alzheimer's is difficult and although you feel you are able to handle your mom right now, the disease progresses differently for each person it affects. I do not recommend moving your parents in with you or for that matter moving in with your parents. I am sure you feel that it is your job to care for your parents as they age, but believe me, it is not your job to give up your whole life to care for them. You should consider moving them into a senior community that is close to where you will be living and allow the professionals to do their job and visit them regularly. Select one that can accept and care for your mom as her dementia progresses.
What you have not taken into consideration is if you get sick, you require surgery, break a bone or maybe need to be hospitalized, who will care for your elderly parents while you are unable? What happens when mom progresses and has to be moved again?
Speaking from experience, you can show your live to your parents by providing proper care from the get go.
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Reply to thingsarecrazy8

I absolutely agree with Els1eL. I differ in that I would start talking to your dad about the wisdom of both of them transitioning into a care community while it is still easy and he still has cognition and function enough for him to be part of the decision-making process. Visit some of the facilities with him so he can see they are not the horrible nursing homes of old. It is HIS responsibility to care for his wife and make a plan for himself. You can still help them but you won't be their 24/7 caregiver who is a burnt-out shell of a person due to exhaustion of dealing with 2 incapacitated people (or even just 1). It is not fair of your parents to "assume" you will be providing their care now that you are single again. You won't have much of a life. Caregivers suffer a lot of depression, illness and financial problems -- just read the thousands of desperate and heart-breaking posts on this forum alone from loving children who went into caregiving without their eyes being wide open. Do not succumb to your parents' romanticized thoughts about you caring for them. Honestly, it's an unrealistic and unfair expectation. There are many solid reasons for them moving now to a community:

- they will adjust better if they go in together now
- they will have a richer social life in a community
- they will feel and actually be more independent
- they can smartly "age in place" as their care needs increase
- should they ever require Medicaid, they will have "first dibs" for those rooms in their community rather than being on a waiting list from the "outside" (which can be very long in some states)
- you will have your freedom and peace of mind knowing they are getting good care

Please please think about this with your mind and not your emotions. Do read the topic of Burn Out. I wish you all the best!
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Reply to Geaton777
swingwing Jan 16, 2020
I appreciate your angle and suggestions.
We've been contemplating an assisted living place for quite a while, but my father is such a private picky person it just never seemed a great fit. Then when my Mom started declining, we realized if we moved them both into one now, it wouldn't be long before Mom would need memory care which is very expensive in the same facility we considered. They would run out of money within a year with him on the regular assisted and her on memory care. There's only three in my area but your post did inspire me to put a reminder to call a local elder care consultant who can help me think through these options.
I am personally of the mindset to never move in with my parents or have them move in with me. I have no skills in caring for people with dementia or serious failing health.

My brother & I have just placed our mother in AL, with a step program. She really likes it, she is with people of her own age and mindset. She doesn't have to lift a finger everything is done for her and is really enjoying the activities. She has blossomed, is less depressed and feels safe.

We did the same thing for my step-father and his wife in July, they are at a different home, and liking it too.
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Reply to DollyMe

Oh! Swingwing!
Please do not even think of being a full time carer to both your mum and dad because that’s what will happen if you all move in together. Things seem not too bad at the moment but they will become much much worse over time and it will be far too much for you.
In your mum’s case, some confusion and poor memory are just the tip of the iceberg. Please read about all the 7 stages Alzheimers patients go through. It will become far too difficult to cope with this on your own. You won’t have a life. Your dad has had a stroke and very often dementia happens as a result.
You will be taking on a mammoth task to try and care for them both. It’s not fair on you.
To answer your question - My advice is to leave them be and find your own place if that’s possible. Moving Alzheimers sufferers can be done but if you are going to do it, the earlier you can do it the better as it can lead to more confusion and upset and even violence in a person who is normally mild mannered. It can also lead them to “wander” and try to find their way back home and this makes them very vulnerable and upset.
A lot can happen in a year and your mum will probably deteriorate quite a bit in that time and your life could become a living hell.
Sorry if that sounds a bit strong but it could. Please think of yourself as well as your parents.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Els1eL
swingwing Jan 16, 2020
Thank you! Exactly the sort of answer I needed.
It makes me happy to know I'm improving their quality of life, but I know I am underestimating how difficult it will be to live with them all the time (I work from home) even at this stage.
My plan prior to this idea was just keeping assisting them at home for as long as possible until Mom needs memory care. Dad is so fragile now that he won't be able to handle the stresses of later-stage issues in the home, so it could be literally next year.
Thinking about your answer, I believe they are in the most comfortable place they can be, and I don't want to disrupt that and risk worsening their condition (or my situation).
Thanks again for speaking boldly.
I wonder if you have access to a graduated care facility. It has worked beautifully for both of my folks who each suffered from their own forms of dementia. Years ago they started out together in the Independent Living section, then transitioned to Assisted Living. In both these sections they remained together. It was not till they needed more extensive care, (skilled for dad and memory care for mom) that they had to be in separate rooms. With each move there was a bit of decline. Sometimes, over time, they regained a bit, and sometimes that was just their new plateau. “Caring” for our parents does not have to mean being under the same roof. It’s a decision each person has to make for themselves, but know that whatever decision you make, you are doing your best and that is all our parents have ever expected or hoped for us. Sending your good thoughts for strength, wisdom, and peace.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to MelissaPA2AZ

Hi. What about moving them both into a assisted living. My mom has dementia and my dad has a bad heart. Sadly they would not leave their home. And my dad passed away and i had to move my mom there alone. I wish they moved there together.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Val622

Swingwing, I just moved my dad who also has Alzheimer's into my condo last Saturday. I had been clearing out our second bedroom preparing to move him in but a 3am phone call full of vulnerability and confusion had me picking him up that morning. He's been sleeping on the chaise lounge on our couch (he's 5'1 so a perfect fit) while we're completing his room. Some friends are helping us move his furniture in Saturday morning and then his cat will follow. He told me recently that his days don't feel so long anymore and he's no longer looking for stuff to do all day. He said he was miserable living in his house with my sister who was never around. I'm sure he was bored and lonely. I took him for a checkup and the doctor told us he had lost 10 lbs since September. Since moving in with us he's showering every day, not skipping meals, eating healthier more substantial meals, drinking more water, his skin, hair and nails look SO much healthier (his skin is no longer dry and peeling), he's sleeping through the night, his mood has improved substantially -- in the last week and a half he's only gotten testy ONCE. He just needed to feel safe and secure. Living with me I also found out he's been peeing his pants. He's wearing depends now, the grey ones that look like men's briefs. I think he was doing that when he lived with my sister and we didn't know. He had started doing laundry very frequently and we just attributed it to him being bored and looking for something to do. Now I think he was covering what was happening.

Every situation is different but moving my dad in with us IMPROVED his quality of life and gave me peace of mind knowing he's safe and well-cared for . I have my husband here helping me so it's less of a burden on me but maybe your dad can be of some help with your mom. Also, reach out to friends and family and see if they can be of any assistance. I've always had a hard time asking for help but with my dad moving in and my husband being hospitalized the next day and remaining in hospital for 10 days, I learned I couldn't do it alone and reached out to others for help. You can also try reaching out to your parents' doctors for their medical opinion regarding moving them. Alzheimer's sucks. I hope one day they find a cure. Hang in there ❤
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to dwilliams927
swingwing Jan 16, 2020
Wow that's a great story. It was sort of what I was hoping for if I proceeded with my plan.
Increasingly when I come over to their house, I'm having to throw out old food, etc, but otherwise they seem quite happy aside from my Mom being bored to death since neither can drive now.
More food for thought!
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Do not take on the caregiving of a parent with Alzheimer's.
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Reply to Llamalover47

Lots on your plate. The comments about you being a full-time caregiver have some relevance...but the flip side is not having to run to check on them as often as you feel necessary because they will be there. But the dependence on you could be enormous. Meal prep? Shopping, cleaning up after them, laundry, bill paying. I'm living with my elder parents. Dad who is 102 is more like a 2 year old sometimes. His needs come first, no consideration that I might be tired or hungry after working...he messed up the TV the other night on the remote and put it in a mode and I, knowing nothing, had to try and figure out how to fix it. I had zero patience for it. As far as a move, it will always be difficult. Hard to say what to do. Might want to read the leases for what allows for getting out of one...
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Reply to gdaughter

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