Moved back to my parent's house. Did I do the right thing? -

Moved back to my parent's house. Did I do the right thing?


To help my mother,but three days in and her blood pressure is now 171 over 90. For the last year or two my father has asked me to consider moving back in to help take care of my 90 year old mother. After much consideration I did. Now three days in and we took her to the doctor and her blood pressure has risen to 171 over 90. I feel like maybe I upset her routine,because she is so used to just having my dad around. I don't want to cause her any undo stress,but my dad is in need of my help. I feel torn.

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Every situation is unique. As Ferris said, any change is bound to cause upset. You can't blame yourself for that.

I'd like to add Social Security earnings to the list of affected future earnings for those who quite "work." Until caregiving is considered a real job, we who quit outside work to provide elder care (I did for a number of years) lose a lot in our future Social Security.

So many things to consider. There is no right and wrong. We care. We love. We do what we can under our individual circumstances. Good luck with the changes in your lives - all of your wonderful community members. Keep supporting each other.
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zara, browsing thru various posts here, you will see that parents expecting their adult (senior) children to do whatever the parents need is quite common. My mom is trying to convince my sister to retire early so she can move back in with her, and my sister can care for/entertain her. There is no thought on her part to how much of a $$ hit my sister will take in SS for the rest of her life, or how it will impact her health and sanity. She reminds us that she and Dad are/were the only elders in her family to be in NH. That generation doesn't have experience with outsiders helping, and many came from big families where one of their sibs took care of the parents, while the other sibs went on with life. Parents living into their 90's, and daughters working fulltime jobs has made this a complex collision of generations.
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Zara, there are an alarming number of people who quit their jobs and give up homes to take care of their parents. If someone is wealthy, this can be fine. For the rest of us it can carry heavy consequences, such as no retirement income and no home. We run across it here on AC sometimes.
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Zara, as "stupid" as you may think it is, many adult children do give up their jobs to take care of their parents. I'm not saying it's a good idea at all, but it happens all the time, because the parent needs so much help that the caregiver eventually sees no other alternative. It's very easy for some people to get so overwhelmed by another person's needs that they put their own needs totally aside. Or, the caregiver may just become unable to cope with the demands and schedule of a job when the parent needs so much care. Overwhelmed caregivers have more than enough to cope with without being gratuitously insulted by someone who doesn't understand their circumstances.
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RFS, whatever you do, do not resign from your job. You would lose anywhere between $250,000 and $325,000 over the years counting your salary, company offered health insurance, 401(k) contributions, vacation pay, sick pay, life insurance, profit sharing, etc. Some think only of the salary and not the price of all the benefits.

I think it was fantastic that your Dad realized that he needs help, not many men would own up to that. As for living with your parents, you will eventually start to see the adult/child dynamics come out and your parent will start thinking of your as their child instead of being a successful adult.

Could your parents afford a Caregiver, maybe part time, to help out? You should be their *daughter*, not their *Caregiver* and use that time to enjoy their company.

As for the blood pressure, it's not unusual for someone your Mom's age to have what we would think is too high of a blood pressure. My Mom is 97 and her's will read 160's, and she is on blood pressure meds.
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ZaraZ101, I noticed you are new to this website forum, welcome aboard :)

After reading more of the forums you will be surprised how many writers here did just that, they gave up their employment to care for their parents/spouse. It isn't that uncommon. Many think it will be only a year or two then they will go back to work. Well, 1 year turns into 2, then into 5, then into 10... some have been carrying for a parent since they graduated from high school 20 years ago.
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RFS1962, I like your Dad... lot of common sense... you are quite lucky.

My Dad had asked me to retire from my career since I was in my 60's and my Dad had stopped driving. He and Mom still live on their own. I looked at Dad and point blank asked him if he retired to take care of his parents.... I knew his answer would be "no". He never asked me again. I was waiting for him to pull the gender card but thankfully he didn't.

My career is my sanity, it gives me reason to get up in the morning and look presentable :)
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DiHilbe, that's a lovely concept. Here in NYC, we do have 2 and 3 family homes and often, life plays out just the way you illustrate. What has happened to a great many of us on this site is a generation removed from your scenario. The "elders" we speak of are not the 50 and 60 year olds who might well be looking after grandchildren. That's who WE are, the 60 year olds, taking care of the 90 year olds, who are often suffering from dementia and who can't be left alone, who can't be reasoned with and who claim competency.
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First, I understand your situation completely.

Second, contact your dad's doctor, the Area Agency on Aging, the Adult Protective Services, and an elder lawyer. It is not necessarily true that you cannot force an 82 year old to accept help. Remember that this can all go wrong with one call to/from the police for whatever reason (there are dozens with dementia). It is going to be in your favor to have had contact with the organizations that can help your dad. They will know you and know that you have always been trying to do what was right.

I went to our local police station a year ago to tell them that my mother, who had dementia, would probably call them to report that I had stolen her car. I gave them my name, address, cell number, etc. Sure enough. My mom called several weeks later. The policeman who went to her house, looked in the little computer thing they have, saw the note, and all was well. But imagine what would have happened if I had not warned them!

In the end, I placed my mom into AL against her will with the support of all concerned. I would never have believed it possible. But it was possible. About five days later she signed the papers herself. That was in May of 2014. My mother remembers nothing about it. Nothing. I have since moved her to a new place. She remembers nothing about that either but she is very happy. Safe, has all her meds, warm and cozy, entertained most of the time, great food.

So, pick up the phone and make those contacts. You will never regret it.
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Whether it is one person or a nation, what incentive does one have to change their behavior, moral compass, if he knows he will still only be judged by his past?

It's irrelevant what country Salisbury references to make her point...she has still made a key point. The changing situation with elder care in industrialized nations is not limited to the U.S. I've experienced a version of dhillbe's scenario. My mom's parents were from Europe and for the first two generations in the US, the old ways prevailed. The families all lived in two family homes, neighborhoods full of people from the old country, family sent food upstairs, kids to see grandparents downstairs. And while everyone's young, able and the parents are able to be independent, with a little assist like running errands, everyone thinks it's working. But families evolved and you have to go to the next stage - what does the family do when the parent needs 24/7 care? Back in the day, my grandparents and aunts and uncles passed from a health crisis, like a stroke, usually before age 80. Only one aunt needed 24/7 care, dementia, and she was kept at home to be care for by one person. Everyone in the family said how wonderful it was that she was home, her caregiver relative passed away four months after my aunt did. Which leads us to key point # 2 - the females in families are now working, some are single moms, some are divorced, some are widowed. Point # 3 is that we have parents living to 90's, with " kids" in their 60's and 70's doing the hands on.

We can debate whether cultural and societal changes have been positive, especially with regard to our ability to care for our families. But even in my family, the third and fourth generation are now having to accept that their parents need far more care than they can personally provide.
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