My dad is very concerned if he passes before my mom, who has onset of dementia. Can someone please give me some direction?

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They can't afford memory care and my mom is not ready for a nursing home. They aren't poor but can't afford the $3-5 k a month for my mom if he were to pass. My mom is afraid at night. I honestly don't think she could live alone. Where do we go for options? I don't want my dad to worry so much about this. We just need a plan if he were to pass before my mom. Thank you

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You need to find out if Assisted Living/memory care is covered by Medicaid in their state. Frankly, visiting a certified eldercare attorney who is familiar with Medicaid in their state would be the greatest gift dad could give mom right now.

Get mom to a geriatric psychiatrist. Anxiety and agitation should be treated!
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Please, please help yourself by getting Dad to eldercare attorney now and update will. (I begged mine to do this, but he felt his older will was fine. 2 years later, we don't have it resolved.) Ask if you may go with him to atty. Ask him to list all banking, savings, investment accounts: Institution name, address, phone #, current amount. Same for insurances, IRAs, retirement, etc... (Mine did this & it helped tremendously, but it still wasn't enough info.) Ask him if he will add you on at least one of those accounts, so you will be able to access their money right after his death. (If not, banks require death certificate before they can allow you to use any money. That takes several weeks before you get death certificate.) Check every account to find out who beneficiary is - in case that needs to be changed.
Ask if he has funeral plans for him & Mom. If not, please take him to get one. (This was the best gift he gave us. All were pre-paid for him & Mom.) These kinds of things should help him be more at ease - knowing that you are armed with info in case he goes first. Do not promise him to take Mom into your house or anything else that will cause you guilt later if you can't do. (I go see my mom every day in Assisted Living and still feel guilt at times.) Ask Dad if you can go with them to dr appointment. For Mom: Get at least two of everything she "can't live without" because she WILL lose or misplace. Glasses, favorite shoes, BRA. (That was a major problem this week. She couldn't find her bra. Distressing, of course, to her. Now I'm searching online for the exact same bra that she probably bought 20 years ago.) My mom wears the exact same outfit every day because, of course, she doesn't remember that she wore it yesterday.
I know these are difficult conversations. It's hard to think about either of your parents deceased. In my opinion, you will be giving Dad a gift by allowing him to 'get his affairs in order.' You will be a lucky daughter if he will do these things.
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Please get dad to a qualified lawyer to discuss planning for mom's care, as well as getting her anxiety treated.

Most folks with dementia cannot live alone past the early stages. Your father is elderly and her care may become too arduous for him to handle alone. Starting to make a contingency plan now will help loads.
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The one thing that definitely *won't* help is your father worrying himself to the bone, but not taking the crucial step of talking things through with a professional adviser.

There are specialist lawyers, that would be ideal; but if your father is too nervous about that idea you can still make a start by looking up his local Area Agency on Aging and searching for "Caregiver Resources." It's a matter of getting him to look up and see that he's not on his own with this, and there will be a choice of ways forward.
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I never even thought about a geriatric psychiatrist. I will discuss this with my dad. She has short term memory and really doesn't remember asking my dad to check Windows over and over. Assisted living/memory care is not covered by Medicade is our state unfortunately. Thank you for answering. I know some have it much much worse than them. My dad takes such good care of my mom and wants what's best. I would take her in a minute but our house is not suitable. Thanks again :)
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You need to stay a step ahead of EVERYTHNG and have a contingency plan. What if dad enters the hospital and needs temporary assistance as well. Or worse, has a stroke and also needs LTC. Have a family pow wow. Include at least verbal wishes of everyone such as DNR and burial even if it is not place on legal paper. You could have a sibling write down the results of the meeting to keep everyone on board.

My husband's family had a similar issue.. Depending on location, each had a share in MILs care. The most distant handled bills and the closest only had the job of ensuring laundry and safety, which was the most intense. Remember that spending money down on your mom will be inevitable. Learn about the future zMddicade application. Every sib was responsible to do monthly visitations usually scheduled on different weeks. Also it is important to establish is one sib is willing to take her in and acknoledge that this job is difficult.


Once the pattern of command is established then inform dad to reassure him. This is the time to seek legal help and put some essentials on paper of POA, medical POA, will, guardianship, etc. Establishing the goals should help save time at the appointment
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You're going to need a plan whether or not your dad goes first. Dementia becomes too much for one person. The best advice I ever received in this journey is "plan for two steps ahead." Pretend that your dad is no longer able to care for your mom. Are their children willing or able to share the responsibility? Pretend your mom can no longer live in her home. Where would you turn? I would recommending researching, touring, and choosing a facility NOW, before it's actually needed. I cannot street how important that is or how painful and difficult it would be to have to find a decent nursing home when she needs one NOW. Also don't be so sure your mom's not "bad enough" for nursing home or memory care. If she cannot live alone, that's a good indication that she is ready. Besides, nursing homes take residents of varying cognitive decline. It depends on the home. That's why it's important to tour and ask A LOT of questions.

If mom cannot afford AL, I would look into applying for Medicaid NOW. It is a LONG process. There are a few AL facilities that accept Medicaid. Again, touring, researching, and asking questions.

You are blessed to have precious time on your side right now. Your back's not against the wall. Use that time to prepare for "two steps ahead." Two steps ahead can come on suddenly, and sooner than you think. Good luck, and come back for more guidance along the way or if you see something/hear something in a facility you want to bounce off the community here. There are probably hundreds of years of collective experience on this forum.
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I can't answer your question exactly - but my DH was worrying to the point of depression about what would happen to me when he passes.

For us, Zoloft gave him some peace of mind and while I am sure he still thinks about it, he is no longer obsessed with it.

I fought using the Zoloft for a full year, until the day I realized he was so despondent all the time, sitting with his head down and almost in a fetal position. It was time and I shouldn't have waited so long.

None of us knows who will go first - this is just something your father will have to accept on his own. Telling him that you will see to your mother's needs will help.
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All the suggestions here about going to an attorney and geriatric Psyc are right on from my perspective. My guess is just starting to get all the details in order, the paperwork done and even talking about the possibilities for contingency plans will help your dad's fears and anxiety about your mom a great deal. It will help your concerns about it all too and everyone knowing that all the important info and details are together and accessible will not only give you both piece of mind but if the time comes that you need any of that in an emergency knowing right where to put your hands on it and that you are carying out your dad's wishes will enable you to focus on the things you should be. Take care.
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I am one of 5 siblings, 3 who live near our parents. We hired a CNA who came 6 days a week 3 hours each morning to help my Mom with dementia. My Dad was there in the house as well. The five of us took turns evenings to help care for her at dinner and bed time. It was a big relief for my Dad as he was not able to help her physically or emotionally. To get resources we first contacted the Office if Aging. They gave a list of private hire people in our county.
I hope our story gives you some ideas of what might help your situation too. It took a little time for both parents to accept extra help, but in time they adjusted and the new person became like family.
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