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Can afford assisted living but are angry and resentful about having to move from lifelong home. However, they hint that they would move in with me. I am just as isolated so I would be their only source of socialization. I work from home and they would not have a separate living space. I would also have to cook their meals, laundry, clean up after them and take care of all appointments. How can I do that and work full time?


The guilt is overwhelming me.


Has anyone used a geriatric care manager for home services to avoid assisted living?

Guilt? Are you a felon? Or are you just a daughter grieving your parent's losses? Because if the latter is the case, then it is another G word you are feeling. I seriously doubt you are an evil felon; so I am choosing grief for what you feel, and encouraging you to look on your parents when they must make this move as facing a life passage that cannot be avoided when we live to this age. As far as the cooking goes, I don't care to cook all that much anymore either. And my partner and I eat different meals at different hours by personal choice and some medical issues he has with GERD. So that's normal. The microwave becomes easier and cooking the rare adventure for us at 79 and 80. If it is only that, and they can maintain at home with a bit of help, I would allow that to be the way until the move is necessary.
I sure do wish you luck. Stop with the guilt thing, though, as that's just a burden you don't need to shoulder when really this is all about grief and loss and the inevitability that we bump up against out own limitations in life.
I would stop the hints, myself. I consider it false hope. I would say lovingly that I would never abandon and would always hope to be able to help, but that I have many limitations, and one of them is that I could not live with anyone at all very easily, even a life partner, and definitely wouldn't want to try to live with a parent due to the fact that the needs WILL escalate with great certainty, and I a would not want to deal with that. I have no real problem saying what my limitations are. They are human. I am a human. And not a Saint. Were I a Saint they would have long ago shot me full of arrows, killed me, stuffed my body in some glass case and continued to pray to me to fix EVERYTHING here on earth for them.
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EllenCaruso Apr 18, 2021
Thank you for giving me perspective. I naturally default to guilt but you are absolutely correct that this is grief and I will redirect my energy to healing rather than gutting myself.
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🎉 Celebrate the positives - your folks long lives, good health & still sharp wits.

Empathise with them that our lives change. Always has. Always will. Old age comes to the ones who live long enough!

May they continue to live peacefully & happily in their own home, for a long time too... using taxis, meal deliveries, home cleaning etc. That's the way to stay INDEPENDANT as you age: choosing your helpers.

Kind of like a 🥪💩🥪 + 🍒.

Now moving in with an adult offspring & expecting that offspring to be maid/cook/cleaner/nurse/chauffeur would be called ENTITLED. And it would make them quite DEPENDANT. People who insist on this may have good cognition... but I would say low empathy to not understand/care how this effects their chosen caregiver.

"are angry and resentful about having to move from lifelong home".

OK. So what is it they REALLY want?

To be young & fit again?
Do they fear loss of control of their lives?
Are they starting to grieve over their home?
All very valid feelings.

🍒 Use your empathy to sit & listen to what they REALLY want. You may find they have ideas already about what they will accept & what they will not.

I found my Mother resistant to meal delivery & home help. But the REAL options were to Age in Place with home services or Move into Care.

That then became an easier decision for her - stay home but accept services 😉. But a different family member valued her own smaller space she could manage herself so downsized from a big family home into a retirement apartment (with AL & NH on site).

Sorry for the essay! This is a topic close to my heart & I truly feel for those embarking on this journey.
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rovana Apr 21, 2021
Excellent post! Get to the real issues. No one likes old age, death, illness, etc. But that is life! So if you live into old age you have to deal with these issues. Digging in your heels will not make the realities go away. And trying to guilt others into "wallpapering" to accommodate your denial is a kind of abuse IMO.
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As a 77 year old married to an 86 year old, who now has mobility issues, I find this VERY interesting. It is scary to make these moves ; it is starting on the slippery slope to death. Actually, the slope starts at birth, but it is more obvious now. If you find a GCM who can reverse aging PUBLISH the name! I think the winter visit to an AL to test is a great idea on someone's part. A big concern is making the move, selling out, and finding you don't like it. I haven't gotten angry yet about aging and dying, but it may come. Good luck to us all. I'd tell my Mom "I can imagine how you feel, and will feel the same when I am in your place."
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Tell them living with you is not an option. They need more care than u possibly can give. Tell them they can afford help or go to a nice Assisted Living. But you need to work and your house is not big enough for you all to have your privacy.
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Ellen, glad you are getting past the gult.

Find the number for their local Area Agency on Aging. Arrange (or have your parents arange) a needs assessment. Having an outside professional opinion as to what they actually require in terms of support will be a starting point for you all.

Do they have access to cabs or a senior ride service?

A GCM could be a good idea. S/he can present options to your parents with no possibility of guilt.

Also, consider the idea of a temporary move, a trial run during the winter or rainy season is one thought, to an Independent Living facility. We got my mother into one "just until the Spring" and she liked it so much she stayed. 3 meals, housekeeping, activities and stimulating new people. It was a win-win.
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NO GUILT!! You didn't DO anything bad!

Just be very, very firm with your folks. They can still make decisions and choices for themselves.

There's delicious MOW's---(that alone would encourage me to cook!)

Most grocery stores carry pre-made dinners--all they require is heating up. Add bagged pre mixed salads and veggies and dinner is a snap. (I, too, am sick to death of cooking!) I would help them shop for things they can microwave or heat up in the oven. Plan a week's menu, get all the stuff, even do some prep for them if they are incapable..then walk away.

OF COURSE they want to stay in their own home forever. everybody does. But it's not realistic for a LOT of people. we're getting ready to 'downsize' which is a laugh b/c our current home is only 1800 sf. What we WANT is few to no stairs..and upstairs laundry and a double car garage. Hardly the Taj Mahal. Just something easier on me to keep up. A MIL apartment for CG's should that become a neccesity.

I love my little home, but do not love the yard and all the stairs. (More than 50!) Plus parking in the driveway and being the one who shovels snow.

Mostly I don't want to be a bother to my kids!
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If they can afford caregivers to come in and help that would be a great way to deal with this.
BUT is the house safe for them? Stairs? Bathrooms large enough to have more than 1 person in the bathroom and possibly a walker or a wheelchair?
It sounds like moving in with you would NOT be an option.
If they are willing to move in with you that means they are willing to move. I would think that if they tried Assisted Living they would get used to it. If you can get them to try AL for a week or two they might change their minds. Many places will do a "Respite" stay for a week or 2 with the hope that when the decision is made you will choose the place that they stayed at and they know.

There is NOTHING for you to feel guilty about.

And there is no need for a Geriatric Care Manager for home services. That is easily arranged through an Agency. The GCM would be to help coordinate doctor visits, accompany them to visits and relay medical information to you if needed. But if they are cognizant there is no need for that. A caregiver from an agency can drive them to appointments. As long as that is one of the aspects of care that you arrange with the agency when you contract with them.
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EllenCaruso Apr 18, 2021
Thank you for responding and for your support! It helps just knowing that there are folks like you that can see more clearly from the edges or from the other side while I wade through my personal muck. I appreciate the GCM information, because my parents think that a GCM may have a magic answer [to make them 65 again].
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You may be feeling guilty because you sense an obligation you may not be able to fulfill. Your parents may expect you to care for them... and you work full time. You may wish to fulfill your parents' wishes but are unable to do so. So, you feel stress. Acknowledge that the stress is not guilt but a realization that some things may need to change. Those changes can take many forms.

The goal is to make sure your parents are safe in their living situation and healthy. If they can afford somebody, not you, to come clean their home weekly, then set up a cleaning service. If they can afford meal deliveries and/or microwaveable meals, then set that up. If they are sharp enough to reliably relate their medical issues to their doctors, then set up transportation to and from appointments. If they need more socialization, enlist the help of family members, friends, members of faith community, and paid help to "visit" them and bring activities into their lives. Of course, they can also use Uber or Lyft to go places they need to go. If they are unsteady on their feet, a doctor can make a referral to physical therapy for evaluation and treatment and training is use of a walker. Being older does not mean being incapable of living alone and neither does gait problems. If they no longer are healthy or safe in their home, then it might be time to look into a different living situation.

If your parents can not afford the services above, it is time for a series of conversations. Explain your concerns to them and their needs as you perceive them. Explain that you want to be involved in helping them. Let them know your current work situation would not allow them to move in with you. Ask them what types of help do they feel they need. Ask them to verbalize what their home means to them - stability, security, independence...? Talk with them about meeting those needs in other ways - senior community, assisted living, full care residences. It would be most helpful to actually research ant talk to local resources before you have this heart to heart talk with your parents.
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All of you living together is definitely a bad idea. You work full time and now you would add the extra chores of cleaning cooking and transportation for them?? Superwoman will burnout very quickly..... guaranteed so don't even consider going down that road..... it's and ugly road and leads to burnout, negative feelings and despair.

Sounds like your parents are not cognitively impaired. I have a feeling that they are with it and are missing their 50 year old bodies. So are many of us but moving in with our kids is not going to restore those bodies. Since they no longer drive, it sounds like they need to be physically closer to transportation and services so relocation to a really nice AL might be a good idea. If it can be afforded (and that's a question because the entry fees can be formidable) I personally am a fan of CCRCs (continuing care retirement communities)with sound financial histories, because they can support a person throughout any medical/memory issues that can come down the pike since they start with independent living and go through skilled nursing/long term care.
I don't think they actually need a GCM but it might be an idea to go with (as long as you find and make they appointment because a GCM can access their current home and living situation. They may have all sorts of issues for and older couple (scatter rugs, stairs and fall issues, bathrooms that are not wheelchair accessible, etc). Now if the GCM makes the suggestion about a possible move to an older care community, it might have more force and resonate better than the same suggestion coming from you. Should your parents complain to the GCM that you are not taking care of them (i.e. sharing your room, playing maid and cook) the GCM can easily point out that you will visit and keep in touch. She/he can also remind them that they need to make sure they have their final documents ( will, DPOA and advanced directive up to date) and that lastly you are working and deserve the opportunity to be a loving daughter, not a stressed out caregiver and remind them..... if something happens to you...... who will look after their interests.

Wishing you peace and luck on this journey. Please keep us updated.
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MaryKathleen Apr 21, 2021
geddyupgo, I love your name. I have had two friends over the years that had bad luck with CCRCs. both sets after paying all of their money up front to join the community, had the place go bankrupt and the company that bought them out refused to honor their contract. So to me the last part of your statement, "CCRCs (continuing care retirement communities)with sound financial histories," should be in huge bold letters. MAKE SURE THE PLACE HAS A SOUND FINANCIAL HISTORY. By the way, one belonged to a church, one was for military only.
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Juse hire a Caregiver to go by a couple hrs a day.

Order groceries to be delivered with easy meals that are microwaved.

Set up cameras in the home so you can check on them anytime 24 7.

Hire a Live In.

Sell their home and add on a room to your place.

If your renting and work from home,, move in with them and hire help.
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rovana Apr 21, 2021
Trying to work fulltime (or even part time) from home can be very difficult indeed. Older generation thinks in terms of "if you work you go out to the workplace - if you are at home you are not "really" working." Crazy I know.
But enforcing "work time - do not disturb me" is hard.
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