Parents at different stages but refuse to be seperated. Any suggestions?


My parents are at different stages. Dad is 90 and cannot walk or care for himself. We eventually decided to move him to a nursing home. We used C-care, which is a personal nursing care service in Toronto, where we live. Mom is 82 and OK on her own. Problem is, they refuse to be separated. Any suggestions?

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Henryjohn, having them move to a continuing care facility is what I would recommend too. Have you already explored the facilities in your preferred area to see if you can find one that could accommodate both of them at different levels of care? I realize that wait lists are long, are you willing to look at places outside of Toronto?
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The key is finding a facility that wants to work with you in this quest.

In the US, a lot of placement has to be done a certain way if Medicare & Medicaid is paying. if its private pay, going to be a lot easier. My aunt - Alz & heavy sundowning - & Uncle - sharp but with cancer - moved into a single larger en suite in AL with daily paid "shadows" for aunt. The shadow was a CNA with a home health agency with ID but normal clothes; she was bonded too. All private pay.

For my mom, she went first to a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) when she was in IL, there was a lady in another IL apt who had her hubs in the NH unit of the CCRC. So although apart, the wife could see him everyday easily for companionship but relieved her of day to day caregiving. If there is a CCRC, perhaps this could work?

When mom finally moved into a NH, her second & better NH, had the rooms at the end of the hallways that were adjacent to the fire/stairwell for individual NH residents who had not in the NH spouses. These rooms as they are somewhat smaller technically cannot fit the 2 bed shared room required by Medicaid. The wives seems to visit almost everyday and had a good deal of privacy & a lil sofa in the rooms. One wife was a good 30 yrs younger but devoted & seemed to sometimes spend the night. A good facility is sensitive to this and can find a way to make things work.......good luck in yiur search.
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You can't blame them for wanting to remain together - they've probably been together for most of their lives. And sadly they are probably aware their time together here on earth is running out and they don't want to miss a minute of what they do have left. As adult children when we see our parents beginning to deminish both mentally and physically we get focused on their safety and their health - and there's a lot to that. But try to remember that once they were young and strong - and in love. Right now they are taking their last adventure together- they are probably sad and frightened, but they still have each other and that may be the single thing that matters to them now.

Five years ago my parents were in a similar situation. One day I was visiting my dad in rehab and he said something to me that completely stunned me - left me speechless and awed. I can't share it - but for the first time in my life I realized how desperately and passionately my father loved my mother - always had and after 60 years of marriage always would. My parents had an extreamly volatile relationship - very complicated but in that moment I finally started to understand their love. Sooo - mom and daddy moved from their house into an independent living apartment and we hired a full time caregiver for dad. They only had another 16 months together when daddy passed. 3 1/2 years later my mom is alone in a nursing home - she talks often of how much she misses my dad. Almost every visit now she tells me the story of how they met. When she finishes I always say "it was love at first sight", and she says "yes, it was" and smiles.

Please try to do whatever you can to keep your parents together. I promise you - you won't regret it.
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