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My grandmother remarried after my grandfather passed over 20 years ago. The man she remarried is experiencing early stages of Alzheimer's and at 84 years old, she is his only caregiver. Within the last few years she has been showing signs of dementia and has fainted and hurt herself at least two times. Neither of them are able to bathe themselves, clean the home, or remember important appointments or to take their medication. Recently, my parents, aunts and uncles and step family have started meeting once a month to schedule out daily visits for the coming month. They rotate each day and bring them food, take them to appointments as necessary, and make sure they have taken their medication. However, there are many hours each day that they are left alone. I do not believe that this is a long term solution, and it is causing stress on the family rather than addressing the circumstances head on. There are also family differences and opinions that are negatively impacting solutions that require financial support. I am 27 and live out of state, so I am unable to be around for any discussions regarding their care. I am concerned about my grandmother. She is my only living biological grandparent and the stress of being a care taker has become too much for her. I am also concerned about my parents. They are both aging and I fear the added stress of family dissension could lead to future health problems. Is there anything you could recommend that I do to help? I am currently looking for articles that have advice for blended families and choosing care for elderly parents, as well as looking for local services that could help mediate these conversations. Any suggestions are appreciated. - Thank you for your time.

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I think it's time to consider an Assisted Living. I think Gfather is past independent living. It's great that your family has gotten together to try and work things out.
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Fender, it is great that you are doing a lot of research to try to find the best match for your grandparents. It is great that your parents, aunts and uncles are trying to help out but sadly they each will start to burn out from the extra work. They are all probably senior citizens themselves, and we just don't have that energy anymore.

Sometimes ones elders would do better if they can be placed in let's say Independent Living, where there is a monthly rent, weekly linen service, weekly housekeeping, and meals in a main dining room. Much less stress on Grandmother trying to keep up her house and help with her husband. Plus being around people of their own generation, thus make new friends. Some Independent Living facilities [these are nice size apartments] offer options for higher skill care. It just depends if your Grandparents can budget that amount as on average the cost is $5k or $6k for two people per month.

If the above can work cost wise, but the grandparents dig in their heels and refuse to move, then hire caregivers [with the Grandparents paying] to come by for at least one shift to help out [if Grandmother would allow another woman in the house, I had that issue with my own Mom].

If heck will freeze over before the Grandparents would allow outsiders to come in to help, then your parents/aunts/uncles will need to cut back on what they do. Otherwise they are enabling their parents to remain in that house. The Grandparents think why move, the family is doing everything for them. They get to keep their lifestyle while other change theirs to help out, then crash and burn from all the work.

Lot to think about here. Hope everyone is able to come up with a win-win solution.
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It sounds like from what you described that many are aware of the issues and have tried to work together to rotate schedule to manage the situation. Sounds like a great start is because you mention uncles, aunts, parents, step family including grandchildren are trying to do their part and even meet once a month to see how reduce problems and address items for the next month. I would suggest finding a person, facilitators which address the various topics: finances, medical, legal, etc and h determine best to help your grandmother stay engaged in her husbands welfare but not be primarily responsible. With varying opinions and few, a lot of good ideas can be added from different visits, what one person sees versus the others, but the key is to have a point of contact that collects the facts so decisions can be made and family can continue to thrive during a time in which your grandparents need their family's overall help. Medical first, financial/living arrangements this year and next, legal items that help family protect grandparents/caregivers and ensure they get the help they want, where noted, and solutions that provide. Often I think people agree to chip in 10% here for this annual cost, i.e 10 people and then other costs come in which then require. The key is doing more research, meeting with elder care specialists: medical, financial and customizing the plan based on like was said "needs assessment". In-person have to occur at some point. There can be 100 great ideas and only the time to implement 20 of them over a year that are crucial. Narrow it down and getting family on same page, and as said before, a facilitator non-family is good to explain the facts of what costs, needs, and level of care including other lifestyle items they may enjoy. Stay engaged to the issues. Good job!
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Hi Fender, Look at you , A millennial doing the research to help the rest of the family. Bravo! And through the research, you can do quite a bit from afar that might help the rest of the family.
I agree with Barb on getting an assessment. This can be done by a variety of services. Perhaps you can identify a geriatric nurse manager in your grandparent's locale for your folks to call in. Different group offer different services. So in your research ask what it offers. I had one in for my Mom (back when). They assess the situation, and can make recommendations. Overall, it may help your family who (may be) too close to your grandparents to see the realities of the situation. That can be one benefit. They should be able to offer ideas on needed services. Let your folks know there are a great number of services available, e.g, I had an automatic medicine dispenser for my Mom for her early stages of dementia. It worked quite well, you can read about it online.
Understand too, that help comes in many ways. Hence, a reliable cleaning woman, may also be happy to prepare a light meal on the day she/he visits. Some houses of worship offer visits or rides to routine medical appointments. My county just began a senior 'check-in' daily call service.
Does any of this sound like it may be helpful? You can do a lot from afar by supporting your parents with information and constructive ideas.
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You could suggest that your parents ask for a professional
" needs assessment " from the local Area Agency on Aging. They will advise what the needs are and what resources are available.
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