Seeking feedback & insight... - AgingCare.com

Seeking feedback & insight...

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My mother is 94 and still living independently, in her own home, and still driving, in Florida. She is basically in excellent health except for some digestive issues that she manages with her diet. I am an only child, living in Atlanta, GA and still working full time. My husband & I plan to retire in 12-18 months & move to the Alabama Gulf Coast. My mother is beginning to get weary of the responsibilities of home ownership and talking about in-home assistance, or assisted living. She's very frugal, and possessive, with her finances and affairs (even with me). Therefore, I'm having a hard time taking charge because she's still extremely sharp, mentally, and in control of her affairs. She's also paranoid of having any type of in-home assistance for fear of being taken advantage of. So...my dilemma... do I seek out in-home assistance for her, in the hope that she could stay in her own home until we move to Alabama and then take her to that area with us? Second, move her to Atlanta area in the short term, which could possibly mean two moves, one to Atlanta, and then another to Alabama? Or, lastly, go ahead and move her to Alabama, since we would be there in 12-18 months. Although, if she were to pass away in the meantime, it would have been easier/better to have her in Atlanta during that time. Help! Open to all feedback & opinions. Thanks.

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Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback and BarbBrooklyn, you hit the nail on the head...she's not in danger of dying anytime soon! And to your question about an eldercare attorney? No. She wouldn't want to spend the money. Besides, I work for an attorney, albeit in Georgia, so I have an inside track to legal matters. I do have Financial POA, and she already had a Living Will and, of course, a Last Will & Testament. I'm gradually working on letting her add me jointly to her bank accts and investments so, hopefully, we can avoid probate, but it's a slow process. She's extremely private. CarlaCB, I have tried to encourage her to stay put in FL until we're ready to move to Alabama. She has a home that suits her needs perfectly and it's in good shape. She has great neighbors who all watch out for each other, and she has a wonderful church. The best thing would be if she could stay put for now, and then we'll move her at that time, but she's moaning and groaning about being too far away from family. (Me, in Atlanta, one married granddaughter in Montgomery, AL, and one married grandson in Jackson, MS).
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Your mother doesn't sound like the type of person who is going to be willing to pick up and move on your say-so. If I were you, I would just continue to listen to her concerns and asking her what she wants to consider for her future. For example "Mom, you know [spouse] and I are planning to move to the coast in a year or so. Do you think you would want to move closer to us when we do that?" Or "Mom, would you like to go visit some assisted living places to see what they're like and whether it might be right for you?" You're going to need her buy-in, unless she become incompetent to manage her own affairs. You can't realistically take responsibility for things over which you have no real authority.
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If she's still thinking clearly and aware, I'd go by what she says. I'd do some research on both options and then discuss it with her. Her financial resources may help answer the question. I'm not sure how much in-house help she needs. Have you stayed with her in the home and really know what her needs are? Sometimes, the person isn't that upfront with the fact that they can't cook, bathe, etc. I'd take care to really make sure of her needs. There are agencies that provide aids who are trained and bonded. Still, nothing is perfect. I'd also consider the odds of her being able to continue in a house alone with just some aids helping a few hours a day for the next few years.

I agree about the Durable POA and Healthcare POA. They are essential. If she is refusing to sign them....that would worry me, because that says that she is not thinking clearly, imo. A reasonable person would realize how necessary those documents are, especially for a person in their nineties. 
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It doesn't sound like she's in any danger of dying any time soon!

Does she realize though, that if she were have a stroke, without appointing you or someone POS and Health care proxy, someone she didn't pick will be making financial decisions for her.

In order to help with these decisions, you need to know what her budget for care is. Would she prefer to work with an eldercare attorney ?
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