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My parents ,both 98, live in their home. My dad has recently had some health issues,a tumor in his kidney which was embolized to stop bleeding. My dad has always been a very impatient person,wanting instant gratification or becoming angry when it doesn't happen. Lately it is that he doesn't need to make an appointment to see his doctors and will just walk into their office demanding to be seen. He still drives locally and has now decided that handicap parking is for him although he is quite able to walk from the parking lot. I brought this up with him yesterday and he blew his stack. I kept my voice calm while explaining that those spots are reserved for people who really need them. He didn't care. My mom has been relatively healthy but is deaf,will not wear her hearing aid,her legs are failing,and fell recently and cracked a couple of ribs. My sister and I sat down with both offering some advice on how we could make the house safer and were met with my mom throwing an outright nutty. we offered to put a different toilet seat with rails to help her stand. Last week while trying to get up off the toilet sh snapped a towel rack off the wall which also supported the bathroom sink. My dad thought it a good idea to put in this seat. My mother left it there until I left and then started badgering my dad so he removed it. Now they have something he found through mail order that attaches with string. I do not believe it to be safe. We offered to bring in a home health aid to help my mom shower and dress. That was also met with an outburst. Now my mom wants to go into assisted living because she thinks they will be at her beck and call. My dad does not and wants to stay home. It seems like I spend every free minute there refereeing whatever argument is going on at the time. My mom can be very controlling and generally gets her way. We offered to hire a cleaning service to come in once a week which ended the way of the toilet. We mentioned having a different tub or shower installed to make it safer which ended the same way. Back to my dad,he still drives and shouldn't be . His car is covered in dents which he claims were someone else's fault. I broached the subject a few months ago and got blasted for even thinking it. I worry about him injuring someone else. As I said before he is very stubborn. My sister and I brought up assisted living and my mom is all for it. What she thinks it is and reality are very different. My dad would probably do well except for meals. He is the fussiest eater I have ever seen. He only eats certain things and say if out to a restaurant will send food back to the kitchen repeatedly. My wife and I stopped going out with my parents years ago because it became such an issue. My dad will eat no sauce or gravy,no mayo,cream,melted cheese,etc. every cut of meat is terrible. He would probably starve at assisted living or at the very least alienate the kitchen staff. My sister and I want them to safe and happy,but are getting very stressed dealing with this subject. My sister lives a bit away so it falls on me to deal with most issues.

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I agree about the driving. Not so much because of age as the combination of age and behavior and attitude and evidence of dings in the car.
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98 and still driving? That's the most unacceptable thing in this whole discussion. Whatever else you do, I think you should man up and end the driving. Let him yell.
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Wow, interesting string of comments. Tough situation. Time for tough love, right? But for who wants to tell parents we are done with your behavior and refuse to enable you any further, call someone else when you need help,? If they cant afford to move into a retirement home that is one thing, but if they can afford it? Some folks are hard to live with all their life, then get worse at the end? No easy answers.
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My ILs are also in thier mid 90s, and they moved into a new home with my BIL and SIL about a year ago. Now they are all miserable. MIL is pleasantly demented, fall all the time and is incontinent . FIL is bossy ( it;s my house. its my way) He bought the house. SIL law hates the constant cleanup, and is still a teacher at 60, and she is OVER it. BIL is stuck inthe middle and run ragged. My hubs gets complaining calls from FIL so often he only answers the phone from them once or twice a week.. then I get the "did you tell I called" He never wants to talk to us..") The best thing they could have done was move into AL..But nooo... not gonna give their money to some place.. but they may end up there anyway the was things are going. It;s a hard thing to do
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If your parents have a reliable physician, he/she can be of great value. Request CT or MRI scans of the head for a clearer picture of brain changes. These reports will decide the next step regarding safety in the home, behind the wheel, living independently, the need for face to face interview with other clinicians/medical professionals to determine decision making capabilities, judgment, and so forth. Physicians have a mandated responsibility in most states with appropriate forms to address driving capability for their patients. This form is sent to the state--the family is not involved in the decision for the loved one to be able to drive. However, the family is a vital source of information. Just like there are rapid changes as an infant grows into toddlerhood--and the physician evaluates the stages of this growth, so are the family's reports of changes, explosions, accusations, poor judgment, forgetting medication, unsafe decisions, and so forth of the elder patient. The family becomes the vital part of assisting the physician and other medical provider in directing the elder patient to safety. If your physician does not maintain the professional gumption to direct your elder parent to safety--do everything you can to move that parent to a physician that will protect. The physician's oath includes that they will to do no harm--that includes do no harm by omission of care as well as administering the wrong care. If the physician "omits" the difficult subject of moving to an assisted living or other nursing facility, won't report driving to the state, does not listen to the family, then they do not deserve to have your loved one as a patient.
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JimL - I'm soooo pleased you've got that ball rolling! Both my sister & I could finally get a decent nights sleep after we moved our folks to Fieldstone - the relief was that great. No more nightmares of the house burning down around them, or my dad falling down outside with no way for mom to even see him, or the roof caving in, etc... The transition was rocky at times for our folks - but we stood firm and let them know that moving back home was not an option (the house was on the market for over a year before it sold). Fieldstone was wonderful - but it wasn't "home." to my folks (even though it looked like living on a cruise ship to me). But I did see quite of bit of enjoyment in their days - even if Mom didn't want to acknowledge it.

What I really want to say to you, JimL is that we're now in the time of life that we have to make decisions for our parents because their ability to make good decisions has begun to fail them. It's hard and it's heartbreaking. You have the best intentions for them - keep that feeling in your heart and follow it, despite the bumps you'll have to hit along the way.
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My mother lived in an Atria IL in Westchester, NY. It was lovely and the staff was very attentive.

I think that you're moving in the right direction!
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Thank you all for your thoughtful answers. I think that moving into assisted living is the right thing to do at this point. I got the ball rolling yesterday and spoke with a representative of Atria here where we reside. Based on our conversation she felt that my parents would be suitable to live in their independent with light services facility. I did not hold back in our conversation and certainly felt a bit relieved thereafter. I am going to speak with a representative today from another home so that I can show my dad some of the options available.
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Are you asking if your parents should remain in their home or move to assisted living? Or are you asking if they are better suited to and Independent or Assisted Living Facility? Here's the thing..unless they've been found incompetent, you can only encouage them to go and look. However, i wouldn't respond to their "emergencies". I think most of us on here have done a bit of trying to keep our parents independent...but it's a false independence if it comes at the price of YOUR physical and mental health.

Yes, I'd ask the doctor for certification for a handicap hang tag, at least for mom's sake. I'd also ask for a psychiatric workup for your dad; he sounds quite easily agitated.
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JimL1953, the facilities will do an assessment on your parents to see which will be a better match, the Independent building or the Assisted Living building.

My Dad FINALLY moved into Independent Living but does have the option of adding to his rent different levels of care when the time comes. Dad was so happy to get away from the house as he knew at his age [94] he wasn't able to keep maintaining the house, do yard work, or shovel snow.... whew !!

I also had enabled my parents to live in a house that they should have sold and moved into something safer.... my Mom probably would still be with us today.
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We enabled my inlaws for far too long. They should have gone into independent living a few years before they did. By enabling them, all we did was go from one crisis to another.

Grab bars - been there, done that. At first it was one in the shower. Then one next to the toilet. Another three were added until there was no more room for another grab bar. Yes grab bars kept them living in their home but their home was not ADA accessible, which made e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g so much more difficult. Why make things easier when you can make them harder???!!!

Driving badly - been through that too. In independent living, at least they have transportation services and they also can use Uber.

Forcing the issue of moving out - this is where I believe objectivity helps everyone involved. It helps the parents because they finally get the support they need. It helps us kids because we gain peace of mind.

I watched my husband get more and more depressed as he kept playing to his parents' tune. His parents, who were making awful decisions for themselves, were calling all the shots. It affected my marriage. It affected me. It affected them. It affected the whole family in a very bad way. No one wanted to visit anymore because it was depressing.

We "forced the issue" by starting with a respite/vacation for my inlaws. And when they came back and pretended like nothing happened and things would just go back to the way they were, we called their bluff and would NOT let the topic of independent living go. We brought it up at least once a week. We asked the siblings to bring it up when they visited or called. And we stopped enabling them.
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My folks are not far behind yours in needing to move out of their home. My folks still get by but just barely. I cannot force the issue as they are still competent but their reasoning is terrible. For me it will take a crisis to force the issue. Possibly a trip to the ER and Mom can't come home.

The driving worries me. If Dad is denting up the car he shouldn't be on the road. You may have to force this issue with him and just be prepared for the yelling.
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Hi JimL! Sounds a lot like my folks a few years ago. They were in 80s & living in the home they'd owned for 60 years. Pop doing great & driving - Mom nearly immobile due to health problems. The house was is terrible shape, not ever having been designed or adapted for the handicapped or elderly. The electrical was outdated (house built in 1948), there was mold everywhere and the back porch ceiling cover was rotting.

My sister & I did extensive research and a lot of "visits" to facilities and found a huge facility (Fieldstone Place) that had Independent living on one side of the building and assisted living on the other. We talked them into moving into independent living (because Pop was in such great shape) by telling Pop this was best for Mom. It was a one bedroom apartment - handicapped accessible everything - housekeeping once a week, laundry facilities on their floor, a KITCHEN (with full-sized refrigerator and stove top), a dining facility (the rent was based upon how many meals per day they accessed - they chose 2x per day), activities galore, a barber/beauty shop, extra lounge areas on each floor, transportation available - AND it was a beautiful, clean facility. Several of the local agencies had visiting assistants that could come to help Mama - give her showers, check her blood pressure, etc. And Pop didn't have to worry about mowing any lawns or cleaning gutters.

My parents would go downstairs for lunches and dinners (socialization) OR they chose to make their own meals in their kitchen (as long as it didn't involve an oven). They placed their little bag of trash outside their door (which was a hallway inside the building) - staff would pick it up. If staff didn't see my folks at meals or the trash wasn't placed outside every couple of days, they'd call or come by to check to see if everything was okay. And they gave my parents "emergency" necklaces with buttons to push to bring a nurse to the apartment immediately.

They lived there 3+ years before Mama passed away - and I think the place prolonged her life. I strongly encourage you to check around for something like that - it might be a relief to both your parents.

As for the parking....don't stress it. At his age, I think he deserves to save a few steps. Maybe you should talk to his doctor about giving him a card for his rearview mirror?

Good luck.
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