My Mom is 94 and has stage 6 Alzheimer's. She's been in a memory care facility for 2 years.
I'm happy with the care but they have raised the rent 3 times. This last time the raise went over the amount she gets from Social Security. I asked her "well to do" family to financially assist but no such luck. (That's how the rich STAY rich.)
I quit my good 3 day a week job to take a full time (supposedly well paying) job. BIG mistake! It was all a lie. Luckily I can go back to the good job for 2 days a week for a "respite" and for some extra cash. Hubs will be on duty those days.

He's been bugging me to bring her home for a long time but I've been resisting. (Mexican culture keeps old folks at home.) Now there is no choice. If I continue working full time I will end up with the same amount of money (after paying a c/g) than I would if I use Mom's Social Security. A no brainier, right? I'm 60 and have arthritis in my neck and back. Why would I want to work my tushie off 5 days a week when I can stay home? But I know the emotional part will be more than challenging.

Do those of you who care for loved ones at home have any suggestions for us? (Hubby works from home and is more than willing to do any caregiving.)

We are getting her room ready now, packing up all the throw rugs, cleared pathways, we have night lights and a "baby monitor".
What else? I feel overwhelmed! Any and all advice gladly accepted.
Thanks in advance.

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Would a smaller room really confuse her more than leaving the building completely and coming home? She'd still see the same folks at meals, see many of the same aids, nurses, etc.
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That's exactly the arrangement she has, a private room and shares a bath with another lady.
The facility has offered to move her to a smaller room for $100./mo. less but I think that would further confuse her, after having been in her room for 2 years.

I agree, we will need a break weekly. I understand the importance of (and have always encouraged) getting away to enjoy life.
There is a senior day care center around here, so maybe we can try that. I have a caregiver friend that has offered to come over to help also.
I will try to contact an elder law attorney. (I am her POA, regular and medical.) Hope all goes well.
Thanks for the suggestions.
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Sue, by any chance does the Assisted Living/Memory Care have rooms where one shares a bathroom with another client, both have a private bedroom? Just wondering, as where my Dad had lived, the facility had that arrangement where the rent was a bit less. Just a thought.
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It sounds like you know what you are getting into and you've thought about the financial consequences as well as the emotional ones. Before you make a final decision, consult with an attorney who specializes in Elder Law. (The specialty is critical.) If there is a way to make MediCal work, the lawyer will know it! And if the decision is to bring Mom into your home, the lawyer can help you set up a room-and-board-and-care agreement.

The one thing I would urge you to do now, before she moves in, is to make arrangements for regular respite. That should come out of her funds. Maybe one weekend afternoon and one weekend day, hire someone to care for Mom. Also look into where she can go if you go on a week's vacation.

You cannot care for a person with dementia, providing 3 shifts of care, even if your husband helps a lot, without breaks and retain your sanity and your disposition. Can't be done. This should not be an afterthought. It should be part of your care plan right from the start!

Personally, I hope you can find a way to keep your mother where she is getting good care now. But if you do bring her home, plan for breaks!!

See a lawyer.
Helpful Answer (5)

I understand completely what you're saying. I'm a nurse and have cared for Alzheimer's patients. I believe hubby doesn't realize what he's in for. I've tried to tell him, his response is "But, she's your mother."

A year ago I talked to social workers who told me to call Medi-Cal. (Medicare doesn't cover Alzheimer's custodial care.) My mom is over the financial limit for eligibility by a few thousand dollars. I also have some money mixed in with hers in a joint account. It's gets complicated. They say I would have to "spend down" her money until it was under $2000. There is no way to transfer it or take it out because they look at the records. Once she has no more money, they process her and would place her in a double room (or more) in a different memory facility.
My mom is a loner, lived alone for 30 years and would not do well sharing a room. She will have her own room at our house.

I don't look forward to the demands that come with taking care of a dementia sufferer so I will try to keep active. Thank God I'll have hubby as backup.

At this point I'm not too worried about a retirement plan. I quit the phonie full time job yesterday. I only worked there a month. I made no where near what they promised but worked like a dog. It was supposed to supplement my mom's raise in rent and buy her diapers and supplies. Fortunately, I called my old job and I'll try working 2 days a week with them while hubby takes over on those days.

We're going to retire in Mexico in 4 years, so the cost of living will be much less. Hopefully there will still be Social Security then. 😳
At this point, I've got to help my mom.
My husband has 5 brothers and sisters, any of them would take his mother. His father is deceased. We are not planning to retire in the city that all of them live in. I'm not worried about retribution from him.
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What about paying into retirement? Will you be giving that up if you don't keep the fulltime job?

And will H be wanting HIS mother and/or father to move in for caregiving at some point? (And then he will have the leverage of his helping to take care of YOUR mother....)
Helpful Answer (5)

Dear Sue,

I know its not easy and there is a lot to consider. Although your husband is willing I think the reality of having a 94 year old woman at home full time with stage 6 Alzhemier is too much. Is there any other way to cover the difference to keep her in memory care?

We all want to help family members and honor cultural values, but the reality is overwhelming. The day to day care can lead to anger and resentment from all the burden and responsibility and lack of freedom.

Maybe consider talking to a social worker and see if there are other options. Because I thought the same thing, I would reorganize the house and support my dad coming home after is stroke. But I failed to realize there was much more to it and by the time I got burned out, it was all too late.
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