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The Kids perceptions are that Mom and Dad are not keeping the house clean, they do not drive safely, they do not eat well. We are just concerned all the way arround and need to bring this up with out thhem feeling threatened . They usually both become angry when we try and discuss the need for them to move in with one of us.

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Agree with Elizabeth. We had the talk with my husband's mother and she moved in with us.She is the same age range as your parents.
I wish we had explored alternate ways for her to stay in her home. Her leaving her independent life was not a good thing as Elizabeth eluded too because she has declined in warp speed. I think the "letting go" of the house and some responsibilities led to "letting go" in too many ways. We are now looking towards having a talk with her that she needs to seek elder counseling and activity.
Good luck to your whole family as you wonder through these waters. There are so many of us Baby Boomers that are dealing with this.
Blessings,
Margaret
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Taydatay, I envy your relationship and the ability to communicate adequately with your parents for their needs. I will aspire to be more understanding of what their needs are now and could become in the future. I think you are darn right that it is a hard process and sometimes the gifts and rewards are highly disguised, but I think we all learn from being the first major generation having to deal with elderly (as in very elderly) parents. Our trials and lessons remind me that "I do not have to be my mother", and that I will remember my feelings now when my daughter and sons are hopefully caring for me someday. There are virtues in each life worth emulating and seeing or reading about them is often lesson enough for now. Thank You!
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I suggest you phrase your concerns in terms of how you and the other kids are feeling about them and the issues that have emerged as your various concerns. Let them know it is out of caring and love that you want to evoke changes now so you can be prepared to assist them; to be positioned for more if and when it is needed by doing the legwork and laying the necessary foundations now.

First and foremost is a need for Medical Power of Attorney for each parent (perhaps POA to be shared by the other spouse and one responsible child) and putting in writing the individual desires of each of the parents for medical interventions in case of critical care situations. An attorney can tell you what is acceptable for the region where you live. Last, make sure there is a will in place for each parent that is current. These are typical needs of adults as they age, in fact, for all responsible adults, and should not be perceived as a threat. The discussions and processes leading to the completion of these steps can be used as an avenue for shared responsibilities and involvement of the adult children in their lives.

Perhaps next you might talk about their home. If cleaning is an issue, how can assistance be provided to them? Is it handicapped accessible? If one of them became very ill, could they return home if disabled? Is there a first floor master bedroom and bathroom and utility room for laundry? My parents abruptly had to leave their home of 22 years and move states away to live near one of us when my father could not return home following a more than year-long critical illness and recovery period. None of us children lived within 800 miles of them and none could move in with them because we all have spouses and jobs and homes of our own.

But for us, it was important to help them find a space to live that provided them with assistance and yet maintained some level of independence. My mother helped to choose the complex and together we toured and compared several options in doing so. We bargained with them for a year's trial period, and promised that we would TOGETHER reflect within a year to see if another move was warranted or if things were working to their satisfaction. It's going on three years now, and they still live nearby in a seniors independent community facility and receive some in-home assistance for apt. cleaning and meals in a community dining room. I take care of their medications, laundry, bills, light groceries, some entertainment and all transportation needs. My mother's health has continued to decline in the time since they moved here, so it is now understood that the current arrangements are of benefit to us all. If things continue to decline, Mom may need to transition to a true 24/7 nursing-staffed assisted living facility, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, we know we can calmly discuss all available options together and choose what is best for all of us who will be affected by the decisions that will necessarily follow.

Good luck to you. It is a hard process, but it is entirely worthwhile and it brings with it many, many daily gifts. From my perspective as I go about planning the help and interaction we will have, I try to imagine what I would appreciate others to do for me (and what I would object to also) if our situations were reversed, and I use that as a guide, along with my knowledge of them as individuals. I wouldn't say every day has been a joyous partnership, but we have come to forgive each other easily, and overall, we have far more ups than downs.
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Your saying "the need for them to move in with one of us" is the clue to why they get angry: you've already decided both what the problem is AND what the solution is before you talk to them! "I'm concerned and here's what I see" is one thing. But how would you like having someone inform you what was wrong with your life and tell you what you should do is give up the whole structure of your life? Think "collaboration and respect" and it will go differently.
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To Anita62. Yes, I think anger is a big part of the aging process. And, I think that it may mean the person is at some level trying to push away loved ones so that they may not feel the loss so deeply when the suffering person passes. Here's my situation: My mother is 79 with rheumatoid arthritis. She cannot walk on her own and moves about her home in a trasport chair, and uses a walker to help move from that chair to a another chair and the toilet. She lives alone. My husband and I are the only two who will help her. My sister, mother and I live within 6 blocks of each other. My brother lives about 45 minutes away. My sister, her husband and my brother do not work. My husband and I do just about everything for my mother except bathe her. Medicare so generously provides one, yep, count it, one shower a week. And, they cannot find anyone strong enough to help my mother, so she is now reduced to sponge baths. We hired a visiting angel caregiver for 2 afternoons a week. Since I had a head injury and lost my job, I am more available to her. But both my husband and I are so tired and we try to do everything we can for her, it is not enough. We have hired other caregivers and she has chased every single one of them away, accusing them of stealing from her, abusing her, and she has even called the police on two of them. My mother has all her faculties. She is very aware of her situation and can speak intelligently of the world and its current events. She is soooo angry, bitter, resentful, spiteful and adding to that in extreme pain every single day. She lashes out to my husband and I, and I get so hurt, that I yell back. I don't want to, but I am about to go insane from this whole thing. She would not be eligible for assisted living because she cannot walk. She is too healthy otherwise for a nursing home. She should be in her own home, but I know she wants me to live with her, saying that my husband would not mind. So regularly, we provide hot meals, run all of her errands, take out her garbage, vacuum her home, sweep and mop kitchen floor, take care of garbage, take care of her dog, buy groceries, wash dishes, wash and dry clothing, make sure her bills get paid. However, everything we do is not enough for her and I again resentful and angry. What other options do I have? Does anyone have a good suggestion?
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In this kind of situations, it's extremely difficult to speak from the heart without getting over-emotional because many of us -- usually running on fumes -- tend to block out, ignore, forgive & forget, or simply leave important issues for until they become a crisis. The "scoldish" tone of our voices conveys frustration, resentment, and anger that will make anyone feel threatened.

Sunday flowers on the kitchen table, a warm slice of apple pie to go with the coffee after a light dinner; positive body language and broad smiles to accompany our compassionate eyes while we try to speak in a respectful and neutral tone.

The message will be received and processed. It's all a matter of delivery.
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My Mom is 84 in May. About a year ago we almost lost her due to a Dr. over medicating her. I did not know she had left a wonderful Dr because two years ago he made her wait for 30 minutes when it was her appointment. She fell off the bed after an MRI, he sent her to his hospital and then to a rehab and it was 100% downhill from there. As I saw her sleep all day, not eat, loose weight and the ability to communicate I had a melt down w the Doctor and had her taken to a well known Emergency immediately. There they diagnosed her sodium level was under 110. After 10 days in the hospital I hired a full time nurse round the clock for 30 days. It was very expensive. However not even close to the cost of loosing her.
She is now doing extremely well. Back to driving, the car and everyone crazy, and ornery as ever. I read these posts and wonder if getting old comes with an unspoken anger? Will I be so mean spirited at her age because I still want to live, be young and enjoy life without so many aches , pains and medication. My Mom had me at 17 1/2 in Budapest Hungary. It was normal in that generation to marry young and have kids. She was not ready then or ever to be a Mom. Her idea of love is on par with money. She can say and do anything. When she feels any remorse she buys something and you are supposed to simple let it all go. She self medicates, omits all the details when talking to her Dr.s ( I hesitate to say she lies, which she does) and has always felt that being vulnerable is weakness and she abhors any weakness in character or body. She lives alone with someone coming in a few hours twice a week in a huge house. She does not allow us to come for dinner so the house does not get messed up. She loves my three daughters but if one does not do something the way she wants, she is mean and gossips. She is left with very few friends. She has no filter and when you call her on it she says what is on my mind is on my lips. She does not care if she is snubbed and takes no personal responsibility for anything, It was not something that was taught or identified either in Europe or in that era. I call her daily and do not always want to be with her for any extended periods of time. It is the one way I avoid her being critical of something, almost everything in my life. If I am working too hard and stressed she tells me I am stupid like my father was. He died 35 years ago and her boyfriend of 15 years died 3 years ago. Her driving is super dangerous to herself and those on the road. Everyone she sees looks old or ugly on tv or people in her life. I say all this as I see it as a common thread . Our parents gave us life. For that we have to be grateful. I think we can only do so much in return. I had guilt, self doubt for years asking myself if I was doing enough. My personal conclusion is to do all we can, not be attached to the outcome, then let go. I say this because for many of us even at this age we still are vying for our parents approval. There it is now in the open. What is your feeling about how to proceed?
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Due to my mother's declining mobility issues, she couldn't keep up with picking up, cleaning, laundry and cooking. Their house never got nasty though...far from it. Just some dusty shelves & picture frames etc. Early on, my dad would run the vacuum occasionally and would help with the laundry, eventually taking it on from start to finish. Cooking (standing & patience) became difficult for my mother and is something my father could not get the hang of. Helping my mother get around was enough of a chore, but adding additional chores (what my mother used to do) to his activities, was too much...physically, mentally and emotionally. Especially when he thought and was hoping it was only temporary. Both in their 80s, we can understand the physical difficulties, but in addition, my dad is from the era where men and women have their roles. My dad thought it was unmanly or beneath him to take-on the womanly roles...so then, I think, he began to resent my mom for being sick and his attitude turned grumpy towards everyone, and angry at her. He was drained both physically and mentally from having "to do everything", knowing another day would only bring the same.

So, we kids (1-son, 2-daughters) sat down with them and discussed how we could make things better for them. We worked up a schedule where we each would have our day, once a week, to spend with them and clean, cook, mow, laundry, repair, errands, appointments etc. We also helped my mother with her excercises and would watch over & visit with her while my dad had a chance to "get away" if he needed or wanted to. We also would have fun...play card or board games, work on a puzzle together, go for a drive and simply talk .The idea was to take some of the burden off of him by doing the things around the house that he couldn't do, didn't want to do, or were dragging him down, and allow them to stay in their home. My mom loved seeing us, catching up, and getting him out of the house!

We kids all lived within 45 minutes of our parents and had flexible schedules and it worked well for us and mom & dad. We were able to keep an eye on them and evaluate their needs, keep the house up and assist them in many ways. Only a few hours for me...but x3...had a big effect for my parents. Don't know Strange51 if such a plan is possible with you and your siblings. But, perhaps a similar plan could be molded to what works best for you, your siblings, their schedules and willingness to help, and your parents.
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@ Milesaway.....I see so much of my 93 year old mother, in your Mom. Your poor father has his hands full here. You really do need to get your Mother evaluated. If you do not know where to get this done, see if there is an Aging and Disability Resource Center in your parents county. This link should help you find one http://www.aoa.gov/AoA_programs/HCLTC/ADRC/index.aspx They were invaluable to me in getting Mom set up with Meals on Wheels, and getting Mom evaluated. The evaluation was a thorough check physically and mentally and Medicare paid 100% for it.

As for how to get Mom to go, I fibbed to my Mom a little. I told her that I was not happy with the care she was getting from her present doctor (truth) and we were going somewhere new for a physical (truth). I left out the fact that they were testing her memory. Good luck to you and your father.
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Elizabeth's answer is great but your problem might be more complicated. Many seniors don't recognise that there is a problem and may fight having people come into their home. Both my friend's in-laws and my mother-in-law saw no problem with their homes being filthy nor anything wrong with what they were eating. Depending on how many family members you have to help, you might want family to initially clean and cook. How I managed to allow people in (mil lives with me) is to introduce them as a friend then slowly introduce that person in the house. (Of course, the person I hired was absolutely fabulous but it worked beautifully.) It may be a way to get people into the home to help out.

I can't imagine what to do about the driving situation other than a ruse about you taking out their car andclaiming that it broke down. My mil is extremely proud (perhaps like your folks) but she finally accepted that she shouldn't drive after a fender bender.

I wish you luck! It took me years to convince my mil to live with me and it was hell seeing her living situation (I lived far away) when I visited. It would take me days to clean and get healthy foods in that she could easily cook. However, even with her living with me, she is reluctant to accept some forms of help.

Please let us know how it goes!
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My sibs and I are in a similar situation. My father(86) is a few years younger then mom (89). We did manage to move them from the home of 40 years into a large 2+den independent living apartment with the option of moving their care status to "assisted". This was a relief for my father but was real hell for mom. She has always been a historian, collector, and artist so 70 years of paintings, drawings, art history notes and files, old letters and we had to leave everything related to these parts of her history in the basement "Studio". (We have left it all there as the house has not sold yet, and that bridge will be rickety enough to cross when the time comes) Upstairs we managed to clean out all the excess Tupperware, linens, sewing stuff, and dishes. The extensive antique toy collection was put up for sale one weekend. That was really tough on her and she cried so much but then would be realistic and say "oh well they weren't valuable, just sentimental." We did box up 13 crates to put in storage as she just couldn't see giving them away. Now, a few years later Dad has hired someone to try to sell things on e bay but not tell mom who hasn't brought them up in a while.
She has more pressing problems which she is being ubber independent and in denial about. To everyone around her she is in the early stages of some sort of dementia and is anxious and paranoid, and just mean and crazy for lack of a better all encompassing description. My dad is patient to a point but tends to cover and walk away to the golf course and leave her to her busy-ness (which is junk mail) that consumes her day. Trying to agree with her when talking on the phone (I live a few states away) is difficult. It takes all my patience to listen to her go on about how terrible my father is for sending a doctor to evaluate her sanity (She claims total sanity because she does 5 star sudakos) and how he is taking away her car and credit cards (not so- Car was getting fixed from accident she had and she looses her cards (in her purse usually) on a regular basis.) We tried to take car away and the fit was outrageous my dad backed down. While they rode the wave of wealth up in the 70's to 90's, economics have changed for them today and I know my father worries about expenses which Mom seems to think he is hoarding on her. My sister is 3 hrs upstate and works full time and one brother is not competent and under my fathers power of attorney. A second brother is close but is very busy with his own life currently. I feel this is falling on me and truly welcome all the similar stories and advise this site gives me. SO yesterday Mom hung up on me when I tried to tell her that Dad loved her and was only looking out for her wellbeing and wanted to make sure she had the help and care she needs. Unfortunately, he had sent her anniversary flowers (62 yrs) from over the internet and they showed up with a huge bouquet of roses. Mom is allergic to roses and Dad knows (or should know) this. He said he specified no roses but they sent them anyway. Poor guy can't win! In giving him the slightest benefit of the doubt she felt I was mean and hung up. This has happened before and I wait a few days and call again. Usually she doesn't remember hanging up and she gets confused dialing numbers so rarely calls me. And then something else starts again. I do try to spend a few months a year, usually summer, there and sometimes things are going well, but often lately they do not. My husband just says stop catering to her, and take care of myself. So yes- if someone knows how to bring all the concern up in way that is not threatening please do tell. My latest though is to compose a letter that outlines ways she may want to have help. We have discussed with the home case worker putting her on Assisted status which means they would regulate her meds (we think this is a good thing, she likes to self medicate..), provide 2 meals a day, clean once a week, provide 30 minutes personal care a week. She is totally mobile now and able to dress herself and bath. She is incontinent and has had regular UTIs in the past which I have tried to blame erratic behavior on, but now know it is bigger then this. I want to tell her to count her blessings that she does not need PT or speech therapy, she has her lots of loved ones who care about her. Her eyesight, hearing, and mobility have gone down but they are still good.
I had hired a "Helper" when she was still at the large family house who she could have help her with anything she needed help with. Poor girl ended up being the cleaning lady doing the toilets and floors and watering plants. Mom is fighting to remain independent but when I have helped her do things, like get xmas cards out, or plan a party, or outing, she pretends and tells her friends that she did it all herself and what a lot of work it was. I let this roll off my back. We (sister and I ) did a retrospective art show at a local center of her work and we didn't do a "catalog" which she hasn't let us forget. My father went to florida with her a few weeks ago but she flew home alone, couldn't stand being away from her "Mail". Now she is cold and alone and he stayed in Florida another 10 days. When I discuss this with him, we decided that a full evaluation will need to be done to determine her correct illness and needs. Now we just need to figure out how to get her onboard for this.
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If your parents want to remain in their home but need help to do so, why not get them help in areas which seem to be slipping, a house cleaner,meals on wheels, and take them out rather than having them drive. If the children live a distance away perhaps you could pay younger senior citizens to drive them shopping, to church and their medical appts. Younger seniors (people 60-74) often need a bit more income and this would be an easy way for them to earn a few extra dollars. If that isn't available check out a taxi service, township or county elderly transport can take them to their medical appts and some allow their services to be used for grocery shopping. Most seniors don't want to give up their driver's license but they don't want to be trapped in their home like a prisoner either. I had my father keep his driver's license but he stopped driving. I told him he had graduated to having a driver (me) and he was like the wealthy people who employ a full time driver. He was good with that notion. He retained a valid driver's license but he didn't drive and as long as he was taken everywhere he wanted to go he liked the arrangement. He was driving over 110 miles round trip to work up to 65 yrs old and he didn't miss driving. There comes a point when driving is a burden to the senior for my dad that happened at age 87.

I would try however to keep them in their home if they have the income to sustain living alone. You can fix this with some supports mentioned earlier and they will like being in their home or apartment. You may need to have them with you at some point but each day they are able to be in their own environment is a good day for them. If things turn worse, using home health aides can keep them in their home too. You can have aides for a certain number of hours a day or their are live in aides too.

From what you describe they seem to be going through the beginning of the aging process. If they live into their 90's things will speed up quickly.

Good Luck and you are to be commended for wanting to help your parents.
Too many children turn a blind eye to their parents as they age and face problems of aging.

Elizabeth
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