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My mom moved in several months ago. It's not terrible; it's not great. I'm wondering what sort of positives people have found in caring for aging parents in a multi-generational home. (My husband and I have 2 young-adult sons, both of whom are living with us right now.)

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I was shocked to discover how costly it is to care for aging, disabled, sick, and dependent elderly. And I was even more shocked to discover how much caring for the elderly drains me mentally, emotionally, and physically.

The two good things that come out of caregiving for my elderly Alz mom is that I realize I need to pre-plan for my own care when I get old, and I realize I should not put the burden of caring for me on my children.

I will try to teach these two lessons to my children so that they can prepare for their own old age. Most people don't think about what they will do when they get old and can no longer care for themselves. I certainly didn't until I had to care for my mother. Valuable life lessons learned.
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Reply to polarbear
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Not much. You are lucky that it's not terrible, and you need to be aware that it can change as the results of ageing kick in. There are blessings from doing the best you can, with love, but they don't need to include sharing housing.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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I kind of understand your post but you won’t get much positive reinforcement here. I honestly haven’t read many
posts from caregivers here who are doing home caregiving and doing handsprings and happy cartwheels down the middle of the street celebrating having a loved one living with them. Quite the opposite. Most posters write to us and ask, “how the hell did this happen?” Adult children make the “Noble Promise” to never put their parents in what the parents perceive as a horrible, dirty awful nursing home. The kids are guilted into having the parent, who perhaps has always been (ahem) “difficult”, and sometimes expect the parent’s personality to improve once they move in. Instead, the parent declines, and rapidly. Poops in corners. Pees in any available container or just on the floor. Won’t bathe. Won’t take meds. Wanders and yells all night so no one gets any sleep. Wont eat. Abuses everyone from the pets to the kids living in the home.

Nope. This scenario is 90% of the posts we get here. Our hearts hurt for these posters. We want a magic wand to make it ok for them. “Blessings”? Nope. Not here. Sorry.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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dlpandjep Dec 29, 2018
You actually made me laugh.  (I must be losing it) Thanks Ahmijoy!
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I like this idea of looking for the blessings, kind of like a Gratitude List, something I try to do every morning.  Of course, not much of it has included my elder living with us.  My home is not multi-generational, as my kids are not near, and in their 40's.  However, I can easily recount a lot of blessings when My husband and I first moved my aunt in with us.  She traveled with me, and we enjoyed each other's company.  Her love of us and her new living situation was enjoyable.  It's been hard to watch her slowly slip away, but there's also been humor.  The other day I gave her her pills, and as usual she asked "What are these?"  I told her, but then she kept asking the same question.  I stopped answering, and smiled while I asked her if she was being naughty.  She giggled and said yes. 

I have learned a lot about aging, and dementia types, and learned to ask for help.  I have also learned how to better take care of myself (after a burnout) and how better to set limits.  My hubby and I have now laughed about the nights Rose comes out of her room in nothing more than her pajama top to say good night. (when we are alone)

I've become better at acceptance of what is, and then finding solutions.  An example is that Rose no longer opens drawers.  If it is not visible, she can't find it.  So I put her clothes out for her and make sure she dresses for the day.  Anyone else?
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
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dlpandjep Dec 29, 2018
My Mother takes her clothes off in bed at night.  I often find her naked in the morning.  A few days ago I asked her why she takes her clothes off and she said, "What makes you think I did it?". 
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A stronger relationship with the Lord.
Much spiritual growth, and better understanding and patience.
A greater love for my parents.
Strength and courage.
More self awareness of my weaknesses, allowing me to improve them, with the Lords help.
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dlpandjep Dec 29, 2018
Oh smeshque - I've grown closer to the Lord as well.  I can't imagine doing this without Him.  Unfortunately, I haven't grown more patient - on the contrary and I don't understand why.  People tell me it's normal with the amount of pressure I have, but that doesn't help.  It breaks my heart watching my parents failing and seeing how dementia has changed my Mother.  If you have any advice, I would be grateful. God bless you and keep you as you continue to care for your loved ones. 💙
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Dear MBFoster -  You are the recipient of answers resulting from years of pain and frustration of people who have cared for loved ones with very challenging and demanding illnesses.  This leads to burn-out and the attitudes expressed here (mine included).  That is one of the main reasons this forum exists - support.

You are looking for blessings and I pray your journey is one that allows you to continue to find joy and blessings.  Please don't allow us to discourage you!  Stay positive!  You've made me stop and think about myself and I needed that.   

Happy New Year to you and your family!
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Absolutely nothing
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Reply to Erinm60
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We have 2 teens and 2 toddlers, and my 81 year old mom with dementia. She rarely talks these days, but loves to hold hands with us, especially the kids. Mental images of seeing her reach out and take hold of one of her grandkids hands are real blessings.
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smeshque Jan 2, 2019
That is lovely. :)
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I cannot see any blessing that would only come from having an elderly parent with a degenerative condition and increasing needs living with you that would not also come from caring for them when they live elsewhere. I think there might be some hidden blessings that come from increased self-awareness due to the pain we feel which triggers our need to set boundaries with loved ones. However some might also say it is a blessing to never have had to learn those lessons in the first place.
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Reply to GingerMay
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Finally realizing the truth of this statement:
You are as happy as you choose to be.
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dlpandjep Dec 30, 2018
I wish it were that simple.
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