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My late father had COPD but still was able to keep up with household maintenance. That changed about a year and a half before he passed away. If at that time they had sold the house and moved to assisted living -- with graduated care available -- things would have been a lot better for everyone, including me. It's more than nine years now since I moved in with Mom which she begged me to do so she could stay in her house.

Don't think I could have changed any of that history. But I surely would love a redo with the yard and would look for ways to eliminate grass rather than cultivate it. Someone mows and trims, but I tend the landscape on the half-acre lot. As Mom needs more supervision, it's harder to keep up. Also, paying for repairs that Dad used to do has eaten into our resources.

Bottom line, though, I believe everything happens for a purpose whether I know it and/or like it or not. This is not an easy life and at the same time I'm grateful for the opportunities to grow as a person. God bless us every one!
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I would have insisted on help earlier on before we got totally worn out. And I wish I would have gotten/accepted payment for my services. It takes a lot of time and energy to be a caretaker - and although I love my mother-in-law - my home suffered because we were constantly taking care of her and her home and were too worn out afterwards to do much about our own. So if I had at least gotten some payment, I would have at least been able to hire someone to do some of the stuff instead of trying to do it all ourselves. And the big thing I would done was have set straight before anything was even started - if anyone wanted to know how she was doing, etc., THEY would have to call - not making us feeling like we had to keep everyone informed.
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I would have demanded more help (esp. $$$) from the rest of the family earlier and HIRED what was needed.
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Take my mother out of the nursing home and bring her, along with my dad, to my home much sooner. After 71 years of marriage they desperately missed sleeping together. Once we did it, it was tough, very tough, but seeing their joy was worth it all. It's a memory I will always have,
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For medical issues - I would have gotten a 2nd or 3rd opinion. Heart Dr. "missed" congestive heart failure. Had this been properly treated other problems might never have happened.
Also, PTSD was diagnosed as Alzheimers - so much for that Dr.
Just because someone is older - and they have mental issues - it doesn't mean they have AD or dementia. 2nd and 3rd opinions might help to insure diagnosis is correct.
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I wouldn't have encouraged my parents to get a reverse mortgage. I encouraged them to do so because none of us wants their house when they're gone and I never anticipated they would live so long and my father's health would be so bad for so long. Had they not gotten that reverse mortgage, we could have sold their (too large) house and used that money to move them closer to me and my sister and gotten them a smaller home that required much less caretaking. The used the money to make improvements in the house and yard that weren't really necessary.
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I'm trying my best to live my life with less regret, BUT...

I suspected my father's finances were a mess for a long time before I aggressively did anything about it. If I had it to do over again, I would insist that he see an elder law attorney MUCH earlier and come clean with his full financial picture. He'd be living a better life now (and so would I!).

I think most adult children are lost and overwhelmed when the time comes to be a parent to their parent and very few parents willingly hand over responsibilities to their children (Dads resist the hardest, it seems). Adult kids don't know when to 'pull the trigger' and become actively involved. And, sadly, it's often very late in the game when they do. I'm a cautionary tale.
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What a timely question. I wish that we had better understood the option of in home care and it's implications while making plans. I our case, one parent is in pretty good health and able to live independently and the other has Dementia and needs more support than the other parent can provide. Both my parents are very private and have always said they want to stay at home... bought long term care insurance... have a safe spacious one story home and family/neighbors to check on them. As mom's condition developed, we brought in near round the clock care to help dad care for her. Mom is so easy going and flexible yet Dad had personality conflicts with most of the caregivers. Constantly complained of them being underfoot, eating his food, no time for himself, etc. even though he flat refuses to get involved in ANYTHING outside the house. The agency and I were at our wits end trying to see that mom's needs were met while trying to keep dad happy. After about 9 months, he moved mom to a home instead. Nice place, but brand new and lots of "start up issues" that contributed to additional medical problems for mom the first 6 months she was there. Dad's health is now so-so. And he's making some questionable decisions. He really should have some help at home but refuses. He demands help from us kids, but is so critical and controlling of our efforts that it's not much help at all and is taking a huge toll on us and our relationships. He won't discuss moving to Independent Living. Both mom and dad's HC Directives say they want to return home as soon as possible if they need skilled nursing care. I wish that before they had finalized those plans, we'd all had a better understanding of what it meant. Do we ignore mom's wishes to keep dad a little bit happier? I'm having a really hard time with that. I wish I'd have known more about these dynamics and had more life experience while in my 30's when they were making their plans.
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I would have made sure that other siblings would make a commitment to help me. Not doing this was a bad mistake. I am worn out mentally, emotionally and physically. I have been told more than once, "You are the one who said that she could live with you"( and not in a nice way). This has been the attitude for, almost, three years.
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Ditto ditto ditto. Mom came with me to the Bay Area to have hernia surgery...she was confused at that time but nothing terribly bad. My sister was not speaking to me because she thought seeing me in a bank with mom meant i was stealing mom's money. Prior to the surgery the surgeon said get poa for medical and financial so we were off to a recommended attorney...got all the paper work done...since sister wasn't speaking to me i had to do this uni laterally...sister not speaking forced me to do alot of things that in looking back might not have otherwise been done as promptly as they should be done. in addition to thinking i was stealing moms money she is also mad that i am poa....can't win with her. get all legal matters done asap...
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