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She got out of the house at 6am and a neighbor found her at the end of the street, it was freezing out! That was 2 weeks ago and I'm so nervous about this happening again. Even though I moved into her home she doesn't think it's her home. A few days before she escaped she had asked me to take her to visit her brother but he lives in another country. She said no, he lives in the area. Maybe she was trying to go visit him?

Her bathroom habits have taken a real turn. She wears depends but never seems to make it onto the toilet in time. I really don't have any help besides my husband and my siblings are useless. They crapped out on me 2 yrs ago when I broke my knee, when I needed their help more than ever. It's beginning to cause a problem for me and my husband. We just don't have the life we used to. Before we decided to move in with my Mom my siblings assured me everyone would be helping me. It never happened. Yeah, I'm more than pissed about that (and they're medical people)

I've reached out a few times for a nurses aide to come in but they're not reliable. Right now I have a nice woman who comes to shower my Mom and sit with her 2x a week for 2 hrs each day. Just waiting for this aide to flake out on me.

My Mom's Dr office was useless too so I stopped taking her there but now I have no Dr for her, I'm on a wait list at this point

A real stresser for me is that I don't know what the next step is. What is the process for looking into a long term facility for my Mom? I feel like it's going to be a nightmare. Do I need a Lawyer? She owns her home but me and my sisters and brother are on the deed.

Do I start calling around to facilities?? I'm so lost and have no one to ask or guide me in the right direction. Help?

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In the not-so-long-ago old days, if a successful middle class couple saved well they probably could leave some kind of inheritance. After all, they probably only had to support themselves five years or so past their own retirement. Generally if they got very sick they died.

Now people often live 20 to 30 years beyond their retirement. Often they are living with very expensive chronic illnesses that previous generations had little experience with. Everything costs exponentially more than it did when they were paying in to their pensions.

Now days getting to the end of life paying your own way is a mark of great success. Leaving a financial legacy is just not feasible for the majority.
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I like that term "inheritance roadblock". That's exactly what it is! I would guess our folks are the last generation to expect to leave something to their kids after their death. I know that I certainly don't expect to leave anything to my son or his family. I'd like to, but the reality is that everything I have saved will go to my old age care.
Times change and Babalou is right the best thing we can do is to teach our kids to support themselves and not expect an inheritance at all.
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Ah yes, the inheritance roadblock. I've been trying to ease my parents into the reality that they are going to need assited living and probably memory care for Dad. (These discussions are with Mom. Dad has dementia, he's just fine, he ain't a gonna even talk about it) But Mom cannot let go of the idea that their savings is the inheritance for me and the grandkids. And OMG, what will happen to our house!? I don't tell her this but the house will be shoved down and the property sold to fund their care. Still working on this.......
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Babalou: Your comment is great. It's precisely what I have told my son. Unfortunately, for some folks my Moms age the idea of leaving something for their children after their death was a sign of having lived a successful life. It's hard for them to realize that isn't going to happen and that they will probably be reduced to poverty. Such a sad situation for folks that have worked so hard and saved all their lives. But, it is the way it is.
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THEIR money, that should say.
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Nojoy, my mom is in a NH that costs $15,000 per month. I count myself fortunate that my parents were savers AND that they drummed into us the idea that their money was THE money and would be used by them before they died and that we should not expect to see any of it.

If you have generational wealth, I guess you'd be justified in expecting an inheritance. Middle class parents would do better to educate their children so that they can support themselves and not rely on inherited money.
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Today I started my search for alternative living situations for my Mom with ALZ DZ. I toured a local nursing home that would consider taking her. It was a nice place but not fancy. The people working there seemed nice and those recieving care seemed clean and well tended. It seems like everything we might want for Mom. After the tour we went back to the admissions office where I was given a nice packet of info and price for care was discussed. The cost for a semi private room with a bathroom shared by 4 residents was just shy of $96,000.00 per year. I knew care would be expensive but I couldn't believe it was this much. I still have a couple other places to check but I would imagine their price will be in the same range. So, be prepared for sticker shock!!!! Since I started being Moms' caregiver I have learned one thing for sure. Getting old in this country is incredibly expensive. If you're rich you can afford care or if you're very poor the gov. will pay for your care. But, heaven help the middle class fellow who has worked hard all his life to save a little to leave to his children. You're screwed! You will most likely be reduced to poverty before you get out of this world.
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Hi jeannegibbs, yes that's what I'm going to have to do. I don't want you to think I've not had proper care for my Mom. Long story short, I broke my knee 2 yrs ago and have had major complications that were not corrected until this past August. I had called my Mom's Dr looking for help. A nurse in the office was handling this for me (getting a visiting nurse) She told me that when I speak to them to stand my ground on when I want them and the times. So I did that and they were insisting on coming at 8am on Tues and Thurs. I pushed back as instructed and the next thing I know is the nurse at my Mom's Dr office calls me upset saying I need to be more flexable. It wasn't because I wasn't flexable, my Mom sleeps until 11am. Why should I wake her so early? Anyway, that led to her telling me to ask my siblings to help. I told her I don't get help and she told me she found that hard to believe. It was all I could do from not going there and choking the life out of her. I made a formal complaint and they said she'll not contact me again etc etc. Well, she called me several times. The whole situation was outrageous.

Anyway, she's on the wait list for a Specialist... I was told she'll be seen by the end of this month. She'll give me a lot of guidance and resources. Thanks for your comment.
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Hi GeeWiz. I have POA and I'm authorized to make her medical decisions. Yes, my Dad who's passed was a Vet. I thumbed through info about my Mom possibly getting financial help. I don't know when he entered the Navy but I know he retired from the Navy in 1966 and served approx 25 yrs, I can find that info out easy enough.

I did begin a search and there are plenty of facilities including one's that specialize in dementia. So now I'll really start researching. I am also getting someone to come in once a week to help with the cleaning. I'm just so confused as to what to do so I really appreciate your help. I'm positive I'll be back with questions!

FreqFlyer, a lot of the practices in this area are either not accepting new patients or have a long wait to get in. The Dr that I want my Mom to see is a Specialist and she'll come to my Mom's house for the visit. I'm covered for her scripts for a while. Thankfully, besides the dementia she's healthy. If she did get ill I would take her to the urgent care at a local hospital.

I have to look into Medicaid. I know right now she has too much money in her savings.... spending down. We've been on the deed about 4 years now. Yes my Mom is not on the deed but can live out her life in her home. I'm so scared of making bad decisions but it's time I get my head out of the sand. Thanks so much for your help.
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Good advice in the first two answers, especially about financial and legal matters!

Use Mom's money for some in-home help until a more permanent solution can be arranged.

Not all persons with dementia need memory care facilities. Since your mom has "wandered" once, she may need that kind of secure environment. Otherwise assisted living or a nursing home may be appropriate. A group home is also a possibility. It is too bad she isn't being seen by a geriatrician you could discuss this with. As you start looking at facilities you can discuss the level of care she needs with them.
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DirtyH2O, you had mentioned that you are on a wait list for a doctor? Why is that? Do whatever you can to get your Mom established with a new doctor, be it geriatric or an internist or a family doctor. It is important as that doctor can also help with writing prescriptions for items needed that are paid for by Medicare... without a script, your Mom pay out of pocket.

If funds are an issue, see if your Mom can qualify for Medicaid. There is a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through to apply, but worth it as Medicaid will help pay for a nursing home. Question, when did your Mom put you and your siblings on the Deed? Or is Mom not on the Deed but has life use of the house?
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Take a deep breath. First thing is to begin to educate yourself about dementia. There are many articles on this site, use the search box in the upper right corner. Also, the Alzheimer's website has info, There are caregiver support groups across the country for those with family members with this disease. check the visiting nurse assoc, local hospitals, houses of worship and memory care facilities for such programs.

Assess your mom's financial and legal document situation. Does someone have medical decision making authority? Is there a DPOA signed? Is your Mom or her husband a veteran that would qualify for veteran's assistance? (See veteran's benefits guide) on this site.

Do a computer search of Memory care facilities by your area. Start to call and visit them to see if they meet Mom's needs and are within her budget. During this time, you will need to bring in help. It may be a home health aide for Mom or cleaning help for you. Take advantage of grocery shopping services to get rid of that chore. Transition times require that you bring in extra help, though it may come in various formats. Is there a nursing school near you? Perhaps one of the students would be available to help take care of Mom. Good luck and come back often with yur questions.
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