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I remember back when my Dad came home from the hospital after a mild heart attack, the poor guy could barely walk, and he would need to sleep in the living room in his recliner until he got stronger. Mom didn't want us to move Dad's recliner to the other side of the living room so he could be closer to the powder room.... we ignored her and moved the recliner.

Same issues with throw rugs, Mom didn't want us to move them. Oh my gosh, Mom didn't want one of those free standing lighted magnifiers, it didn't match her décor. She grumbled when the visiting nurses recommended grab bars on the showers.... [sigh]

I realize we were in *her territory* and it was their house. The only thing I could think was Mom [now 96] didn't want to be reminded that her husband [who is now 93] was getting older, and that she was aging, too.

Today she didn't want Dad to take the rolling walker to the doctor's office, she was making all sorts of silly excuses... I just ignored her and put the walker into the trunk.... boy, Dad loves that walker, makes his life soooo much easier :)

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FF it may be just the way of their generation. My mother was always in total denial. Perhaps our generation is a little more practical. When she went into a NH I bought a small dilapidated cottage out in the country, one floor, 2 steps to the mud room and out to an on grade deck and the south driveway, 2 steps from the sun room to the north driveway and one step into the bathroom. Now 65, with a hip problem and bad back I've been renovating it with future needs in mind. The big old bathtub was replaced with a shower, raised vegetable beds built and a greenhouse is under construction. With occasional hired help to do the heavy stuff, hopefully I can spend many happy years here.
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My Dad is fine now but it was a challenge back then to have Mom accept the fact that my Dad even had a heart attack... she kept telling people he hurt his back, and I think she did that because she didn't want people to think she wasn't taking good care of her husband, feeding him right, etc.

As for hiring help, my parents are in that category of refusing to let strangers in the house. Mom wouldn't even accept a whole house cleaning by professionals [oh my gosh, I would be jumping at that chance, I'd have directional signs pointing the route to the house].

Moving my parents to my home isn't an option as my house isn't elder-proof mainly because I have steep sets of stairs.... then there would be the struggle of the thermostat as my parents like it at sauna setting, and my sig other and I need blizzard. And the struggle with the drapes, Mom would want them all closed during the day, making it cave like, and both my sig other and I are sun people. Mom doesn't want the sun to fade the rug or the furniture, so you almost need a flashlight to get around their house :P

I really believe Mom is in denial about her age... Dad has accepted his age.
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We could not completely blame the old folks for wanting to be left with how they are living their live. After all we were all raised knowing that independence after a certain age is necessary. Both women and men really do have a hard time accepting the fact that they are getting old and there are things that they are not capable of doing anymore.
Let us give your Mom the slack. She must have lived her life independently for the longest time and has been accustomed to this already. Some individuals who are in the later years of their life are also very sentimental with things and memories so we have to be open-minded to them. Age also affect how our mind works. Age can sometimes cloud our judgment about practical and rational things in life. On the other hand, it’s good to hear that your Dad is responding very well on the changes that he has to go through because of the sickness and condition he is in right now.
So the bottom line here is how can we adapt to these changes?
Here are a few tips that could help you to adjust.
1. Know the wants and the needs of your ageing parents. Agree with a common goal or activity or preventive measure that will weigh their wants and their needs equally. On your end, there are things that your Mom doesn’t want to be changed in her home but is needed to for the sake and welfare of your Dad. How about moving your Dad with you instead? Or moving in to your parent’s house for quite some time as soon as your Mom has managed to adjust. Or how about getting household help or household care for your Dad? You and your Mom should agree to something that will be beneficial and safe for your Dad.
2. It is all a matter of open and constant communication. Always include your Mom on the decisions that you do for their house and her husband. Yes they could really talk balk nasty stuff to you in the process but that is normal. Talking about the ordeal is much better than not talking about it at all. Find an effective way on how you can communicate and make your Mom understand what the situation really is and what is the logical and practical way to resolve the issue.
3. Change and acceptance will eventually come in time. It is quite very hard to adapt to changes. We all experience that constantly in life. As for your Mom, she is experiencing it all over again after so many years of living in comfort and in habit. This time, your Mom might be having a hard time adjusting to the changes as well. Again, let us give her the slack. Eventually, she’ll realize and give in to the idea that they need help and care from their children at this point in their lives.
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ff, I really think it has a lot to do with pride, independence and...pride.

My parent's literally had 15 throw rugs in this house. Bathrooms, kitchen, bedroom, garage and even outside the back patio! Those were the first to go. Since daddy, at that time, needed more assistance than mom, I put the high potty seat in, also the rails around it to help him stand, the shower chair, the hand rails inside the tub, walker and rolling walker thing. Almost got him a lift chair but he refused... instead I got him a nice giant Valentine's pillow to sit on in his recliner...and one of those fluffy back/arm rests... I know... weird, but after all was said and done, the man who never acknowledged much, thanked me and said I was his Godsend. Thanks enough for me. Stubborn is as stubborn was!
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I prepped my parents home for dad returning after an amputation. The high toilet seat, ramps, bath seat took some getting used to, but they did make life easier. Mom accepted them, but we all would have preferred not to need them.
Dad was very grateful, as without the ramps, he could not have returned home.
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I feel for you, freqflyer, but I feel for your mom, too.

I remember taking up all my pretty throw rugs, and installing grab bars, and rearranging furniture, when Coy got sick. I did it willingly. But I also harbored resentment that to keep him out of a nursing home I needed to turn my home into one! Acknowledging the feeling helped me deal with it. But really, it is not just a denial of aging or of infirmity. It is the now tangible fact that my spouse's illness is impacting EVERY aspect of our lives together, including how my home looks. It is the realization that no aspect of my life is exempt from his illness that is so very hard. I did it all, and no family member had to make me do it. I called in a professional to assess the safety of our home. But that doesn't mean it was easy to accept.

I'm glad I had "official" guidelines for what to do. I know that my aunt dutifully took up all her throw rugs when the doctor specifically told her to. When she started to have mobility issues common sense should have told her to take them up, but the doctor's word was stronger than common sense.

I think you are right to just go ahead and do what needs to be done, for father's sake. But I hope you find ways to help poor mother cope, too. And if your "bossiness" is causing trouble with your relationship with Mom, consider calling in an objective third party, like an occupational therapist, to pronounce the guidelines.

This is sure a tough business, isn't it?
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Mother wouldn't use her cane except in the house for years. I got a clear one that we filled with pieces of different colored ribbons. As her mobility decreased she refused a walker, so I purchased a transporter chair in a pretty blue and got a walker with a really neat basket for her things. She loved the transporter but still worried about seeing someone she knew when we were out. The walker was for home use only.

When she needed 24 oxygen, we got the big machine and used portable tanks for going out. I kept bigger tanks at my house so she had those available when she came over. It was like staying one step ahead of her before a decline; because we all knew she would just sit at home if we didn't have everything she needed available before the need arose. It was never very easy.
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Oh I feel your pain.

It's part denial and part "I HATE CHANGE" ---- older people hate any sort of change, and the fact that they are "accommodating" for their progressing age or illness (or both), means that there is something wrong. So, by changing things up means that something is definitely wrong.

I can't even give you advice because I tried getting my parents to make their home a bit safer and it was like pulling teeth. I think the best thing to do is FORCE the change. Hard as it sounds, it'll be safer. I now have to really think about changing Mom's shower since it's hard for her to get in - like one of those tubs with a door or just a door with a shower. She has a hard time "hopping" over the tub to get in.

Good luck…….
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