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Mom has no short-term memory but she's a very organized individual and manages well at home. She eats frozen dinners, high-quality cereals, peanut butter and cold-cut sandwiches. She snacks on packaged cookies and candy. She's entertained watching baseball and basketball and reading. Oh, and news programs. Though she's willing to change to something else for me, by the middle of the show she wants the remote back so she can find something she likes. She loses food in the refrigerator if you bring her something new. She seems content but I wonder if living with other people would make her more energetic.

If every time I lost or couldn’t find something in the fridge, I’d be in nursing home too.
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Reply to CaregiverL
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You're getting good advice and I would only add a few other considerations. First, the only reason to move your Mom would be if she's not safe and healthy where she is. If she has a routine that suits her and she is happy, that's great. Research shows that moving in advanced age can be very stressful so avoid doing so until it's necessary. Second, most seniors prefer to stay at home as long as they can, and in home care or visits may be your first avenue. Discuss it with her doctor and when she needs more care, the doctor can write a script which includes the care she needs so it can be covered. A senior social worker may also provide some valuable input about options, and research what is available in your mother's area and reviews from others. Third, ask your mother is she would like to move where she has meals, activities, and more contact with people, and if she's open to visiting independent or assisted living before the need arises.
It sounds like your mother is doing well and happy where she is, but having a conversation about what she would like in the future may be good for both of you. It may ease your mind knowing you are fulfilling her wishes once she can no longer make those decisions.
I can't have that conversation with my mother, who is 91 and lives alone by choice yet complains about everything: neighbors, her heat, her a/c, the sun coming in her window, you name it, but she won't have a conversation that results in any improvements. As a result, I have communicated my wishes to my sons and daughters-in-law so they can know what I would want even if I can't communicate it should something happen.
I wish you the best, but "don't fix what ain't broke." Gauge the situation by your mother's content, health, safety, and happiness. Good luck!
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Reply to pattiac
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As others have said, if she is content, safe, clean and still does her routines, leave her be. It is natural that as you get older, your world becomes smaller. All your family and friends are dying or dead and your closest caregiver becomes your social life. Most elderly wish to remain in their homes until the end and that's great if that's possible. As they no longer drive and start moving slower, social activities will drop dramatically. Short term memory loss doesn't help either. In addition to those things, my Mom was profoundly hard of hearing (hearing aids didn't really help) so social interaction was frustrating for those who did visit. When visitors had to keep repeating themselves, their visits became less and less. As I said, the caregiver a lot of times is their only social interaction. That's why Meals on Wheels is so important in the community. My Mom had a 2-person cleaning service that came every 2 weeks and one time I came in to find them sitting with my Mom socializing with her and her cat. I was angry at first thinking they weren't getting their job done, however, I came to realize what a blessing it was to have them "visit" with her. These ladies even visited my Mom in the nursing home after she was placed there. I was amazed and grateful to them. Short term memory loss will give way to just living in the moment, so if she is happy (or content) to do her routines, again I say let her be. It's hard to watch this aging process but we all will go through it at some point as life expectancy keeps getting longer with modern medicine. I just hope I can leave this world with dignity.
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Reply to help2day
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My mother didn't want to be around people period. She was perfectly happy to be home by herself. Ask her what she wants to do.

I am a social person but being around people, even those I love, for extended periods tires me and all I want to do is get away. A lot of you younger people think of it from your point of view, I see you saying, "I wouldn't want...., or I think....".

A lot of the time, especially if you wear hearing aids, a lot of noise is bothersome. When you are in your 80's and 90's you don't have the energy to visit all the time. My husband's nephew, his wife, daughter-in-law and two sweet little boys came to see us yesterday. After about an hour I couldn't wait for them to be gone. This last summer I spent 5 days at the beach with most of my immediate family. The happy noise my children and grandchildren made drove me down to sit under the canopy at the beach with my book for hours. I had to keep explaining to one of my daughters that "NO, I am NOT MAD, I am HAPPY, I just want to sit and look at the water!!!!!!!!" Hubby and I are used to quiet.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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shad250 Nov 4, 2018
Lol Thanks so much for the chuckle.
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I would leave her in her own home - seems like she's doing well. You and she are quite blessed compared to so many others.
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Reply to Onlydaughter93
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Heck, I can't even remember how long food has been in the fridge, I use masking tape and a sharpie to put the use or throw out date.

She sounds like she is just fine at home, if you are worried about her being alone to much, try to find visiting Angel's or volunteer visitors to come see her or enlist all the friends and family to rotate spending time with her.

Old people get tired and less social, do her wanting to stay home is completely normal.

I pray she continues to do well at home and gets to go on her terms.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Hi Toni,
If your mom is doing well, I would not even consider a nursing home, assisted living or independent living. Those are big changes, and unless it is desired by her, may have a negative effect outcome.

Too often, we children force our own perceptions onto our elderly parents. We think they’re not socializing enough, they’re not getting out enough, etc., I struggled with the same exact feelings when I cared for my parents. But they are stronger and most happy when independent in their own home for as long as possible. Many things- slowing of socializing, lessening activity (getting out & going) are actually very normal parts of living as an elderly person. Sounds like she’s happy and can operate fine within her own home. If there are any issues you have, at this point, maybe you can help her tweak them. Otherwise, I’d leave things as they are. What a blessing you are to be concerned and to be a wonderful daughter!!
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Reply to Help2014
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tonipoindexter Nov 4, 2018
What you are saying is my gut instinct. I just don't want to be closed minded to something that might be better for her.
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I can’t help but think that if she’s content, let her stay st home. It seems to be working for your mother and for you. a nursing home could set her back. We’re facing something similar and waiting until rhe last minute to consider a nursing home. Good luck.
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Reply to Weeble
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By the time you're 78 you've pretty much figured out what suits you. What you like to eat, what company - if any - you like to keep, your own idea of fun.

So although we might like to think of our parents eating a fabulous five a day diet, taking gentle exercise and making new friends (or even more: "old people can be so cute!" from the film Clueless springs to mind) and smiling on their supportive team of caregivers as they join in making festive decorations...

If, on sober reflection, such a scenario would make you wonder if your mother had been abducted and cloned by aliens...

Best not interfere. You don't necessarily know better than she does what's good for her.

Having said that: her voluntarily giving up the car shows that she is realistic about the need to adapt, plus there are one or two signs that you want to keep an eye on her own preferred routines to make sure she's coping. Then you can be ready to send in reinforcements or rethink her care plan as needed.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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No. Always better in known surroundings. And leave her in her home with hospice workers that come in daily. Most insurance carriers offer hospice. She's had a life full of energy, it's her time to rest and she is content. Sign her up for meals on wheels and she'll have company daily and food.
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Reply to queenenergy
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jacobsonbob Nov 4, 2018
From what was said I doubt she needs hospice--she is still functional and apparently doesn't have pain or a terminal disease. (I suspect you might not be familiar with the purpose of hospice.)
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