Follow
Share

My father-in-law has finally given in to assisted living which I am so glad as he will be getting the care he needs. He does still have a home but is not safe for him to be there, as he thinks that he can go back there for a few hours each day and then return to assisted living later in the day. I do not think this would be a good idea but my brother-in-law insists that there will be no issues with this. Has anyone ever done this? What are your ideas on this.

How will he get adjusted to AL if he's never there? How will he make friends?

If your brother in law thinks that he can do this, then BIL should sign dad up for adult day care and commit to being responsible for the rest of dad's care needs.

This is a TERRIBLE idea. What is BIL going to do if his dad refuses to leave?
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report
gemswinner12 Jan 7, 2020
I agree. Who is paying for the upkeep of the house (utilities, yard work, sprinklers and gutters?). I cleaned out and rented out my Mom's house to help pay for her care and incidentals. As-is, the house is going to start breaking down. Also, an unoccupied house is a magnet for thieves and squatters. The house should be cleaned up and either rented out or sold.
(5)
Report
Amen! Don't allow FIL to go back and forth! After my parents moved to AL, my brother took them back to their house to get things that they realized they needed in AL. Unfortunately, it kept that hope alive that they would one day return to the house and there was one time that my mom was not going to leave. She has Alzheimer's Disease and said they could go on their way and she was fine right where she was!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Joanies
Report

In BIL’s defense, I understand that seeing one’s parent go through a life change such as going to a facility is very difficult. BIL wants to ease into this change by having his father treat the AL like a daycare. If he can spend time in his home yet, things aren’t that “real”. BIL doesn’t want to accept “all or nothing”.

Your family has the right to call a Care Conference at any time. Call one and make sure BIL is there. It’s a good idea to call one within the first few weeks of admittance. Have the staff kindly explain to BIL that to switch between the two residences is very confusing to his father and will be difficult for all of you. He may be more on board with their experience and knowledge.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

I would imagine that the home will not be in favor of such an arrangement. Letting one stay at their new home is a cornerstone to them adjusting. Taking them out just adds to their confusion and gives them false hope that someday they will return to their former home.

From what I can determine your BIL is his son? Sons see their fathers as the leaders of the family, and they do not want to bruise their fathers ego. It is complicated, as the son sees himself through his father, strong, healthy...a leader...this is a difficult adjustment on both of their parts. The father is no longer who he was, yet the son wants to maintain a façade.

Who has your FIL Durable POA, who is going to make sound decisions for him when he can no longer do this for himself?

Call a Care Council meeting, make sure all parties are there, perhaps the facility can help him to understand. Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to DollyMe
Report

With one foot in AL and one foot out, how can your FIL be expected to adjust? Or to make a decision one way or another?

He has not 'given in' to Assisted Living at ALL if he's expecting to go back home every day for a couple of hours!!

Not a good idea at all, based on my experience with my own parents in AL.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to lealonnie1
Report

I agree with everything BarbBrooklyn wrote.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
Report

My grandfather had his room in the AL, ate breakfast there, then my mom or my uncle brought him home for the day. He ate a hot lunch, sat in his chair, drank coffee & smoked cigarettes all afternoon then went back to the AL for supper & bedtime.

He had no interest in arts & crafts, bingo, etc. & he couldn't smoke at the facility. At home he felt comfortable.

It was tedious for mom & uncle doing daily transportation. Otherwise it worked out for them.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Longears
Report
Ioanna Jan 7, 2020
How very kind your mom and uncle were to your grandfather! He was fortunate to have such loving care in his life.
(3)
Report
See 1 more reply
The trouble seems to be that FIL doesn't want to go to a day center, he wants to go to a "night" center!

FIL thinks he can sleep and eat at the ALF and return to his home for "a few hours" each day. Well, he can if he likes. He's not a prisoner. He can go where he pleases.

But how's he going to manage it? I wonder if your BIL is taking this line as a bit of a ruse. If that's what it takes to get FIL's agreement, let's go with it; and then once FIL is actually resident in the ALF we can work on his practical routine.

Or, if BIL is happy to undertake the ferrying back and forth, and the negotiations on days when FIL wants to stay in his house for "a few more hours," let them try it. Just make sure you're not on the volunteer drivers' list.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

lol. Are you sure we don't have the same dad? Although my dad never gave in to moving from his home, he was forced to because of a hospitalization. Prior to the move, he always talked that if he moved, he would spend the nights at the AL and days at his house. After he was moved, I stayed away for almost 2 weeks. We brought in extra care people from the care service he had at his house to get him familiar with the new place and get him started with activities. As I recall, they did not take him back to the house during that time. He has been in AL 3 months now. I think it's been at least 3 weeks since he has last gone to his house and he only visits for a few minutes at a time to check on things. (I would love to sell the place but I best be patient.) We've kept the care people on 3 days a week and he can ask them at any time to take him there, but he doesn't. He's too busy at the AL now. Although I will say that almost every time I see him, he mentions that he must move home. We have had some real go-arounds about it. It actually surprises me because he seems really happy at the AL. As his guardian I would never allow it and all I do when he brings it up is tell him to call his attorney - that I would never support a move back there. Tell your brother-in-law that the only way he will get used to the new environment is to immerse himself in it. Taking him to the house every day will not help him. Change is hard but I have been surprised that my dad has adapted as well as he has. When we are out and about on Saturday's, he is always anxious to get back to AL for the next activity.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Babs75
Report
disgustedtoo Jan 7, 2020
Glad to hear that your dad "seems" to be adjusting! Three weeks and no house visit is GREAT! Wanting to get back for the next activity while you are out is a good sign too!

As for when he brings it up during your visits, suggesting he call his attorney is good. I wouldn't focus on saying YOU would not support his return, but place the blame elsewhere (doctors, courts, etc.) then try to change the topic or leave.
(2)
Report
Two homes is, IMHO, never the answer. People need to set down roots and this is hard enough in one home, practically impossible with multiple homes.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to RayLinStephens
Report

I see both sides of the answers here and for me it depends on what type of facility he is really in and the issues that require it. First each person and each family is different so there is no blanket answer here, what are his care needs are they more physical, cognitive or both? Is he in the type of AL where his living more on his own, has his own food available and can come and go as he pleases but someone checks on him at certain times of the day or does he have a room on a floor that isn't a hospital room but a bit more like a senior dorm if you will where the staff is also roaming the halls and makes sure he gets dinner, medications and is keeping closer track of him? Does he drive? Is he able to come and go or does he need to sign out when he leaves the premises or someone needs to sign him out? Before people correct me, yes I too tend to label the apartment and come and go living as IL but there are all kinds of in between and different understandings of the difference between IL and AL some having more to do with needs than circumstances and I think facilities label their care/living arrangements differently too for various reasons.

I'm trying to get a feel for just how much supervision or care FIL needs, if he is in a facility that is tracking him and needs supervision throughout the day this probably isn't a great idea but if he has his full faculties and isn't a real danger to himself they need his consent and cooperation so perhaps a plan that keeps him in his new "home" for a few weeks before going to visit home again, going back to his old house for a couple of hours 2-3 times a week rather than every day or some combination of these either by plan he agrees with or happening naturally because no one is available to transport him or other things are going on. FIL agreed it was time for this move, what were the reasons he felt it was time and does he have a social life he's trying to keep in touch with by going to the house or does he just sit in front of the TV and hole up all day?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Lymie61
Report

Unless he has dementia issues to consider, he should be able to make this transition any way he wants. If his home visits require the assistance of others, then those helpers have a say regarding frequency and duration of said visits. It is easy to decide for the elderly loved one what is best for them, but is that respectful of them? I wonder how many men live in his assisted living complex; usually there are few. It is possible that many of the activities are geared toward women's tastes. I imagine that the house has memories and meaning for your father-in-law and the house also represents an investment as well. Why not visit his castle? I suspect that your father-in-law knows that there will come a time that he can't enjoy his home any longer; why force that loss now? If brother-in-law wants to do this for his dad, let him. On a practical note, his son can do all the little things a house needs doing while dad enjoys his hours there. There will be upkeep as the house sits empty. If he is expecting you to be responsible for this task, that's different. You do have a say as to how much you do to supplement dad's activities and it is important that you advocate for yourself. When my parents each ended up in a nursing home, I tried to get them out of facility as often as possible. Fresh air, sunshine, a change of scenery, and perspective as well as a little more physical stuff like walking and stairs and getting in and out of the car is always good. Plus, being in a comfort zone is respite. My advice is find the best balance between your wishes and his and know that eventually out of necessity, it will change.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to lynina2
Report
Tanaonfolly Jan 7, 2020
Sorry. I see too many comments on here that think this is a BAD idea. Just as you said, there are memories in his home and as long as there is someone to take him there, I love that idea. I am just wondering about those that are so oppose to this.
(3)
Report
Since you did not say anything about dementia issues, changes in scenery should not create more confusion. He agreed to go, so that is a plus for you. Why not entertain his wish to return to his house. Perhaps offer 3-4 times a week to start and give a timeframe for him to be at home, perhaps from 1-3. He would have already eaten lunch at facility and be back before supper so there would be no need to cook in the home. You can always taper it off to twice a week later on.

What did he usually do during the day at home? Sit in front of tv??? Or was he more active and doing things around the house? What are the safety issues for him to be at home? Maybe you would need someone to be there at the same time to keep an eye on things.

Not sure of his finances, but if you are spending down a small amount of money to pay for assisted living, there could be a problem (when Medicaid nursing home bed is needed) if he has spent money to be at home (in home care) at the same time he has residence at a facility. Hope you can work this out for him so that his transition is a happier experience for him.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to my2cents
Report

I'm sorry, you must have left what type of doctor or mental health expert your BIL aka. marriage related ONLY family member is?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Pamble1958
Report
worriedinCali Jan 7, 2020
I think you are confused. BIL isn’t related by marriage, he’s related by blood. The OP is talking about her FIL and BIL. FIL is BILs dad. OP is the one related by marriage ;)
(0)
Report
See 2 more replies
Assumption is BIL is either your husband's brother or his sister's husband. There is also no indication of why FIL is in AL.

If he is in AL just so his basic needs can be met (med management and proper meals), I see no real harm in what BIL is doing. Sure, FIL could eventually balk and say he wants to stay overnight or return to living there, but that would be BIL's problem, no? Also, typically AL is an open environment, they don't prevent anyone from leaving or staying away. If so, even without BIL's help, he could hire a taxi or perhaps use the facility transport system to go there himself.

If he is going down the dementia road (hopefully he is in MC not just regular AL), this could *really* backfire, but again that would be BIL's issue, no?

Clearly your concerns are for FIL, but do you really have any say? Personally if dementia was not involved and it didn't result in refusal to return to AL, I would not object to occasional visits, pick up some items maybe, but overall the best thing is to make a decision about where to stay and stay. Every day? If BIL is facilitating this, he has WAY too much time on his hands!!!

As long as this isn't really impacting you, I would let it be. If it is your husband's father and he objects too, then he needs to work that out with the others in his family. There really isn't a lot you can do, other than to be supportive of hubby if it is his father and he objects to this.

As for the house itself - if no one is living in it, the family needs to be aware that regular homeowner's insurance most likely won't cover the place. We had to get special insurance for an unoccupied residence. It can be very costly, but will be even worse to find out the current policy won't cover it! We lucked out in that I was able to get this from the condo association master policy provider - it was very comparable to what mom had been paying, or perhaps overpaying.

Also, as others said, there could be issues that arise as the place ages. It took over a year and a half to get mom's condo cleared out, fixed up and cleaned, and in the meantime the heating system died and all the windows started blowing their seals (they get moisture between the panes and then start fogging up.) I wasn't getting a lot of help from my brothers, so it took way too long. One plan was to rent, as it was set up as life-estate and selling it early had tax implications. Being 1.5 hours each way and having enough on my plate, I decided that I was NOT going to play at being a landlord and have to deal with MORE management of mommy stuff! Atty was surprised, but when I told him that just between taxes and condo fees, it was sucking down about 14k/year, and the heating system + window glass + other stuff needing attention, it sucked down even more! I was DONE with all that crap!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to disgustedtoo
Report

After reading these replies, I need to also stress that my dad's situation may be different than the original requester. My dad is 93 and has dementia. A couple years ago, APS told me I needed to seek guardianship because dad is no longer able to make appropriate decisions for himself (which I have since found out does not mean he will do what he should even if someone else is making the decisions!). The whole house thing dredges up too many memories. His wife's hospital bed remains in the living room and she passed on 4 years ago (I would empty the house but dad is not aware I have a key. He would be furious if he knew so I just leave it alone.) His geriatric psych has recommended he NOT go back, even for a visit, and that luckily seems to have taken care of itself for the most part.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Babs75
Report
mindys Jan 8, 2020
Same here FIL would be furious if he came home and did not see his clutter all over the floors. His doctors have told him he can not go back even for a visit because he could fall there and get hurt. But he is still thinking he can do that as he has many friends that would take him there. It is going to be a battle but I realize it is for his own good even if he does not realize it.
(1)
Report
IMHO, this going back and forth would be more confusing. How will he ever acclimate to the routine of the AL?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Llamalover47
Report

How come he can’t stay in his own home and hire a caregiver. I’m a Healthcare Agency New to the Are In New Jersey
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Vakeeshia
Report

Why would you want him to go back and forth? Seems like it would be a counterproductive to me. The reason why you place someone in a facility is because that is their new home? Who goes back and forth between two houses on a daily basis? That’s excessive and unrealistic, don’t you think?

Don’t listen to other relatives with impractical suggestions. Simply say, “No, we are not doing that. The nursing home is his new residence.”

If any relative wants to take him to lunch at a restaurant for a change of pace, or go for dessert and coffee somewhere, perhaps a visit to a nearby park, then do that. Why confuse the issue of bringing his back to the house that he is moving out of? He will have a much harder time adapting if he goes back and forth.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter