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Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

Posted by ginnier (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 1, 06 at 16:48

My folks sooo need to move where they can have their meals prepared, housekeeping and laundry done, have younger folks around them (the caregivers), make new older friends (the other residents). Mom's 83 and Dad's 85. I just wonder sometimes if I will regret encouraging them to make the move. They are on a waiting list and will probably be called within 6-8 months (they are not picky about having the largest 2 bedroom apt. available; they would maybe be content with a 1 BR if it's not tooo small). At this point I am driving 40 mi. 4X a wk. to take them around on a few errands, out for lunch or a drive...I go with them to see every dr. and am paying some of their bills, but only what Mom will let me LOL.
If they move, I believe they will not need as much of me, but I would still do the drs. appts, of course. BUT if something were to happen to one of them, then the other one is "stuck" in that apt. and I'm not sure either could live by themself. There is a Health Service available to meet some of those needs, but at a price.
It's not simple or clear cut. I just know that in their own home, they are both pretty isolated, and I want better for them. Anybody do this and then have regrets???? Help!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

At their ages, those 6-8 months may make a big difference in the amount of care they need. Plan on them making the move, and then don't cross the "what if" bridge until you have to. My feeling is that they will make it their home and another change to leave new friends and move in with you might be upsetting. You see, we old folks feel more comfortable around associates our own age. We need to share those familiar memories about what happened a long time ago.


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

I think the move will be just fine. Good for them, good for you. Visit for lunch whenever you can, as well as the must-do visits. If something were to happen to one of them now, while they are in a house, you;ll be faced with an even greater problem of taking care of the remaining one. It'll be easier for them if they are moved, I am sure.

Like Agnes says, don't cross the 'what-if' bridge now. This is a great move.

How far will they be at the new place? And do expect for the call to come before 6-8 months---they always tell you the longest possible time in their experience, but it's almost always sooner. Better start sorting thru their closets!


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

6-8 months can indeed make a big difference in their daily needs. I am watching the present deterioration in Mum's condition. Her memory was very affected by the stroke in 2004; most notably the short term aspect of it.

She is now requiring more "coaching" to deal with her urostomy. I now have to put her to bed and be there when she gets up. I keep an ear cocked to her room, if I don't hear the toilet flush every 3 hrs. or so, I pointedly ask her when she last emptied the pouch. Sometimes I've simply "missed" it, other times she hasn't given it a THOUGHT. In the past 3 months she has deteriorated markedly. Not physically, just mentally. And that's more frightening to me than just about anything else.

Don't worry about the "what if" bridge just yet! No part of watching your parents age is easy, is it?


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

My mother moved into a retirement home and LOVED IT. She met a 85 year old man and they had a wonderful relationship for seven years. They had so many friends and activities. They went to dances, swimming, movies etc.
Try it,
Donna


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

We are now at the next stage. We visited the AL place and Mom consented to have them hold a 2BR apt., about 900 sq. ft., for 60 days and then she would make the decision whether to move in or let go of the apt. The same day she received a couple of ph. calls regarding selling their condo. I advised waiting, looking into prices, and ways of selling. Three days later she had gone ahead and shown the house to 2 sets of strangers and on the 4th day she took a deposit to sell the condo to the people for a certain price. I'm advising her to hold and revise the price once the appraiser has done his job!! Things are happening way too fast for me, but she has no reservations: they are really nice people. But I'm so afraid they are taking advantage of a little old lady that can barely walk. Sign me, Not Sleeping Very Well These Days


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

Don't worry about her. Even if she doesn't get the very best price, she has made the decision to move and that is VERY, VERY GOOD!!! Don't interfer and risk losing the sale. I really think that you will see that the Assisted Living arrangement will be easier for them. Plus, you will be pleasantly surprised to find out how much these elderly ones help each other. They have a mutual understanding as to what's happening with their lives and health.


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

Trust me it will be a GREAT move for all.. My MIL balked at moving into indepandent living ( that's for OLD people ) she was early 80's then .. Welllll we had to get her an answering machine cause she was NEVER home!!!! Out playing cards, outings etc.. She had 12 wonderful years there before she moved into the nursing home..

We never worried about her not eating properly, or if she fell & noone knew about it.. The staff bent over backwards to make sure she was well taken care of. Even when we had homecare coming in 4 times a day to do meds & baths etc..

Lots of luck & keep us posted..


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

I know a couple that moved to an assisted living apartment (duplex) in a development with a nursing home. They said they should have moved there long before they did, they love it.

I visited with a lady that had a wonderful two room assisted living apartment in a nursing home environment. She liked it there and I will voluntarily put myself in one when I can no long take care of myself.


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

Just wanted to update you all!!! Mom and Dad moved a week ago Fri. to a 3 room apt. in an independent living facility. I think it's great altho I'm beginning to see the spots on the carpet and the smudges on the hallway walls. LOL But they are content, maybe a little depressed at all the changes, but the food is sooo good, people are friendly and there are activities for them to attend (watched square dancing on Weds. night).

The move was horrendous. I spent a week sorting and packing what they would take; they did almost nothing but watch me run hither and thither!!! Now DH and I have spent this week boxing and carting away the remaining to our house and Salvation Army! It's been a huge job! A labor of love; they have been very appreciative. There's still a day's worth to go. I thought I had sold their lovely dining room table and chairs but the people changed their minds. I hope I don't have to bring it home--40 mi away!! I'm so afraid I'll spoil it!

I have been back to visit my folks a couple times, mostly to drop something by that I think they need. I almost feel like I'm interrupting their peace and quiet altho they act very glad to see me. One day we did errands and went out for lunch, took a short drive along the river and we also went back to their house so they could see how much has been done. I did not let them linger for long, maybe 10 minutes. All but the dining room and kitchen are completely empty upstairs, but Dad's workshop and the family room still have about 10% to go. Some days I have felt like a robot, just keep putting one foot in front of another. Up and down those basement steps with another load...asking myself why I didn't accept the offers of friends to help. I know why, because I have to make the decisions of what to keep and what to take, and I am very poor at it and don't want them to see my indecisiveness. DH just bulls right thru it all and practically makes it impossible to resist keeping up with him; he's been such a brick about all this, backing me up with high praise and firm support at every turn. I am so thankful for him.

So we are almost done with their house, but I have brought home half a garage full of furniture and boxes of things I want but have no where to put at this moment. More decisions, LOL

It just feels great that they are somewhere that is really good for them. Their apt. seems tidier than they kept the house; they are asked to place their garbage bag outside their door each morning. That's very do-able for them, so maybe it's just the newspaper that's not piling up. No dirty dishes too.

So far: aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh LOL


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

Very glad to hear they are capable of making most of their decisions. They sound happy where they are, I'm glad it worked out so well for them. It must be a huge relief for you. I read all of the posts and unless I missed something, I didn't see anything about "if anything happened to you", nothing dreadful, but surgery, breaking a leg, what would they do without you, if they still lived in their home. The friend I mentioned even has a small company bus that takes them to the grocery store, where they can buy food and misc items super groceries carry. I saw one the other day and the poor bus driver had cart after cart of bags to load and keep straight. LOL


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RE: Independent Living?? Moved!!!

Just an update and a few questions. The move is completed and their home has been sold; the $$$$ is in the bank. That's a huge Yea God!! Mom and Dad seem okay with their new place...and tell others that they just love it (that's typical of them to be upbeat no matter what). Dad's personality is changing a bit and he is very quiet now, has little initiative and is starting to snooze a lot in his chair. This is starting to wear on Mom, she's used to an entertaining hubby (plus active). This morning she was depressed about it all and does not know where to turn; she does NOT want to burden me with her troubles, she says. So she will pray about it and then buck up!!!

Any words of advice??? Mom barely gets around and she insists on leaning on Dad or me and will NOT use her walker in public. This morn she said maybe she'd go down the hall using her walker, I encouraged her to try to get from padded bench to padded bench cuz she can always sit and rest there. Dad has gone out with the guys and that leaves her alone and ... well, thinking...sometimes she feels lonely but for the most part she is glad to see him get out and about a little.

It's hard to paint a complete picture in a few paragraphs. After about 3 paragraphs I feel like it's all so convoluted! But it's not really, it's just ... my folks. LOL

Mom's mind is strong but her hearing is weak and her mobility is limited. Dad's okay physically, but mentally he's slowed down so much (altho I think his judgement is pretty good).

Sometimes I think if Mom could just go down to the game room and play Spite and Malice with someone a couple times a week, she'd be a lot more content. Maybe playing bridge is too much for her, doesn't it involve more hearing????? Maybe I will go meet her there and play cards with her, but I really want her to make a few new friends on her own if at all possible. Hmmmm.

I'm tempted to pay someone on the sly to play cards with her, but she'd kill me if she ever found out....


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

hmmmm, not wanting to use a walker is a problem. Do you think that she would be willing to try walking down the halls with you by her side? Perhaps if she sees how much farther she can go without struggling so much, she might accept it better.

Clue the management about her reluctance. It could be that there is some nice understanding soul with a walker that would show her how much better it is to be more independant.

She's bound to be more and more upset about your dad as she can see him mentally moving away from things. That's another good reason why she really must find other things to keep her from thinking so much about him.


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

I would visit Mother for lunch at least once a week, maybe we'd go out another day. But we would always go for walks. I met a lot of people and I'd chat away. And then Mother would ask me, "How do you know that person?" And I'd tell her that I just met that person here, as we are walking the halls. Before too long, I knew a lot of people, and so did Mother, just by osmosis, I guess. If Mother had been up to games and the like, I'd have gone aloong with her to bingo or whatever, but she was way too frail and tired too much for that sort of activity.

SO I can recommend that you visit and walk with her, her using the walker. Pretty soon, the faces she sees will be more familiar, nd she'll loosen up. Don't be afraid to go over and make friends along wiith her. It sounds to me like she needs the encouragement. The key will be for you to talk to everyone and make friends, and then those people will know your Mother as the one with the lovely friendly daughter.

Try it, it'll work.

Do they go for communal meals three times a day (or even just once?)? That's very important social interaction, too.


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

Yes Fairegold they go for most meals. MWF breakfasts they miss since Dad goes downtown to exercise group with a friend (Thank you Lord for that friend that will come and get him!!!) and they must go early so to miss the city traffic. Mom and Dad eat extra early in their apt. on those days.

I had wondered if my being involved with bingo or cards at the group level would be a help or a hindrance. I tend to chat up every live thing I encounter, so I didn't want to get in the way of THEIR interaction. My dad cackles at me after we come out of wal mart, he thinks I know EVERYone. I just am not afraid to ask someone if they have tried this new product or that, and then it turns into a little chat about something, usually with a good laugh involved (that's probably why Dad thinks I know the people). I suppose that's my gift, to be friendly and sort of make someone's day in small way!

But yes, they eat in the dining room. So far they have not been placed with people that have the ability to carry much of a conversation, hopefully their dinner mates will change around occasionally.

I met their one next door neighbor and she seems a very kind, gentle person... my folks have in the past enjoyed making an extra effort to include the widowed in their circle of friends. We'll see if that still holds true at this stage of their life...

I wonder if I dare tell my mother that I'll come play Bingo downstairs with her IF she will meet me there after I get my hair cut or whatever excuse I make up. She does not want me to make special trips for no reason so sometimes I have to fudge a bit, especially now that there are so few errands to do. It's a prickly time...I want them to be able to go without me for a week, but yet I want them to get involved and they won't get involved unless I'm there???!!!!???? I'm in new territory now...


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RE: Independent Living??? Or Stay in their own home?

Yup, it's a whole new world for you, I sure know that feeling! And nothing will happen overnight to make your parents more social, either. But your Mother being with you when you chat with the neighbors will work, over time. Just aim for walking the halls with her and her walker, and talking to people, and things will start to happen.

Sounds like a nice place, and I think it's wonderful that your parents have made the big decisions and the big move. So fudge your excuses for being "in the neighborhood", and get to know the residents. Maybe you can volunteer to call Bingo, or help at some other social function?

I am still in touch with several people from Mother's place, and I can still visit and know people I see in the halls. But sadly, several of my favorites have passed away. Sigh.


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