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tribeca

Support for caring for an elderly relative

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So many people are caring for elderly relatives.   Thought  it would be nice to have a place for us to have a place to get advice,  vent, laugh and get & give support.   

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I just saw this tread. It's a good idea.  I have some experience with this.  It's the kind of thing that can be very stressful, but rewarding.  

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You know what my biggest stress is re caring for my 80-something mother? The fact that she still wants to care for ME with the very same attention to detail she did when I was a child and refuses to consider that she can't do everything she used to do as quickly, efficiently or even safely that she once did.  Seriously, I'm VERY grateful that she loves me, wants the best for me  and KNOWS who I am( since I know many folks her age have even forgotten who they were much less who their offspring were). However; I have this fear she'll overdo it and wind up in serious trouble despite the fact that we're connected  even when I'm at work 24/seven thanks to New Millennial technology. I also start get worried if she doesn't pick up the phone in under three rings when I call her. I'm also thankful that she has a great many friends and family she keeps close touch with and is very keen on staying on top of what's going on (though, considering how upset news can get her, I do try to encourage her not to do more than necessary).

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@Blergh that does sound stressful.  I am not sure parents ever stop seeing us as children.   

When my dad was around 40 he was horsing around in the pool trying to jump in pool and landing on a beach all.  His dad yelled at him calling him a damn kid LOL.  

    My mom is disabled before my dad retired I rented out bottom half of their house and helped mom with cleaning and doctor appointments.   I had to leave some things for her to do or she said she didn’t feel useful.  Sometimes I would do laundry and leave some towels for her to fold and put away. 

Dad retired February and they moved to Florida.   I hate it because now dad has health issues and I am so far away.  

     I am alone     When I started going to church it’s such a family activity I almost quit going.    An elderly couple there adopted me as their church daughter.   Lately the husband (80) is having memory issues and the wife is having difficulty with the stairs at their apartment.    I have been going with them looking at senior apartments.  The ones that don’t go by income so very expensive.     The ones that go by income have long waiting lists. 

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Tribeca,

It's so nice that you are helping the senior couple.  I bet they really appreciate it.  I'm not sure what state they are in, but in some places ,seniors with disabilities, like dementia, can get extra help, like with Assisted Living, if the doctor prescribes it.  Not sure how advanced his is.  I know that one senior trying to take care another one, especially with cognitive decline can be very overwhelming. I hope they can find a place where there's help on the premises. 

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I've recently become the primary caregiver for my mother, who just turned 90 earlier this month. She'd been in an assisted living facility in another state for the past few years. Long story short, my oldest sister, who had been handling things with the facility and so forth, died after a brief illness. Without her there to watch over my mother's care, neither I nor my remaining siblings were comfortable with my mother remaining in the facility, in addition to her having lost her Medicaid benefits and not being able to afford the facility any longer. I was the only one of my siblings with the right combination of a floor plan that would work for my mother to get around in her wheelchair and no other caregiver responsibilities, etc. I'm currently dealing with major paperwork and bureaucracy issues, because all of my mother's ID disappeared while she was in the facility.  Her drivers license had expired while she was in the facility, so there's no option to just get a replacement drivers license. Getting her new ID for a different state has so far entailed sending off for her birth certificate, which turned out not to have her name on it, doing an affidavit to have the birth certificate corrected and getting a corrected copy, going with one of my siblings and my mother to the local SS office to grovel long enough for an agent to decide we were telling the truth about my mother's identity and the agent agreeing to have a new SS card and Medicare card sent to my address, and being under the impression, based on the damn checklist from the state, that I had everything I needed to take my mother to the nearest drivers license office to get an official state photo ID. But no, the agent there informed me that because my mother's birth certificate has her maiden name on it, while her SS and Medicare card have her married name on them, I have to also provide a copy of the marriage license for my parents, to have a paper trail for her name change. I swear it did not used to require nearly this much documentation to get an ID. But in about 2 weeks, I should have the marriage license and be able to take my mother to get an actual state ID, which is needed for numerous things such as opening a new bank account her for her, getting her in to a geriatric specialist so that when her current refills run out, she can get the meds she needs, etc. It's all been a  major PITA.

On the plus side, although my mother is understandably upset about my sister's death, for the most part she's happy to be in a private home again instead of a facility. The sole regret she has is that for the past six months or so, she had become very close to a guy who is a day patient at the facility. And this is what is pissing me off. The man is about my mother's age, and comes from the same town where my parents lived. (My father died about 5 years ago.) This man, though, is married to a  much younger woman and he has Alzheimer's, so his wife enrolled him as a day patient. The facility accepted him even though they don't really have the staff or expertise to handle someone with his condition; the full-time residents need assistance with some life functions, but they generally have pretty good cognitive functions left. Anyway, the staff encouraged my mother to spend time with this guy, to the point that every weekday that he came to the facility, they spent the entire day hanging out with each other and talking. Not surprisingly, they developed a romantic interest in each other, with the guy saying he wanted them to get married (forgetting that he's already married and his wife isn't letting go of him because he has money). So now that my mother is in a different state, living with me, there is no contact because the wife has now instructed the facility not to let my mother talk to the guy if she calls there. The guy does not have a cell phone, and the only number my mother has for him is the wife's business phone. So, I'm pissed because the facility staff strongly encouraged my mother to spend as much time as possible with this guy, because that way she was essentially taking care of him and so relieving them of the necessity of having a staff member monitor his daily activities. The wife was fine with my mother and him hanging out as long as my mother was at the facility, but has now blocked all attempts to communicate. And so my mother is extremely upset because she misses this guy, who will probably not remember her name in 6 months because of his condition. I feel like I'm in the middle of a geriatric soap opera, and like the facility used my mother's willingness to befriend this guy to their own benefit, and didn't stop to think that the situation was not going to end well. 

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I'm sorry.  It sounds like a pretty harmless thing given all the factors they are both dealing with and I agree that the facility should not have accepted him if they did not have the proper staffing levels/experience.  Most of all I am sorry that your Mom is so upset by this - it seems like the wife took an unnecessary step because without the regular in person interaction, it probably would have come to an end because of his Alzheimer's.

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Bookwoman56,

I'm sorry about the loss of your sister. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate.

  The kind of things that you are doing are very complex and tedious. No wonder that you are frustrated.  There are so many rules and polices to be aware of. It can be very stressful too.  I went through something similar.   Do you have Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare POA for you mother?  Those documents can be invaluable when you are the caretaker. I'd seek a consultation with an Elder Law attorney immediately to get advice and to get those documents.  They can also assist with advice on how to get things straight. I might explore becoming the Representative Payee with Social Security, if she gets social security and can't handle her own fiances.   And, if your mom is paying you any of her income for rent or services, I'd ask the attorney how to draw up a contract for that, since, if your mom ever needs nursing home care, a paper trail would show that she's not just giving her money away, but, paying for services and rent.

I hope you find the answers you that need and that things get easier. 

Edited by SunnyBeBe
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@DeLurker and @SunnyBeBe, so sorry for the delay in responding to your posts. Somehow I missed seeing that there were new posts here. Thanks to both of you for your words of advice.

For a status update, here's the current situation: Got her state-issued photo ID, which in turn enabled me to set up new bank accounts for her, because among other things, her old accounts had been compromised (unfortunately, one of my oldest sister's kids has very sticky fingers) and even if that were not the case, there were no local branches of her previous bank closer than 70 miles away. And while I generally do 99% of banking stuff online, there are occasions when you have to go into a branch. In this case, it was setting up a new account with me as the representative payee for her SS benefits. When my other older sister and I took our mother to the SS office and talked to an agent, he strongly recommended that one of us be set up as representative payee, and so since she's living with me now, we decided I would be the representative payee. My mother also receives VA benefits, because my father was in the military during the last year of official US involvement in WW2, and there is some program that provides benefits for widows who meet the eligibility criteria. We had no idea this was available, but the assisted living facility had notified my oldest sister of this possibility, and the paperwork had been processed and approved, about a year ago. (This is the reason my mother lost her Medicaid benefits in Florida, because her combined SS and VA benefits put her roughly $50/month over the income limit.) For the VA benefits, there has to be a fiduciary appointed and a fiduciary bank account set up. My niece (not the one with sticky fingers) had been handling that, but with the change in situation, she resigned as fiduciary. My other older sister and I discussed options, and I requested her to be the fiduciary for the VA benefits. One lesson we learned when my oldest sister died was that having one person responsible for everything is a little risky. 

The VA sent a rep out to my house to interview me and my mother, essentially to check on her new situation. (After the rep left, my mother asked me why the VA had sent someone, and I told her they were checking to make sure I didn't have her chained to a bed somewhere and wasn't using her benefits to buy crystal meth or opioids.) The guy was thrilled with the living arrangements, because they much prefer to have the beneficiaries live in a private home rather than a facility of some sort. I showed him her bedroom on the ground floor, and that she can get into the kitchen and living/dining area, plus bathrooms, in her wheelchair. Anyway, the VA did appoint my other older sister as the fiduciary, and did a couple of things to make everything easier. One is that unlike when my mother was in the facility, they are not going to require receipts for every single expense to account for how the funds are spent. While the rep was here, he talked to us about her expenses and identified a recommended amount for personal expenses such as clothing and so forth. At that point I was not using any of her benefits for room and board per se; as I explained to the rep, I had spent some funds on one-time expenses such as paying for moving her possessions over here, modifications to the house (widening doorways and installing grab bars), furniture for her bedroom, and so forth. He was fine with that, and so the second thing that has made it all easier is that the VA sent a letter confirming that of her combined VA and SS benefits, I will receive a set amount per  month for room and board, with the rest divided for a clothing allowance and personal expenses (cosmetics, etc.). So, the VA funds are deposited into the fiduciary account my sister set up, and my sister mails me a check for each month, noted with the designated amount for room and board, etc. Essentially, the one check she writes per month and sends to me is all the paper trail they need for how the funds are being spent, and that they are being spent for my mother's benefit. 

I do have a durable POA that the assisted living facility executed, which enables me to handle all of her affairs: financial, health, etc. It has definitely come in handy for banking and dealing with doctors' offices. I've been able to get her into a geriatric specialist a few times now, and she's undergoing a couple of procedures to address some circulation problems in her lower legs. So, since the time of my original post, things have come along as needed. She did have about 3 months of being intensely upset about not being able to talk to her BF from the facility, but that has faded with time and a change in antidepressants. I think the guy's wife forbade phone calls from my mother primarily because she was afraid it would upset him to hear her voice but not be able to physically see her. In any case, while it was upsetting to her initially, I think it's better for her to move on rather than deal with the guy slowly forgetting who she is.

One suggestion I do have for anyone caring for an elderly relative is to get them into a geriatric specialist to review all current meds and OTC items being used. My mother's specialist noted that one of the meds my mother has been on for about 10 years now, may have helped with the condition it was originally prescribed for, but the long-term side effects have exacerbated another condition she has, which is much more serious than the other condition. Similarly, there are better choices available now than some of the prescriptions she has been taking for several  years. His attitude is that he's not going to change a bunch of her meds all at once, but the goal over the next year is to switch out one med at a time for something that works better with fewer negative side effects, in the cases where a change is needed. Also, with geriatric patients, there is often a situation where they are taking meds prescribed by several different doctors, and the PCP needs to be aware of everything the patient is taking to make sure there are no bad combinations or combinations where drug A offsets the benefit of drug B. 

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Oh boy.  

So I'm a 54 year old living and primarily caring for my 76 year old mother, who suffers from Secondary Progressive MS.  Ma was the original independent bad ass, who raised 3 kids on her own in the projects of North Philadelphia.  She worked for the city as a File Clerk and had a sharp mind and was always walking; unfortunately, that's where the MS zapped her, for she now uses a walker and electronic/manual wheelchair.  She's still stubborn af and wants to do what she wants when she wants which would be fine if she didn't have MS.

I've gone from living on my own to taking care of her; I work full-time and IMO work two shifts....work then her when I come home.  I started with mild arthritis in the knee to moderately advanced.  Add high blood pressure to an overweight body and you get the picture.  My brother lives in Georgia and my sister lives in Virginia; my sister is the one that comes up when she can.  My brother, who is the oldest and 'golden boy'?  We rarely see, since he has his family.

It is so fucking challenging taking care of her by myself and she doesn't make it easier.  Unfortunately, I am extremely sensitive and take things personally, plus my patience left me long ago.  I'm surprised Mr. Vixenstud is still around as we hardly have time to get together.  

I could go on and on, but I'd either start crying or eating scary huge portions of spaghetti. 

Just wanted to add my two cents and glad to know there is a forum for this.

Edited by Vixenstud
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On January 17, 2019 at 4:01 PM, Vixenstud said:

Oh boy.  

So I'm a 54 year old living and primarily caring for my 76 year old mother, who suffers from Secondary Progressive MS.  Ma was the original independent bad ass, who raised 3 kids on her own in the projects of North Philadelphia.  She worked for the city as a File Clerk and had a sharp mind and was always walking; unfortunately, that's where the MS zapped her, for she now uses a walker and electronic/manual wheelchair.  She's still stubborn af and wants to do what she wants when she wants which would be fine if she didn't have MS.

I've gone from living on my own to taking care of her; I work full-time and IMO work two shifts....work then her when I come home.  I started with mild arthritis in the knee to moderately advanced.  Add high blood pressure to an overweight body and you get the picture.  My brother lives in Georgia and my sister lives in Virginia; my sister is the one that comes up when she can.  My brother, who is the oldest and 'golden boy'?  We rarely see, since he has his family.

It is so fucking challenging taking care of her by myself and she doesn't make it easier.  Unfortunately, I am extremely sensitive and take things personally, plus my patience left me long ago.  I'm surprised Mr. Vixenstud is still around as we hardly have time to get together.  

I could go on and on, but I'd either start crying or eating scary huge portions of spaghetti. 

Just wanted to add my two cents and glad to know there is a forum for this.

I thought recent changes to Medicare now cover in-home nurses for some relief for family care givers. 

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*Runs to Medicare website*

If so, that would be a huge help....the company we use, we pay out of pocket.  And while we love the employee that cares for my mom, I'm paying half of the bill and she pays the other half.  If we could get a smidge of monetary relief that'd be great.

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I hope that works out @Vixenstud.  It would be important for you, but expanding the group of people who your Mom interacts with might help keep her engaged. 

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Thanks, D.

As for interaction, well.........

Ma, like the rest of our family, has always been a loner.  She likes the caregivers that tend to her everyday but aside from family, she keeps to herself.  If she can watch tv all day without doing anything then all is right in her world.  We keep trying to let her know that she's gotta move around while she can; it is hard enough for me to take care of her now but should she become unable to walk then she's going to have to be put into a facility, the one thing she's fought against.

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Ahhh...understood.  My Dad was naturally a bit nosey so the more people were around, the more he tried to keep track of what was going on.  When it was just Mom most of the time, he would start to slide a bit and her trying to get him to do things he needed to do became more difficult.

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On 1/17/2019 at 5:01 PM, Vixenstud said:

Oh boy.  

So I'm a 54 year old living and primarily caring for my 76 year old mother, who suffers from Secondary Progressive MS.  Ma was the original independent bad ass, who raised 3 kids on her own in the projects of North Philadelphia.  She worked for the city as a File Clerk and had a sharp mind and was always walking; unfortunately, that's where the MS zapped her, for she now uses a walker and electronic/manual wheelchair.  She's still stubborn af and wants to do what she wants when she wants which would be fine if she didn't have MS.

I've gone from living on my own to taking care of her; I work full-time and IMO work two shifts....work then her when I come home.  I started with mild arthritis in the knee to moderately advanced.  Add high blood pressure to an overweight body and you get the picture.  My brother lives in Georgia and my sister lives in Virginia; my sister is the one that comes up when she can.  My brother, who is the oldest and 'golden boy'?  We rarely see, since he has his family.

It is so fucking challenging taking care of her by myself and she doesn't make it easier.  Unfortunately, I am extremely sensitive and take things personally, plus my patience left me long ago.  I'm surprised Mr. Vixenstud is still around as we hardly have time to get together.  

I could go on and on, but I'd either start crying or eating scary huge portions of spaghetti. 

Just wanted to add my two cents and glad to know there is a forum for this.

That must be pretty tough, but, how is this helping you out?  Taking care of your mother, plus two jobs, then your own health issues....it sounds like too much, imo.  If's your call though.  I get it.  I would just say that when you burn the candle at both ends and are miserable too, it can take a toll on your health.  Even if mother prefers no outside help, it might not be possible.  Sometimes, necessity dictates things go a little differently than we want.  I hope you can get some relief.  I wouldn't shy away from being an advocate for myself and my mom.  Others, including your mom, may not realize the stress on you.  I'd share as much as possible with what you are dealing with.  It helps to vent and get other' people's input, imo.  I've gotten a lot of support online.  

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16 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

That must be pretty tough, but, how is this helping you out?  Taking care of your mother, plus two jobs, then your own health issues....it sounds like too much, imo.  If's your call though.  I get it.  I would just say that when you burn the candle at both ends and are miserable too, it can take a toll on your health.  Even if mother prefers no outside help, it might not be possible.  Sometimes, necessity dictates things go a little differently than we want.  I hope you can get some relief.  I wouldn't shy away from being an advocate for myself and my mom.  Others, including your mom, may not realize the stress on you.  I'd share as much as possible with what you are dealing with.  It helps to vent and get other' people's input, imo.  I've gotten a lot of support online.  

It is too much.  Before caring for her, I was unemployed for almost over ten years.  I had to move in with her and give up my apartment due to my benefits running out and not having any place to live.  Finally get a job and still caring for her. 

It is taking a toll on my health, and I constantly relay that to my brother and sister; they never have an answer when I ask about Plan B in the event that something should happen to me.  I guess they aren’t thinking about that, as all three of us ain’t spring chickens.  While they always thank me for what I am doing, that doesn’t always work for me, as I truly believe that they don’t get how hard this is.

My uncle recently passed away and my mother’s siblings are giving my sister the house; she plans to renovate it and bring in Ma.  She’d have to get live in help though, as I made it perfectly clear that I have no plans on living with them.  At this point in my life I’ve had enough roommates and prefer to be on my own again.

Tthough we have someone to watch her during the day via a homecare service, there have been times when the caregiver is sick or something comes up.  If there isn’t back up then I have to take a day off and care for her.  I am her staunchest advocate, to the point where eyes roll whenever I accompany her to appointments or when she was in facilities to regain her strength. 

As for venting, I figure what for?  Even posting here I feel silly because after all is said and done I’m still in the same situation.

But you guys have been kind, much appreciated.

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It sounds like you have done A LOT for your mother's care. I hope you are able to take credit for that.  It sounds like you are investing a lot of your own time and energy into her care.   It is hard when a caregiver doesn't show up.  Sometimes, though, it's more expensive, an agency will have backups so you aren't caught off guard.  I hope those plans work out, so, you can get some relief.  It sounds like you really have had it rough. 

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Does anyone have experience caring for a parent with Congestive Heart Failure? Dad spent last week in the hospital and was diagnosed. They sent him home Sat. with all new blood pressure meds and an increase in his Lasix (he'd been on a low dose since being diagnosed with A-fib a few years ago).

In addition to weighing daily and recording his heart rate, he has to chart how much fluid he drinks daily -- he cannot go over 2 litres. He is also supposed to eat no more than 2,000 mg of sodium daily, aiming for 1,500 mg.

Each day he starts with a 1-quart pitcher of water. He knows that in addition to coffee and tea with meals (also a total of 1 quart), that pitcher is all the water he gets all day. So far it is working and I've not seen him get a glass of water from the tap.

Sodium is the biggest challenge thus far. I don't add much salt when cooking, but I do use some pre-packaged foods to help with quick-fix meals. We've kept Dad within his guidelines, but as the days go by, I know it will be a battle -- he loves snacks. He's 89 and I know there's no point trying to get him to stop snacking completey, so I will make sure to buy healthier options. I am making no-sodium trail mix and have fresh fruit on hand

Any tips will be appreciated!

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I'm sorry to hear about your dad's condition.  It's really challenging to keep sodium intake down.  Practically anything in a grocery store has it and A LOT of it.  Just one cup of soup may have over half your daily allotment of sodium.  Practically, everything that is in a box is high salt.  If you check raw meat, some of it  also has it! Like raw chicken fillets.  Be careful to check ingredients.  Many of them have added sodium. The only thing I can think of are fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, whole grains and some meats. You can flavor with herbs and spices (check with his doctor on these).  Is he also on a blood thinner?  If so, then green food is not allowed. I would think there would be some recipe books for someone like your dad.  I'd also talk to him about just how strict he wants to be.  My dad is a heart patient, but, he eats pretty much as he wants.  He's almost 82 and he feels that enjoying his favorite dishes are important, so, he's not very strict with his diet, though, he' doesn't have CHF. 

Edited by SunnyBeBe

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If I hear or read the word 'heart' one...more...friggin' time today!

So this past weekend I treated myself to a high end hotel in Atlantic City…..I figured I do so much for Ma that I need ‘Vixenstud’ time.  Mr. Vixenstud was supposed to come with me but had a heart attack on the day we were supposed to go!  After visiting him and trying not to freak out more than I had earlier when he told me, I went by myself to the hotel.  Outside of winning $50 at the casino, I basically spent the time eating (Excuse me, Room Service?  You are too goddamned expensive, piss off sir!!) and watching Lifetime movies.  When it came time to sleeping, I tossed and turned like a ship in the ocean.

Come home, literally drop my bag to the floor and check in on my mother, who is on the commode having a vaso vago moment!  She’s had them before so I was going to wait it out….but then she vomited, so freaked out and called 911.  The medic said it was a good thing that I did, as her heart rate and blood pressure was so low that we almost lost her.  So after two days, she’s going to be discharged tonight; Mr. Vixenstud was discharged last night and is doing well.

I’m back at work, sleepy, hungry and ready to machete the first idiot that comes at me wrong.

Forumfish, hope your dad is feeling better, sorry to have ranted about heart issues and stuff.

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@Vixenstud, that's a huge amount of shit to have to deal with simultaneously. I hope Mr. Vixenstud makes a full recovery soon, so you don't have to deal with two patients. Is the plan still on for your sister to renovate the house she's being given and move your mother in with her? It definitely sounds as if you need a break from caring for her, and you need your own space. 

On 3/19/2019 at 3:45 PM, forumfish said:

He's 89 and I know there's no point trying to get him to stop snacking completey, so I will make sure to buy healthier options. I am making no-sodium trail mix and have fresh fruit on hand

I try to make sure my mother has healthy options on hand, but she also likes a fair amount of junk food. And I'll be blunt here; she's lived to be 90 (91 in a couple of months) eating whatever the hell she wants, so I am not in any way going to insist that she eats only food I approve of. When she was in the assisted living facility, she had to eat the food they prepared but also insisted that my sister bring her certain snack foods. With your father, certainly you feel obligated to make sure he has healthy options, but as long as he's capable of making his own decisions, ultimately it's his choice as to whether he sticks to a healthy diet or eats comfort food. My mother consumes insane amounts of salt; her own mother always kept a small dish of salt (maybe a salt cellar?) next to her plate to dip her food into, so my mother grew up thinking a ton of salt was normal. I don't cook using much salt at all, but she adds salt to almost everything. Her blood pressure is fairly good and she has no heart problems, so it's evidently not doing her much harm. But for me the bottom line is that I'd rather have her eat stuff she likes and be happy, even if that means living a year or two less than she might, than to insist that she follow a specific diet and be miserable, simply to extend her life another year or two. It would be different if she were younger, but she's lived a long, full life and I'd rather she enjoy her life for however long she has left, whether months or years, than to listen to her bitch and moan about not having her snacks and salt for an extra year. 

In general, I will say the biggest lesson I've learned from being the primary caregiver for an elderly parent is that much like when  you have small children, it's critical to find some time for yourself. I work full-time from home, take care of my mother, and am also babysitting my grandson a few hours every weekday. So lately I've been finding it therapeutic to take either Saturday or Sunday and go on a solo excursion for several hours, usually just driving to some specific landmark, chilling out for a little while, and then driving back. Highway driving relaxes me and gives me some peace and quiet for the most part, which I usually desperately need after a week of dealing with a lot of stress. The last few weeks have been especially stressful for several reasons, and adding to that is my mother wants to be helpful by loading and unloading the dishwasher. Sounds great in theory; in reality, not so much. She sometimes forgets to run the dishwasher, thinks dishes have been washed, and proceeds to put up an entire load of still dirty dishes into the cabinets, blissfully unaware of their condition. She also will take dishes out of the dishwasher and put them on the kitchen counter next to the sink, in the designated place for dirty dishes that haven't made it into the sink yet, with the result that she mixes up clean dishes with dishes that haven't even had scraps removed or dumped. In all seriousness, a week or so ago, I found 2-3 glasses in my cabinet with an inch or so of tea/soda still in them. 

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15 hours ago, BookWoman56 said:

Is the plan still on for your sister to renovate the house she's being given and move your mother in with her?

After much back and forth from her (wondering if she was taking on too much to renovate, yadda-yadda-yadda), yes.  However, this is a project that's going to take some time.

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The job of caring an elderly relative is somewhat very difficult, as we want to care for them, but due to busy daily schedule the things don't get in the way we want. In this case, people find out options for assisted living, or Care giving centres. I was just surfing on the web, and I came across, some of the lawyers who are reading for taking care of elderly parents at home NJ. This news made my day, as I was actually in a need of such caring person, to take care of my aunt.

Edited by Elisecrumley

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My mother’s doctor decided last week that she qualifies for hospice care, given the extent of her vascular disease and that she’s had 2 hospitalizations, followed by a 3-week stay in a skilled nursing facility, followed by being at home with some home health care in the form of physical therapists, all in the last several months. It’s a somewhat convoluted story, but here goes: she barely nicked her left thumb while slicing a tomato. Didn’t mention it to me until a day or two later, at which point I applied antibiotic cream. But sepsis had already set in, which resulted in hospital stay plus surgery on her hand and wrist area because the infection had spread. She was discharged and came home, only to end up back in the hospital for pulmonary embolism plus clots in her legs. That in turn led to the stay in the skilled nursing facility. 

The hospice care just started, but already I am thrilled by it. No, her doctor doesn’t think she’s dying on an immediate basis. But her health is compromised enough to qualify her for this, which is 100% covered by Medicare. She will get a nurse visit once a week, and a visit by an aide 3 times a week to help her with showering, cleaning up her bedroom and bathroom, grooming, light laundry, etc. While she’s on hospice, they pay for her critical meds (in this case, everything except some cholesterol meds) and have them shipped to my house. They cover any incontinence supplies. To anyone dealing with a similar situation, I urge you to check with your elderly relative’s doctor about whether this is an option. My mother’s doctor flatly said it can be the difference between a caregiver being able to function well and complete burnout. Some patients and caregivers are hesitant to pursue it because they think it means death is imminent, but that’s not the case. 

ETA: in the event of a fall, which is quite common for elderly people and my mother in particular, I can call them 24/7 and they will send a lift team out to pick her up and check for injuries, at no additional cost. 

Edited by BookWoman56
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