Any thoughts on best place for mom?

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My 82 year-old mom took care of my dad for 20 years (he had a long string of serious illnesses). When he passed away six years ago, her health was poor, due to all those years of neglecting her own needs. She had high blood pressure and moderate kidney failure.  About 2 years ago, she took a minor fall and injured her knees (bruising). I forced her to stay with me for a couple of weeks, but during that time, noticed her home was not senior-safe.  One repair led to another, and now, I'm not sure if it's better to move her back in or move her to a senior facility. For the former, we'd have to find a way to get her 24/7 care; for the latter, we could rent out her home.  Psychologically, which is the best option?  She became an introvert (her hearing loss contributed).  She suffers from kidney failure (dialysis is just around the corner) and minor cong. heart failure.  She barely walks  -- unsteady with a cane.... and out of breath for any distances. 

I'm interested in a discussion about the pros and cons of where  seniors live. I know everyone is different, but is it cruel for me to have her move out, given that this is probaby where she is happiest? This is really difficult for me.  I have a husband and three almost-adult children. I can't go anywhere, without hurrying home within an hour, or two....  I also have quit working, which hasn't made my husband happy.  I have recently asked someone to come for a couple of hours here and there, every couple of weeks, but it's too expensive for her to sit with my mom for longer than that.I have no other support. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Tmna,

    Some great friends of mine solved their similar dilemma by selling the house and using the money to build a small apartment onto the back of their bedroom, a full bath, living room, small kitchen. A door joined the small apartment with the main house.

    This arrangement of being together but being separate worked to everyone's benefit.

    It was easy to open the door and visit 5 minutes here and there. When mim had laundry, she would either go in the main house and use the machines or Karen would do it for her. And so with groceries, picking up scripts, etc. No one had to pick her up for medicals, church, and the like.

    As a matter of fact other friends simply had their mom move in with them. My grandmother lived with me a time.

    I know each one was blessed by being part of a family.

    Homes, no matter how clean, no matter how nice the furniture, are cold, impersonal, and would not encourage anyone out of their shell. And they can be horribly noisy at nightt because staff has to attend to all needs 24/7.

    I noticed you quit work...why? Is your mom so ill that she requires constant care and attention or perhaps the line between visitor and permanent house guest became clouded. She may complain that it's noisy but she loves the company. Perhaps you have a neighbor willing to check in on her while you work. And maybe you could make requests of her mom, can you fold the laundry for, here's a great book, wanna read, can you watch that XX leaves at 4 for practice. If you take her in, she has to be part of the family, not a guest.

    If she lived in a home, they would get her up, dressed, fed, and off to dialysis, or a doc. And about mom did it 3 days a week for two friend's mom is now 96 and has held steady in the not yet dialysis group.

    In the long run, no matter what decision you make, you will always question it. You will have happy days. And you will have run ragged days.

    I know, been there, done that

    warm hugs


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    • Posted

      I really wanted to add an apartment when we had a remodel a few years back, but it just wasn't feasible (finances and space, and my husband feeling uneasy that a stove could go unattended without our knowledge).We did manage to go out last night, and my sister-in-law's cleaning person came to sit with my mom for about 5 hours, but ultimately, her care is up to me. I still had to come back and get her ready for bed -- which is a 30-minute routine. I guess things will continue like this for a while, but my back really is giving me problems. She is not a contributor to the household. She has no hobbies (her fingers are no longer good at knitting or crochet).  She won't even read.  She will sit where I place her, and remain there until I move her.....

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  • Posted

    I am not able to return to work because I can't seem to leave her for longer 2 hours at a time... and when I do go on my errands and such, she asks me where I'm going -- and sometimes asks to to go with me (she'd like to go with me always).... It's a struggle to get her into my mini-van.  So, while she used to step out and follow me on foot -- now, she just sits in the car and waits for me on my stops. Of course, this makes me hurry, and I never seem to get as much done, knowing she is waiting in the car (she sips a coffee and people-watches)......

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  • Posted

    Renters will not want to watch and provide care to your mother. In terms of a senior's facility, there are different levels of care. There is independent living where they pretty much only provide you with certain meals or all your meals. The next step up is assistive living where they also manage your medications and help with bathing. After that you'd be looking at a nursing home where care is truly 24/7 because your needs are so dramatic.

    Now there is small variations between independent living and assistive living, but really it comes down to you get what you pay for it. The more money you put into her care, the more services she receives. It can be very expensive, so look at the figures carefully.

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