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Assisted Living vs. Living at Home vs. Living With You

 
 
sumac
 
Reply Sun 17 Nov, 2002 08:43 pm
If money was not an issue, which would you prefer for your parents and grandparents? Why? Which do you anticipate for yourself? Do you know of any research done in this area?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 17,719 • Replies: 30
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Nov, 2002 09:25 pm
It is really according to the individual, and whether they are adaptable, and deal well with change. If they did, I would opt for assisted living. There are many such places in my area, some that are quite elegant.
The advantage of assisted living, is that there is opportunity for a lot of interaction with peers.

For many people, I think that living in one's own home is the best choice. Many people do better in familiar surroundings, and would be too traumatized by being moved out of their home. If money were no object, home health aides could be hired to help the person with activities of daily living. The disadvantage is that if the person is not ambulatory, there is the problem of isolation.

As far as parents (in my case, my mother) living with me, fuggetaboutit!

My mother is in just this position. She is 93, and living in a small condo that I own. She can dress, bathe herself, and make a light meal. For dinners, she gets meals on wheels. Four days a week she goes to a senior center. They pick her up and take her home.I help her by taking her shopping, to the doctor, and managing her finances.

As she has limited funds, and comes from a long lived family (her sister is 97) I would be concerned about her using up her money, and having to go on Medicaid. The assisted living places do not take Medicaid. She would have to go to a nursing home. Therefore, we have decided that she will stay in her home for as long as she can manage.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Nov, 2002 09:38 pm
My parents are gone and my grandparents are long gone so I don't know if I'm a good one to answer the question. We did run the gamut of types of care from their living in their own homes, or their own plus hospice care, to the various steps of assisted living. I tried at one point to get my father to live with me... but before he could divorce his nasty second wife and do that, he died. In looking forward to my own needs... I would prefer to be in a self-contained "apartment" in the home of one of my children. The self-contained part would be so that I would have my own kitchen and quiet areas so that I not become too much of an annoyance to my long-suffering children.

I cannot stand institutional living, even the best is painfully intrusive. IMO there is a lot of good to be had with multi-generational living. As a child I was so happy when my grandmother would come to stay for the summer and felt so sad when she left in the winter. It is a good way to live.
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 11:03 am
My grandmother lived at home and had "sitters" - at first only during the day and then later around the clock.

My mom is 73 and moved into an assisted living facility (her choice) a couple of years ago. She has her own apartment and loves it. There are lots of activities; they provide transportation for shopping, doctors, performing arts events, even voting. They are not intrusive, though if you don't emerge from your door for 24 hours, they call you to check. One meal per day is included with extra charges for additional meals and for guests. It's a great set-up for her - she was getting lonely living on her own.

I haven't considered where I will be - hmmm, maybe it's time to think about that!
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:25 pm
A freind of mine was over last evening, and had a bit of news--he'd moved out of his previous residence, and had moved in with his father, for the time being. He invited me to come up there some time, and then explained that his mother wasn't living there. She has gone to live with her mother, who is no longer sufficiently lucid to care for herself. I met the older woman once, on thanksgiving a few years ago. At that time, she lived very much in her past. She thought me "a very nice young man," because i patiently listened as she recounted the glories of her daughter's career as a beauty pageant contestant. I was quietly informed that this daughter had died decades ago.

What was striking to me was the way he spoke of it. His background is that which would have been described in the community of my childhood as "white trash." Nonetheless, it would not have occurred to him that his mother do any differently, nor would it occur to her--her mother raised her, cared for them all, and helped out when she could and it was needed. If it means the rest of her life, my friend's mother will stay with her mother, to see that she is comfortable and decently cared for.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Dec, 2002 04:39 pm
My wife has done some volunteer work in a senior's residence (walking, talking etc - all that), and I know a little bit by my original profession about it.

I really think, it's a very personal decision.

Actually, my mother (82) is now the eighth week in hospital/sanatorium after a cerebral stroke. She quite fit by now.

But although I don't think, she can manage her life alone (she is living in a really big house just with her sister [80]), I wont live with her.
And she (they) wont leave the house - never lived elsewhere.

So, there be some work the next few days to convince them (her) to accept some help from outside professionals.
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New Haven
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jan, 2003 05:45 am
Keep your aging parents either in their own home, or if they need living assistance, have them move in with your own family. Razz
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kleachespo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2004 10:16 pm
Father Moved in With Daughter
My younger brother and I live in the same town and found that caring for Dad at his home was becoming a problem for all concerned. I volunteered to have Dad move into my home given that he would pay to have a bathroom and private sitting area built onto my house for his use.
Dad is 75 and quite sharp, but has let himself deteriorate physically. He refuses to do any type of walking or light exercise, so he has lost muscle tone and has poor circulation. To top things off, Dad is an alcoholic and still drives. Dad is also quite stubborn when it comes to any medication the doctor prescribes to help him with his "nerves" or other problems. He refuses to believe that the medicine that he has to take reacts badly with the whiskey he drinks every day (he puts 1.75 litres away every 4-5 days).
If Dad didn't drink and would exercise very moderately, his quality of life would greatly improve. I guess I am fortunate that Dad is a happy and nice drunk.
My husband and I do his laundry, cleaning, food preparation, bill paying, errands, and take him to all of his appointments. I have become a captive in my own home, for if I walk past his den, he will have something for me to do...regardless of what I am doing at the time. Dad did the same thing to my mother when she was alive, so it is not just something that has occurred as he aged. I stay in my bedroom as much as possible just to force him to get his own q-tips, kleenex, etc.
My father makes huge messes and will not clean up after himself. If he becomes ill from too much drinking, he will leave the messes for my husband and me to clean up. We had to move him in with me because he would live in his own filth rather than clean it. He would not allow us to have an "outsider" in his house cleaning, so we did it when we could. I feel that my brothers (a second brother live 5 hours from us) have no idea how demanding Dad is or how much time ti takes to care for him. Dad is financially well off, but refuses to spend mondy unless he "just has to". I am at the point that I am going to have to have someone come in and clean for me....just so I can take care of Dad. Dad pays for nothing except his medical appointment co-pays, prescriptions (sometimes), and alcohol. I feel like a jerk for asking for Dad to pay for anything, but I think I am going to have to do it.
I am venting, but also asking for advice. I am not sure how to handle my brothers and their lack of help with Dad. I also don't know where to get help with elderly alcoholics.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2004 10:33 pm
I'm not sure what I'll do when I cannot live by myself
any longer. We have a great senior home right on the
beach and a liquor store next door - I could have a party
there every night Mr. Green

My grandfather lived by himself until he died at 95. He
liked being in his own home but he felt lonely quite a
bit.

My father died young and my mother is now 72 years
old and has a much younger spouse. So he'll take care
of her in the years to come.

I guess, we've got it covered Smile
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 06:17 am
Quote:
Dad is financially well off, but refuses to spend mondy unless he "just has to".


Sure, why spend money to hire a maid when he has his own private maid (you) to take care of him?

Quote:
I feel like a jerk for asking for Dad to pay for anything, but I think I am going to have to do it.


Why would you feel like a jerk?? He is living in your home, eating your food, and getting personal service from you. And he has the means. What are YOU getting out of this arrangement, but a lot of grief?

Quote:
I have become a captive in my own home, for if I walk past his den, he will have something for me to do...regardless of what I am doing at the time.


You haven't become a captive because of your father. YOU have made yourself a captive. Your father is 75. He could theoretically live for another 15 or so years. Is being his personal servant the way that YOU and your husband want to spend your later years?

IMO your father is a self-centered, spoiled individual, who is using you the same way the he used your mother. He is 75, not 90, and should be expected to pitch in, at the least. If he can't, or won't, you need to find a nice senior residence for him, where he can order the staff around.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 08:49 am
From one who is closer to that point than most here on a2k. Assisted living is the best choice.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 01:59 pm
kleachespo--

I'm with Phoenix. Being a Good Woman and a Dutiful Daughter should not mean being either a Door Mat or an Unpaid Dogsbody for your father's mess.

Just because you are female does not excuse your brothers from picking up their share of the problem.

All the same, you have to stand up for your rights because no one else is going to do it. You are being exploited and you are allowing the exploitation

Morally, if not legally, your father has squatting rights to his "Granny flat".

If he is not paying his share of utilities (gas, electric, cable, telephone, garbage, water, sewage) will his improvements to your house belong to you and your husband after his death?

Postpone a confrontation with your brothers until March. Meanwhile, start accumulating records:

Utility bills--all of the utility bills. Ideally you would be able to show that the charges went up when your father joined your household.

The amount of time on a daily basis that you spend cooking and cleaning for your father as well as the time consumed in driving him to medical appointments. Also, keep track of the mileage you're putting on your car.

Document each drunken mess--with sordid details.

With luck, you'll be able to convince both brothers' that you are spending a disproportionate amount of time and money and they should be helping out more.

Then the three of you should talk to your father about financial compensation--both now and after his death.



Now, the drinking is a separate problem.

Immediately call the Motor Vehicle Department of your state and say that your elderly father is not safe behind the wheel. Ask his doctor--all his doctors--to call or write also.

You say your father is an alcoholic--how is he getting the booze? Are you willing to put in the time and energy to take him to AA meetings? Have you been going to the liquor store for him?

Do you and your husband have children who are being exposed to your father's uncontrolled, unwise drinking?

Good luck.
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 02:05 pm
Usually just one of the children is willing and or able to care for elderly parents.
My sister...bless her...lives in half of a huge duplex that my parents and her bought....she is married with a 12 year old.
They've hired a full time care giver that lives there too. It is the best situation that I can imagine and I thank my sis every day...
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kleachespo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 03:57 pm
Taking Care of Dad
Noddy 24
Quote:
All the same, you have to stand up for your rights because no one else is going to do it. You are being exploited and you are allowing the exploitation

You are right...I am allowing myself to be exploited. I guess I don't want to confront Dad about his selfishness, but I am going to have to gather my courage and do so.
Noddy24
Quote:
If he is not paying his share of utilities (gas, electric, cable, telephone, garbage, water, sewage) will his improvements to your house belong to you and your husband after his death?

My Father spent 30K of his money to build on to our house, but my older brother and his wife have already commented on the fact that I will benefit from the improvements to my house. they have inferred that if he doesn't live here 3 full years, I will have to pay the money back to the estate. You are correct, I will keep a detail diary of all that I do and spend. I will also find out what the cost of identical services would cost at a live in facility in my area. The biggest problem maker is my older brother's wife (he comes down to help once every couple of months).
My husband should have some say in this situation, as he is the one who helps take care of Dad, feed him, take him to doctor appointments, and clean up after his foul messes. My younger brother's wife is an angel (she did almost everything for my mother when she was dying, as I was in a new job that kept me out of town and finishing a terminal degree.)
Noddy24
Quote:
You say your father is an alcoholic--how is he getting the booze? Are you willing to put in the time and energy to take him to AA meetings? Have you been going to the liquor store for him?

Dad gets his on liquor. He drives before he starts drinking. He panics if he does not have the brand liquor that he prefers in quantity. He will normally get it while my husband and I are at work.
Dad will feign an inability to stand or get up if he thinks he is going somewhere he doesn't want to go. If I lie to him and not tell him where we are going, he will refuse to get out of the car when we get there.
I, on the other hand, am attending meetings and providing for my mental health.
My biggest problem is getting my brothers to understand the gravity of the situation and how much time I spend taking care of Dad. Sadly, I think it will all come down to his money and how much they perceive that I am "taking" from their inheritances.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 04:10 pm
kleachespo--

Get the money issue out in the open before it can fester further. Unfortunately many people confuse money and love. Their reckoning goes, "Since Dad loves us all we should share and share alike."

Your older sister-in-law really doesn't get a vote--and you and your younger brother can outvote your older brother.

By the way, does your father have a will? who is executor? If there is a question of extra money in exchange for end-of-life care, this should be in writing.

By the by, in this age of HIV and AID's, cleaning up personal waste on private property can cost as much as $100 an hour.

Hitting AA meetings yourself is a good idea. Those people are professionals at coping.

Don't forget the possibility of taking your dad's driving license.

Good luck.

Collect your figures--and make copies.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 04:18 pm
It is a sad commentary the body is still breathing and the family is already squabbling over the estate.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 04:34 pm
My heart truly goes out to you kleach. My mother and I share a home as my father died in 86 and I can't see her living alone. The difference is that my mother would never burden me for anything. Since she doesn't drive and we are a bit in the boonies here, I run all the errands and take her to her appointments, but that's all she allows me to do for her, except for doing home improvements. I am not married, may son is going on 18 and we have a large home, so no one gets in eachothers way. Mom and I share the cleaning and we share the cooking. I am very thankful that my mom is this way and I plan on caring for her for the rest of her life, unless she has other choices, or course. Where I live, after a certain age, or if you qualify, you can have someone who comes to your home for a few hours 2 or 3 times a week to help you with your cleaning, take you to appointments, or just keep you company, so that's an option too.
You have a lot of courage, because I just couldn't live with a man like your father. I would surely put my foot down with him.

Best of luck to you.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 04:58 pm
au1929--

I hope that kleachespo can act in such a way that graveside squabbles can be avoided.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 05:15 pm
I was not commenting on what she should do. Only on the sad fact that she had to do anything. You can choose your friends but your relatives are bequeathed to you.
Her story is a common one.
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kleachespo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2004 09:35 pm
Taking Care of Dad
I appreciate everything all of you have said. It gives me courage to know other people have dealt with the same thing.
I am going to research the cost of residential care (that provides all of the services that I do for Dad) in my zip code and then track everything I spend and all that my husband and I do for Dad.
BTW...all 3 of us (children) are financially set for life. My issue has more to do with being treated like a slave by my father. If he tied to help himself or ever said thank you, I would only worry about his alcoholism and how to deal with all it effects.
The money issue is really being driven by my older brother's wife. She is also the person who wanted all of the nicest things in my father's house when we moved him in with us. She is a shrew and all of us know it. I can't even bring myself to repeat the things she did or said when my mother passed away.
I will talk to my younger brother and his wife and layout the details of how my life has changed and how I am trying to improve Dad's quality of life. It will upset my dad to upset my older brother (by letting him know that his wife has no say in any of Dad's care), but he will have to get over it.
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