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Mental Decline & Dependency/Coping With Aging Loved Ones

 
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 May, 2012 09:31 am
@Phoenix32890,
That Lewy body type is interesting. BBB has had a hand tremor for decades. I'm going to print out that info and bring it with us to her doctor next week.
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 May, 2012 09:54 am
@Butrflynet,
A hand tremor can be caused by a number of things. Parkinsons' Disease is one of them. Essential tremor is another. I believe that was what was happening to Katherine Hepburn in her later years.

http://essentialtremor.org/
Swimpy
 
  5  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2012 11:15 am
Today is my mother's 103rd birthday. She's been in the memory unit of a nursing home for about 7 or 8 months. She's still happy and always upbeat. She has dementia, which her doctor has called Alzheimers, but it has never been formally diagnosed. Her decline has been pretty gradual with sometimes dramatic slides.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2012 11:17 am
@Swimpy,
wow.

happy 103rd birthday to her.

you don't get to say that every day...

Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2012 11:19 am
@Rockhead,
I'll pass on your kind wishes Smile Thanks!
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2012 12:12 pm
@Swimpy,
I'm sure glad to hear she is staying happy. That isn't always the case, and I hope she doesn't lose it.
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2012 02:03 pm
@roger,
Yea, me too. All signs point to that not happening, though.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2012 02:35 pm
@Swimpy,
I'm glad, Swimpy, that your mum is doing relatively fine ... and that you are very well informed about what can and could happen!
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jun, 2012 03:51 pm
@Swimpy,
My mom's aunt lived to be 100. It was amazing to hear all the history she has been witness to, both within the family and the world.


Happy birthday to your mother, Swimpy. I hope she had a grand celebration.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 12:25 am
Seems that my aunt's end is near.

I noticed that already about six weeks ago: she asked me to pay some money she said she owed a friend .... that must have been in 1940's.
Later, she became "clinging", asked me to hold her hand, to caress her, was shed tears when I left ... showed emotions. Something she never did in a such a way as long as I know her.

Yesterday, staff (and her doctor) confirmed that she had given up.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 12:49 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I'm so sorry to hear this, Walter.
But I'm sure your support has been a great comfort to your aunt at such an important time for her.
You are a very kind & compassionate person.
Bless you for being the one to listen & respond to her words.


0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 01:03 am
@Walter Hinteler,

That's a shame, Walter. Our sympathies.

Later today we are driving up to Edinburgh with two folks over 90, so Daumen halten for me please.
0 Replies
 
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 09:26 am
@Walter Hinteler,
So sorry to hear about your aunt, Walter. You've been a good nephew. I hope the end is peaceful for her and for you.
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 09:30 am
I thought this story would touch many of you. Maybe you saw it on CBS news http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57504593/even-in-dementia-korean-war-medic-cares-for-his-men/?tag=showDoorLeadStoriesAreaMain;ENLeadHero
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 11:11 am
@Swimpy,
Thanks, Swimpy and McTag.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 01:30 pm
Can anyone here offer some feedback and kind of get me going in the right direction here? Really general stuff is fine.

My mom is talking about retiring in a few months. She's 65 and is currently making a pretty good living as a nurse.

I don't know a lot about her finances. She's been pretty private about them. Some things have been relayed verbally and I just don't remember. I know there was a pretty bad tax situation that she got out of. She did major home renovations and her house payment is higher than it had been as a result, but while I don't remember the number I remember classifying it as "not bad."

I have no idea what sort of savings she has.

I've talked to her about long term care insurance and she's been really dismissive.

The conversation I'm trying to figure out how to have goes something like, "I understand that you'd like a fair amount of privacy re: your finances and planning for retirement. However, are we [my husband and I] considered your plan B, financially? Because if so, that's something that we need to plan for."

We have been just scraping by for a long time -- enough money for the necessities but really nothing extra from when sozlet was born until the last couple of years. We've been putting money into necessary home improvement projects such as a new roof, and have more that we need to do. We're building our own retirement funds and savings, and saving for my kid's college education. (My own college education was paid for mostly with grants and student loans.)

One of the things that is tricky about this is that my mom has a long history of being overoptimistic about how things will turn out, and it's really hard to argue with her there. (She denies, or if faced with specifics says yes well that was just that one situation, it was a freakish occurrence and wouldn't happen again in this other situation that will go perfectly.)

As a general example of this, my husband and I tried to talk to her about retirement plans a few years ago and she was maintaining at the time that she didn't need to make any retirement plans because she was hale and hearty and loved to work and would be working until she was 90 and then she'd keel over and die.

Since then, she's had several health issues and is saying that work is overwhelming and she doesn't want to continue and oh by the way, she won't live more than another decade.

What I'm generally trying to figure out I guess is making that switch from she's an adult, it's her business, to am I going to have to deal with the consequences of her bad planning? In that way, it is my business. (How much do I push long term care insurance, for example?)

(I'm an only child btw and my parents are divorced, my mom has remained single.)
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 02:06 pm
@sozobe,
I've no idea how this works in the USA.
And my response won't be any help, too. But just to show how it works here in Germany ...

Mother hadn't worked (besides during WWII) and didn't get a pension from her own work (besides $80/month for having two children).
She got, however, widow's pensions from my father's job pension as well as from his physicians insurance fond.
When she was in the care-home, roughly half of the stay there was paid by the compulsory long-term care insurance. (She paid in that insurance until her death - as well as she paid the highest possible rate for the health insurance.)

Per month, she got quite a bit more money from the 'pension fonds' compared to what she had to pay.


My aunt doesn't get any money from insurances or pension fonds.
She still has some money in accounts and pays thus her stay in the home. (She pays the smallest possible amount per month for health and long care insurances - $150.)
In about 12 months, she'll get housing benefit, because her personal money will be below the limit then.
And roughly half a year later, the state will pay for her stay (and all other needed expenses) completely.

---------

0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 02:16 pm
@sozobe,
I believe that she's entitled to claim spousal SS benefits from her ex-husband or her own, whichever is greater. That said, it's still not a lot of money and if she hasn't saved much it's going to be difficult for her to have a "comfortable" retirement.

Re the conversation you're planning to have with her --- is depending on you a viable option for you? Somehow putting it in terms of "let me know if I need to add this to my savings budget" sounds like an invitation to her saying, "Yes, sure, go ahead." If that's really not in your plans then I'd couch it from a different perspective such as, "You know, Mom, we're not really in a position to financially support you and meet our own needs too. Are you sure you're going to be ok?"
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 02:37 pm
@sozobe,
You just might have to scare her, in a rational sort of way, of course. I'm assuming that she lives alone, and you are THE family. You might also remind her that as a nurse (appeal to vanity) she already knows as much as you know about what can happen in the future. She will get older, she will become ill from time to time, she may have serious injury, and she may become mentally or physically unable to make her own decisions.

Someone is going to have to make medical and financial decisions, and that person will be named sozobe. Unfortunately, the title of "Daughter" carries surprisingly little weight with doctors, hospitals and banks. To act in her best interests, you will need a minimum of Powers of Attorney for financial, medical, mental health, and personal decisions. Believe me, your mother already knows this. This might be a good time to remind her. Trust me on this, Powers of Attorney executed while she is still quite competent in all ways are much cheaper than an uncontested guardianship and conservatorship proceeding. If it is contested, you just ain't gonna believe what it can cost.

It's going to be an uphill battle though, and I don't expect you are going to succeed at this time, and you do risk a certain chance of alienation, especially if she doesn't totally trust your motivations. You might just have to wait till the time she realizes she is having problems, though these things do sneak up on one. On the other hand, if you suspect she is being exploited financially, i can send you a bullet to chew on, so you can get busy right now.

By the way, the New Mexico Office of Guardianship sends out an info packet with all kinds of alternatives to Guardianship and Conservatorship. It is easily the most informative collection of information and resources I've ever seen from either government or a business. You might check for such a thing in Ohio. Possibly NM would would send it out of state, and possibly not.

As for the long term care insurance, it's like any other insurance. You're going to have to make some wild guess about cost/benefit without knowing what will be needed.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 02:38 pm
@JPB,
Yes to that, too.
0 Replies
 
 

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