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Independent vs assisted living
Internal Administrator
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463


Originally posted by: deb y

Hi:
I got very helpful answers from Krista and Mini regarding my mom and my having to make a decision to move her here near me or letting her stay where she is with assistance.

Now I don't know whether I am dropping the ball by letting her stay where she is happy (in the same vicinity as her boyfriend, who has stepped up and is taking much more of a role in making sure she puts on her patch and takes her other meds, helping her with her taxes, etc.,) until she HAS to move (when her money runs out) or should I be moving her here near me? My husband thinks I should just move her and get it over with, but I want her to be content/happy/not anxious as long as she can and that means not making her move. I also want to enjoy her while she still knows who I am. Right now she is in Florida and I am in Texas. Am I being selfish, a bad daughter, a good daughter, or what? My aunt and uncle (my mom's brother) live about 5 minutes away from my mom and they are helpful, but my mom is not their responsibility. I have a sister, who lives in Colorado and who is physically and mentally incapacitated with her own health issues at this time - she says all she can do is pray, which is helpful, but I want SOMEBODY TO TELL ME WHAT IS BEST, not what I SHOULD DO!!!!! Any suggestions/helpful hints?
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: Mini V

Dear deb y,

As your mother’s disease progresses, it is important for her to feel safe and loved. As long as you make sure mom is being monitored at all times in her house and provide her with plenty of affection, you will be able to keep her safe and feeling loved. You may enroll her in an adult day center to keep her engaged in structured activities daily.

I’m sure you are doing a good job taking care of your mom. It is probably hard to feel like you have done enough when you don’t get a response or appreciation from her. However, what matters is you are doing your best. Please feel free to call our 24-helpline if you would like to someone regarding caregiving responsibilities. Thank you for using the Alzheimer's Association Online Community.

Sincerely,

Mini V.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: deb y

Dear Mini:

I am so tired of coming home from work and there being a million different messages from my mom, one saying one thing, one saying something else, etc., etc. I have put money down on her house and she is adamant about coming to live here. She says when and if she needs me she will call me and I am to let her spend her money, drive her car, and live the way she wants to and if she dies she dies. She said she feels like she is in prison. I can understand that - she has lived on her own for so long and been so independent, but I am really wondering if I have the right to stop her! I know it is for her own safety but she looms very large and casts a HUGE shadow, although she is only 5' tall! Her cleaning lady has scammed her out of about 20,000 in the past 3 years and I hate for any more of it to go away as well. HELP!!!!!!
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: Mini V

Dear Deb Y.,

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease that causes the person to make poor decisions and poor judgment. Most people with the disease are unable to understand that they need extra care as the disease progresses. If you believe that staying with her boyfriend causes more stress for her or is a safety issue for her, it would be best to remove her from that environment. However, if she is safe and is happy there, it might be better to stay there. Maybe you can come up with a plan where you and her boyfriend will be able to spend time with her. If her boyfriend is open-minded it might help you to have a family meeting with a social worker to discuss what would be best for her.

It sounds like you are a caring daughter and want what is best for her. You are doing the right thing by asking questions. Please feel free to call our helpline to further discuss this issue with a Care Consultant or to obtain local resources. Thank you for using the Alzheimer's Association Online Community.

Sincerely,

Mini V.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: MicheleC.

As we are all faced with a very difficult decision, we never really know if it is the RIGHT one.My mother has been living on her own in a 1 bedroom apt. for over 15 yrs. and in the past 2 weeks we moved her in with my sister. Although we were weighing the option of leaving her or moving her, we were quite concerned about her health and well being, being on her own. She wouldn't remember paying her bills, telling us about certain events, like rainbows in the sky that were there because it was meant for her,eatting wrong foods( all day long),taking medication, and not showering has been a big thing that still is like pulling teeth to get her to do. We knew that she needed 24 hr. assistance. Yes, she was happier in her apt. but she was alone all day and night and needed someone there for her socially to ask/tell her what to do. We are in the process of getting her assistance in the home for her but know that we are going to have to have her go into a facility, do we want that, NO. But we can't stay home 24 hrs. and sit her due to the cost of living we have to make a living to support her. She has regressed since she has moved and having that change has been very devistating to her so she's withdrawn and thinks everyone's out to get her, even her daughter that has taken her into her home to help care for her. It can be quite sad to see her in this state but at least we know she's safe even tho she doesn't think she is.Anyways we are going to get her on a list so by the time she Can't function on her own she will be able to move into a care facility. I'm sure these places have a wait, right? Hang in there you will do what feels right.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: Jaimie E.

Dear Jschmidt,

I am so sorry that you are feeling so overwhelmed; you are doing a lot for your Mom and your concerns are well understood. Many caregivers question the best time to seek more help and begin locating more care for their loved ones. It is hard to make those decisions and the feelings of guilt you are having are very common with caregivers who have to place their love one in a care facility. It seems from this post and from your post about bathroom behaviors that Mom needs 24 hour care. With Alzheimer’s disease care giving can be very immense and difficult to do alone. It is obvious that you have done all you can for your Mom. There are a couple of options you can think about for your Mom.

Check out the Senior Housing Finder at http://www.alz.org/we_can_help_senior_housing_finder.asp for care facilities, including assisted living and memory units in your area. Also, to find more about different care options in your area go to http://www.alz.org/carefinder/index.asp. Another great resource is calling the Alzheimer’s Association helpline at 800.272.3900. You can speak to a Care Consultant directly about any of your concerns or questions. The helpline can also provide you with more helpful resources 24 hours 7 days a week.

As you had mentioned safety is a common concern family members have when the person with Alzheimer’s is living alone. Wandering is often a major concern of many caregivers. Wandering occurs when the person with Alzheimer’s gets scared, confused, disorientated, and or cannot recognize, people, or things in a familiar place like his/her home. This may happen at any time or anyplace, and can be a life threatening situation. Wandering is a very common part of Alzheimer’s. As you begin to look at more care options keep in mind the option to enroll your Mom in the Medic Alert + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return program. This program helps keep people with Alzheimer’s safe in the community if they were to wander and get lost.

Go to http://www.alz.org/we_can_help_medicalert_safereturn.asp to learn more and enroll. Other safety precautions some families take when their loved one lives alone, includes disabling the stove, and limiting the use of other appliances such as blenders, or knives; regularly checking the fire alarms and fire extinguishers; making sure their loved one knows what to do if there is a fire or emergency. It is best to ask this question directly, for example “What would you do if there was a fire in your kitchen?” If the person with Alzheimer’s can still use a phone, some caregivers provide a list of phone numbers in case of emergency by the phone.
The situation you are facing is unfortunately very common in many families facing Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. You do not have to do this alone; there are many resources available to help you provide care for your Mom to provide support for you.

If you have any questions or concerns and you would like to speak with a Care Consultant directly contact our helpline at 800.272.3900 anytime day or night.

Sincerely,

Jaimie E.

Alzheimer’s Association
Care Consultant
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: Charlie B.

Hi Deb,

Thanks for using the Alzheimer's Association Online Community.

First, let me say that you are definitely not being a selfish or bad daughter. The decision you are wrestling with is a difficult one for any concerned and loving caregiver. You obviously want to provide the best life you can for your mother so that she is content, happy and not anxious for as long as you can. Unfortunately, there are trade-offs between her staying where she is now, close to her boyfriend, who is now stepping up and becoming more involved with her care, and moving her to Texas to be closer to you and your family.

You said that your mother is happy now in her current situation but will have to move eventually when her money runs out. Azheimer's is a progressive disease and her care requirements will undoubtedly become more demanding as time goes on. You didn't mention the nature of your mother's relationship with her boyfriend or his level of commitment to her. You also didn't address how long you expect her finances to last.

Decisions to move loved ones to be nearer family members or to provide them with better care are dictated by a number of factors, financial considerations being a major one. It can be very difficult to move a loved one against their wishes but it is often necessary at some point in the progression of the disease. Each family has to make that decision based on their own circumstances and best judgement. Good luck to you.

If you would like to discuss this matter with one of our Care Consultants you can reach us on our 24-hour helpline at: 800-272-3900.

Thanks again for using the Alzheimer's Association Online Community.

Best wishes,

Charlie

G
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: Morgan42

deb y
Let me say this to you. The Alzheimer changes are so gradual that it will be hard if not impossible for you to monitor your mother long distance. If the Doctor says she needs Assisted Living then my suggestion is Move her now. If she is like my husband she will progress so gradual you will be in the middle of one big crisis if you wait and you will not even be aware that it is getting ready to happen.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: deb y

Hi Charlie (or whomever):
My mother is now coming to live with me, very reluctantly. We are having a log home built on our property about 10 feet from our house so Mom can have a little privacy but we can keep a 24-hour eye on her. I am using some of her remaining money to do it - although she doesn't know that and she won't remember. I somehow feel like I am not doing enough or too much. Is that a valid feeling? I am so in the dark here!
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: brightwings

Debj--

I don't think it makes sense to build a log cabin for your mother... She will not stay at the stage of living independently that long (even with your proximity) and you will be in there all the time having to monitor her, hire aides, etc.

Better to use her monies for a regular or ALZ assisted living near your house or near her boyfriend)... and then the next stage will come.

Go to Find on PUrple bar and search driving. It's not her independence that matters with driving but the danger to others.

Jschmidt-- you should feel guilty if you don't take good care of yourself and your husband. Treat yourselves with love and care. Hire help or do the ALF.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: deb y

Dear Mini:
My mom feels safe and loved where she is - it isn't that she doesn't love me, but her boyfriend (even though he has lots of issues) and her condo are what she wants right now. That is why it is very hard for me to disrupt her, but I want to spend as much time as I can with her until she doesn't know me any more. She can't understand that she isn't going to get better - she feels she is fine. When I remind her that her doctor said she should be in assisted living and not driving, she says he doesn't know what he is talking about. She is a VERY STRONG-MINDED, INDEPENDENT woman and I hate to make her unhappy. Is that a legitimate concern, or should I treat the whole thing as if she were my child and I would make the decisions for my child if there was a possibility of danger?
Deb Y.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: jschmidt@unitelc.com

Hi, My mpm ;ives independently in her apartment with a lot of help from my husband and I. She comes to our home every weekend. I do her laundry,shopping, paying the bills. All of it. I'm feeling overwhelmed and I'm thinking it's time for another arrangement. She's told me she wants to stay where she is. But her memory is about 10 seconds. I'm concerned about her safety. But the guilt is overwhelming as I ponder assisted living.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: deb y

Michele and Morgan:
Thanks so much for your help - all of you have been so great! I feel so responsible for all the things she is going through - not the disease process, but all her changes. It is really nice to know I am not the only one. So I am just going to do what I can and that is all I can do. Thank you again for responding (Michele, we lived in Scottsdale before she moved to Florida and I moved to Texas - where I am is NOTHING like Scottsdale and where my mom is is a lot like Scottsdale - she wants a condo Smiler
Deb y
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 11:09 AM
Originally posted by: MaysDaughter

The cleaning lady has already scammed her. I'd be worried about the boyfriend and what property she does own. When she gets worse, where will he be and who will control the property? You may be left with holding the bag with less choices/assets available. Then what? I'd talk to an attorney, etc.
 
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