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beaver
June 27th, 2010, 3:50 PM
At what point do you realize that your parent's Alzheimer's has gotten bad enough to to move them into a residential care facility? What are the biggest indicators that it is time?

siamcat
June 27th, 2010, 4:57 PM
At what point do you realize that your parent's Alzheimer's has gotten bad enough to to move them into a residential care facility? What are the biggest indicators that it is time?

In the case of my grandmother it was at the time when she kept getting so confused that she would get up, get dressed, and decided to go shopping at 3 am in the morning(There is absolutely nothing open in the small town where they live. She also would leave things on the burner and forget to turn them off. It was just too dangerous for her to be staying without constant supervision.
It broke my moms heart to have to go to court to get them to appoint her guardian over her mom and to put her in a home, but she has to work and could not afford a private nurse.

bbh
June 27th, 2010, 6:15 PM
Unfortunately, we are going through this right now with my mother, and it is heartbreaking. For the last year, we have tried to keep her in her home and take care of her on our own. We wanted to have someone come into the home and care for her, but she refused to let anyone do that.

Our biggest problem was deciding when to move her to a care facility. When was it time? Her doctor told us that this is called a "crisis decision." In other words, when we had some sort of crisis, we would know it was time. She lived in Harker Heights; we live in Salado. During the past several months, I would try to go over there at least three times a day...before school, at lunch, and after school. It finally got to the point where she would go to bed at 5:00 in the afternoon, and I couldn't get there before she had the house locked up. About four weeks ago, we had the crisis. She called a neighbor at 4:00 pm. because her smoke alarm was going off (bad battery). When the neighbor arrived, the temperature in her house was over 90 degrees. She had, for some unknown reason, turned off the air conditioner. When she opened the door to let the neighbors in, she passed out and they caught her before she hit the floor. They called 911 and then me. She was suffering from heat stroke, and didn't even realize that she was hot. I shudder to think what would have happened if that smoke alarm had not gone off.

That's when we knew it was time. We moved her into Rosewood's Assisted Living, and she has adjusted better than we could have hoped. Her mind is rapidly getting worse, however, so we're not sure how long she will be able to stay there. She has no concept of time, so they have to walk her to meals, etc. She is losing all ability to remember how to do things, such as take a bath or change her clothes, but they help her with that. Thank goodness that she has shown no signs of "wandering." If that happens, she will not be able to stay at Rosewood, because it is not secure for that. It broke my heart to have to take her out of her home, but she is content, and that is the answer to our prayers.

For the future, I have checked into the new Stoney Brook facility in Belton. It is brand new and set to open later this month. It is a beautiful place, but very expensive. They will have what they call the "Memory Care" section for residents with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

While we are fortunate that my mother has some assets and a monthly annuity from my deceased dad, financial planning is something that we have to consider. The plan that we have her on at Rosewood is approximately $3200/month, and her monthly income will not cover all of that. Stoney Brook's Memory Care will be $4700/month. Because my mom has some assets, she does not qualify for help from Medicare for her care. I've done some research (for example, a program for WWII veterans/spouses that pays up to $1000/month), and I've learned that I need some help in making the best decisions for the sale of her house, etc. We have an appointment with an Elder Law attorney in a couple of weeks. I've learned enough to realize that there are pitfalls along the way that can threaten our ability to protect her assets so that they will be there for her care. I would strongly suggest getting an attorney who specializes in this type of law....it changes constantly and you need someone who is up on those changes.

This is a stressful, sad, scary, and frustrating time in life. It is the hardest thing in the world to have to become a parent to your parent. My heart goes out to all of those who are dealing with a situation like ours.

Iteachtoo
June 27th, 2010, 10:26 PM
My sister, because she lived next door and I was here, took care of my Mother for as long as she could, much longer, I think, than she should have. Her, my sister's, crisis point came when Mother decided that my 8 year old niece was evil and she, Mother, was trying to harm her. I think she should have put her in a home months before that because Mother would get up during the night and walk the floor and let herself out of the house. Many times my sister got no sleep and then would go and try to teach school the next day.
It is the hardest thing in the world to do, because you feel like you are deserting them when they were always there for you as you grew up.
You have to remember, and this is what I kept telling my sister, that there comes a time when you have to put the safety and sanity of your own family first. Yes, it is hard, and I always felt guilty because I did not pick up and move back home so I could help with her care.
My Mother does not even know where she is, much less who we are and it is the most depressing thing in the world to see this once vibrant person, of whom you looked up to all of your life, in this situation.
There are NO easy answers or solutions and we who have been there feel for your situation. This is the ugliest of diseases, for it steals your loved one from you in small increments and there is no hope of remission or cure.

christine
June 28th, 2010, 2:42 PM
we had to go through this with my husbands grandfather. He lived on his own for so long with his wife but later he had to go into a home.
People forget that no matter how good the nursing home is there can still be a chance of neglect. Anything from their clothing not being changed regularly to not making sure they eat the food that's served. And the fear most elderly people have is that they will be left and forgotten.
My advice is pick a place that is close to your home so there is no reason you can't see them every day. It will also help with the transistion.
Also make a point to come at random times so the staff never knows when you'll show up.

Spartan
June 28th, 2010, 5:27 PM
I have a mother-in-law in a local nursing home, age 93 with palsy and senile dementia, and her sister, age 87 with senile dementia at our home. I find it sort of like raising infants again, except now they weigh 145 pounds, their output is proportional to their size and they tend to be less obedient. I have decided that if their life is representative of what mine will be, I really don't care to live that long. My children deserve better.

JoAnn Purser
December 8th, 2010, 8:27 AM
We have recently taken charge of medications.

It has helped due to the need to make sure the care the aging parent needs they are getting. As parents age the problem with self medication is an inbalance, especially in behavior, if the meds needed are not being taken.

Now that the meds are in a pill box and they no longer have the bottles, the ability to pick and choose has stopped. (Filling them with the ocassional generic version helps to confuse the mixture of pills so they ingest all the necessary meds)

It is amazing what the disease does...

lotuspower
December 8th, 2010, 1:13 PM
No wonder there are insurance plans available now for these situations. My goodness thanks for sharing such information!
Unfortunately, we are going through this right now with my mother, and it is heartbreaking. For the last year, we have tried to keep her in her home and take care of her on our own. We wanted to have someone come into the home and care for her, but she refused to let anyone do that.

Our biggest problem was deciding when to move her to a care facility. When was it time? Her doctor told us that this is called a "crisis decision." In other words, when we had some sort of crisis, we would know it was time. She lived in Harker Heights; we live in Salado. During the past several months, I would try to go over there at least three times a day...before school, at lunch, and after school. It finally got to the point where she would go to bed at 5:00 in the afternoon, and I couldn't get there before she had the house locked up. About four weeks ago, we had the crisis. She called a neighbor at 4:00 pm. because her smoke alarm was going off (bad battery). When the neighbor arrived, the temperature in her house was over 90 degrees. She had, for some unknown reason, turned off the air conditioner. When she opened the door to let the neighbors in, she passed out and they caught her before she hit the floor. They called 911 and then me. She was suffering from heat stroke, and didn't even realize that she was hot. I shudder to think what would have happened if that smoke alarm had not gone off.

That's when we knew it was time. We moved her into Rosewood's Assisted Living, and she has adjusted better than we could have hoped. Her mind is rapidly getting worse, however, so we're not sure how long she will be able to stay there. She has no concept of time, so they have to walk her to meals, etc. She is losing all ability to remember how to do things, such as take a bath or change her clothes, but they help her with that. Thank goodness that she has shown no signs of "wandering." If that happens, she will not be able to stay at Rosewood, because it is not secure for that. It broke my heart to have to take her out of her home, but she is content, and that is the answer to our prayers.

For the future, I have checked into the new Stoney Brook facility in Belton. It is brand new and set to open later this month. It is a beautiful place, but very expensive. They will have what they call the "Memory Care" section for residents with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

While we are fortunate that my mother has some assets and a monthly annuity from my deceased dad, financial planning is something that we have to consider. The plan that we have her on at Rosewood is approximately $3200/month, and her monthly income will not cover all of that. Stoney Brook's Memory Care will be $4700/month. Because my mom has some assets, she does not qualify for help from Medicare for her care. I've done some research (for example, a program for WWII veterans/spouses that pays up to $1000/month), and I've learned that I need some help in making the best decisions for the sale of her house, etc. We have an appointment with an Elder Law attorney in a couple of weeks. I've learned enough to realize that there are pitfalls along the way that can threaten our ability to protect her assets so that they will be there for her care. I would strongly suggest getting an attorney who specializes in this type of law....it changes constantly and you need someone who is up on those changes.

This is a stressful, sad, scary, and frustrating time in life. It is the hardest thing in the world to have to become a parent to your parent. My heart goes out to all of those who are dealing with a situation like ours.