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Old 10-11-2006, 09:15 PM   #1
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Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

Hi everyone,

I have been lurking and listening. Most of what most of yall are going thru are a few steps in front of my parents. But, I am afraid that we will be up with you all too soon.

My Dad (alz. and Parkinsons) and my Mom (uncontrolled diabetes and early dementia) still live at home together. My mom still drives. We are receiving something - where a nurse (case manager) and a P.T. and O.T. come to their home about 2 x week each. I think they have done about all they can for my dad. And my mom will "seem" to do what they suggest and then the next week, the rugs are back down, she has left him by himself again (for 1 hr.) and so forth. She has done a few things that they have suggested but the physical and occupational therapies are only done when the therapists are there and not practiced otherwise. So...

There is also a Social Worker, who has come 3 times and is coming next Tues. These people are paid in full by social security (Medicare). The social worker and the Nurse talk to me a lot and we try to suggest things to my parents, like having care 3 x week, 4 hr. in am. This would be so my dad could get a good bath and shave and such, and my mom could get out.

The social worker said that my mom needs almost as much help as my dad. And my dad falls sometimes, but so far has nothing but bruises to show for the falls. That is the main reason my mom should not leave him by himself. And she goes off with things cooking on the stove.

This is my questions for yall: do you think we should hold off on 3 - 1/2 days a week and just start with one 1/2 day and work up? They have an insurance that will pay for the three days only. Then maybe we can put them on a waiting list for a couple of 2 - 3 level care homes.

Also, if I put their names on a waiting list for assist.living and alzheimers combo care home, will they keep us on the list, if we are not quite ready to move them yet??? My mom is the one that would not want to leave and I told her she cannot stay at their house by herself!

My dads only fears are if the caregiver (3 x wk) is female and gives him a bath. But, I reminded him that he had prostate cancer a few years back and the female tech., would draw on him and move him around for radiation - so he should not mind being seen naked by a female nurse/caregiver. I also told him that I have had male nurses and did not mind.

My sister came down about a week ago and met with us 3 and the social worker. She asked and learned a lot of things. She can return if it would push the parents over the edge to start having some care and to possibly tour a couple of living centers. Of course, we would not tell my dad about the lock down alz part, until, he just has to go there.

Thanks for any knowledge or info you guys can give me.

Thanks and Take Care.

Love, Wannabe

 
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Old 10-12-2006, 03:20 AM   #2
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Re: Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

Dear Wannabe,

I'm glad you are making some progress and getting your parents some help, but as you can see yourself, it isn't enough. Even 3 or 4 days are not enough.
If your Mom is going out with food cooking on the stove, she may have Dementia also. Your dad needs a lot of care, and she is not able to give it.

In my opinion it is time to move them to a facility now, one where they can have assisted living at the start and switch him into the nursing home or Alzheimer Care a little later.

I don't know how you and your sister will be able to explain and encourage the move. Use your imagination; tell her that it is for HIS sake, and tell him that it is for HER sake - but somehow get them there. The present situation is dangerous. The house could burn down. At the facility there will be no rugs to trip over. (maybe instead of putting them away you can remove them forever?)

I think it is high time - and I wish you luck in getting it done.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 10-12-2006, 05:27 AM   #3
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Re: Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

Hi Wannabe!!

In my little neck of the woods, we only use a lock down facility if they are wandering LOTS .. does your Dad wander away from home? If not, he may not need as much care as you think .. actually, it might be your Mum if she's the one batting for freedom!!

Me personally? Well, having been in your shoes ... and having tried the "slow but gentle approach" and having that NOT WORK ANYWAY .. I suggest you go for the 'all or nothing' approach.

Like I've said before, don't give them choices. You need to be the bossy boots now and say to Mum and/or Dad "It's this, or a home .. " if you need to justify yourself .... I can guarantee you, if you 'threaten' a nursing home, they will accept the assistance (don't say care!!)

Try and make it out to be something they've won perhaps? Free house keeping for 6 months!! Meals cooked for 3 months! Woo Hoo !! Way to Go Mum !!!

Next thing .. is make the OT and PT happen. Don't give Mum the options of 'amusing' the help then doing her own thing. Seriously .. Dad could break a hip next fall, and I can tell you where THAT will definately lead him !!!! I know you don't want that, so now is the time to take charge. If you can't, then get Sis to do it .. follow through with the orders .. this is to keep your parents safe !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry to sound so overbearing honey .. you know I say these things in friendship and love ... the hardest thing you have to do now is become the grownup...

Big hugs

 
Old 10-12-2006, 08:12 AM   #4
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Re: Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

A couple of thoughts:

If they can afford an assistant living facility and Dad doesn't wander could you present a move to Mom as:

1) no more housework and no more cooking if you don't feel like it ( around my parts most ALF have both a dinning room and a small kitchen in the apartment).

2) Someone to watch over Dad when Mom goes out (safety for him and a break for her).

3) Planned outings where Mom doesn't have to drive (some ALF have small busses to take people shopping, to the library, etc.).

4) 24/7 health security.

5) A chance for Mom and Dad to stay together as long as possible. If Dad gets too bad you might point out that staying home won't work because Mom won't be able to handle him on her own but with some assistance she will be able to stay with him rather than putting him in a Nursing Home and leaving her alone in the house. Frequently one spouce insists that they can take care of the other and they would never put their husband or wife in a NH. But if presented as an opportunity to be able to continue to stay together it might be more palitable to her.

A friend of mine's Great Grandmother lived in an ALF through most of her 80s until 99 years old. She was as sharp as a tack but never drove and was very independent. It gave her the opportunity to live in her own apartment, cook when she wanted to (she loved to cook for her Great Grandson but not herself), go shopping without depending on a relative to cart her around, have plenty of other people around when she wanted company or stay by herself if she wanted. No housekeeping or laundry chores. And, since every winter she got the flu someone to call the ambulance and my friend when she got real sick (he was POA and her favorite). Something to think on.

 
Old 10-12-2006, 10:37 PM   #5
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Re: Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

Hi All,

Thanks for the advice and I do not mind yall being straight forward. I know, that because I do not live with my parents that I am some what removed and only hear about some of the falls and other things. This makes it easier to not push myself and them to make changes for the good. But, I would hate for their house to burn down or for my mom to back over a kid!!!

The main thing me, my sis and the assistants (the ones that are coming now) are working on right now, is for my mom to not leave my dad alone at all!!! She leaves him along sometimes for 1 hr. in the am while he is still asleep and if he does not want to go with her to the bank or such. But, he could fall (as I was telling her today) and this time, bleed or something even worse! She just does not think it is bad to leave him. The social worker even said, do not leave him (her husband - my dad) for any length of time!!!

I went there today to spell her, and she went to a red hat luncheon. So, if she asks, there are those that will come - plus the assistants that we can have part time. Your are right Sally, Assistants sounds so much better that caregivers or carers! Must learn to watch my choice of words when I am around them...

You are also right about getting the pt and ot and social worker and nurse, to keep coming. They just have to fill out the paper work and say that he still needs them - and I think he does. I will call my dads case manager tomorrow and make for sure that they come back. They have not been here for 2 weeks.

Luckily, my dad does not like the rugs, because it seems that the bug that he "sees" are mainly on the carpet, rugs or him. He seems okay with the bug situation, it is not driving him bonkers, yet. But, he still wants more exterminating, even tho, it was just done 1 mo. ago!!!

I am going to visit 2 more assisted/Ad homes next week. The social worker told me about them. Just do not know what they accept as far as $. Hopefully most will accept the long term care policy and then my parents will have to pick it up from there - or me, for them.

I guess I will have to get my sister to come down again, as they do pay more attention to her or when there is both of us. In the meantime, I will talk with my dads cardiologist (pacemaker procedure). And call the Nurse and make sure that they keep coming, to my parents home.

Thanks again ladies, and let me know what else I can do for and with my parents - and my sister too.

Take care.

Love, Wannabe

 
Old 10-13-2006, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

Hi Wannabe! I'm glad you've got the ball rolling in the right direction. I know it's been a real struggle to get to where you are now. Good for you for being persistent!

I know you said your mom has early dementia. When my dad was in the early stage of AD, his judgement had already started to go with his memory. Just a thought because you and the aides keep telling her that she needs to stop leaving your dad alone and it doesn't seem like it really clicks in with her that she needs to heed your advice for your dad's sake.

Have you tried talking to your mom about her moving with your dad because it would be better for him if she were with him?

Your mom seems like she's still very much the social butterfly. Could you maybe speak with some of her friends and assure her that they would still visit her and she could still do lunches with them and such if she moved with your dad?

Just trying to brainstorm here. I have to get back to work soon but I'll keep thinking.

Love, Barb
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:28 PM   #7
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Re: Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

Hi Barb,

Thanks for talking to me. I am trying, but it seems we are just taking baby steps. Or two steps forward and one step back. I cannot remember who told me before, when I wrote, but they may well keep my dad in a NH after his pacemaker procedure. But, at the very least, I hope they will keep him overnite, so his meds will be correct. I imagine that it depends on his insurance.

I am going to talk to my dads family dr. or write him a note. To see if the dr. will make sure that my dad is considered not capable of making his own decisions. I hope there is a way of doing this, that lets my dad not know of this decision, tho. Then we just have to work on my moms dr. He knows virtually nothing about what is going on at my parents home. My mom, now goes to her dr. by herself - I only went with her 2 times. So, I know that she does not tell all to her family dr.

I know that my mom does not think clearly about things, most all the time. Fri. or Sat., my dad fell, my mom said "jack, get that roach!". Well, up he jumped (slowly) and took off after the roach and fell. When he gets up, he is supposed to stand there for a while, as the reason for the pacemaker is low pulse (40, 50, 60). He was very lucky that he did not do serious injury to himself. I told my mom and the nurse did also, that she should have taken him to the emergency room and had his head and hind end x-rayed. You know what she said??? I do not like emergency rooms!!!!! Can you believe that. But we have known, that all her life, she does not like, drs., meds. and hospitals, and tests... We were very lucky, this time! :<

Your idea of us telling her that she could still do lunch with her girl friends is a very good idea. They (especially her), just do not want to leave their house, that they have lived in for 40 years!

Anyway, I did some calling today and my dad has an appt. with the cardiologist dr. and we go on Monday, to get instructions and date and time for his pacemaker procedure. They said it could happen as soon as Thur. or Fri. of next week and my sis will come. I need to push for fastness in making the plans, as my mom or dad may change their minds again. But, if they try, I will do some bossing around this time!!!!! Right, Sally?! :>

I could go on forever, about what my mom and dad do and do not do. So, mainly I am resting up this week, for next weeks, appts. and possible procedure and hospitalization. I or my sister will stay with our dad overnight, as I know that old people, when on drugs, will probably wander.

Take care and thanks for listening to all of you guys!

Love, Wannabe

 
Old 10-14-2006, 06:19 AM   #8
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Re: Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

I was in almost the same boat a few years ago, but I was lucky in that my Mom didn't have ALZ. Change is very hard on the elderly even making a decision is exhausting. My Mom had 2 problems with moving - first, she was uncomfortable with the change - second she thought actually moving would be too hard, so I had to make those problems go away. Baby steps is the way to go. (My Mom went into a Sr. Apartment, my Dad went into a nursing home on the same complex - my Dad didn't have a choice, and was moved there after a trip to the hospital, Mom saw that she needed to do it, but just couldn't make the final decision, I wound up making it for her and she was actually relieved I did when it was all over.)

If the climate in your area is on your side...

You say - Mom - you and Dad need to move in to Assisted Living - just for the winter (or until the house get's repaired or some other reason.) We'll just leave the house as in case you need anything from it. In the spring you might want to go back.

Then you move them and their good stuff in one day - the idea is they wake up in their house - and go to sleep in the Assisted Living facilty in their same bed that night.

A few months later they will be all settled in and so it might be better that some more stuff goes in storage, then it might be better that the house get's cleared out and rented out, and then you might not find a good renter so you might as well just sell it.

It took my Mom about 2 days to see how much easier her life was in the Sr. apartment. She had much more freedom - she didn't have to rely on friends and family to get what she needed.

Assisted Living/Sr. Apartments aren't cheap, but well worth it.

 
Old 10-14-2006, 07:06 AM   #9
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Re: Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

I don't know why I didn't think of this yesterday. I talked to my dad till I was blue in the face about needing to stay with someone. This was a few years ago, before we moved in with him. So I know what you mean about baby steps.

My dad did NOT want to give up his independence and he did NOT want to sell the house he had for almost 30 years. That was his two worries.

I kept reassuring him that if he went to my sister's house, we wouldn't sell his house, that it would be there if he decided he didn't want to stay at my sister's house anymore. Now I don't know if this would work for you or not but it's just another thought. If they don't have to sell it before going into AL or NH, maybe rent it out with an open lease if you don't want it to be unoccupied. That way your mom will think she has an option. That plus keeping telling your mom that your dad needs her to stay near him just might eventually nudge her to go.

Parents can be pretty set in their ways, eh?

Love, Barb
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Last edited by LuvMyLilDoggie; 10-14-2006 at 07:11 AM.

 
Old 10-14-2006, 10:34 PM   #10
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Re: Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for replying to my problems! I really appreciate all the help and info.

The last time the social worker came, I told my parents that they did not have to sell their house immediately, but my mom could not live there by herself. It is so full of junk and also good stuff, that it will take us forever to empty it, so it can be remodeled, or sold as is! I think that my mom heard and understood that and liked that idea.

They have long term care insurance, that will pay for a few years (cannot remember how many). I do not think that we could rent it, for a long time, because of the need to be fixed up!

Yeah, my mom already said that she wants to be with my dad. So, until, something happens, she does not want to use the 1 yr. of 3 days a week, 1/2 day each day. Yet, she goes and leaves him home for about an hour. She is the type of person that feels the need to just jump up and go wherever she wants or needs, right then!!! I have to make lists and group my errands because we are 15 min. from town.

That is a very good idea about thinking up a good story but we usually tell them the truth and most of the time, the do not remember what we told them or what was done!!! But, the other part about slowly emptying their home, is the way to go.

And I wish that my mom would let me and my sister make some decisions for them. But, she wants to have control of her and my dads life. And she makes my dad feel like he has some control over some things. I could go on and on about that!!!

I am still resting up for the week coming up. I have to go to my parents on Monday, Tuesday and probably Thur. & Fri., if that is when my dads pacemaker procedure is. Which I hope so, to get it over with soon.

Thanks again.

Love, Wannabe

 
Old 10-15-2006, 05:28 AM   #11
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Re: Looking for In Home Caregivers and future alf and alz combo

Ahhh, I see. Your difficulty isn't so much in getting mom to agree to move. It's getting her to make the DECISION and then stick to it.

I understand that you want to be as honest with your parents as possible. But there may be a time when you need to lie to get things done.

Your situation is so much tougher because both of your parents are affected by AD/dementia.

Opps. Have to go now. Didn't realize what time it is and I have to be somewhere....

Love, Barb
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