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TC08 08-28-2009 09:04 AM

Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
Hi all :wave: So - I've been trying to figure out what we're going to do with my DSD (Dear Stepdad) once his Medicare days are up at the wonderful care facility he is at. My sisters and I have determined that we think our mom also needs some help (prior to his mini stroke in July they were living in their home with my mom being the primary caregiver).

This has been tricky, as my DSD needs a place that provides dementia related care, but we also need a place where our mom could feel comfortable. I toured one of the best assisted living facilities in our area that has tiered care for dementia patients, and left there in tears! Just couldn't see my mom getting onboard with that type of living situation.

Long story short - I contacted a national organization (won't name names) who helped me find an adult family home that meets our needs! One of the big issues is our parents have lived near the sound for almost 40 years. They have an incredible view from their house and we know it has meant a great deal to them. So - guess what? Who knew that there is a wonderful adult family home - minutes from my house - with nearly exactly the same view they have enjoyed from their home all these years??

We're hoping that the view will make this much more appealing to both of them. My sister and I toured the home yesterday and were truly impressed! The caregivers who live there were cooking food, all from scratch, making lunch for the 5 residents there. My parents would make it 7. Much better than an insitutional setting for my folks. Wish me luck! we're going to have the ***big talk*** with my mom on Sunday. She is thinking she can bring my DSD home, but we know different.

Oh - also - I have my whole body scan today for my followup (thyroid cancer). I have been on a low iodine diet for over a week! In just a few hours I can eat normal food again! Yippee!!! I'll get my results next week and will let you all know how I'm doing. My best to you all!! My prayers are with all of you :angel::angel:

petal*pusher 08-28-2009 10:32 AM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
Hi TC...what wonderful news you are sharing with us! Glad to hear you are having positive results....and your Mom/DSD news sounds great!

It's just so HARD making that first step to have them placed......but you have more strength than you know. Such a surprise to find a place exactly like they need....and close in distance is another plus.

Keep us updated...sending positive vibes your way.........Pam;)

Martha H 08-28-2009 12:06 PM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
That's great news! I hope and pray your scan will come out negative. Good luck!



Gabriel 08-29-2009 12:14 AM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
It is excellent news that you have found a place so perfect for your Mom and step Dad. I do hope Mom is cooperative and they both enjoy their room with a view. Please do let us know about the scan. Glad you are doing well with your treatment and hope the can comes out well. There is something to be said for eating normal food.... we don't miss i until we can have and then oh my lol

I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers that the "talk" and the move goes well

Love, deb

TC08 08-29-2009 09:33 AM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
Thanks everyone for your kind responses. There is so much support here - I love it!! I hope to give it as well as receive it throughout this dementia journey. Well, I won't have the results of my scan / bloodwork until late next week, but I did catch a second wind yesterday after it was ALL OVER and I could eat normal food again :D so I went over to the care facility to have a visit with my DSD and hopefully to catch my mom there as well. Score!

We left together (my mom and I) and that gave me an opportunity to tell her about the legwork I've been doing and about the AFH with a view! It's good I caught up with her yesterday as this will give her a little bit of time to ponder, but she was quite open to what I had to say. Of course, she's worried about money, but now that I'm beginning to get my arms around Medicaid, I see that they either get you coming or going, so I'd rather be able to private pay for as long as possible and then convert to Medicaid when necessary. Now I know Medicaid is a combination federal / state funded program, so I'm not sure if it works the same in every state (somehow I doubt it), but anyway............don't get me off on ***that*** tangent! Ha! However, this AFH will allow you to convert to Medicaid after 1 1/2 to 2 years, so this could be a longterm solution for them.

So that's my Saturday morning update from rainy Washington! We have had an extremely hot and record breaking dry summer here, so the rain is a welcome sight!!!

Gabriel 08-29-2009 06:47 PM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
I am so glad for you all that Mom was receptive to the idea. At least you have a beginning to work from. The room with a view might be just what it takes to get them where they can receive more care. I am just tickled for you all.

The hurricane skirted by us last night without much impact. Just a little rain is all the effect we had. Glad you are getting some much needed rain!!

I will keep you, your Mom, and Step Dad in my thoughts and prayers that this will work out.

Love, deb

TC08 08-31-2009 09:18 AM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
Okay - so our mom didn't like the room with a view afterall:( My sister stayed up from Portland last night so that we can take our mom to visit an assisted living facility today. It's one that I've already toured and couldn't see our mom liking it, but she r e a l l y wasn't receptive to the group home thing :(

I'm keeping this short as my sister and I are having our morning coffee to get ready for the tour of the day. Wish us luck!!!!

Gabriel 08-31-2009 09:08 PM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
hint..... you Mother may not like any facility!! Mom sure didn't. It finally got to the point that we had no option. We TOLD her she was moving and ask what she wanted to take with her. Eventually she warmed slightly to the idea but by then it was a done deal. I can't blame them. Nobody wants to move out of their homse, especially at that age. But sometimes it has to be for their own good.

Good luck with getting Mom to agree. You need to be as positive as possible only pointing out the benefits while exaggerating and elaborating on the best points. Don't give up with a no. Keep at it. Keep going back to it. Today she might not be agreeable but tomorrow she might. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers that something with work out soon.

Love, deb

skimps46 08-31-2009 10:14 PM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
When our son was three, we decided that he would attend this very progressive pre-school in our little town in Oregon. It was waaaay progressive, and everyone wanted their child in it, so there was a waiting list, and it was ever-so-expensive. Completely out of our price range, but we felt so strongly that Patrick should go there that I went back to work, just to pay for this school for him. (And as it turns out, we were right, it was worth it. He is still a terrific student.)

*Stay with me - there IS a point here*

Well, Miss Grace, the owner and lead instructor of this pre-school was an amazing woman. I learned so much from her. Not just for Patrick, but I used it all the time with dad.

The school was set up with "stations". Every one of them amazing and educational and apparently a real blast for the 3 and 4 yr old set. So amazing that they never wanted to change stations. Well, that was just a darned shame, as each station (located in separate rooms) was a necessary part of the day.

One of the little guys I remember well was named "Austin". Oh, how he loved the "water station". But in due time, it was time to leave and go to the "patterning station". And Austin thought seriously every time about throwing a total, complete, A#1, Blue Ribbon Winning, throw-myself-on-the-floor, bash my face into the carpet fit every time he had to leave the water station. I witnessed a few, and they were hum-dingers.

Well, Miss Grace wasn't having any of it. When it was time for Austin and the other children to leave the water station, she would come blowing in the doorway, extend one arm around Austin's waist, announce loudly and cheerily, "Time for the patterning station" and Whoosh! off they would go. Austin never knew what hit him. One minute he was playing in the sand and water, and the next, patterning. No time for a reaction. He never had time to pitch a fit.

This is what I learned from Miss Grace: When you are dealing with someone (in this case a pre-schooler, but in our cases, a demented loved one), it's really best to ask them their opinion if there really IS a choice.

If there really is no choice, and so often, there is not, then we must swoop in and cheerily announce, "Here we go! Right this way! Good for YOU!"

Now I am not suggesting you blindside mom with a move. That's mean. But maybe if you find just the right place, (and you know what would be a good place for mom), you may just have to pull a "Miss Grace". That's how we got daddy over here to our house. I announced that "this weekend, we are moving you to our house." There was no option. And he took it like a champ.

Worth a try?

...lil' deb

Gabriel 08-31-2009 11:58 PM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
TC you mentioned that your Mom had a stroke but not if she was suffering from dementia as is your step dad. That makes a difference in how you deal with her. Whoosh and she's there doesn't work if she still has her cognitive abilities. But, you will need to be more persuasive if she need to go too :)

Love, deb

caringsister54 09-01-2009 06:21 AM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!

If you understand a common thread among us it is this

You are looking at this individual and see you parent. You were raised never to question or answer back to a parent, therefore you are relating to her as a child to her parent.

You have to stop now. You are an adult. You need to depersonalize who you are dealing with and start dealing adult to adult. THEN (and its a biggie)
you need to not ask but tell what is happening and why. If you can't get her to understand, have others keep repeating it as well. BUT do it anyway.

You seriously will not get through this if you don't de-personalize it and realize that you are a person now in a position of caregiver for others and as a result you must pick a best place to help them and keep them safe from themselves and others.

I'm beginning to think that there should be people who make the decisions for others and in exchange we make decisions for them -- this way the decisions are de-personalized for the loved one.

My prayers are with you.

Over time you will serve the parental role and your parents will revert to child-like state.


Gabriel 09-01-2009 09:29 AM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
Which is probably the hardest part of this disease Diane. We are brought up to obey and know our parents are the wiser ones. Overcoming that ingrained learned behavior is difficult at best. It is also difficult to know when to take the control away from our loved ones. That takes objective assessment of their abilities. We have to see the reality of where they are in their journey and if they can make the necessary decisions for themselves.... and if not be willing to step up and make the hard decisions for them.

The first time I ran head long into the child/adult internal conflict was when Dad was hospitalized with heart issues. He wanted to get up, ripping out the IV, go home, and get his little brown bottle of pills (nitro) the nurse had taken away from him. I tried asking and encouraging and whatever I thought I was allowed to do because he as my Father. I finally had to throw the Father label out the window and deal with him as a patient. At that point my frustration level went down dramatically and I was able to deal with the situation. It taught me a valuable lesson. Yes, they are my parents but first they are patients who are now dependent on me to make the best decision for them. So now I do what they NEED and not necessarily what they WANT.... just like I did for my daughter when she was younger. I had to learn to be more objective and less emotional. We are the responsible party!! Once I determined that my parents could not make their own decision and realized it was my responsibility to do it for them, I figured out how to get past my own emotional baggage for their good

Love, deb

TC08 09-01-2009 10:33 AM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
Thanks again everyone for your thoughtful and caring insights :) You all are my new extended family :D I've adopted you all! You're stuck with me now!!! hehehehehe!!!!

Well, I've got GREAT news!! My mom totally got on board with the assisted living facility!!!! She was on her BEST behavior - even bonded with the marketing director - so they were chums by the end of the visit (my mom is not very social - judges people harshly - likes very few of her humankind - turns out the marketing director reminded her of one of her few friends, so that is why my mom warmed to her - thank God for small favors!!).

My sister and I kept exchanging glances when our mom wasn't looking as if to say - "wow - who IS this person - and what did she do with our mother???" This is a facility I had toured before, so that helped alot too. So I wrote a check to hold the room. Wow. What a couple of days this has been!?! My sister and I both have a good sense of humor (our mom does not), and we ended up joking that our reverse psychology worked! Turns out showing our mom the adult family home first, which she could not get on board with, worked in our favor to then show her the assisted living facility. Funny. This entire process - can be so intense - but then - I always find the humor - because I know it's there somewhere!!

This also streamlines what I need to do paperwok wise, because there's no sense in transfering all of their assets out of our stepdad's name in order to get him qualified for Medicaid. We will utilize their resources as best we can and just take it from there.

I so appreciate all of your insights about depersonalizing the situation. I used to be a project manager for a family owned construction business (on my biological dad's side of the family). Back in my 20s I ran multi million dollar industrial projects, so I can get into my "business head" and run. I've actually had to warn my mom that I can switch over to that "business head" because she's not used to seeing that in me (since I worked for my biological dad who divorced my mom when I was 4 years old - talk about an interesting family dynamic!!!!).

Today I'm heading out to the attorneys office to pick up the Power of Attorneys for both my DSD and my mom. Once I have those notarized I can take care of lots off stuff on my to do list :D I think this will be easier on my DSD too - just doing the POA versus having to explain to him why he would be signing all of his assets - accounts - to my mom. ****{whew}}} depending on how the finances work out, and how long they live (??) I might not have to go down that Medicaid road afterall. Good to know it's there though if we need it.

I'll post again soon. Still waiting on my test results. Good thing I'm busy with all of this other stuff - it's keeping my miind off of that!! :D

caringsister54 09-01-2009 12:01 PM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!

Don't be surprised if your Mom says something totally different tomorrow a.m. or even tonight. She's going to be scared of the changes happening in her life and you have to just keep reassuring her.

So expect the see-saw, I think it will happen. But you and your sister are doing good for them so that should sustain you both.

Don't leave your sister out of all the running around and everything stuff either. And there's nothing said that there can be power of attorney documents for both of you.

If you don't have a medical directive and living will spelling out about DNR orders and such, then get that done at the same time.

take Care and my prayers are flowing to you


Martha H 09-01-2009 05:14 PM

Re: Found an Adult Family Home with a view!!
Get her moved in before she changes her mind .. this happens within seconds many times! Once she is there and some small thing makes her angry and she wants to move back "home'' don't let it happen!

Good luck!



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