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Time to Make Some Decisions

Time to Make Some Decisions

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Posted by Marcia on August 08, 2000 at 22:44:43:

Sorry for the long post but I am just trying to explain all the facts beforehand. I am facing decision we all have to make at one time and I would appreciate any advice.

My mother has been disabled with severe arthritis for about 15 years. She really needs a wheelchair but will not accept it. She cannot tie her own shoes or lift herself up if she falls. Up until now, my dad has been able to take care of her and various things around the house, shopping, etc. He has been in good health until last year when he was diagnosed with a bone marrow disorder that is not going to get any better. His energy is very low and he spends his time now going to doctors. He really can't do very much in the house anymore.

My parents are in their mid 80's and still live in their own home without outside help. They have tried to take things day by day all along, but my dad's recent condition lets them know that they have to make some decisions.

My brother lives about a half hour away from them. He has tried to get them to move closer to him for a few years now and consider an assisted living facilty over the past year. They have wanted to avoid this but know they make have to consider it now. They have just called around to inquire but haven't actually visited any facilities yet. They keep pretty much to themselves because of my mother's condtion over these past years and I do not think they would feel comfortable in the surroundings. Also there are the feelings of having to give up lifelong possessions and independence.

My brother is newly married and his wife feels my parents should be in a facility. Also, she had a malignant lump removed for breast cancer a few months back. Although she has completed treatment, I'm sure she wants to enjoy herself. The bathrooms in their house would not be assessible for my mother and I don't think my sister-in-law would consider having them both there on a permanent basis. She also gets good travel discounts through work and likes to be on the go.

My husband and I live 1700 miles away. We both have good jobs and are about 15 years away from retirement. My husband experienced a period about 20 years ago where he had to change jobs frequently. I hesitate to put him in a position where he would have to find something else and compete with people in their 20's just out of school. I feel guilty, however, knowing my parents would be more comfortable in their own home and they are being forced to go elsewhere. I also feel it is my responsibility to help them and what kind of daughter would I be if I just ignored the situation?

Moving there would also take most of our savings and we also have a good amount of debt that we have to pay off. Loss of income would make it very difficult.

Because we don't know what will happen with my father's condition, my mom may be left alone in a short time. We have a two-story home with only a 1/2 bath on the first floor. Also, the weather would be a major change for them and very difficult for my mother and for my father as well. I would really have to continue to work to maintain our house so we would still need someone to stay with them during the day to shop, drive and take them to doctors. We would probably have to make the living room into a bedroom and rent a lift so they could go up to use the shower. We leave at 5:15 in the morning so they would have to be alone until the home health aide arrived.

If anyone has any suggestions or comments, I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

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