dale560

How to deal with elderly parents

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The last couple weeks has been chaotic. Dad is 77 mom is 76 not old by any means. Dad got pneumonia and was completely incapacitated mentally combined with his Parkinson’s disease. Mom is full time caregiver. He was in hospital for 4 days and sister plus brother that are around agreed that dad was in no shape to drive anymore. This has been debated for 3 years and doctor signed papers to revoke his license. Today dad is better as far as walking but needs assistance about 50 times a day to get up out chair etc. can’t feed himself without help or dress himself. But mentally about 40 percent of time alert.Mom decides to drive 17 miles to town okay as long as she drives. On way back dad is driving. When they got back I told them I will have the sheriff come out explain he has no license and such . So now all my out of state and other sisters are mad its elder abuse not letting dad drive. My brother stays at farm in winter while not working I am out every day to make sure they are okay and sister nearby has medical power of attorney. But how the **** do you deal with out of state siblings who have not spent 10 hours combined with parents in 20 years. Just tired of the meanness and crap of sisters who won’t come and check on parents. Dad would be classified as 90 percent disabled hasn’t passed a vision test in years and still wants to drive. On the plus side the sheriff is investigating a farmstead burglary a mile away so I thought I would talk to him and have him stop by to explain to mom and dad about no license. Problems when parents age. My wife wants me to just wash hands of parents and let social services take over. Any of you guys deal with this recently.

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When you get it figured out let me know because my Mother is in bad shape but wont even talk about moving into some assisted living type of home.

90 years old now, I watched her go the wrong direction around a roundabout, then stop and turn around right in the middle of it.

then got lost trying to get home and drove 25 miles in the wrong direction before realizing she was lost.

Started hoarding things like egg cartons and plastic butter tubs, saving tin foil and zip lock baggies. etc...  Has at least 2000 paper clips in a shoe box,  House is full of magazines and news papers and wont throw any away.  Gets mad as H E double tooth picks if you confront her about it.

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I feel your pain Dale.

When brother Bill was battling pancreatic cancer, the poor man had only me to care for him for many months. 

His friend came and helped tremendously later on.

I have 4 sisters that called/texted/emailed me constantly.

Why did you do this or why didn`t you do that. 

I think that in order to feel like they are part of the whole process, they have to insert their thoughts/wishes/ideas INCLUDING their disappointments about you and the care/decisions you are providing.

Tempers will erupt for sure.

Just keep doing what you`re doing and tell them they are welcome to come take the reins anytime... but it won`t happen.

 

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Tell them to pick a month to take care of THEiR parents either  at the folks or the folks can go to them it would be an eye opener . If they don't want to do that  their opinion really is not that important I am dealing with something similar right now with an 88 year old mother.. but every body pretty much got on the same page when they had to come do the work. One brother with money discussed hiring help to do his share. But he came around nicely .

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Currently going thru the same with an uncle who has no living kids and no other relatives to help nearby. Frustrating is an understatement. The oxygen deprivation from pneumonia does serious brain damage and accelerates the mental deterioration. Have spoken to lawyers and the elder care laws vary by state. An interdiction may be an option you may have to look at. My uncle driving was a great concern for me also, not just hurting himself but others. I do see that driving for them is a bit of freedom that they can still enjoy with all the physical and mental problems hampering them but it's a tough decision no matter what path you choose. I would talk to an attorney to check your state's law regarding this problem and what your legal options are. As far as the out of state family complaining, tell them you would be more than happy for them to move back and handle the matter personally if they believe your doing a poor job of it.   If they are not willing then it must not be too much of a problem if they are unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to do it themselves. An interdiction on your father may be your only choice, depending on your home state's laws.

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Ya its been a trip, had to move Mom [now 93] from west Ky to up here in the Keweenaw so I can keep an eye on her.

promised Dad Id look after her before he passed 10 years ago.

have her in a community that is attached to the hospital in  town and she is doing great except falling ocasionally.

as for my sisters one has passed last year and the other 2 are MIA,,and I am ok with this [easyer to deal with day to day stuff]

at least mom is safe and not laying on the floor at their farmstead back in the hills of Ky.[it happened before the move]

 

Mike

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Probably nothing more frustrating than being second-guessed by family who is not helping. Tell them to get their a** home and help out, you could use a break. No matter what, you need to what is best for your folks. If family does not agree then they should be more involved. Your primary responsibility is your parents not family who do not help. 

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Thanks guys just had to vent. My brother and I that run the farm see it every day. One good sister does what she can and the 6 other siblings are just worthless. Just hard to see them get old. Dad lost sight in one eye years ago, Parkinson’s from environment for 10 years and just coming to end of living in their own.  Going to try and stick it out till fall with no driving but you know how honery parents can be. Dad can’t stand by himself but get in the pickup and go.he is recovering somewhat from the pneumonia and has a couple good hours at times. Funny thing is his first boss and good friend got pneumonia and had complete takeover of Alzheimer’s.

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had a neighbor who has now moved into assisted living, at about 85 or so he was having problems one day drove his car down highway that was being worked on but passable, drove right into patrol grader. so sheriff calls me to pick him up that morning, I did he refused medical help also. was kidding him on the way home ford garage would probably give you a new car right away, well somehow he got back to town that day got a different car and in a short time had another accident that same day. then he ended in hospital and home for awhile. stubborn did not want to give up driving so we helped him get license back, took driving class and passed. last I heard he has had several more accidents over the years would drive about 30 miles an hour.

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No his driving days are done now though. It has been a problem for a couple years but done now.

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It is tough! My Stepfather, 97 still drives.  Like a maniac , he rolls through stop signs pushes yellow lights to the limit and just plain drives too fast. He provides all the transportation for my Mom, I just pray they will be ok. I spoke to his son but he says Dad always drives like that.......!  It worries me to no end, but I don't know what to do and I'm 140 miles away.

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Couldn't help but laugh a little when reading this thread.

Fortunately or unfortunately-----me and my bride are 75;  so we don't have to deal with "elderly parents".  We are the elderly parents!!!!:o

In our case------it's the young generation children that are causing the problem----not us!!!

But I do vaguely remember something similar going on in my life 20---25 years ago before my mother died.

My brother and I were always on the same page and fully understood and supported each other.  My ex-sister who was never within 500 miles of home always had a truck load of advice------and offerred absolutely no help; but a train load of criticism .

Things came to a head shortly after my mother died------we divorced the sister (now known as ex-sister) and kept our wives.  And------I haven't heard or seen from the ex-sister since-------best day's work I ever did.  Unfortunately my brother died a year or so later and did not get to fully enjoy the fresh air from the divorce.

As a result of this past experience-----it's both mine and my  wife's intentions not to burden any of the children or grandchildren.  We don't think of ourselves as elderly------just 75 years old and moving sorta slow.

Who knows-----things might change when we become elderly.

Anybody know what age qualifies an "old codger" as being elderly????:blink:B)

Y'all have fun------all families travel down this road sooner or later.

Good luck----

Delta Dirt   Avon  Ms  38723

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You guys are making me feel pretty darn old here.   Just went up to ER the other night as my chest was hurting terrible when I coughed or sneezed.  No alzheimers that I know of though.  The did the usual x-rays, blood work , ecg etc and decided it was bronchitis not pneumonia.  I am pretty much care taker of the wife who has rheumatoid arthritis among other problems.  She quit driving with no fuss a couple years ago due to double vision problems among other things.  Got that corrected pretty much but just let her license expire.  She calls daughter and gets her excited so she comes down for a couple days.  We have talked about trying to get into facility that is connected to hospital her in town but haven't done anything yet.  What do we do with all my our stuff.  I think we will stay here for a while.  And so it goes and I am only 81 and wife is 80. 

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This is a very difficult subject. We all had a hand in taking care of my mother for the 9 years after dad died. Even when we all pitched in to help the majority of the work fell on my sister and I. One brother did handle her finances while that was direct care it was a big help in the when she had to go in a nursing home. I was the last hold out and wanted mom to stay in her home. To this day I still have mixxed fealings if she should have gone in the nursing home or not. Mom did get better minute to minute care, but we still had to have many conversations with the staff to get that care. Almost the same amount of work, just different. We were able to keep her home for almost 9 months before it had to sold. I was fortunate that my daughter bought it, so that eased moms mind some. Puenomia took mom from us only 3 months later. 

Follow your heart, but dont let it cloud your common sense. This was one of the hardest times in my life watching what age did to the people that were my parents / friends. 

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Dale I think you are on the right track. AS my mom went into decline my wife and I were 200 yards away. My sister was 1 1/2 mile. My sister seldom stopped in to see mom and helped out even less. Then she would try to tell us we were doing things wrong. Now I'm  a forceful person so no big deal, we did things my way and I ignored my sister. Told her that if she wanted any say that she had to take on 50% of the work. Thing is taking care of mom was the important part. Keeping my sister happy wasn't.

Saw things go the opposite way with the wife's grand mother. My wife and MIL were taking turns preparing her meals. We couldn't go anywhere or do anything for several years. My father in law was the problem child in this one insisting that if she thought she could live at home so be it. My wife wanted me to stay out of it and I did until someone in the family thought that 3 15 year old great  grand daughters  should take turns spending nights with her. She was 99 and blind. One of the 15 year old girls was my youngest daughter. Funny thing is, once she moved into the nursing home she loved it.

Rick

 

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AH the golden years ! Aren't they great ! My mom will be 94 in April and still sharp of mind, taking" care" of my brother who is 72 and on his last legs! Tried to get them to move back up to Duluth so's I could keep a eye on them but no way are we moving back there they say! So what to do? I'm going on 78 myself and not liking to drive to the Twin Cities at all. We do get down there five - six times a year but that's not what I'd like to do though. Grand daughters do call and get down there often and take them shopping when need be. Oh the GOLDEN YEARS, the only thing that is golden is the piss I see every two hours!!!!!

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I should clarify that the Parkinson’s , the medicine for Parkinson’s disease and the bout with pneumonia really progressed his lack of cognitive ability. Dad went from being alert  and just not remembering little stuff. To full on hallucinations for a week and now lapses in and out of being alert and aware of what is going on. Hopefully this spring and summer keeps him occupied. But then comes other danger. Burning garbage is a big one. The last few years we constantly have to keep an eye on barrel put lid on in windy dry times.  So garbage barrel is going away.They get a daily routine going and burning garbage hoeing garden is one of them.And last winter I unwittingly left some high octane gas in a jug. Dad found it poured it in barrel and a rain of fire and garbage came down around him when it blew. Just another danger to watch for.

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I will say my grandfathers quality of life improved for a couple extra good years I think when he moved to a nursing home...he is a social person and needed to be around people...looked healthier ate better, mom is in the same boat one brother is disabled and lives 100 miles away so never visits other brother lives 200 away and never visits so it all on mom and she is stressed out from it all.

 

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14 hours ago, TomH said:

It is tough! My Stepfather, 97 still drives.  Like a maniac , he rolls through stop signs pushes yellow lights to the limit and just plain drives too fast. He provides all the transportation for my Mom, I just pray they will be ok. I spoke to his son but he says Dad always drives like that.......!  It worries me to no end, but I don't know what to do and I'm 140 miles away.

Sounds like a typical TEXAN on his way to work.

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Dale sorry to hear what you are going through.  My dad died just before last Thanksgiving after a tough 8 years or longer with Alzheimer's.  I won't get into the long story but I have three sisters who left me to take care of things, never lifted a finger to help and now none of us speak to each other.

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48 minutes ago, JD Humm said:

Dale sorry to hear what you are going through.  My dad died just before last Thanksgiving after a tough 8 years or longer with Alzheimer's.  I won't get into the long story but I have three sisters who left me to take care of things, never lifted a finger to help and now none of us speak to each other.

I have 5 sisters that I won’t talk to again. Some live in state and a couple live out of state but all are bitter about not marrying rich or having a lavish childhood . But I get off subject. My next older sister has went ahead gotten their pills on reduced rates and starting to take care of their checkbook. There is no money or savings to steal from but dad put his machinery and land in a trust which I and one of the evil sisters are administers of so that is mostly taken care of. Parents live off of land rent we pay them which is way above avg. and social security which isn’t much. I got my sister to look after their checkbook just because I don’t want it and any extra money in a year will go to long term care. But they have some short term debt they kept rolling over from farming days I co-sign for that needs to be taken care of this year. So it is just hard part of getting parents affairs in order. I only had one set of grandparents growing up on my moms side. She decided to sell her house get into a easy care apt by herself at 74 years old. She did everything right and my mom and dad fought her all the way . They didn’t want to lose any inheritance. Hers all went to home and when mom and dad had to chip in 127 dollars for funeral  above what was set aside they were beyond mad.

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On the subject of inheritance my wife and I earn money so we can live comfortably  we supported 6 kids until they found jobs right after schooling we had to help one daughter who got really sick and almost died when she was 19 that took her a year plus to get back on her feet, if my wife and I spend all our money and assets on living expenses when we get older so be it , I have no desire to save money so some one can inherit it.

i  

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Ya that was another thing we have to do is the money.

set with Mom 10 years ago to balance the check book.

you guessed it she was 3000.00 off

the best part was to the good +:lol:

she just handed over the book and asked if we would take care of it

after running the accounting for companys it was time to hand it over.

Mike

also cleaning out the house is another story for another day :rolleyes:

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2 hours ago, Mike H said:

Ya that was another thing we have to do is the money.

set with Mom 10 years ago to balance the check book.

you guessed it she was 3000.00 off

the best part was to the good +:lol:

she just handed over the book and asked if we would take care of it

after running the accounting for companys it was time to hand it over.

Mike

also cleaning out the house is another story for another day :rolleyes:

Cleaned mg our house and buildings will be fun. Mom and dad don’t have much for valuables but they have a lot of stuff.

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You need to have yourself or a sibling appointed as guardian ab-litem, or whatever they call it, basically giving you the authorization to make decisions for and on behalf of your parents. Whether this person is you, your sibling(s) or a trusted friend or lawyer it protects you if a decision is made that your siblings or others don’t agree with. GET THIS DONE NOW

When this is done, and it can be as simple or complex as you or your family determine it to be, than you can actually tell your siblings to go fly a kit if they don’t agree with such decisions 

Do your parents have a will? Do they have “ living wills”? Are their assets protected if not? What about trusts? You or your family have a lot of responsibility going forward, find a good lawyer and get this stuff sorted out now while your parents are capable of making these kinds of decisions for themselves 

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