Caring for Aging Parents at Home

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    My friend recently had her 89 year old father come to live with her. He is frail, but not senile. For several years, she had both her parents living in an apartment close to her home. She checked on them several times a day, and had caregivers round the clock for her mother, who was too much for her to manage. She did not want to place them in a nursing home, as her father was much healthier until recently.
    Her mom died last year, and now her dad lives with her and her husband. They thought with the youngest child going to college they would have more time to do things together and travel, but that is on hold for now. They converted the dining room to be her dad’s room, as he cannot use the stairs for a regular bedroom. A caregiver comes during the day so my friend and her husband can work. Her dad has a pension, social security and medicare, (maybe medicaid?) but his savings have dwindled as a result of his wife’s long illness. To some extend my friend and her husband are supporting him. They own a business, so their lives are now all about work (especially with a child in college)
    Have you taken an elderly relative into your own home? How did it work out? How do you manage physically and financially?
    I really admire her labor of love, and would like to give her some great ideas and support. She is in her 50s and not getting any younger either. Last year she had major surgery, and continues to have ongoing health problems herself.



    I actually live with my 80 year old grandmother… my mother (who lives a mile away) and I share the duties when it comes to taking care of her… she can’t drive, her memory is failing, and she recently had to start insulin injections for her diabetes. She often gets confused about what day it is, and what she should be doing (when to take meds, when to get shots, did she remember to eat?). She leaves the water running in the sink and floods the kitchen… leaves the George Foreman grill plugged in for hours… opens the front door and lets my dogs get out to run around the streets, or forgets that they’re in the backyard and locks them out for hours. It’s awfully frustrating for me and my mother.

    It’s definitely not easy. BUT… me living there saves my mom and uncle from having to make any decisions about the next step. (It also saves me $$, instead of paying rent, I help take care of my grandmother.) But… once I move out (which will probably be in the next few months as I’ve just gotten engaged in August!)… who knows. My mother would like my grandmother to live with her and my dad, but my dad thinks it’s not fair if my uncle and aunt don’t help in my grandmother’s care. I’m sure my grandmother would want to stay in her home (her father built it back in the 1950s!) BUT she really can’t be alone and I don’t know if the family can afford live-in caretakers.

    Okay, wow, that got kind of long. It’s tough, to balance what’s best for the elderly person AND what’s best for the caretaker. My grandmother actually spent 10 years taking care of HER mother, and in that time basically did nothing but take care of my Nonnie. Towards the end, we had a lady come help 3 days a week, but… my grandmother did the bulk of the work. She gave up pretty much everything else (visits with friends and distant family, opportunities to travel, etc) to do it.



    I actually feel bad for my parents.
    They would prefer to live with my brother (and his boyfriend), so my brother is planning on moving them into his home when the time comes.

    The reason I feel bad for them is because my brother has become exactly like my father. When my father hurt his back last year, my brother and I discussed the issue and how our father shouldn’t be taking the unnecessary risks he does. That was when my brother said “I’m gonna let them do whatever they want to do until they move in with me. Then they’re going to follow my rules.”

    The last thing an elderly parent wants is to be treated like a child by their own child. I suspect my parents may be in for an ugly surprise.



    My father and I started living with my grandmother (his mom) after my mother died. At the time, she was in her mid 60s. After my dad remarried, I continued to live with her and taking care of her until she died at age 83. I was raised to know that that you took care of your family. The grandmother I lived with raised her young niece when her mother died and my mom’s parents cared for an invalid son and my great grandmother at home. To me, it is just something you do. I realize that people that need 24 hour care need to be in nursing homes and actually the last month my grandmother was alive, she was in a nursing home because she had had a really bad stroke. But if your parents (or other relatives) are basically okay, you just worry about leaving them in a house alone, I see no problem inviting them into your home. After all, they probably did quite a bit for you ;)




    Glad I saw this…..I don’t think I’ve ever asked my guy what will happen if he’s dad needs personal caring for.My guy’s got brothers & sisters, they’re all a close family.I wouldn’t want the personal responsibility of everything but I wouldn’t mind shouldering part of caring for him & having him with us,if need be.I’d like everyone to pitch in but I don’t mind being supportive.Think this is something I should raise with him.He’s dad’s going fabulous at 80+ & dating lol.



    My mom just turned 81, She basically lives alone. We moved in across the street from her, so I am a second away. I get paid, by a home health care agency, to care for her. I am there 4-41/2 hours per day. I take her everywhere she needs, which now is 3-4 Dr appointments a week. She is an outgoing, lively, stubborn, strong willed person. I fear the day she can not take care of her self…..Once before she had a little house built beside her house, complete with bath, bed/living room and kitchen, she moved in there. We moved in her house that lasted 2 years, but we, Mikey, have grown up a lot since then. If it comes to it we will do that again.



    My elderly parents do not live with us. They prefer to keep what independence they are able at this time.

    They live in an assisted living facility in their own apartment. There are approproximately 130 people living in their complex in apartments and cottages.

    They have 3 meals and snacks per day in the main diningroom,
    a weekly housekeeper,
    and emergency call lights 24/7 staffed by on-site managers.
    Fire Station (1st responders) are just around the corner and get
    to their complex in less than 2 minutes.

    No nurses or other caregivers supplied, unless privately arranged.

    There they have all kinds of activities to do with others their own age.

    They have quite the social life and lots of friends.

    They can also take their electric wheelchairs acrossed the street, on their own,
    to the dentist,
    the grocery store,
    the bank,
    the coffee shop,
    the beauty parlour.

    The banker also comes to the complex twice a month, and a beauty parlour is onsite. A podiatrist also comes monthly, but that is private pay, not Medicare covered.

    Since I work full time, and am gone 9 – 10 hours a day, there is no one at home. Life would be pretty dull here for them.

    This week, they had visitors 4 days out of 7 from family.
    It varies from week to week, but I usually see them at least twice a week. I have learned that if I go less, something happens.

    Those individuals able to care in their own home, and stay home w/ them: high 5′s.

    How are you helping your elderly family members?



    I am a caregiver for people in these situations. I just started, officially, as a caregiver a month ago; however, I worked in nursing homes for many years and have acted as a caregiver for family and family of friends. I know this is a very difficult situation, but it can also be very rewarding. I do not know what exactly to say, there are many options available, and they have been discussed in some of the other replies here. The only option I have not seen here, is respite care. I am only familiar with this option when it comes to child care situations (because I have a friend with an autistic son) and in the hopice arena (d/t father and d/t long term care experience). Anyway, I know it is available in hospice and I believe it is available in situations like your friends; it probably depends on the insurance their father has. Respite care allows families to have a little time to themselves who are engaged in the 24-7-365 care of a fragile loved one. In their case, it probably would require him being placed in a home for a few days while they go on vacation, etc. There may be provisions for this in the home health/caregiving agency they are using for their caregiver, so they could check on that. Also, just as you may get a babysitter for your kids, so you maintain a marriage and not kill your kids; they could get a grownup sitter for dad so they could go out once in a while. Another option is adult day cares which provide health care follow up, companionship, and activities for the elderly living within the community. I wish you luck.



    Labor of love indeed!



    My mom lives with us. I’m the one who takes care of her. I have no regrets of doing things for her. I love her very much.



    This is very admirable. Fewer and fewer people are now taking care of their old parents. I guess, they are already doing a great job in taking care of her father. They just need to cope up and be persistent with this.



    I understand her, she can’t leave her father alone….She would take the best decision I know that and everything will be fine )



    All the parents wish life is safe,and I must say I love my parents!
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