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Bbear  (Level: 167.3 - Posts: 2297)
Mon, 18th May '09 7:43 PM


Is how he treats his mother.

Hubbie's mom (and dad were married 16 years before he came along; only child to boot) fell today and is in the hospital in Montreal. As you all know, we live in New Orleans.

Hubbie's dad is home alone, 86, confused, deaf, can't hear the phone.

Hubbie's mom is really confused, doesn't understand why she is in the hospital.

They refuse to go into assisted living, although they can afford it.

Hubbie is so upset he can't think about anything else.

Happy birthday to me.

Any suggestions?

Caramel1  (Level: 135.1 - Posts: 21590)
Mon, 18th May '09 7:46 PM

So sad and am so sorry-just DON'T Smoke, Beth- Linda

Koota  (Level: 187.9 - Posts: 2114)
Mon, 18th May '09 8:01 PM

It sounds like a trip to Montreal may be in your near future!

Ladyvol  (Level: 212.3 - Posts: 5650)
Mon, 18th May '09 8:07 PM

Take a deep breath, say a prayer or two and let me know if there is anything at all I can do ok?

Gypsylady  (Level: 148.3 - Posts: 6097)
Mon, 18th May '09 8:39 PM

I'm sorry, Beth, about your mother-in-law! Hope she gets to feeling better soon!

Wishing you, your husband and in-laws the very best, and hope you have a great birthday even though there's a lot going on.


Fainodraino  (Level: 113.1 - Posts: 240)
Mon, 18th May '09 10:21 PM

sorry, I thought this was about the TNG episode of the same name...

Toddhoff  (Level: 52.2 - Posts: 37)
Tue, 19th May '09 12:00 AM

Hi Bbear,

I think you know the answer but it is difficult to make. I am a few years away from the point you are at. I know I have to become the parent to my parents soon and I'm not looking forward to it but we can't dismiss our responsibility. We need to take care of them like they took care of us as children and if we are not able to do so adequately, assisted living is the only alternative. Be strong and do what is necessary and God bless.

Madamec8  (Level: 85.9 - Posts: 897)
Tue, 19th May '09 1:33 AM

Tough situation -- that's why Power of Attorney is so important, when they can't make decisions. Elder Law attorney and other senior services can help, you don't have to battle this alone. Better to step in than risk their safety. I have friends who got 'tough' (tho it broke their hearts) and the folks realized they couldn't fight 'em, later they were happy with their new digs and how much nicer life was.

Collioure  (Level: 113.7 - Posts: 9952)
Tue, 19th May '09 3:39 AM

Sounds awful, Beth. Hang in there.

I like Colleen's advice.

A lot.

Bigbird  (Level: 249.1 - Posts: 3337)
Tue, 19th May '09 5:25 AM

I saw my husband go down a similar route; it was really tough. His parents refused to go into assisted living/nursing home - even though that was what they clearly needed. They were totally house-bound. His father was restricted physically, and his mother, mentally. We got them progressive amounts of care in their apartment - but I felt we were not doing the right thing. Their quality of life would have been so much better if they had been somewhere where his father could have played cards with the men, and his mother would have had someone who couldn't hear to talk to.

His father lived to 99, and his mother to 92. They ended up having strokes at home within 6 weeks of each other, and dying in the hospital also within 6 weeks of each other. But they had had no life for many years before that.

I strongly urge you to find the right level of assisted living/nursing home for them. Most have trial apartments, where you can book them for, let's say, a month. Maybe they'll get into the activities, the food, the staff. It will certainly be a lot easier on your husband, knowing that they are well cared for, and that if something happens there is someone there to know about it and respond.

And, if you haven't already done it, take the money away now. It will enable you to get assistance down the line.

Good luck with your decisions.

Monkeynips13  (Level: 21.5 - Posts: 647)
Tue, 19th May '09 10:39 AM

Beth, so sorry to hear about your husband's parents. It is one of the most frustrating and powerless feelings in the world to be hundreds of miles from an ailing loved one.

My recommendation would be to contact the hospital and ask to speak to the social worker regauarding discharge plans for his mother. Inquire whether he or she feels home care or hospice is appropriate. Both services are covered by medicare in the states, so I would imagine they would be covered by Canada's universal health care program so your parents wouldn't use up their funds for assisted living further down the line. Perhaps one of our Canadian islanders can clarify coverage for home health services in Canada.

With either service, a variety of team members, including an RN, will make home visits to your hubby's parents to assess and manage symptoms and assist in general daily living needs. A social worker will also be assigned to them. The social worker can order a home safety evaluation and can assist you and your parents in setting up a 24 hour emergency response system, such as Lifeline. The social worker will also work with you on establishing advanced directives and Medical Power of Attorney for his parents.

As neither home health nor hospice are 24 hour services, they will assist in setting up further care if and when they feel a patient is no longer safe in their own home. One option to bring in a hired care giver (preferably an RN or LPN). This service is an out of pocket expence, and generally costs 18 to 30 dollars an hour. The other option is of course assisted living. Either way, the home health team will assist you in establishing the best possible care for them, and perhaps provide your hubby with some peace of mind knowing someone is checking in on them on a regular basis until you can coax them into assisted living.
Even if you can't physically be with them as much as you like, you can still be strong health care advocates for them.

You, your husband and his parents are in my thoughts and prayers.

Madamec8  (Level: 85.9 - Posts: 897)
Tue, 19th May '09 1:51 PM

I hope I don't sound gloom and doom about this --- but there are other realities -- some people don't even want home care workers to come into their homes and if they're belligerent in any way, those workers won't come. Doesn't matter who's paying for it. I've seen it in my own family -- people think their children should give up their life and health and take care of them, that's how it was done in their earlier years. Many refuse to get or use lifeline. It's a kind of emotional blackmail, especially when there are better options. On the other side of the coin is when children don't want their inheritance going for costly care and they'll cheap out to the detriment of the parent, but that's another story for another thread.

We have a 92-year-old woman in our community who refused to move, because she wanted to be able to go to weekly pinochle, which her daughter and son-in law have organized and run, for her. They will do anything to keep her happy. She refuses to wear a lifeline alert. She fell and badly injured her hip earlier this year, and when people went to check on her, her door was locked, and her daughter and son were out for the day. Nobody had a key, and by the time someone was able to get in, she had been on the floor for two days. When she got out of the hospital, she was sent to rehab, and was having fits wanting to go back home, where she clearly could not live alone any longer. So the daughter and husband moved in with her and basically have no life of their own. She is now 94, can't focus on pinochle, and had to be told it was unfair to the other players. She can't be left alone, she can't care for herself or her home. I think it's a rip -- and I don't think there's anything noble about what her family is doing, I can see the strain on them -- they're in their late 60's or early 70's.

Bbear  (Level: 167.3 - Posts: 2297)
Tue, 19th May '09 7:10 PM


Jim is flying to Montreal tomorrow morning to try to set things in mother. M-I-L is still in the hospital and sounds confused. F-I-L is in decline and frail himself, although he still cooks dinner every day.

I'm hoping that Jim will be able to arrange for 24 hour sitters; some of which (hopefully) will be paid by the VA.

Wish us all luck.

Madamec8  (Level: 85.9 - Posts: 897)
Tue, 19th May '09 7:48 PM

Beth, all the best to you and your husband, I know this isn't one bit easy. You said the VA might pay for 24-hour care -- you mean the Veterans Administration? In Canada?

Oldcougar  (Level: 228.6 - Posts: 1935)
Tue, 19th May '09 9:14 PM

If he's a Canadian veteran there are funds for some things (renovations to home, yard care, etc.), I'm not sure about all the programs. What you pay for home care is based on income, at least it is in BC. Hugs to you & Haydn, its a tough row to hoe

Oldcougar  (Level: 228.6 - Posts: 1935)
Tue, 19th May '09 9:16 PM

Oh, its Veterans Affairs in Canada, same difference, I guess

Madamec8  (Level: 85.9 - Posts: 897)
Wed, 20th May '09 4:33 AM

Thanks for info, Randy.

Pennwoman  (Level: 161.8 - Posts: 2476)
Wed, 20th May '09 9:19 AM

My heart goes out to you and you are in my prayers. I hope that everything goes well, and that you get the help you need. Providing the proper help that the elderly need and maintaining the independence that they crave is a very, very difficult. And can be so heart rending.

Bbear  (Level: 167.3 - Posts: 2297)
Wed, 20th May '09 9:29 AM

The Canadian VA is amazing. Jim's dad is a WWII vet who was injured in Italy (shot in the ear). The VA provides him with a maid twice a week, someone to mow and trim the lawn weekly and shovel the snow in winter, wash the windows twice a year and do general "safety" repairs around the house on a regular basis.

About sitters, though, I don't know.

The US VA should be ashamed at the shear lack of resources available to our vets; Canada is certainly the shining light.

On the other hand, they only have to pay to maintain one sub and two tanks....

Collioure  (Level: 113.7 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 20th May '09 10:08 AM

The Canadians landed on Juno Beach D-Day, 1944, and suffered a high percentage of casualties.

Madamec8  (Level: 85.9 - Posts: 897)
Wed, 20th May '09 7:57 PM

I have to stand up for the VA in the United States. It's a huge organization and serves a variety of veterans who have differing levels of coverage. A combat veteran does get priority, despite what one hears to the contrary. However, it takes time to process their applications, it takes time for the medical staff to evaluate them, it takes time to get appointments ... but once you're in the system, it's the best, and they care. I've heard that it varies from one VA facility to another, but it is so much improved over what it was after WWII. I've simplified somewhat and am sure there have been exceptions -- but don't demonize the entire organization. My friend was a combat Marine in Vietnam and had lousy, even harmful, medical care until he applied to the VA -- they have done wonders.

If there's a downside to the VA, it's the manipulation of retirees pensions to make them tax free by bumping up the level of disability from what it was at the end of the service (usually not service-connected). Shame on the retiree, shame on the VA. The rest of us have to pay tax on our pensions.

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