Author Topic: aging parents are killing me!  (Read 8840 times)

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #50 on: February 01, 2018, 04:19:56 PM »
Sorry for your troubles.  It's hard.  There's a post here about this topic every day or two.  Sometimes many such posts.  Many of us struggle with these issues. 

To your situation: it's about boundaries

In my life, I prioritize.  I have to ensure my own health.  And that of my immediate family - wife & kids.  Then, and only then, parents, and so on.

Sometimes that requires me to have difficult conversations and explain these things to aging family.  I do what I can, but in the end, they are independent, they make their own decisions, and if they make bad ones - like moving without cooperating with movers - they may suffer some bad consequences. 

It's especially tough because, as you age, the human brain can lock in to some bad decisionmaking habits (people harden in things, people resist change more, people see things as threats to their independence, and so on).

Due to that, I try to be as clear and as kind as I can up front by making clear what my boundaries are.  I make clear what I expect and what kinds of expectations I can and cannot fulfill.  That way, nobody expects me to swoop in and save them, and if they do anyway, I have fulfilled my duty to warn them that my job and role is limited. 

After doing that for years, I am happy to report that, while still a challenge sometimes, things are going *much* better in our family. 

But it's especially tough to watch loved ones go through hard times without doing something about it - even when doing something about it (as you are doing) enables those people to continue making poor choices, leading to more train wrecks, and so on...

For that reason, I recommend the Boundaries book and clear communication to all who deal with this (including myself!) and live by it. 

I hope you find a better way forward with your aging parents.

wenchsenior

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #51 on: February 01, 2018, 04:47:24 PM »
In 2013 when my Mom was in the nursing home she was in on Medicare. She was in on rehab status. She started to go downhill and Medicare will approve 100 days if you are progressing with rehab. I was informed that she was not improving and Medicare was cutting her off even though she had not been there 100 days. It was teetering on the point where I was going to have to take her out or pay $12,000 a month. She took a turn for the worse and did pass after 45 days in the nursing home. Can you imagine paying $12K a month for nursing care? This is CT and everything cost too much. If we had to pay that she would have used up all her money she had in no time before Medicaid would kick in. She would have rather died (and did) than to have had to use all her hard earned money on a nursing home.

And not to hijack this into a political tangent, but  Medicaid covers funding for most people in nursing home care, precisely because of the magnitude of this expense.  If it didn't, I have no doubt filial support laws in various states would start being enforced.  Which means that either voluntarily, or involuntarily, children of aging parents or other relatives (brothers and sisters) might be forced to help pay for this kind of care, not just try to save up to care for themselves.

And the GOP intends to try to gut Medicaid funding to the states.  They tried to do it already as part of the ACA repeal attempt.  And they will probably try again. 


Milizard

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #52 on: February 01, 2018, 05:20:19 PM »
In 2013 when my Mom was in the nursing home she was in on Medicare. She was in on rehab status. She started to go downhill and Medicare will approve 100 days if you are progressing with rehab. I was informed that she was not improving and Medicare was cutting her off even though she had not been there 100 days. It was teetering on the point where I was going to have to take her out or pay $12,000 a month. She took a turn for the worse and did pass after 45 days in the nursing home. Can you imagine paying $12K a month for nursing care? This is CT and everything cost too much. If we had to pay that she would have used up all her money she had in no time before Medicaid would kick in. She would have rather died (and did) than to have had to use all her hard earned money on a nursing home.

Same here with my mother, except the cost is ~ $9600/month, and she doesn't seem to be going anywhere after 45 days.  She never even wanted to pay the price for assisted living, much less than this.  (And don't get me started on the value we don't get for this $9600+ per month.)

And as for filial support laws, I've never even grossed half this amount in my life. Where is the money supposed to come from?  Am I supposed to take all resources whatsoever from my own children?  Is my brother supposed to stop paying for his daughter's college, too?

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #53 on: February 01, 2018, 06:44:46 PM »
In 2013 when my Mom was in the nursing home she was in on Medicare. She was in on rehab status. She started to go downhill and Medicare will approve 100 days if you are progressing with rehab. I was informed that she was not improving and Medicare was cutting her off even though she had not been there 100 days. It was teetering on the point where I was going to have to take her out or pay $12,000 a month. She took a turn for the worse and did pass after 45 days in the nursing home. Can you imagine paying $12K a month for nursing care? This is CT and everything cost too much. If we had to pay that she would have used up all her money she had in no time before Medicaid would kick in. She would have rather died (and did) than to have had to use all her hard earned money on a nursing home.

Same here with my mother, except the cost is ~ $9600/month, and she doesn't seem to be going anywhere after 45 days.  She never even wanted to pay the price for assisted living, much less than this.  (And don't get me started on the value we don't get for this $9600+ per month.)

And as for filial support laws, I've never even grossed half this amount in my life. Where is the money supposed to come from?  Am I supposed to take all resources whatsoever from my own children?  Is my brother supposed to stop paying for his daughter's college, too?

On this point, a tip for all: NEVER, EVER, EVER sign paperwork for your aging parents to be cared for somewhere.  Have an attorney review it first. 

Some places will ask/force you to sign (whether strictly legal or not), and then you've written a blank check to spend $____ (10k and 12k in your cases) per month until the person leaves - either improves or dies. 

It's a quick and easy route to bankruptcy.  Do not do it without first ascertaining WHAT it is you're doing or being asked to do.  Filial support laws are probably a lot more forgiving than those contracts can be.

wenchsenior

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #54 on: February 01, 2018, 06:50:30 PM »
In 2013 when my Mom was in the nursing home she was in on Medicare. She was in on rehab status. She started to go downhill and Medicare will approve 100 days if you are progressing with rehab. I was informed that she was not improving and Medicare was cutting her off even though she had not been there 100 days. It was teetering on the point where I was going to have to take her out or pay $12,000 a month. She took a turn for the worse and did pass after 45 days in the nursing home. Can you imagine paying $12K a month for nursing care? This is CT and everything cost too much. If we had to pay that she would have used up all her money she had in no time before Medicaid would kick in. She would have rather died (and did) than to have had to use all her hard earned money on a nursing home.

Same here with my mother, except the cost is ~ $9600/month, and she doesn't seem to be going anywhere after 45 days.  She never even wanted to pay the price for assisted living, much less than this.  (And don't get me started on the value we don't get for this $9600+ per month.)

And as for filial support laws, I've never even grossed half this amount in my life. Where is the money supposed to come from?  Am I supposed to take all resources whatsoever from my own children?  Is my brother supposed to stop paying for his daughter's college, too?

I wonder this too, but I suppose the worst case scenario is that the state seizes assets, either by garnishing paychecks just like they do when someone fails to pay any other debt and incurs that kind of judgement, or by claiming title to some of the first-degree relatives' assets after death (which is what they currently do with Medicaid recipients' estates, to try to recoup costs incurred).

This isn't happening right now, but there's no legal reason in a fair number of states that it couldn't be tried.  Big court battles would no doubt ensue, but I wish people would get it through their heads that Medicaid isn't used primarily by poor working-age people who just won't help themselves to better jobs with health insurance.  It's primarily used by sick, old people who didn't start OUT destitute, but spent down their assets until they had none.

ysette9

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #55 on: February 01, 2018, 07:11:46 PM »
I haven’t lived this yet but I have observed the generation above me deal with my grandmother and her neediness. All I can say from observation is Draw Boundaries and stick to them. You have to put on your own oxygen mask first. Also, the more you give, the more they learn to be dependent on you and it can turn into a vicious cycle. I don’t know the acronym CCRC, but if that is some kind of assisted living facility then let that be the first line of defense for providing them care.
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skyblue

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #56 on: February 01, 2018, 08:01:32 PM »
Based on my nearly identical experience with my MIL 7 years ago, I believe that you have just gone through the worst part. Now that your parents are in the CCRC it will get better. Remind yourself over and over that they are in a safe place, with every (real) need met by the CCRC, to which they are paying good money to do exactly that. There is nothing that you actually physically need to do to help them any longer.  Emotional needs are different, but you just must be very tough about drawing lines, setting limits, what everyone else has said. They will get used to the new normal. You have to separate from their emotional needs and/or manipulations and be somewhat cold. We told my MIL that we would make a short (1-2 hour) visit every other weekend (2 hour RT drive), plus major holidays, and no more. We have stuck to that for 7 years. Lots of complaints and sighing, attempted guilt trips and manipulation, but we held our ground. Now she knows this is the deal, has given up her fruitless efforts to manipulate, and honestly we feel very little burden. When she complains about the (lovely, expensive, highly regarded) CCRC itself, or her life in general, we respond with a detached "oh, that's too bad," and nothing else. So she rarely does it anymore. We also have control of her finances, credit card etc. so if we need to hire someone outside of the CCRC to do something for her, get something to her, or take her somewhere, we can (though this rarely is necessary). It will get better, first slowly and then quickly. I lived through what you lived through and still bear the psychological scars from that move and everything that went along with it. But that was the very lowest point. Give yourself credit for accomplishing an enormous and very difficult thing. You did right by them. Now go live your own life. :)

davo

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2018, 07:40:49 PM »
Oh my, I am so glad to be reading this now! I just started looking for assisted living for my parents, or rather added it to my to-do list but have not jumped in yet.

My brother and I work well as a team and that is a big relief for me.

My Dad is being difficult to work with and cannot organize his mind to find an assisted living place on his own. He can barely can manage his medication. Recently the fire department is called to their apartment twice per week to pick one of them up off of the ground after falling.

They didn't plan for anything and do not have any assets. Luckily they have Social Security, a Navy pension, and a Veterans Administration "Aid & Assistance" benefit to help pay for assisted living. That doesn't look like it will cover the whole cost and I am NOT looking forward to paying the extra money each month. I know I am not required to do that, and I can choose what I am willing to pay for and what I am willing to do.

I resent them for not saving or planning, and now I may be spending money on their retirement instead of paying my own debts and saving for my retirement!

I've decided that I am leaving on a vacation with my girlfriend for the next two weeks, and will not deal with parents issues while away. When I get back if my parents aren't fully cooperating I am getting a lawyer to pursue forced power of attorney over them for their own safety. I don't know if that is the correct legal term.

I am willing to help provide their needs, I am not willing to stress myself out on their bullshit. Oh yeah, I do love them and I feel compassion for them. I just have worked very hard to grow up, overcome family difficulties, and improve my life since becoming an adult. I do not want their chaos to ruin the life I enjoy today.

~edit - grammar
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 07:42:51 PM by davo »

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2018, 08:21:16 PM »
My parents are early/mid-sixties & in great health (like, great, incredible, work out every day health). But, after dealing with the deaths & estates of their parents, they go out of their way to keep us informed. I got an email last week with my parents retirement account status, long term care insurance, investment portfolio, and timeline & contingencies for selling their house (when it comes to that). My parents don't have a lot of money, but have made the most of their retirement account, and plan well, have a financial adviser, etc. I also have a sister who lives close, and will be doing much of the heavy lifting. My mom has a disabled sister, and her care & family situation will be a really difficult one to deal with, as she doesn't currently have the capacity to take care of herself well, and that's certainly not going to get better.

I wish you luck - it sounds like a very challenging situation.

Roadrunner53

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2018, 09:14:32 PM »
My In Laws were the worst. My Father in Law was a selfish person who had a bunch of hobbies he really couldn't afford but did them anyway. For indulging on his selfish desires, the family didn't pay their bills regularly. The electricity was turned of many times. They ran out of heating oil and barely had food to eat. But he had to spend money on exotic flowers and keep a green house heated to 85 degrees with a certain amount of humidity. The children barely had decent clothes. Saving money was unheard of. Lucky for him he worked for a company that was union and he got a retirement from them. Down the road, the wife would get those offers in the mail from banks, you know the ones with checks attached. She would write out one of the checks and blow it on something stupid. She started buying some stupid collectibles too. She started with an attitude if HE spent money she would spend money. They got themselves into serious trouble. Not sure how but they did dig out of financial disaster. They may have taken a home equity loan and when they sold the house probably got nothing. I would visit now and then and hear their idiotic stories about spending money stupidly and they would laugh their heads off. I am a diligent saver even back then and I never could understand how they could be such fools.

Sibley

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2018, 09:07:13 AM »
Oh my, I am so glad to be reading this now! I just started looking for assisted living for my parents, or rather added it to my to-do list but have not jumped in yet.

My brother and I work well as a team and that is a big relief for me.

My Dad is being difficult to work with and cannot organize his mind to find an assisted living place on his own. He can barely can manage his medication. Recently the fire department is called to their apartment twice per week to pick one of them up off of the ground after falling.

They didn't plan for anything and do not have any assets. Luckily they have Social Security, a Navy pension, and a Veterans Administration "Aid & Assistance" benefit to help pay for assisted living. That doesn't look like it will cover the whole cost and I am NOT looking forward to paying the extra money each month. I know I am not required to do that, and I can choose what I am willing to pay for and what I am willing to do.

I resent them for not saving or planning, and now I may be spending money on their retirement instead of paying my own debts and saving for my retirement!

I've decided that I am leaving on a vacation with my girlfriend for the next two weeks, and will not deal with parents issues while away. When I get back if my parents aren't fully cooperating I am getting a lawyer to pursue forced power of attorney over them for their own safety. I don't know if that is the correct legal term.

I am willing to help provide their needs, I am not willing to stress myself out on their bullshit. Oh yeah, I do love them and I feel compassion for them. I just have worked very hard to grow up, overcome family difficulties, and improve my life since becoming an adult. I do not want their chaos to ruin the life I enjoy today.

~edit - grammar

@davo  Do they qualify for Medicaid? Look into that.

Acastus

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2018, 09:14:20 AM »
Amen. I am right there with you. Maybe try to tag team with your siblings if they can help. My family is scattered, so we each took a turn, but we were each essentially on our own when we did it.

I had to take a break once my Mom moved to a nursing home. I was going crazy, clinically.

Apples

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #62 on: February 14, 2018, 11:24:50 AM »
My grandparents are in their early to mid 80's, and at least one person in each couple has started to seriously decline.  Both sets have End of Life directives, wills, trusts, instructions, even funeral instructions set up.  When we get close to that point, both couples have planned fairly well, far in advance, and discussed with all of their children.

The problem is the decline, and pride.  The healthier person in each couple still has their full pride and dignity, and is resistant to change.  On one side, the healthy person IMO has lost the ability to step back and see how much their situation has changed over the last 4 years, and what kind of steps they really need to take.  They are very very resistant to a CCRC because the sick spouse said he'd rather die than "go into a home".  Well, they're one accident away from that happening, and she's too afraid to spend money on in-home care.  To the person who talked about multiple generations living together - that would be helpful, but it still doesn't solve the pride problem, if the older generation doesn't want to listen to the younger when they bring up valid concerns.  I think that is the start of a lot of issues for people on this board.  That and boundary setting.

Both sets of my grandparents have had strong friend networks, but now are losing those friends to illness and death, and can't count on those friends in times of need at this point.  So they turn to their kids more and more to meet little needs and big needs (like call the computer company, this is too complicated for me anymore to handle my bill paying please) and for social interaction.

And +1 to the people pointing out that most are living longer, and after the point where a few decades ago they would have died.  One of my grandparents would have been dead by now* back when he was born, probably through the 70's.  My grandma always talks about her grandma is her role model and was a strong German woman who took care of her husband through the end.  Well, true, but (my) grandma can't possibly be held to the same standard, because the end line has moved. 

*which is morbid, but the truth

mm1970

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #63 on: February 14, 2018, 11:42:31 AM »
Oh my, I am so glad to be reading this now! I just started looking for assisted living for my parents, or rather added it to my to-do list but have not jumped in yet.

My brother and I work well as a team and that is a big relief for me.

My Dad is being difficult to work with and cannot organize his mind to find an assisted living place on his own. He can barely can manage his medication. Recently the fire department is called to their apartment twice per week to pick one of them up off of the ground after falling.

They didn't plan for anything and do not have any assets. Luckily they have Social Security, a Navy pension, and a Veterans Administration "Aid & Assistance" benefit to help pay for assisted living. That doesn't look like it will cover the whole cost and I am NOT looking forward to paying the extra money each month. I know I am not required to do that, and I can choose what I am willing to pay for and what I am willing to do.

I resent them for not saving or planning, and now I may be spending money on their retirement instead of paying my own debts and saving for my retirement!

I've decided that I am leaving on a vacation with my girlfriend for the next two weeks, and will not deal with parents issues while away. When I get back if my parents aren't fully cooperating I am getting a lawyer to pursue forced power of attorney over them for their own safety. I don't know if that is the correct legal term.

I am willing to help provide their needs, I am not willing to stress myself out on their bullshit. Oh yeah, I do love them and I feel compassion for them. I just have worked very hard to grow up, overcome family difficulties, and improve my life since becoming an adult. I do not want their chaos to ruin the life I enjoy today.

~edit - grammar
Medicaid

Milizard

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2018, 01:14:37 PM »
Oh my, I am so glad to be reading this now! I just started looking for assisted living for my parents, or rather added it to my to-do list but have not jumped in yet.

My brother and I work well as a team and that is a big relief for me.

My Dad is being difficult to work with and cannot organize his mind to find an assisted living place on his own. He can barely can manage his medication. Recently the fire department is called to their apartment twice per week to pick one of them up off of the ground after falling.

They didn't plan for anything and do not have any assets. Luckily they have Social Security, a Navy pension, and a Veterans Administration "Aid & Assistance" benefit to help pay for assisted living. That doesn't look like it will cover the whole cost and I am NOT looking forward to paying the extra money each month. I know I am not required to do that, and I can choose what I am willing to pay for and what I am willing to do.

I resent them for not saving or planning, and now I may be spending money on their retirement instead of paying my own debts and saving for my retirement!

I've decided that I am leaving on a vacation with my girlfriend for the next two weeks, and will not deal with parents issues while away. When I get back if my parents aren't fully cooperating I am getting a lawyer to pursue forced power of attorney over them for their own safety. I don't know if that is the correct legal term.

I am willing to help provide their needs, I am not willing to stress myself out on their bullshit. Oh yeah, I do love them and I feel compassion for them. I just have worked very hard to grow up, overcome family difficulties, and improve my life since becoming an adult. I do not want their chaos to ruin the life I enjoy today.

~edit - grammar
Medicaid

+1.
It can turn into a bottomless pit rather quickly.

Erica

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #65 on: February 14, 2018, 09:51:02 PM »
My husband is going through this now with his mom.  For the last 5 years, he's been trying to get her into senior housing of some sort, but she refuses to leave her 2nd floor, not up to code, way too big to take care of apartment.  She's been to the emergency room 3 times in 7 weeks, and diagnosed with COPD, and is finally admitting she can't live alone but it not at all happy about it.   She has been poor all her life, and has everything subsidized, so choices are fewer.    Hubby found her a nice, but not too fancy place.  A couple of the siblings also visited and agreed it was suitable.  But now she's hemming and hawing. 

Hubby found a second place that he's taking her to this Thursday.  Her response:  "I'm glad I'll have a choice and you aren't just dumping me into the first place you can."  Completely ungrateful.  She's lived her whole life not planning, and being in react mode.    But now she's out of time.  I think she still thinks one of her kids will take her in but that's not happening.  Her daughters barely talk to her as she allowed her dad to molest the daughters when they were young, and then enabled her husband to be an alcoholic for many years until his death. 

She's not coming here as I work from home, and can't have her continual TV on.  Plus she's never acknowledged me as part of the family even though I've been married to her son for 33 years.  She doesn't even talk to me the once I year or so I go with him to visit.

Its hard all around, and I'm watching my husband age before my very eyes.
She should qualify for subsidized senior apartments where she'll pay 30% of her income towards rent. Usually that also comes with water, trash and maybe, internet. One plus is those apartments often have resources, people who are IHSS Workers which she might qualify for down the line. Iv'e heard some areas give discounted bus passes. Being poor has it's perks in old age if you live in the right area.

Mr. JL

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #66 on: February 16, 2018, 05:59:14 AM »
This thread really sheds light on the influence of culture on our views of family care giving for aging parents.  At least in the U.S., there are really no structural/sociological incentives to physically take care of aging parents.  For most, this time comes when immediate family needs and career demands are at their highest.  It is almost impossible for the average person to handle this on their own.  It's like becoming a stay-at-home parent again with a child you cannot lift by yourself and who costs 1000X more than a normal sized baby.  Add the emotional stress into the situation and it just sounds unbearable.  I feel for all of you. 

I wonder if there are any MMM style "hacks" to deal with this situation?  I am lucky that my wife's parents, as well as my own, planned well for retirement and will probably not be a financial burden on us.  TBH, I haven't even done one second of planning for how we will deal with this time of life and it is quickly approaching.

Pigeon

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #67 on: February 16, 2018, 07:01:35 AM »
So many people deal with this.  My ILs always said how they intended to stay in the same big house full of decades worth of crap until they died and thus made no attempt at all to adjust to changing circumstances.  It was so difficult.  They would always talk about how they didn't want to be a burden, while making every single decision to ensure that they were a burden.  On my side, my father and his wife downsized and simplified.  They still needed some help, but because they had moved into more appropriate living facilities with some services on site, it was much less difficult to see that they were adequately cared for.  Fortunately both sets of parents had a lot of money when they got old because it would have been much worse for us if they didn't.

This though, is why I'm not going to be ER (at least by the standards of this board) although I'm FI.  Having a lot of money gives  you a lot of choices.  Nice senior living places cost a lot of money. 

There are some attitudes here that I find scary and kind of funny at the same time.  People in their 30s think that if they continue eat well and exercise, they will be perfectly healthy, spry and mentally alert until they one day pass quietly in their sleep.  It doesn't work that way for far too many people.  Or they think that their perfectly healthy, spry and mentally alert selves will cheerfully put a bullet through their brains or get a doctor to help them end it all on their 82nd birthday.  That isn't likely to happen either when the time comes.  And as long as the people are mentally competent, their adult children can either turn their backs on them or do what they can to help according to their own comfort levels.  You can't force them to do anything if they won't listen to reason, and getting them declared incompetent isn't easy.

Lmoot

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #68 on: February 16, 2018, 07:03:39 AM »
This thread really sheds light on the influence of culture on our views of family care giving for aging parents.  At least in the U.S., there are really no structural/sociological incentives to physically take care of aging parents.  For most, this time comes when immediate family needs and career demands are at their highest.  It is almost impossible for the average person to handle this on their own.  It's like becoming a stay-at-home parent again with a child you cannot lift by yourself and who costs 1000X more than a normal sized baby.  Add the emotional stress into the situation and it just sounds unbearable.  I feel for all of you. 

I wonder if there are any MMM style "hacks" to deal with this situation?  I am lucky that my wife's parents, as well as my own, planned well for retirement and will probably not be a financial burden on us.  TBH, I haven't even done one second of planning for how we will deal with this time of life and it is quickly approaching.

^ from what I’ve heard others say in this thread,  the elderly used to pass earlier (right at or before this crucial point in their children’s lives), and not only taking future “burden” with them, but leaving behind assets (and more of it) in the most expensive years of their offsprings lives. Now, not only does medical science allow people to live longer, and with conditions that would typically be mortal, but they are burning through assets because of the additional years, and to pay for that astronomically high medical tech. So now you have assets burning off for longer, and faster...forcing everyone to scramble.

Morbid, but it’s the reality.

Roadrunner53

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #69 on: February 16, 2018, 07:18:56 AM »
Most people don't 'plan' for the future because they never think they are going to get old, disabled, frail or sick. We see ourselves as we are today as functional humans. Illness comes suddenly at times and no time to plan on what to do. Everything happens fast. Emergency room or doctor orders millions of tests, all of a sudden who drives you to these appointments, who takes care of your pets, your bills, the rotting food in your fridge. If/when you come home, who will take of you, make your meals, shop for groceries, empty your garbage. All the simple things we take for granted when we are healthy. I have no children to help me out in any way. So, life is going to be interesting for me and the Hub down the road. Are there books to help guide people on this subject? Some say they will check themselves into and old age home. Well, not sure what those are but the costs must be outrageous for the average joe. Seem like this could be a good business to help keep people in their homes by providing some small essential services.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #70 on: February 16, 2018, 07:56:38 AM »
These last few posters are on to something. Another word of caution: money does not solve all. My MIL has well over $2M, plus property, and reasonably priced LTC insurance. She also has Alzheimer's Disease. Problem is, her mother had it for well over a decade before she died. If we turn on the firehose too soon, her resources may not last long enough, so she lives with us. We had to buy a different house, which is mega-expensive for us, but much cheaper than institutional care for her. Not exactly the future we'd planned. It's also why DH still works. If we can't go anywhere and he likes his job, why not pad our 'stache to make us a little more bulletproof?
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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #71 on: February 16, 2018, 08:10:11 AM »
I'm impressed they were accepted to a CCRC at that age and status.  I recently was looking into one for my parents (81 and 70) who are still fairly healthy but quickly losing mobility.  Their current plan is also to stay in their house and continue driving until they die.  For those not familiar with CCRC, there is a decent sized initiation fee, like buying a house, and then a fairly reasonable monthly fee and they agree to care for you until you die.  It stands for continuing care retirement community.  For the ones near me, you have to move in when you are still healthy.  You start in either stand alone cottages or apartments and there are all kinds of social activities.  That's the independent living stage.  As you decline, you move into assisted living and eventually a nursing home but it is all on property and all for that same fee/rate.  If you spend down all your assets such that you have no money left, you stay for free until you die.  I think it is a great model.  You need a certain amount of assets and a certain amount of health to get in.  At least near me, you have to start in independent living.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #72 on: February 16, 2018, 08:13:20 AM »
I agree with the last few posts as well. 

One thing I'm a little surprised about is that there isn't more of a high profile industry developing around in home elder care options/housing options for aging, etc.  Especially given the factors noted by the posts above, particularly the fact that more and more people are having fewer children or none, and that more and more people are living alone than ever before.  My understanding is that Japan is struggling mightily with issues relating to elder care, which is a look into the near future of the U.S. It's strange that the market hasn't responded more strongly in the U.S., though perhaps it is just a matter of a couple more decades.  On the other hand, most aged in the U.S. are low income, so maybe there is no market incentive to serve them.

It's an ugly problem, that's for sure. With us and many of our family and friends being childfree or childless, I'm going to see a lot of it first and second hand.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #73 on: February 16, 2018, 08:15:45 AM »
I'm impressed they were accepted to a CCRC at that age and status.  I recently was looking into one for my parents (81 and 70) who are still fairly healthy but quickly losing mobility.  Their current plan is also to stay in their house and continue driving until they die.  For those not familiar with CCRC, there is a decent sized initiation fee, like buying a house, and then a fairly reasonable monthly fee and they agree to care for you until you die.  It stands for continuing care retirement community.  For the ones near me, you have to move in when you are still healthy.  You start in either stand alone cottages or apartments and there are all kinds of social activities.  That's the independent living stage.  As you decline, you move into assisted living and eventually a nursing home but it is all on property and all for that same fee/rate.  If you spend down all your assets such that you have no money left, you stay for free until you die.  I think it is a great model.  You need a certain amount of assets and a certain amount of health to get in.  At least near me, you have to start in independent living.

Yes, these facilities can be a great option.  One of my childless aunts who had the means did this once her husband passed, and lived a very long and mostly happy time in there, independent until only about a year before her death.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #74 on: February 16, 2018, 08:22:13 AM »
I really think, at least in the US, that we're going to end up moving more towards community living as a norm for older adults. Staying in your home past a certain point, say 60 or 70, would get the societal response of "why? that's dumb. Much more fun to move to ___". So everyone would move to a more community based situation, similar to college dorms but for older adults. If it's the norm to do this while you're still healthy, then the burden on family or others is significantly decreased.

It would help with a lot of problems - decreased mobility (just going down the hall), decreased physical ability (hire 1 person to do laundry for everyone), social isolation (just go down the hall), etc. In turn, this would great improve quality of life for people. You can build in supports for those who need it and be more efficient. Making it a norm that EVERYONE moves to these community living places eliminates stigma. And frankly, if you take the college dorm model and adapt it, it probably would be a lot more fun.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #75 on: February 16, 2018, 08:23:35 AM »
These last few posters are on to something. Another word of caution: money does not solve all. My MIL has well over $2M, plus property, and reasonably priced LTC insurance. She also has Alzheimer's Disease. Problem is, her mother had it for well over a decade before she died. If we turn on the firehose too soon, her resources may not last long enough, so she lives with us. We had to buy a different house, which is mega-expensive for us, but much cheaper than institutional care for her. Not exactly the future we'd planned. It's also why DH still works. If we can't go anywhere and he likes his job, why not pad our 'stache to make us a little more bulletproof?
My MIL had Alzheimers and had to go into a memory care facility once it got moderate.  The place she went was lovely and it was expensive.  She thrived and it was a much better place than either living on her own (she refused hired help and it became unsafe) or living with her son and his family (horrible for everyone).  She had money.  The thing is, if you had the money to pay for a couple of years, they wouldn't kick you out if it ran out.  So, having about $350K really would have been enough in her case.  She ended up dying of something different before she was there a year, but they had residents who had been there close to a decade. 

I agree money might not solve everything, but it provides much better options than a lack of money.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #76 on: February 16, 2018, 08:26:17 AM »
I'm impressed they were accepted to a CCRC at that age and status.  I recently was looking into one for my parents (81 and 70) who are still fairly healthy but quickly losing mobility.  Their current plan is also to stay in their house and continue driving until they die.  For those not familiar with CCRC, there is a decent sized initiation fee, like buying a house, and then a fairly reasonable monthly fee and they agree to care for you until you die.  It stands for continuing care retirement community.  For the ones near me, you have to move in when you are still healthy.  You start in either stand alone cottages or apartments and there are all kinds of social activities.  That's the independent living stage.  As you decline, you move into assisted living and eventually a nursing home but it is all on property and all for that same fee/rate.  If you spend down all your assets such that you have no money left, you stay for free until you die.  I think it is a great model.  You need a certain amount of assets and a certain amount of health to get in.  At least near me, you have to start in independent living.
These sound like a good idea if one has the resources. I just read this article from AARP: https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/basics/info-2017/continuing-care-retirement-communities.html . The article alludes to some possible pitfalls, like extra costs that often arise. It would have been nice to hear some examples of what those may be.

Overall, it would be a weight off my mind to know that my parents would be at a place that might cost more, but would make things so much easier because they are used to handling things as people decline. My DH and I are in our early 50's, but when we get older, this is something I hope we have the wherewithal to implement for ourselves too. I think much of the stress of aging or trying to take care of aging parents is that so much is done in a reactive manner, rather than a proactive manner. Sounds like the CCRC's will be proactive for you. Less stress on everyone, and less chance of mishaps and avoidable declines because someone doesn't realize or won't admit what their current needs are. I keep thinking of one post where the author said their loved one wasn't eating, even though someone was coming in and providing microwavable meals, and they didn't know it until the loved one had lost a lot of weight. That's something that could be difficult to recover from, and perhaps a CCRC where there's a built-in monitoring and support system could prevent some scenarios like that.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #77 on: February 16, 2018, 08:31:32 AM »
These last few posters are on to something. Another word of caution: money does not solve all. My MIL has well over $2M, plus property, and reasonably priced LTC insurance. She also has Alzheimer's Disease. Problem is, her mother had it for well over a decade before she died. If we turn on the firehose too soon, her resources may not last long enough, so she lives with us. We had to buy a different house, which is mega-expensive for us, but much cheaper than institutional care for her. Not exactly the future we'd planned. It's also why DH still works. If we can't go anywhere and he likes his job, why not pad our 'stache to make us a little more bulletproof?

I'd like to ask a question about this without being offensive, so I hope this doesn't come across poorly. Is the concern with her money running out just about passing her resources on? Once an individual is installed in a care facility on their own dime, and the money runs out, they generally don't move them. Medicare kicks in and the person stays where they are until the end, however long this is. It's how things went with my own grandmother who had Alz, and several other older relatives I know. I mean sure their resources may not last long enough, but then the system takes over. Of course if you really enjoy taking care of MIL, then that's awesome too.

ETA: Cross posted with Pigeon. Similar thoughts.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #78 on: February 16, 2018, 08:37:56 AM »
These last few posters are on to something. Another word of caution: money does not solve all. My MIL has well over $2M, plus property, and reasonably priced LTC insurance. She also has Alzheimer's Disease. Problem is, her mother had it for well over a decade before she died. If we turn on the firehose too soon, her resources may not last long enough, so she lives with us. We had to buy a different house, which is mega-expensive for us, but much cheaper than institutional care for her. Not exactly the future we'd planned. It's also why DH still works. If we can't go anywhere and he likes his job, why not pad our 'stache to make us a little more bulletproof?

I'd like to ask a question about this without being offensive, so I hope this doesn't come across poorly. Is the concern with her money running out just about passing her resources on? Once an individual is installed in a care facility on their own dime, and the money runs out, they generally don't move them. Medicare kicks in and the person stays where they are until the end, however long this is. It's how things went with my own grandmother who had Alz, and several other older relatives I know. I mean sure their resources may not last long enough, but then the system takes over. Of course if you really enjoy taking care of MIL, then that's awesome too.

ETA: Cross posted with Pigeon. Similar thoughts.

Well, nitpicky thing, it's Medicaid that kicks in. Medicare only covers short term nursing after a stroke, etc.

Regarding the money running out - the concern for me really would be that the care would be inadequate in some way. Money allows a lot more options, etc.

rockstache

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #79 on: February 16, 2018, 08:41:13 AM »
Yes, Medicaid/care, whatever.

Once I no longer have a memory of my loved ones, I don't really care about the inadequacy of care. I hope the facility feeds me and showers me (which by law they should, to be clear), but I won't know if they don't. YMMV

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #80 on: February 16, 2018, 08:54:18 AM »
These last few posters are on to something. Another word of caution: money does not solve all. My MIL has well over $2M, plus property, and reasonably priced LTC insurance. She also has Alzheimer's Disease. Problem is, her mother had it for well over a decade before she died. If we turn on the firehose too soon, her resources may not last long enough, so she lives with us. We had to buy a different house, which is mega-expensive for us, but much cheaper than institutional care for her. Not exactly the future we'd planned. It's also why DH still works. If we can't go anywhere and he likes his job, why not pad our 'stache to make us a little more bulletproof?

I'd like to ask a question about this without being offensive, so I hope this doesn't come across poorly. Is the concern with her money running out just about passing her resources on? Once an individual is installed in a care facility on their own dime, and the money runs out, they generally don't move them. Medicare kicks in and the person stays where they are until the end, however long this is. It's how things went with my own grandmother who had Alz, and several other older relatives I know. I mean sure their resources may not last long enough, but then the system takes over. Of course if you really enjoy taking care of MIL, then that's awesome too.

ETA: Cross posted with Pigeon. Similar thoughts.
I was about to reply to Pigeon when I saw your post, so here's to both of you.

There is another wrinkle. DH has a schizophrenic sister who can't/doesn't support herself. She is not stupid by any means. She works the system for her livelihood. Is it up to us to conserve her mother's resources so there is the possibility of something left for her care eventually? We're not sure, so we're erring on the side of caution. (She is not mentioned in the will, but that doesn't make it right to ignore her future needs.) For a variety of solid reasons, she does not know where we live, nor do we facilitate visits. My brother and his brother are adamant about this, and from what I've seen, it's sadly justified. Still bothers me, but she's their sister, and I respect their wishes. Yes, I could reach out to her, but that would undermine my husband and put her mother at risk, so no can do.

Life is complicated...money makes it less so. At least I'm not juggling work and children at the same time. My FIRE doesn't look like I'd imagined (yet), but the situation could be much more difficult.
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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #81 on: February 16, 2018, 08:58:20 AM »
Coming from a country where the older people live with family, and family generally sticks close by geographically, I can’t help but feel sad for the elderly in “well developed” countries. It makes sense that 1st world elderly feel their world shrinking, and therefore are more desperate, grasping at attention and help, while simultaneously clinging to their warped idea of independence and “not being a burden”. Thinking back to my grandmother and great grandmother in Africa, they were not demanding of time and attention, because they never felt lacking. They were part of the family and the community and the hustle bustle.

I am not blaming or trying to guilt anyone. I know our modern society is not supportive of this type of aging family model, I’m just noting the difference as I have seen in 2 very different worlds. Fear makes people act irrationally, and add age to that, and that’s a lot to deal with.  In American society at least, future of the elderly is unknown, to them and to their loved ones. The family expectation, at least the modern expectation, is that everybody grows up and scatters to create their own little individual family packets, separate from other members of the family except for special occasions. This leaves the future completely unknown, it means sacrifices and changes by one or multiple parties will need to be made in the future. For many elderly people in other countries, they know their future will be with their family, and vice versa, so the fear of the unknown is somewhat mitigated, and the guilt of causing someone to uproot their life (or the resentment when they won’t), is removed, since it is the societal expectation.

Unfortunately/fortunately, depending on the situation and who you are, our society places a high value on independence and pursuit of [personal] happiness, and youthfulness (whereas many other societies place a higher value on the elderly and duty to the family community). It creates a society in which aging is distasteful, and neediness is shameful, and those who are aging feel pressure to deny both (to the frustration of their loved ones), because they know what the likely alternative is...which makes them less bearable and ironically less likely to be taken in by family, who already have permission from society to compartmentalize their nuclear family away from those on the “outside”.

I once saw a research paper that looked into the difference between being alone and being lonely. One of the findings was that when you compared southern and northern Europe, more old people in the north were alone, but the highest number of lonely old people lived in the south. The differences in culture are deep, and I personally speculate that there might be some genetic variation when it comes to the ratio of introverts/extraverts. My aunt is an old maiden. She is quite happy in her little apartment, and appriciates being invited over for christmas and the occasional dinner. But after a few hours, she starts longing to be alone again. Being part of a family with a lot of hustle and bustle would be a nightmare for her.

I do agree that fear can be a contributing factor to the problem that is described. In Scandinavia, the support system is well known, and a legal right for all. The municipalities are responsible for the care of the elderly, and the care varies from a couple of hours of help at home, to moving you into a smaller apartment that is easy to navigate, to help around the clock at assisted living fascilities. It is not perfect, and the level of care is based on what you need instead of what you want. But it does take away a substantial part of the fear.

Your ideal society might be one where we all live in large multi-generational familiy unities. Mine is not. I think it is much better for the society I live in that I continue to work and earn money, while professionals take care of those who need help. I was very happy to leave the kids in kindergarten and go back to work, and I will just as happily wave goodbye to my parents when they are well placed in a "senior home".
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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #82 on: February 16, 2018, 08:59:46 AM »
These last few posters are on to something. Another word of caution: money does not solve all. My MIL has well over $2M, plus property, and reasonably priced LTC insurance. She also has Alzheimer's Disease. Problem is, her mother had it for well over a decade before she died. If we turn on the firehose too soon, her resources may not last long enough, so she lives with us. We had to buy a different house, which is mega-expensive for us, but much cheaper than institutional care for her. Not exactly the future we'd planned. It's also why DH still works. If we can't go anywhere and he likes his job, why not pad our 'stache to make us a little more bulletproof?

I'd like to ask a question about this without being offensive, so I hope this doesn't come across poorly. Is the concern with her money running out just about passing her resources on? Once an individual is installed in a care facility on their own dime, and the money runs out, they generally don't move them. Medicare kicks in and the person stays where they are until the end, however long this is. It's how things went with my own grandmother who had Alz, and several other older relatives I know. I mean sure their resources may not last long enough, but then the system takes over. Of course if you really enjoy taking care of MIL, then that's awesome too.

ETA: Cross posted with Pigeon. Similar thoughts.

In my experience, these private facilities won't admit you in the first place unless you show evidence of having enough assets to get you through several years of payments.  It varies from facility to facility what that threshold amount actually is.

My father was private pay at a nursing home for two and a half years before he died.  While it was expensive, IMO, it wasn't good, but my step mother was the decision maker and she was more concerned for the religiosity of the place than the actual level of care so he stayed there.  There was a mix of people who were private pay and whose assets had run out and were on Medicaid. We spent a lot of time visiting and chatting with other families over the years.  I didn't see any difference in the care provided.  The overworked, poorly paid staff members didn't have a lot of time to spend figuring out who was paying and who wasn't.   I do think having family visit regularly helped.

Acastus

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #83 on: February 16, 2018, 01:23:51 PM »
Oh my, I am so glad to be reading this now! I just started looking for assisted living for my parents, or rather added it to my to-do list but have not jumped in yet.

My brother and I work well as a team and that is a big relief for me.

My Dad is being difficult to work with and cannot organize his mind to find an assisted living place on his own. He can barely can manage his medication. Recently the fire department is called to their apartment twice per week to pick one of them up off of the ground after falling.

They didn't plan for anything and do not have any assets. Luckily they have Social Security, a Navy pension, and a Veterans Administration "Aid & Assistance" benefit to help pay for assisted living. That doesn't look like it will cover the whole cost and I am NOT looking forward to paying the extra money each month. I know I am not required to do that, and I can choose what I am willing to pay for and what I am willing to do.

I resent them for not saving or planning, and now I may be spending money on their retirement instead of paying my own debts and saving for my retirement!

I've decided that I am leaving on a vacation with my girlfriend for the next two weeks, and will not deal with parents issues while away. When I get back if my parents aren't fully cooperating I am getting a lawyer to pursue forced power of attorney over them for their own safety. I don't know if that is the correct legal term.

I am willing to help provide their needs, I am not willing to stress myself out on their bullshit. Oh yeah, I do love them and I feel compassion for them. I just have worked very hard to grow up, overcome family difficulties, and improve my life since becoming an adult. I do not want their chaos to ruin the life I enjoy today.

~edit - grammar
Medicaid
Unfortunately, Medicaid does not pay for assisted living. They pay for skilled nursing, aka conventional nursing home. My experience is assisted living costs $3000-5000/month depending on the care needed, each. Some places will give you 50% off the 2nd person if they share a larger apartment. If they own their home, selling it would generate a pile of cash.

Milizard

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #84 on: February 16, 2018, 01:55:56 PM »
Maybe it does in some places/states?  I looked into assisted living for my DM last fall.  She would have been private pay, but if she ran out of funds, she would have been moved into a room that Medicaid would've paid for (probably double occupancy vs. private room).

Acastus

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #85 on: February 16, 2018, 02:25:18 PM »
Milizard,

Maybe this is a mixed care level facility. They are advertised as an age in place site where you start as low as independent living and can progress through assisted living to nursing care. Some states also have additional levels the Feds do not.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #86 on: February 16, 2018, 02:34:46 PM »
This thread really sheds light on the influence of culture on our views of family care giving for aging parents.  At least in the U.S., there are really no structural/sociological incentives to physically take care of aging parents.  For most, this time comes when immediate family needs and career demands are at their highest.

It's also related to the fact that many of us are offspring of people who lived through one of the most profligate periods and cultures in human history. Many of us have self-involved parents whose decisions sowed burdens on the future.

^ from what I’ve heard others say in this thread,  the elderly used to pass earlier (right at or before this crucial point in their children’s lives), and not only taking future “burden” with them, but leaving behind assets (and more of it) in the most expensive years of their offsprings lives. Now, not only does medical science allow people to live longer, and with conditions that would typically be mortal, but they are burning through assets because of the additional years, and to pay for that astronomically high medical tech. So now you have assets burning off for longer, and faster...forcing everyone to scramble.

Morbid, but it’s the reality.

and that is why "healthcare" is such a large portion of our GDP - all wealth eventually funnels into that abyss.
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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #87 on: February 16, 2018, 02:44:29 PM »
I haven't read all the responses but the first thing that crossed my mind is there someone you trust living in their town that could come by once a week and hand things?  You're fortunate that they're not broke.

My aunt is nearly blind and uncle has dementia.  Their kids aren't willing to help so my mom does a lot.  But the one extra helpful thing is they have someone come in once a week to go through all their mail, make sure their bills are paid, etc.  She throws out all the crap asking for money and scams.  You could also arrange for that person or another to take them to appointments.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #88 on: February 18, 2018, 06:58:31 AM »
Yes, Medicaid/care, whatever.

Once I no longer have a memory of my loved ones, I don't really care about the inadequacy of care. I hope the facility feeds me and showers me (which by law they should, to be clear), but I won't know if they don't. YMMV

@rockstache You'll care! My mom worked as a nurse in a hospital dementia ward, and was heartbroken at how some of the patients suffered. Consider that some of these patients didn't know what was going on, were subsequently fearful, and that many lost the ability to express themselves. Those things meant that:
-some were in restraints for much of the day for the safety of the other patients and staff (alternately, patients would/could harm one another)
- many were in adult diapers that went unchanged because they could not inform staff that they needed changing
- teeth went unbrushed (legally the staff were supposed to do it, but in reality most of the staff wouldn't bother), so many patients developed painful dental problems that went untreated because they couldn't ask for a dentist
- patients were treated somewhat roughly, as staff had to defend themselves against being bitten and punched by frightened patients
-there was an instruction among the staff to not catch a falling patient, regardless of the frailty of many of the residents, because the risk of back injury (and liability) to the staff was too high.

My mother did what she could for patients, but noted that if she were ever to become a patient, that she wanted to have her money pay for physical therapy and to take her out of the facility for outings on a daily basis - because patients with scheduled outings are at least cleaned up beforehand, and with physical therapy at least she would get the opportunity to move about and avoid bedsores.

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #89 on: February 18, 2018, 07:05:17 AM »
Yes, Medicaid/care, whatever.

Once I no longer have a memory of my loved ones, I don't really care about the inadequacy of care. I hope the facility feeds me and showers me (which by law they should, to be clear), but I won't know if they don't. YMMV

@rockstache You'll care! My mom worked as a nurse in a hospital dementia ward, and was heartbroken at how some of the patients suffered. Consider that some of these patients didn't know what was going on, were subsequently fearful, and that many lost the ability to express themselves. Those things meant that:
-some were in restraints for much of the day for the safety of the other patients and staff (alternately, patients would/could harm one another)
- many were in adult diapers that went unchanged because they could not inform staff that they needed changing
- teeth went unbrushed (legally the staff were supposed to do it, but in reality most of the staff wouldn't bother), so many patients developed painful dental problems that went untreated because they couldn't ask for a dentist
- patients were treated somewhat roughly, as staff had to defend themselves against being bitten and punched by frightened patients
-there was an instruction among the staff to not catch a falling patient, regardless of the frailty of many of the residents, because the risk of back injury (and liability) to the staff was too high.

My mother did what she could for patients, but noted that if she were ever to become a patient, that she wanted to have her money pay for physical therapy and to take her out of the facility for outings on a daily basis - because patients with scheduled outings are at least cleaned up beforehand, and with physical therapy at least she would get the opportunity to move about and avoid bedsores.

If you aren't terrified of developing dementia, then you're not paying attention.

HORRORS!!!!!! This is worse than any Twilight zone episode ever made!

Hula Hoop

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #90 on: February 18, 2018, 07:06:25 AM »
Sun Hat - that is so sad and terrifying as my own mother has lately been showing signs of losing her short term memory and we're all worried about her.  Of course, she flat out refuses to see a doctor or any other kind of medical professional about this.

rockstache

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #91 on: February 18, 2018, 08:58:31 AM »
@sun hat I promise I’m not saying that without being intimately familiar with the system. I do want basic care no matter my memory situation, and did specifically state that in my post. Most if not all of what you described in your post is illegal in my state, and also not the norm. Again, if you have the money to get yourself into decent care, they won’t move you when the money runs out.

Being terrified of dementia has no bearing on whether you develop it or not. I’m not worried about it because there’s not a damn thing I can do to prevent it except to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Even then it’s a roll of the genetic dice. So I’m not going to live my life in fear of it.

Mezzie

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #92 on: February 18, 2018, 09:16:14 AM »
My mom has been learning the hard way about needing to set boundaries regarding her mom's care.

I have LTC insurance on my dad and husband, but my mom and I weren't eligible due to health issues, so that means saving up on my own (my parents aren't in the financial shape to pay for their own care). My siblings aren't in that financial position, either, but at least we'll all be able to split time for physical care and visits.

For now, I'm extremely grateful to have wonderful parents in good health. When the time comes, they deserve to be comfortable. I also deserve to be comfortable, which is why I'm doing what planning I can now before I'm too emotional about things to react rationally. With my limited health, I know I can't physically care for them (chronic fatigue and pain, can't lift, mobility issues, etc.), but I can sure as heck invest some money in their future care.
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/preparing-for-forced-early-retirement-due-to-disability/

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Sun Hat

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #93 on: February 18, 2018, 09:17:27 AM »
Rockstashe, I'm sorry to have presumed that you weren't informed, it was a poor assumption on my part. Your perspective is both valid and enviable, and I hope that the conditions that my mother described to me aren't the norm (they may not even be the norm where my mom worked. Despite being a very good nurse, my mom does tend to exaggerate).

Personally, I am generally very fearful of things that I cannot control, but that's my burden.
"You need a little bit of insanity to do great things." ~ Henry Rollins

rockstache

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #94 on: February 18, 2018, 09:38:13 AM »
Rockstashe, I'm sorry to have presumed that you weren't informed, it was a poor assumption on my part. Your perspective is both valid and enviable, and I hope that the conditions that my mother described to me aren't the norm (they may not even be the norm where my mom worked. Despite being a very good nurse, my mom does tend to exaggerate).

Personally, I am generally very fearful of things that I cannot control, but that's my burden.
Oops, I’m sorry, I just realized you were posting from Canada - I couldn’t speak a single word to the facilities there, or how they deal with things once you’re out of money. I certainly hope your mom did exaggerate! Maybe she was trying to ensure you would take her in rather than send her to a facility like that.

Worrying about things you can’t control (and not being able to control the worry), is a burden indeed. I’m sorry about that.

lhamo

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #95 on: February 18, 2018, 11:08:13 AM »
Oh my, I am so glad to be reading this now! I just started looking for assisted living for my parents, or rather added it to my to-do list but have not jumped in yet.

My brother and I work well as a team and that is a big relief for me.

My Dad is being difficult to work with and cannot organize his mind to find an assisted living place on his own. He can barely can manage his medication. Recently the fire department is called to their apartment twice per week to pick one of them up off of the ground after falling.

They didn't plan for anything and do not have any assets. Luckily they have Social Security, a Navy pension, and a Veterans Administration "Aid & Assistance" benefit to help pay for assisted living. That doesn't look like it will cover the whole cost and I am NOT looking forward to paying the extra money each month. I know I am not required to do that, and I can choose what I am willing to pay for and what I am willing to do.

I resent them for not saving or planning, and now I may be spending money on their retirement instead of paying my own debts and saving for my retirement!

I've decided that I am leaving on a vacation with my girlfriend for the next two weeks, and will not deal with parents issues while away. When I get back if my parents aren't fully cooperating I am getting a lawyer to pursue forced power of attorney over them for their own safety. I don't know if that is the correct legal term.

I am willing to help provide their needs, I am not willing to stress myself out on their bullshit. Oh yeah, I do love them and I feel compassion for them. I just have worked very hard to grow up, overcome family difficulties, and improve my life since becoming an adult. I do not want their chaos to ruin the life I enjoy today.

~edit - grammar

It is great that you and your brother are on the same page.

Some suggestions from my search for assisted living for my  mom (she moved into the place we chose about a year ago, recently passed away from congestive heart failure):

1)  Take the time to request/go through the state reports on each facility you are considering.  They are usually done on an annual or biannual basis.  They ALL will have problems, but some are more serious than others -- we ruled out one facility because they had repeated problems with their elevator inspections not being done on time/addressed in a timely way.  In a memory care facility. 

2)  Learn a little bit about the underlying financials and have a look toward how that may impact future fees.  The facility with the elevator problems had recently been bought out by a large conglomerate, and had VERY ambitious profit goals to pay off the underlying loans.  They were also offering big move in discounts -- bigger than other places.   I read that as a "get the bodies in the building and then we can jack up the rates later" kind of situation.  Another red flag.

3)  Find out what their policies are re: medicaid or other supplemental funding.  The facility my mom moved into had a policy that once you had been there two years paying market rates, if you money ran out they would keep you as a medicaid patient.  If you can find this in a facility that offers memory care/skilled nursing, even better.  My mom didn't have diagnosed cognitive issues, and the nature of her illness meant she probably wouldn't live that long/would eventually have a quick decline, so that wasn't such an issue for us.  But with your parents issues with repeated falls and possible cognitive issues, this might be worth paying a bit more for up front if it ensures that after a certain amount of time they can have the care they need with other forms of support than from you and your brother.

4)  If at all possible, meet/talk with residents and their families WHO ARE NOT INTRODUCED TO YOU BY THE FACILITY.  I met with both, but the people I found through my own channels were much more candid.   The main issue people had with the facility we chose was the food, which admittedly wasn't great.  But my mom had lost her sense of taste, so great food wasn't going to taste much different.   People had very good things to say about the staff/management of the facility, even though it was an older building.  That turned out to be very important -- the nursing director in particular was a saint, and worked very well with hospice once they came into the picture.

5)  Be attentive to how the representatives of the facility interact/respond to you.  The facility we chose was very responsive.  There was one close by at a similar price point that was much harder to deal with -- didn't return calls or emails, tried not to show me the annual reports (pretended they didn't know what I was talking about), etc.  I pretty quickly decided that if they behaved that way during the sales process, things wouldn't be better once mom was a resident.

6)  Don't be fooled by the flash.   We held off making a decision until we saw another highly recommended facility.  It was beautiful.  But the cheapest room was nearly double the monthly cost of the facility we chose in the end, and the other fees for care, etc were also much more expensive -- maybe not double, but at least 30-50% higher.  Mom could have afforded it, but it seemed like overkill and I think the tiny room (it was like a small hotel room, really -- not much room for anything but a bed) would have been claustrophobic for her.

7)  If you are going to be involved in day to day support -- transport to medical appointments, running errands, etc., give a lot of consideration to location/relative convenience.  The facility we ended up in was about 2 miles from my home, and across the street from my daughter's school.  It was very easy to provide support to my mom being so close. 

Hope these suggestions are helpful to you and your brother as you assist your parents in navigating the transition.   My mom's move to assisted living went pretty smoothly, and we were all glad it happened when it did.  It allowed her to have a good quality of life with the necessary level of support for her last few months, and greatly relieved the burden on us.
Wherever you go, there you are

Candace

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #96 on: February 18, 2018, 01:20:29 PM »
Oh my, I am so glad to be reading this now! I just started looking for assisted living for my parents, or rather added it to my to-do list but have not jumped in yet.

My brother and I work well as a team and that is a big relief for me.

My Dad is being difficult to work with and cannot organize his mind to find an assisted living place on his own. He can barely can manage his medication. Recently the fire department is called to their apartment twice per week to pick one of them up off of the ground after falling.

They didn't plan for anything and do not have any assets. Luckily they have Social Security, a Navy pension, and a Veterans Administration "Aid & Assistance" benefit to help pay for assisted living. That doesn't look like it will cover the whole cost and I am NOT looking forward to paying the extra money each month. I know I am not required to do that, and I can choose what I am willing to pay for and what I am willing to do.

I resent them for not saving or planning, and now I may be spending money on their retirement instead of paying my own debts and saving for my retirement!

I've decided that I am leaving on a vacation with my girlfriend for the next two weeks, and will not deal with parents issues while away. When I get back if my parents aren't fully cooperating I am getting a lawyer to pursue forced power of attorney over them for their own safety. I don't know if that is the correct legal term.

I am willing to help provide their needs, I am not willing to stress myself out on their bullshit. Oh yeah, I do love them and I feel compassion for them. I just have worked very hard to grow up, overcome family difficulties, and improve my life since becoming an adult. I do not want their chaos to ruin the life I enjoy today.

~edit - grammar

It is great that you and your brother are on the same page.

Some suggestions from my search for assisted living for my  mom (she moved into the place we chose about a year ago, recently passed away from congestive heart failure):

1)  Take the time to request/go through the state reports on each facility you are considering.  They are usually done on an annual or biannual basis.  They ALL will have problems, but some are more serious than others -- we ruled out one facility because they had repeated problems with their elevator inspections not being done on time/addressed in a timely way.  In a memory care facility. 

2)  Learn a little bit about the underlying financials and have a look toward how that may impact future fees.  The facility with the elevator problems had recently been bought out by a large conglomerate, and had VERY ambitious profit goals to pay off the underlying loans.  They were also offering big move in discounts -- bigger than other places.   I read that as a "get the bodies in the building and then we can jack up the rates later" kind of situation.  Another red flag.

3)  Find out what their policies are re: medicaid or other supplemental funding.  The facility my mom moved into had a policy that once you had been there two years paying market rates, if you money ran out they would keep you as a medicaid patient.  If you can find this in a facility that offers memory care/skilled nursing, even better.  My mom didn't have diagnosed cognitive issues, and the nature of her illness meant she probably wouldn't live that long/would eventually have a quick decline, so that wasn't such an issue for us.  But with your parents issues with repeated falls and possible cognitive issues, this might be worth paying a bit more for up front if it ensures that after a certain amount of time they can have the care they need with other forms of support than from you and your brother.

4)  If at all possible, meet/talk with residents and their families WHO ARE NOT INTRODUCED TO YOU BY THE FACILITY.  I met with both, but the people I found through my own channels were much more candid.   The main issue people had with the facility we chose was the food, which admittedly wasn't great.  But my mom had lost her sense of taste, so great food wasn't going to taste much different.   People had very good things to say about the staff/management of the facility, even though it was an older building.  That turned out to be very important -- the nursing director in particular was a saint, and worked very well with hospice once they came into the picture.

5)  Be attentive to how the representatives of the facility interact/respond to you.  The facility we chose was very responsive.  There was one close by at a similar price point that was much harder to deal with -- didn't return calls or emails, tried not to show me the annual reports (pretended they didn't know what I was talking about), etc.  I pretty quickly decided that if they behaved that way during the sales process, things wouldn't be better once mom was a resident.

6)  Don't be fooled by the flash.   We held off making a decision until we saw another highly recommended facility.  It was beautiful.  But the cheapest room was nearly double the monthly cost of the facility we chose in the end, and the other fees for care, etc were also much more expensive -- maybe not double, but at least 30-50% higher.  Mom could have afforded it, but it seemed like overkill and I think the tiny room (it was like a small hotel room, really -- not much room for anything but a bed) would have been claustrophobic for her.

7)  If you are going to be involved in day to day support -- transport to medical appointments, running errands, etc., give a lot of consideration to location/relative convenience.  The facility we ended up in was about 2 miles from my home, and across the street from my daughter's school.  It was very easy to provide support to my mom being so close. 

Hope these suggestions are helpful to you and your brother as you assist your parents in navigating the transition.   My mom's move to assisted living went pretty smoothly, and we were all glad it happened when it did.  It allowed her to have a good quality of life with the necessary level of support for her last few months, and greatly relieved the burden on us.
Thank you for the very informative post.

PKate

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #97 on: February 18, 2018, 02:24:18 PM »
Reading this thread makes me realize my DH and I need to have a serious talk with his parents.  They will most likely move in with us at some point  and they never want to be put in a nursing home.  It seems like it is a very good idea to start working on this before they get to a point where they can't live on their own.   

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #98 on: February 18, 2018, 05:16:09 PM »
Reading this thread makes me realize my DH and I need to have a serious talk with his parents.  They will most likely move in with us at some point  and they never want to be put in a nursing home.  It seems like it is a very good idea to start working on this before they get to a point where they can't live on their own.

Yes.  Yes it is.  Have been watching some family go through related issues now which are difficult.  (Due to an unforeseen death several years ago.)  It helps to be ahead of the curve, start thinking and planning, getting the family on board who need to be on board.  Before that, though, you'll want to have some discussions with DH about the boundaries you two will have re: the parents - although it sounds like you're on top of it and have probably already done so. 

Sibley

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Re: aging parents are killing me!
« Reply #99 on: February 18, 2018, 05:25:49 PM »
Not just moves to care facilities - any big change that you know is going to have to happen. Start talking early. If they end up screaming at you that they'll NEVER leave their house, so be it. Because that idea is going to get planted and start to grow in their heads.

My parents will be significantly downsizing at some point, and will have a very hard time doing so. At the moment it appears that they're going to end up with about a million chairs and small tables in a small apartment. Mom thinks that she's willing to get rid of a lot of stuff, and in some respects she is. I don't think it'll be as easy as she thinks though. And yes, the first time we raised the prospect of them moving, there was actual screaming. We've made a lot of progress since then.