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  #1  
Old June 27th, 2003, 04:19 PM
PapaBill PapaBill is offline
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Default Dealing with the Older Folks

My inlaws are approaching 80. In the past few years we've seen them through heart surgeries, eye surgeries, hip replacement, knee replacement and just last week shoulder surgery for my father in law who fell going down a single step in his yard.
Last night at 11pm the phone rang (never good news at that hour). My father in law
(Gus) had just been taken by ambulance to his local hospital,chest pains, can we come? (my mother in law does not drive). By 2:30 am they had diagnosed bleeding ulcer was causing his severe chest pains. They live on their own but I'm not sure how much longer. Neither can negotiate the steps at their house (and there are many), they don't get the doctors instructions right and don't understand what is happening to them.
Example, I asked my mother in law what medications she told the doctor my father in law was taking. "just the heart medication , that's all " was her reply.
I said, "what about the antibiotic and pain killers from last week's surgery?" "oh yes that to" was her reply. But she hadn't told that to the emergency room doctor.
Then Gram said," Mom, what about the cholesterol medication and the blood pressure medication ?" " Oh yes that too" was her reply. None of this had been told to the doctor. Under a little more scrutiny it turns out they also left out the baby aspirin he takes daily as well as a regular use of laxitives. The doctor knew about none of this.
Gram grabbed the nurse and had it all added to his chart and someone filled in the doctor.
They are fiercly independent, but last night was a good example of their not being able to care for themselves. We want to move them to an over 55 condo community about a mile from us, one floor condos, with many services available. Also close enough to physically check on them every day. Monthly maintenance charges would run them about $600 . My father in law worries where that money will come from. We remind him that if he sells his house , he would have enough money left over to pay the maintenance for about 40 years (and I don't think he'll make it to 120).
There are similar issues for my Dad who lives 165 miles away , alone.
We each got an hour and 45 minutes sleep last night before we got up for work this morning .It reminded me of the nights awake with my kids and grandkids and the same nights awake that my Dad and inlaws spent with Gram and I as babies. It is kind of interesting how the roles reverse in the later years.
No real point to this story I guess other than the ranting of a tired Papa.
Thanks for listening.
Two Grandchildren off to Hawk's Cay Resort in the Keys tomorrow , I think I'll go hang out with little Donald in the morning.
Have a nice weekend everyone.
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  #2  
Old June 27th, 2003, 04:50 PM
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Carole and Johnny Carole and Johnny is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

God Bless you PapaBill. I hope you can get them settled into a place that will care for them and you can rest a little easier.
HUGS - Carole

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Old June 27th, 2003, 04:52 PM
pamda pamda is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

Been there -- still there -- still doing it.

As you consider your options, ask a good lawyer about a "Miller Trust."
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Old June 27th, 2003, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

As others on this board with aging parents, I sure can relate Papa Bill. I hope you will be able to work things out as far as getting them closer to you. It is such a comfort to know that they are getting the care they need. They are lucky to have a loving and caring family to call on. I hope things work out for all of you.

Phyll

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Old June 27th, 2003, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

PapBill I hope everthing turns out alright with your father in law. My grandparents are extremely independant as well. It's a hard situation with no easy answer. I hope you get a better nights sleep tonight.

Tasha

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Old June 27th, 2003, 07:53 PM
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You will have to insist that they move closer to you. I had to do this about 6 yeras ago. My in-laws were in their late 80's, living in a split level home, going up or down to go to the bathroom. Well, I had a phone call just about every day from a neighbor, or the first aid in town, about Dad falling down the stairs. I was working full time at the time, and nearly lost my job for leaving and taking care of them so often.. I finally insisted that they move to a senior housing developement 3 miles away from us.
They did move, but hated every moment of it. as they were unwilling to change their life style. They ended up in a nursing home near us, in the end, as they needed more care than I could give them. They stayed there for about 3 years, at the cost of $1040.00 for the two a month, plus medication. It was a great nursing home, and they received the best of care. They went through their entire estate, and were about 2 weeks away from Medicaid when the surviivng one, Mom, died. She never wanted to be a charity case, and she wasn't, I was able to tell her. She died with her pride intact!
I do know what you are going through, as I have been there. I don't regret what we had to do. I did 90 % of it , as my husband was too far away at work to take care of his parents.
Bill, do what you have to do, and don't let them lay a "guilt trip" on you.
The very best to you, Ginnie
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Old June 27th, 2003, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

PapaBill, sorry to hear of the trials and tribulations of the "old'uns". Not quite at that point yet with my mom who is 73 and still doing ok on her own, but I remember her having to deal with her aging parents and aunt for many years. I just hope I can be as strong for her when she needs my help. Hang in there, and do what you gotta do, just know that you did your best.

donna

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Old June 27th, 2003, 10:15 PM
Angela Z. Angela Z. is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

Papa Bill.
If there's anyone who knows this story it's me......we moved our dad (he's 84 and has Alzheimers) down to Orlando last fall. We have peace of mind now that he's living in a stepped facility...he's still in independant living (probably not for much longer and only now because my sister and I are very involved). He's here and he's safe......of course he says he's going back to NJ in 3 weeks......he's been saying this since he got here last September.....but so far hasn't bolted for the airport or hired a mover. Please keep up posted.
Angela Z.
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  #9  
Old June 27th, 2003, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

I don't think there is any shame at all in being a "charity case." That's what Medicaid and Medicare are for.

We never thought that when we moved my mom out here into an extneded care facility (about $1500/month in a private apartment with only a health care aide 2x week) that within two years it would be $5000/month as her needs increased.

My parents were clever. The major bucks are tied up in trusts and can't be touched. But her capital (sale of property, etc.) could be invaded for expenses. The answer is a "Miller Trust". I don't think there is a shred of pride to be had in spending all the money a person worked so hard to acquire during their lifetimes. G*d knows, my parents paid enough in taxes during their long lives and my brother and I are shoveling it straight to Uncle Sam.

Arguably. my mom came into "the joint" with considerably more asssets than the lady next to her who had never even owned her own home. But, how, please, is it "fair" that a lady who never worked and never accrued any assets should get a free ride while they are dinging my mom for $5K/month?

Mom still does have some unprotected income, all of which has to go to "the home."

So, for those of you/us with aging parents, look seriously at the options and keep the last years of their lives from bleeding them dry. After all. we've paid for it.
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Old June 28th, 2003, 01:08 AM
Ginnie
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

Pamda,
I agree with you 100 %, and feel the same as you do about Medicaid. The problem with some older people is, that their believes are not the same, and they are not willing to put their savings into a trust to protect it from going to a nursing home later on. By the time they want to do so, it's too late, because of the 3 year legal period. It's very complex, as their lawyer tried in vain to protect their assets to no avail.
By the way, I left a zero off my original posting, as the monthly cost in New Jersey for a good nursing home is $10400.00 for 2. It doesn't take all that long to go through your hard earned savings.
As a result of this, my husband and I now have "long term insurance", giving us the time to protect our assets.
The best to you PapaBill,
Ginnie
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  #11  
Old June 28th, 2003, 08:26 AM
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KimJack KimJack is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

Papa Bill,
You were wrong when you said there's no real point to your story. Care for the elderly is a serious problem that should be addressed sooner rather than later. Your concern is obvious and your point is well taken. I'm not one of the folks who, like you, are concerned about their elderly parents. I'm one of the latter, in my early 70s with parents long gone and concerned about myself and my wife. And we don't want to lay it off on our kids. That's why a few years I took out a Long-Term Care policy for both Kim and myself with a reputable insurance firm. For those who can afford it, and it's much more affordable when you're younger than when you approach senility, an LTC policy is (IMHO) "peace of mind" at its best.

Pamda recommended a "Miller Trust", which is also called a Qualified Income Trust. This type of legal document is intended to deal with the income limitations of Medicaid; it does NOT protect assets. Many of the states are "spend down" states, while the rest are "income cap" states. The difference is quite important, so it pays to know what your state law says. There are many lawyers specializing in Elder Law, and it would be in one's best interest to consult an attorney in that field or in Estates, Trusts, etc. to see if a "Miller Trust" is right for you or your loved ones. A mistake in drawing one up can cause much pain and sorrow, so selection of a competent lawyer is critical.

Our best wishes to you and Gram and her folks.

Jack



Post Edited (06-28-03 11:16)
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  #12  
Old June 28th, 2003, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

I'll add my "been there, done that" to this story also. My dad passed away in 2000 and at times it was difficult at best. The plus was he lived just a few blocks from me so I could check on him every day and when I was away my sister drove over to take him shopping, etc. as she still lived in Illinois. Being a 55+ community alot of people are home during the day so that helped, too.

The worst part was when he had to stop driving due to eyesight, we had to take the car away. He was driving to the local liquor store to get his vodka, without a license of course. He was mad at me because the park office called and told me.

My mom was older than my dad, she died in 88 and we just saw a steady decline in him once she was gone. She was his energy and motivation. They did everything together, she didn't drive and 50 years they were never separate, every day she had a plan! If she didn't, he would just sit on the couch, read the paper, watch TV!

Living in a seniors area, I see stories like this all the time. Elder care issues a major problem in this country, no easy answers or good solutions.

Susie
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  #13  
Old June 28th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

Bill.. obviously there are many of us who "feel your pain". My father is 86- mother is 76, and neither is in particularily good health. In and out of hospital alot the last couple of years.
They're still in their own home, and last year after one bout where both were in the hospital at the same time, we convinced them to at least allow us to get them a live in care giver.
After their health improved slightly they were insisting they didn't want a live in any longer, and let her go, and we hired someone to come in three days a week. Shortly after they let the live in go, my mother took seriously ill again, and the part time help was really not enough to look out for my father during a very stressful time. so my sister from Pheonix came up and moved in with him for a couple of weeks.

Thankfully that "emergency" passed with a decent outcome once again.

While we would like to keep them in their own home as long as possible, for quality of life issues.... it would certainly help alot if they admitted their problems, and allowed us to hire a full time caregiver again.

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  #14  
Old June 28th, 2003, 05:34 PM
beachmom beachmom is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

We have also been there and done that. We are called the "sandwich generation"

We have both our children and our parents to worry about.

My Gram, bless her soul understood all of this way before anyone else in the family and moved herself to a tiered community. She had the forsight to transfer her assets to my mother with me as a backup except for her SS and military pension.

She spent well over 10 years in this community, traveled and generaly enjoyed herself without the worry of a home to care for. As she needed more care in her later life the only money she was required to give was her SS and her military pension.

When she turned 90 she gave everyone her personal items and took a hot air balloon ride. At 91 she booked a cruise to Alaska with a friend. At 94 she was in the nursing home in the same community and died 2 years later. She made her own funeral arrangements and paid for them years before.

When I grow up I want to be just like her. I still miss her.
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Old June 28th, 2003, 07:28 PM
Ginnie
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beachmom,
I want to be just like her too, when I grow up! What a neat lady your grandmother is, and at her age yet. This again proves to me, that "age is a matter of mind, if you don't mind it doesn't matter."
Ginnie
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Old June 30th, 2003, 12:29 AM
Kathie Kathie is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

Oh boy, what a timely topic for me. My dad and stepmother picked up and moved to FL in Jan.'98 after being snowbirds for several years. Dad felt better with the mild winters. BUT we worried constantly about their being down there by themselves with no family support system. They came "home" for the first 3 Christmases and then said no more because of the OH weather. Dad had another heart attack in early Dec. 2001, so they wouldn't have been able to come for Xmas anyway. We didn't know he hadn't been seen by a cardiologist since they moved. He'd had by-pass surgery in '81 and '90 and had regular check-ups here before they moved. The dr. that put in the stent in '01 sent him home without Lasix or bloodthinners and they didn't mention it. They had always been sensible about things before so we, including my cardiac nurse sister, made the mistake of assuming everything was going well. Then last spring his heart went out of rhythm (atral fib) and his symptoms were mis-diagnosed as bronchitis and gall bladder trouble and he underwent what was probably an unnecessary gall bladder removal, which weakened him further. They came to Dayton last summer and Dad looked so frail and weak, my heart almost broke. My nurse /sister got him in to see a good cardio dr. here and he was put on the proper meds and began to feel better almost immediately. He gained some weight and was much better when he went back to FL in Sept. In Nov. he had the shock treatment to get his heart back into rhythm and again in Feb. He had a pacemaker/defib. put in in Dec., but not the new kind that combats congestive heart failure which my sis had been campaigning for. The first dr and the new one refused to do it, even though patients here have good success with it. Sis works for Medtronic, which makes the devices and sees wonderful results with them. Dad got worse and worse and 2 weeks ago went to the hosp. with congestive heart failure. Sis had told our step-mother to take him to the ER, but she didn't think he was that bad and waited. He was really bad when she took him to the dr. and then to the ER, but after 4 days of treatment came home feeling better, but without the proper meds/doses. (The dr.'s nose was out of joint because sis had arranged for Dad to get the device here next month and he had started on a pre-op med that the dr. blamed for the problem.) Dad went back to the hosp. last Tues,.worse than before and THEN the dr. decides to put in the device we wanted him to have a year ago when he was in better shape to get it. He died on the table before the dr. started the procedure.
I am frustrated and angry with the FL drs. who mismanaged his care and wish more than ever they had never moved away. So now we are planning his memorial service and trying to cope with the death , which might have been prevented at least for a few years, of a wonderful man who meant the world to us.
My mother-in-law lives here but we have to be constantly vigilant to make sure she is taking her meds and tells us what is really going on. Last week her AC went out and she called us at 6 AM to tell us not to bother with getting someone out to check on the AC. She was fine. i left a message on the repairman's machine and while waiting for him to call back, i called mom-in-law to make sure she felt OK. No problem--HAH. When the AC guy replaced the blown fuse and added some freon and the house cooled off Mom-in-law said, "OH, I can breathe so much better now". AAARRGGHH!! I didn't specifically ask, "Can you breathe OK". I took her out and showed her the unit and told her if the house gets warma again and the fan is gooing around to call us and the AC guy again right away. We and other "kids" check on her daily, but it doesn't take long for a heart patient to feel the heat.
I know this is really long, but i guess I needed to vent.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 12:35 AM
Kathie Kathie is offline
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Oops! I rushed to post above because I had been disconnected and didn't want to lose everything when it re-connected.
I meant to say.. "if the house gets warm again and the fan is NOT going around..."
Didn't proof-read fast enough.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 08:00 AM
PapaBill PapaBill is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

Thank you for all the kind words, support , sharing of similar stories and advice.
At the moment my father in law seems to be out of any immediate danger. He seems to be receiving appropriate care.
As big a problem is my mother in law. She has never driven (not that she could now) and is house bound without my father in law.
We have been trying to get them into more appropriate senior housing , closer to us,ever since both their health started deteriorating. They resist with all kinds of excuses , but maybe now is the time they will realize they must change.
Again , thanks for the kind thoughts and words.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 08:32 AM
mbuckellew mbuckellew is offline
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

Difficult times, PapaBill. Everything will work out for the best. I hope they will realize that it'll be best for everyone if they move into senior housing. Hugs to you and Gram.

Cheers,
Michelle B.


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Old June 30th, 2003, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Dealing with the Older Folks

It is true. We enter this world as a child and leave it as a child. My parents are both in their mid 70's but relatively healthy. My mother lives near my two sisters who keep an eye on her but my father lives in the country in Missouri with no relatives near by. He has some medical problems but none which incapicitates him. Problem is, he won't leave his home in the wilderness nor his animals. I suspect some day we will get a call from a neighbor who will say they haven't seen him in a week or more and that's when we'll know he died.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old June 30th, 2003, 01:45 PM
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I feel for all of you too.....My family is in Germany and many years ago I went back there and found my mom in nursing facility that was so bad. She had a mushroom growth on her back due to poor washing and I started to look for another facility. The funny thing is she has tons of money and can pay for anything. She has a guardian but he did not see the poor conditions I saw. I made pictures, sent my complaints to the court and found her the No 1 best place in town. It cost a lot of money but I don't care. She does not understand where she is and hardly knows who I am but she is very well taken care of. My aunt is another subject.Last year she was very ill but she will not give up her own place and move in a nursing home. She has no money and would go to a normal place. Thank God she is doing better now and even goes outside with a wheel chair after 3 years staying inside! Whta would I give to be near my family.......

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