Is it time for Assisted Living?

by Teri

I've been caring for my mother for six years, after divorce from my stepfather. Mom suffered a brain aneurysm in 1991, and she has various disabilities from this.

In April 2012, mom moved in with my husband and me. The "care plan" has been adult day care 2 days per week with a third day added recently, plus 4 hours of private duty caregiving until this past month, when mom started to have nausea and vomiting, and she was hospitalized.

Now, today she was discharged from hospital to subacute rehab. We have options at discharge from rehab of either (1) return home to continue adult day care and private duty care increased because doctors say she needs 24/7 care; or assisted living.

After calculations, I have determined the costs will be the same whether we place mom in assisted living or keep her at our home with 5 days per week adult day care and 8 hours day private duty care.

She has four years of "resources" available for her care, regardless if we spend down her assets or place her in assisted living I don't know what decision to make for my mother at this time.

We have had a change of circumstances since my mom moved in with us. I have taken another job that requires me to be away from home significant hours, and my husband, semi retired, took on a full time job.

My mother lives in our furnished basement apartment, which is quite comfortable. We have a few weeks to decide, as mom is in the rehab facility, and the assisted living facility is part of the rehab facility. Please give me your feedback and input.

I want what is best for my mom, and I wish that i could provide it, but it is not working to have mom home. She needs a special diet, and she has dementia, anxiety and depression.

If she goes into assisted living, will continue to be her "caregiver" because I am Power of Attorney. Thanks for your help.

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Is it time for Assisted Living?
by: Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you very much for your comments and insight. At this time, we are planning to bring mom back home to continue to live with us, and we will just purchase more care at home, or send her to the day care facility 5 days per week, if necessary.

At some point, within 4 years, she will run out of money. I dont know what we will do at that time. We may need to file for medical assistace and place her in a nursing facility. This is the difficulty for me.

We do our best to provide care, then she ends up a ward of the state. I hope she passes into the next world before she reaches that state of indignity.

We are also in the role of caregivers from afar, as my dear mother-in-law, who will be 90 soon, resides with my sister-in-law (my husband's sister)who live 45 minutes from our home.

So we are "monitoring" this weekend, as my sister in law and her husband are out of town for the holiday weekend. She is ailing and has Hospice involved now. It is difficult for me to see my mother and mother-in-law ailing and struggling in similar ways.

When they were in their "right mind" and relatively healthy, things seemed to roll well, but when their is poor health, especially dementia, this is very exhausting, especially when you have a full time job! Thanks for sharing and listening!

My thoughts ~
by: Anonymous

First off, bless you and your husband for your love and support of your Mother. I too have my Mom living with us.

I keep asking myself how I would feel if I was going through what my Mom would I feel about going into a facility? And how would I feel about my kids ? Would I want them to keep me or would I feel guilt about being a burden?

It's hard because my Mom asked me to promise NEVER to put her in a nursing home. She went to visit her Mother in one, for a year and a half. It was so awful, and the guilt she felt each time she had to say goodbye was terrible.

My Grandmother died much sooner than she would have, if she had been kept at home. If you can continue to pay for outside help, do it. I think your Mom will benefit and so will you.

The only time I can see putting my Mom in a facility would be, if she needed the kind of medical equipment only available there. It is hard. But it sounds like if you can do daycare...that's great. And our parents did take care of us for probably longer than we will them.

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