Seeking Advice for Moving Parents into Assisted Living

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lyonsacc

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Aug 31, 2012
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Cincinnati, OH
My parents are moving from their house in Indians/Brown's territory to assisted living in Bengals/Red's territory. My Dad, who got me hooked on woodworking when I was maybe 8 or 10, has been hit hard with dementia the last couple of months. He'll be going into a memory care unit and my mom into an assisted living unit. He has been giving me most of his tools over the past couple years as his abilities declined. Anyway, I'm sure some of you have had to do the same. Any advice to help on their end of things or my end of things (since we have lived at different ends of the state for 30+ years?
 
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1shootist

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Dec 2, 2018
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Ennis/Waxahachie Texas
One thing to keep in mind, if either will be using medicare / aid to help pay for the bills for staying...any property, savings etc still in your parents names should be taken out of theirs and gifted or "sold" to you or another sibiling. If not they will loss it...ESPECIALLY savings.
 

John Eldeen

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Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
419
Location
Sacramento, CA
One thing to keep in mind, if either will be using medicare / aid to help pay for the bills for staying...any property, savings etc still in your parents names should be taken out of theirs and gifted or "sold" to you or another sibiling. If not they will loss it...ESPECIALLY savings.
Unfortunately you correct Russ
 

Humongous

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Feb 20, 2019
Messages
158
Location
Canandaigua, NY
You need to look at the regulations. I know here in NY there is a 5 year statute on gifting. My Dad has been proactive the past few years gifting to me and my brother. We have not been spending any of it until it matures past the 5 years. I believe it would have to be repayed if within the 5 years.
 

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
10,087
Location
Medina, Ohio
Hi Dave. We went through this with my Mom from 2017-2019, until she passed away last January. Now we are assisting my wife's parents (both are 94) who are staying in their home with hired health aides.

You asked for input on "their" end and "your" end. I suspect you have handle on assisting them, as that is what we focus on first - the best arrangements for them.

So I'll just give a thought to... "You." My Mom's personality changed dramatically in the last 5-8 years, and not for the better. It was terribly stressful. This may occur with your Dad (I suspect you know this). Try mightly to keep in mind - this is not how he was, and this is not his choice. I tried to remember this, but at times it was a real chore. Be kind to yourself if your patience is tried, it is understandable.

Try to keep a balance for your needs and theirs. Right now, my wife and I are in a much better frame of reference for dealing with her parents (her Mother has dementia), than we were 4 years ago when my Mom went through this.

Try to keep both as active in the social opportunities at the facility as you can. When possible, accompany them to these activities at first to ease the transition. Make sure your Mom can get to see your Dad as often as desired.

I have a lot more I could share, but this is a good highlight for my thoughts.

I hope this stage of their and your journey goes as well as can be.
 

MTViper

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Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
644
Location
Clyde, Texas
I'd been living far away from home for 30 years when we decided to move nearer my parents and my wife's mother. My parents got indignant when I mentioned we moved back to help them out. About a month later she fell and broke her hip and was glad we were there. My dad got dementia and he was such a quiet man, he was very advanced before we were able to get it diagnosed. We put him in a dementia ward 20 miles from home just before taking care of him put my mother in a hospital. Intellectually, she knew deep down that he was better off there and she was better off with him there, but emotionally, she questioned the decision until she passed.

Some suggestions for you from my experience:
1. Someone needs to visit frequently. Either my mother or I visited every day. On Sundays we all went. Even the best facility gets overwhelmed at times. The more attention you show your Dad, the more they will, too.
2. Arrange for some comfort items for your Dad. My dad liked music so we had a CD player in his room and a television. We had some 6 hour country music videos he would watch over and over. If your dad is a reader, make sure he's got things to read.
3. Put a label in all his clothes. Most facilities do laundry too but that's the way to make sure it gets back to your dad.
4. Most dementia patients remember events in the past but not recent events. When you visit, get him talking about things you've done together. You may learn something, I did.
5. Take care of your mother. She'll probably be there visiting him more than you will. She'll need your support.
6. Don't be surprised if you show up one day and he doesn't remember who you are. He never forgot me, but he did my youngest brother and my mother. That hurt her the most.
7. Find someone you can talk with. This is going to be a trying time no matter how long it lasts.

You're in our prayers.
 

gbpens

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Homer Glen, IL
Any assets held jointly could be a problem if one refuses to sell. Try to get their names off those assets. Power of attorney is not adequate. It is extremely difficult to have someone declared incompetent. I went through this with a brother.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
2,056
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
I have a few words of advice other than what's been written up here. You need to see an Estate Attorney and a good Accountant. It will cost you some money but will be a big help in the long run.
All states have different laws pertaining to assets and how they are to be handled and things that are legal or limits set don't apply to all states, even if so stated in a trust. Get legal advice in the state where your parents are living, not your state of residence.
 

Monty

Group Buy Coordinator
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Mar 4, 2005
Messages
7,824
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Pearland, Texas, USA.
This in Jan, Mrs Monty,
These are difficult situations for all family members involved. My mom was in the most wonderful assisted living facility in the world. Yes, she was Medicaid, so money was not the reason for the outstanding care. The staff, from doctors, to cleaning people, truly cared about these souls. Make the staff your friend. Let them know you appreciate their work, It is difficult and often thankless work. The difficult situations to come will be easier to deal with if you are working with people you respect, trust, and they feel the same about you. Visit often as you can, be sure to talk to other residents, too. Many people have no one. Mannie and I wish you and your family the very best.
 

leehljp

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Feb 6, 2005
Messages
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Location
Tunica, MS,
One thing I notice with such situations is how the personality of the children takes or adapts to the changing dementia of the parents. It is hard on the children but the parent is not the same mom or dad that raised them. Prepare your self for this change. I have watched many aging parents go through changes and lash out, curse, say things one would not believe because they never did that before. That is not your parents, that is dementia and sometimes meds. I have a cousin that could not forgive her brother when that happened to him and he lashed out. That wasn't the cousin I knew, it was the dementia. But my cousin is still mad today at her brother for his dementia outburst and he has been gone several years.

Prepare yourself and family not to take dementia outbursts personally. It is difficult but if you are aware that it is the dementia not the parent that raised you, it helps.

I never saw my dad cry, but after coming out of heart surgery 30+ years ago, he cried for almost 3 days. The doctor and nurses said the medicine was causing that. It opened my eyes to what chemicals/meds can do to alter a person's personality quickly. And Dementia is even worse. Love them in their dementia and remember it is not who they would like to be if they had a choice. If you are prepared for that even just a little, it can help you to have an understanding and compassionate heart in their dementia turmoil.
 

ramaroodle

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Feb 15, 2018
Messages
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Seattle
I can't stress enough how beneficial it was to retain an "elder care attorney." That is what instantly reduced my stress level by 75%. She knew what to do 10 steps ahead of things I didn't even consider so the transition was managed well. There is no cost to you as the attorney is technically retained by your parents.
 

jttheclockman

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Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
14,325
Location
NJ, USA.
Boy all this stuff brings back memories and what Hank said is so true. Lost my Dad 14 years ago and Mom 4 years ago. Saw the ugly turn at the end but understood it all. For us there was basically no monetary issues and what was left went to pay bills and the rest was in a will divided 4 ways. We were a tight knit family due to my parents but we have all drifted since and not sure how it all plays out but the memories will always be there.
 

tomas

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Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
444
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
We have been through this, as well. My dad passed about 4 years ago at 93 and my mother passed last October at 94. Fortunately for us neither had issues with dementia, other than "Irish Oldtimers" where they seem to just remember negative issues. My parents created a family trust and placed all of their assets in the trust. This was a big help since I am 1 of 4 siblings. They lived in the deep woods of North Idaho and when it became apparent that they could not safely remain there, we arranged for them to go to an assisted living facility close to my home in CO. It was good to have them close and it was also extremely taxing. My wife and I were their main outside care givers for 4 years until my dad passed. We then moved mom to and assisted living facility in NM close to my brother and he took over. I would think it would be better if they could be together, if not, at least close to each other. As was said above, be sure to make time for you and your wife, this is no picnic but it is worth the effort. Also, pre-planning and purchasing final arrangements is extremely helpful.
Good Luck,
Tomas
 

howsitwork

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Jul 9, 2016
Messages
885
Location
Thirsk
Just lost a good friend of 30 years to dementia before christmas. As many have mentioned prepare yourself for out bursts which are not “them” . The people you knew are changing, not through choice and you have to accept that.

Remind them and remember or dwell on the good times you’ve all had. This is good for them and helps you, believe me it helps you cope.

Above all keep talking to each other about them as well so everyone shares a common understanding of what’s going on.

Ian
 

Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
Messages
3,292
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Cleveland, TN
One thing to keep in mind, if either will be using medicare / aid to help pay for the bills for staying...any property, savings etc still in your parents names should be taken out of theirs and gifted or "sold" to you or another sibling. If not they will loss it...ESPECIALLY savings.
I did a trust with my mother's estate but a trust had to be in effect for five years in order for Uncle Sam to keep his mitts off. Consequently, I had to pay out a chunk of $$$ each month for her nursing home. I would check with an attorney and/or CPA on this. Also, my mother was in a great nursing home. Only one I have been if that didn't smell like pee.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
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Location
Wolf Creek Montana
Here's a book that my wife found very helpful with her mom's condition. "The 36-hour Day" by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins. Also look up Teepa Snow on a google search. My wife and I went to a meeting with her and it's very informative and keeps it at a personal level instead of a technical level.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
7,549
Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
I really don't have any input in this. I lost my dad in 1989 from a massive heart attack. he was only 74 at the time and still working when he felt like it... he was moving a cord of wood that the had cut "to have something to do" when the heart attack happened.
My mom died at 88 in a nursing home near my older sister. She was beginning to develop some dementia. She often talked as if Dad would be coming in any minute... they had been divorced since 1955 and hardly spoke to each other. My mother married 4 times after the divorce, but in her later years hardly ever mentioned any of the husbands... the first two marriage only lasted a few months as the men tended to be a little overbearing in her eyes. The third marriage lasted 22 years (she and dad were only married 16 years).. sad thing was, my youngest sister, a product of the 3rd marriage visited her at the home and she didn't recognize her... she thought she was a cousin she grew up with.
Personally, I'm more afraid of dementia or some other mind debilitating disease than I am of anything physical.
 

lyonsacc

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Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
1,595
Location
Cincinnati, OH
You need to look at the regulations. I know here in NY there is a 5 year statute on gifting. My Dad has been proactive the past few years gifting to me and my brother. We have not been spending any of it until it matures past the 5 years. I believe it would have to be repayed if within the 5 years.
I think we are 7 years in ohio.
 

lyonsacc

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Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
1,595
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Hi Dave. We went through this with my Mom from 2017-2019, until she passed away last January. Now we are assisting my wife's parents (both are 94) who are staying in their home with hired health aides.

You asked for input on "their" end and "your" end. I suspect you have handle on assisting them, as that is what we focus on first - the best arrangements for them.

So I'll just give a thought to... "You." My Mom's personality changed dramatically in the last 5-8 years, and not for the better. It was terribly stressful. This may occur with your Dad (I suspect you know this). Try mightly to keep in mind - this is not how he was, and this is not his choice. I tried to remember this, but at times it was a real chore. Be kind to yourself if your patience is tried, it is understandable.

Try to keep a balance for your needs and theirs. Right now, my wife and I are in a much better frame of reference for dealing with her parents (her Mother has dementia), than we were 4 years ago when my Mom went through this.

Try to keep both as active in the social opportunities at the facility as you can. When possible, accompany them to these activities at first to ease the transition. Make sure your Mom can get to see your Dad as often as desired.

I have a lot more I could share, but this is a good highlight for my thoughts.

I hope this stage of their and your journey goes as well as can be.
Yes - I've heard my dad swear more in the past couple of months than in all my previous years.
 

lyonsacc

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
1,595
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I'd been living far away from home for 30 years when we decided to move nearer my parents and my wife's mother. My parents got indignant when I mentioned we moved back to help them out. About a month later she fell and broke her hip and was glad we were there. My dad got dementia and he was such a quiet man, he was very advanced before we were able to get it diagnosed. We put him in a dementia ward 20 miles from home just before taking care of him put my mother in a hospital. Intellectually, she knew deep down that he was better off there and she was better off with him there, but emotionally, she questioned the decision until she passed.

Some suggestions for you from my experience:
1. Someone needs to visit frequently. Either my mother or I visited every day. On Sundays we all went. Even the best facility gets overwhelmed at times. The more attention you show your Dad, the more they will, too.
2. Arrange for some comfort items for your Dad. My dad liked music so we had a CD player in his room and a television. We had some 6 hour country music videos he would watch over and over. If your dad is a reader, make sure he's got things to read.
3. Put a label in all his clothes. Most facilities do laundry too but that's the way to make sure it gets back to your dad.
4. Most dementia patients remember events in the past but not recent events. When you visit, get him talking about things you've done together. You may learn something, I did.
5. Take care of your mother. She'll probably be there visiting him more than you will. She'll need your support.
6. Don't be surprised if you show up one day and he doesn't remember who you are. He never forgot me, but he did my youngest brother and my mother. That hurt her the most.
7. Find someone you can talk with. This is going to be a trying time no matter how long it lasts.

You're in our prayers.
Thanks! Fortunately her unit is only about150 yards from his.
 

lyonsacc

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
1,595
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Any assets held jointly could be a problem if one refuses to sell. Try to get their names off those assets. Power of attorney is not adequate. It is extremely difficult to have someone declared incompetent. I went through this with a brother.
working on a lot of that now.
 

sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
3,180
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I'd been living far away from home for 30 years when we decided to move nearer my parents and my wife's mother. My parents got indignant when I mentioned we moved back to help them out. About a month later she fell and broke her hip and was glad we were there. My dad got dementia and he was such a quiet man, he was very advanced before we were able to get it diagnosed. We put him in a dementia ward 20 miles from home just before taking care of him put my mother in a hospital. Intellectually, she knew deep down that he was better off there and she was better off with him there, but emotionally, she questioned the decision until she passed.

Some suggestions for you from my experience:
1. Someone needs to visit frequently. Either my mother or I visited every day. On Sundays we all went. Even the best facility gets overwhelmed at times. The more attention you show your Dad, the more they will, too.
2. Arrange for some comfort items for your Dad. My dad liked music so we had a CD player in his room and a television. We had some 6 hour country music videos he would watch over and over. If your dad is a reader, make sure he's got things to read.
3. Put a label in all his clothes. Most facilities do laundry too but that's the way to make sure it gets back to your dad.
4. Most dementia patients remember events in the past but not recent events. When you visit, get him talking about things you've done together. You may learn something, I did.
5. Take care of your mother. She'll probably be there visiting him more than you will. She'll need your support.
6. Don't be surprised if you show up one day and he doesn't remember who you are. He never forgot me, but he did my youngest brother and my mother. That hurt her the most.
7. Find someone you can talk with. This is going to be a trying time no matter how long it lasts.

You're in our prayers.
A note on the music/tv/cds. Make sure you have headphones. His neighbors may not share his taste in music.
 

lyonsacc

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
1,595
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I have a few words of advice other than what's been written up here. You need to see an Estate Attorney and a good Accountant. It will cost you some money but will be a big help in the long run.
All states have different laws pertaining to assets and how they are to be handled and things that are legal or limits set don't apply to all states, even if so stated in a trust. Get legal advice in the state where your parents are living, not your state of residence.
Fortunately my wife and I are both CPAs and she is quite good with these issues, and we have good contacts with lawyers as well. ( although getting calls returned from their lawyer has been a problem)
 

lyonsacc

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
1,595
Location
Cincinnati, OH
This in Jan, Mrs Monty,
These are difficult situations for all family members involved. My mom was in the most wonderful assisted living facility in the world. Yes, she was Medicaid, so money was not the reason for the outstanding care. The staff, from doctors, to cleaning people, truly cared about these souls. Make the staff your friend. Let them know you appreciate their work, It is difficult and often thankless work. The difficult situations to come will be easier to deal with if you are working with people you respect, trust, and they feel the same about you. Visit often as you can, be sure to talk to other residents, too. Many people have no one. Mannie and I wish you and your family the very best.
Thanks! We are only 2 miles away from the facility they will be at. Great idea to pay the staff some extra attention!
 

lyonsacc

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
1,595
Location
Cincinnati, OH
One thing I notice with such situations is how the personality of the children takes or adapts to the changing dementia of the parents. It is hard on the children but the parent is not the same mom or dad that raised them. Prepare your self for this change. I have watched many aging parents go through changes and lash out, curse, say things one would not believe because they never did that before. That is not your parents, that is dementia and sometimes meds. I have a cousin that could not forgive her brother when that happened to him and he lashed out. That wasn't the cousin I knew, it was the dementia. But my cousin is still mad today at her brother for his dementia outburst and he has been gone several years.

Prepare yourself and family not to take dementia outbursts personally. It is difficult but if you are aware that it is the dementia not the parent that raised you, it helps.

I never saw my dad cry, but after coming out of heart surgery 30+ years ago, he cried for almost 3 days. The doctor and nurses said the medicine was causing that. It opened my eyes to what chemicals/meds can do to alter a person's personality quickly. And Dementia is even worse. Love them in their dementia and remember it is not who they would like to be if they had a choice. If you are prepared for that even just a little, it can help you to have an understanding and compassionate heart in their dementia turmoil.
Thanks Lee!
 

sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
3,180
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Went through this a few years ago. Shop around CAREFULLY for a memory care facility. Talk to the people who live there, and their visitors. Have lunch in their dining room to see what the food is like. Find out if there is an RN on the floor 24/7. Find out what the rules are concerning what they can have in their rooms. (TV, small refrigerator, computer?) Get a private room if possible...roommates can be a crap shoot. Ask if they have resident therapy animals (ours had a pair of golden retrievers and a large cat who had the run of the place except at mealtimes). Find out if they provide transportation to medical appointments if the resident is in a wheelchair or cannot ride in a personal car.

For the assisted living, find out what the houskeeping service provides. Do they have assistance with getting up, dressing, bathing, etc if necessary? Are meals included? If so, eat there to see what the food is like. Do they have WIFI? Are there RNs on staff? Find out if there are regularly scheduled shopping excursions for ambulatory residents.

Our relative was in assisted living for several years and went to a nursing home when he could no longer live alone, in his 90s. We were very happy with both facilities.
 
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