I looked for a subforum on elderly people, but we don't have one.
The last month has been so chaotic, sad & scary.
My Aunt broke her back and is currently in a rehabilitation center (Nursing Home) and I'm quite afraid she will not be able to return to living on her own. I take care of her, along with my sister in law.
My Uncle on the other side of the family left the rehabilitation center the day before my Aunt went in. He was told that he shouldn't leave, but left. Long story short, his son isn't capable of making any decisions involving his care - in fact, when he was discharged he was specifically told he was home-bound and could not drive. My cousin thinks his dad is either a burden or he isn't able to care for him, so my family has had to step in.
Anyone else here had to take care of elderly relatives? Its so hard. My uncle has to take a driving test tomorrow (3 hours long) he is 85 & I know and quietly hope he won't pass, he is a danger on the roads. We want to move him into a memory care assisted living apartment, his son says he can stay home alone - even though a social worker, PT, OT, RN & his doctor say he is unsafe to be left alone. The poor guy can't even leave to get groceries & his son only stops by once a week. I signed him up for Meals on Wheels, so we know he is getting one good meal a day. If we prepare food for him & bring it over, he has to call three or four times for instructions on how to heat it up - so MOW was a good choice.
My parents died when I was 18/19 and these two people have been there for me my entire life. I want the best for them.
Do some research on elder care attorneys, find a recommended one (or two), and get a consult (or two).
Helping elderly loved ones can get very complicated and a good relationship with an elder care attorney is vital. I have a short hub on this topic and I stress the value of establishing a relationship with an experienced elder care attorney in the kind of situation you face.
meals on wheels are good, my great grandparents used to get them when they lived in special housing for the over 60's. As soon as they went in to a 'home' they deteriorated mentally. Now it's my mums turn to take care of her mum, she moved back into her house to take care of her. It's hard but worth it.
The circle of life ...
My heart goes out to you, Frany. I'm not taking care of an elderly family member right now, but I have in the past. I understand.
You've mentioned your Uncle's son a few times, so I'll share my opinion (if you dont mind): Sounds to me like he's in denial and/or is simply too selfish to be realistic. Sorry to be blunt, but it's the way I am.
You, on the other hand, clearly care for your Aunt and Uncle and their well-being, and even with the understanding of how difficult a job it is, you probably couldn't live with yourself if you did less than your best to help them.
Sometimes -- and especially with the economy the way it is -- you can find eager, helpful, reliable college students or SAHM'ss who need a little extra income. They can be SOOOO helpful, even if it's just to give you relief one day a week. But the possibilities with them are infinite, from actually moving in with your Aunt/Uncle, to daily visits, etc. They can do a lot of the running (to doctor appts, etc), and just "be there" as a comforting source of companionship. This would give you the time and break you need for the rest of your responsibilities, AND allow you some of that all-important "me" time we women are bad about.
I wish your family all the best.
Lynda, you hit the nail on the head in regard to my Uncle's son. Selfish.
Sometimes ya just need to vent!
My Uncle doesn't want to pay for Meals On Wheels, so I highly doubt he'll let a college student take care of him. We need to move him into assisted living with memory care.
Well, sounds like you know what to do. Don't let folks like his son make you any less confident. My mother took my grandmother (her mom) OUT of an assisted living facility, and Grandma has been depressed, lonely, and bored ever since. She LOVED her little apt. in her beautiful facility, and LOVED the socialization if provided, as well as the assisted-independence.
And feel free to vent, lady. You're right: It's helpful.
Just a little tid bit of trivia: It was my grandmother (my step father's mother) who started Meals on Wheels. Isn't that cool? (I think it is; LOL) She and a group of her elderly friends, in fact.
We've lived caregiving for quite some time with my wifes dad and now her mom. A whole host of issues including two falls; visits to the hospital, rehab, assisted living, another fall, back into rehab, now in long term care.
Many caregivers describe themselves as frantic, frazzled and frustrated. It is a very tough responsibility. When you're in it, you totally understand the concept of "caring for the caregiver" -- giving yourself time to recoup.
This is why my wife and I started The CareGiver Partnership -- to provide some help to other caregivers.
I for one am taking care of one - she fell in the bathroom just recently (she fell just after Christmas in 2011) and bled on her head. She can barely walk anymore and she doesn't eat or drink much, let alone Boost and water. She was talking to what I think dead relatives and her urine is dark. I knew that she is dying and she has a short time to live. I have to deal with this and it's very stressful.
But I always make time for myself in this situation. I walk in place, do weight training, do Oxycise! (which releases the majority of the stress because I tighten my stomach and lower body after I inhale and keep them tight as I exhale), eat right, and meditate. I also do Emotional Freedom Technique, say affirmations, and pray. All of those things really pull me together at that trying time.
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