Senior Parents

Topic for older horses and older riders
Srhorselady
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Senior Parents

Postby Srhorselady » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:54 pm

I just returned from visiting my mother. She lives in a memory care home near my brother and I try to fly there every 3 to 4 months to see her. She is 87 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in her early 70s. Visiting her is always very emotionally difficult. After plateauing for a few years she has been on a downward slide this last year. She stopped recognizing my brother and me and is losing her motor skills. We are lucky to have her in a very nice place (only 3 other patients) and she is obviously content. She still smiles a lot although her speech isn't often coherent. I still love to see her and hear her voice, but I don't really feel like I still have my mother. The woman I knew is long gone. I also live with the fear that this will happen to me.

Sorry. I needed to get that out so I can get on with stuff. Having horses at home does make it difficult to get over to see her regularly, but I have made it a priority.

demi
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Re: Senior Parents

Postby demi » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:56 am

Sending you sympathy, SrHorselady. And ((((hugs))))

My mom is 88 and lives in Michigan so I can't see her as often as I'd like. I am fortunate in that she is still mentally sharp so we FaceTime often and I try to get back 2X a year. My sisters and brother all live close by her so that helps, but I feel like I should be around, too...


My grandmother had dementia starting in her 70's and she was a real pill. Dementia can be hereditary butI don't worry about my own future because of my understanding of God's Word. I read it often, and in depth. It is truly an amazing book. Please feel free to PM me if you want.

Sue B
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Re: Senior Parents

Postby Sue B » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:22 pm

I have not one, but two 86 year old ladies to keep watch over--my mom and my mil. They both live next door to us, each in their own home, each with their own pets etc. Thankfully, they never seem to have significant health issues at the same time, making it easier for me to juggle trips to doctors, dentists and the occasional er visit between work and chasing after my not-yet-driving son. Naturally, all health professionals are a 40 mile (one way) drive away, and someone always wants to go shopping and/or out to lunch. My mom is suffering from short term memory loss, panic attacks and an inability to navigate around town without TomTom or a map app--all the result of a bad fall she took right before her 85th birthday. She can be frustrating at times but, like Demi, I look to the Lord for strength and guidance most times. All my siblings and dh's siblings live elsewhere, so the day-to-days stuff is up to us, but when they visit, they do a ton to help so it's all good. :D DH's dad died at home from Alzheimer's in his late 70's, and I know that preys upon DH's mind, but he continues to work every day, keeping his mind sharp.

So stay strong ladies, and if your sibling is the primary caregiver, cut him or her a lot of slack. It ain't easy--or maybe I just suck at keeping that many balls in the air. :lol:

Srhorselady
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Re: Senior Parents

Postby Srhorselady » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:21 pm

Thank you Demi and Sue! I appreciate your comments. Sue, I kept telling my brother and sister in law how much I appreciate what they do for Mom. I only deal on my visits, they are in town daily. I do deal with my also 87 year old neighbor who has been a friend for 40 plus years. She still lives alone with 2 horses. Her family is out of state. I've had to take her to the ER twice in the last two months as well as deal with a couple of falls. She still drives herself. She recently had to pts her 29 year old mare and is now fostering a rescue to keep her other horse company. The rescue is a nice old guy but LARGE and SKINNY. He could knock her over with a nudge. He is anxious about food (didn't get his share at the Rescue) so I worry about her being in his stall. Soooo I'm cleaning his stall every evening (as well as my 5) and we are still having excessive heat warnings. Sigh. Where is Fall?

kande50
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Re: Senior Parents

Postby kande50 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:23 am

I'm grateful every day that I can walk to my mother's, and only have to go once a day because my sister does the afternoon shift I'm also relieved that she's down to 2 cats, because she did have 2 diabetic dogs, which meant that we had to go on a schedule to give them their insulin, feed them, and clean up after them because they didn't always make it outside when they needed to.

I really lucked out on the elderly parent care, as my mother didn't need much help until after I retired so I never had to fit it in around work.

Silverado
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Re: Senior Parents

Postby Silverado » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:16 pm

God Bless you all....

Kyra's Mom
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Re: Senior Parents

Postby Kyra's Mom » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:22 am

I'm there too. Both my parents are 87 y.o. Both have significant arthritis and my Dad has dementia. We have been told it is probably a mixed type.
So far, he still knows us but he is terribly confused as to place. He is sure they own more than one home and often when he wakes up, he wonders how all there stuff got to the current location...which is right where they have always been but he is sure they have multiple houses. What is normally (and IS) in the front of the house is in the back. East and west are swapped. The frustrating thing I find is that there is no reasoning with him to convince him he is in his home. His own reality is THE only one. Like you Srhorselady, I feel he is going. Some days, especially if he is more confused, there is no light in his eyes. Truly, no one is home. My Mom is getting worn out and doesn't cope with him well some days. she has trouble with the incessant questions about how they got there and the indifference he shows sometimes to taking care of basic bodily functions. I know she is with him 24/7 but for whatever reason, she won't inquire about help. My sister and I would help her monetarily with at least some intermittent help so she could get a respite but we might as well be talking to a brick wall. A couple weeks ago, he tried leaving but he was too weak to walk very far so that didn't work very well. Luckily he didn't fall.

Currently they are still in their home but the clock is ticking on that. I go over every day and help for a couple hours.I only live a mile away. My sister goes several times a week. We try to each do at least one evening meal a week then make sure they have leftovers so Mom doesn't have to do so much cooking. They had Meals on Wheels for a while but decided they didn't like that. I have to agree, some looked good but most were over cooked and pretty soggy. I have been trying to get my Mom to hire some help. Yes, she needs to get her head out of the sand and see what it takes to get Medicaid. They have few assets. They have been living off a reverse mortgage for 15 years or so and that is almost gone. Mom has a little bit and I do mean a little bit in a retirement account but that is it besides their small pensions and social security. They did go to the geriatric clinic a couple weeks ago and they gave her some help for assistance but I have yet to see her work on the paperwork. I am guessing my sister and I will just have to do it and meet with the lawyer.

Of course neither one thought they would live this long but longevity genes are present, especially in the Morgans (Dad's side of the family). I still work full time so my help is limited by that. And add in that my Dad's brother (7 years younger), who just moved back to town a couple years ago committed suicide in early August. He was having a lot of health issues and was not going into assisted living or a nursing home. I don't think he was anywhere close to that reality but he couldn't see a way to keep his independence and that was paramount to him. Seeing what was happening to his brother certainly didn't help. Guess who is executor. Yep, that would be me. Fun with old people. No really, it has to be done but I guess you can see why my horse is on vacation at the moment.

It sure has me thinking to get my ducks in a row. I am single and not that kids are obligated to take care of the parents, I don't have any any way so I will have to take care of myself and think this through. I will probably check out lots of places and move into some kind of senior abode at some point--hopefully in 20 years or so. I am no where near that now but now is the time to plan.

Susan
from susamorg on the UDBB

Srhorselady
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Re: Senior Parents

Postby Srhorselady » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:24 pm

KM do they have any senior day care places near you? That might be a respite possibility for your Mom if your Dad could go one or two days a week. They usually have activities and a meal. However senior parents can be both stubborn and not like change. DO make sure that you and your sister and any other siblings are on the same page. And definitely the two of you plus your mother, lawyer, etc sit down and discuss options now before they are forced on you. Be careful on how much monetary assistance you give, not because you are not willing, but because I had an acquaintance whose father couldn't qualify for a program because she was paying part of his rent. They considered that part of HIS income!

I hear you about being single with no kids and thinking about the future. A friend who is now in her 70s moved into a very nice resort type place with independent living, assisted living, and nursing/memory care. She has an apartment in independent living, but can eat in gourmet dining room etc. Not cheap and probably not my style, but it has advantages if you have no local family etc.

It is so difficult with senior parents. You want/ need for them to retain their independence and live as they want yet sometimes the financial and health considerations are over whelming. Also did I mention stubborn and not liking change? My heart goes out to all of you dealing with these situations and to those of you who will be in the future. The best advice I can give having been through it more than once now is communicate with your siblings a lot!

kande50
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Re: Senior Parents

Postby kande50 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:34 pm

Srhorselady wrote:Also did I mention stubborn and not liking change?


My mother was born stubborn, so the current laid back, cooperative version is a big improvement. I think she's tired enough now that she saves her energy for making outdoor excursions to collect buckets of flowers to bring in the house, instead of using it all up arguing with her daughters about every single little issue. :-)

Srhorselady
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Re: Senior Parents

Postby Srhorselady » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:30 pm

Hey. If flowers work, I'm all for it! :D


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