Caring for aging relatives?

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Mara
Fuming
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Caring for aging relatives?

Post by Mara » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:12 pm

My great uncle is 77 years old. He has always been a very independent person, but over the last few years his health has continued to deteriorate. He’s a bit overweight and not as able bodied anymore. His mind isn’t as sharp either. He lives alone and has no family of his own. He has a niece and nephew both about 20 minutes away. The neighbors he knows are even older than him.

His younger brother and sister in law have been trying to convince him to check out assisted living or to find a place closer to them (about an hour away). But he is stubborn. He doesn’t want to leave his home or come to terms with his limitations.

Twice in the past few months, my mom has driven to his house after not being able to get in touch with him. One time, a friend was knocking and calling because she was scheduled to visit. I believe he was sleeping both times (his schedule seems more erratic as well).

He installed a stairway lift after falling down his steep, narrow stairs a second time. He called me this morning and told me he fell while getting out of his car. He said he was laying on the cold cement about 15 minutes and did try to call for help. He phoned the 90 year old neighbor, who said they would call 911, but they later called back saying they “couldn’t get through.” Eventually a stranger drove by, spotted him, and helped him.

He repeatedly made me promise not to tell any relatives (since they will step up their attempts to get him to move to assisted living).

I told him to make sure his phone is always charged and on him. And maybe look into one of those lifeline necklaces. Any other tips and recommendations for how to help him?!

Melody
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Re: Caring for aging relatives?

Post by Melody » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:20 pm

Yes on the lifeline. Also, does he qualify for, or does he have funds for a home health aide? And by that I mean someone who can assist him for four hours a day with whatever. Check for local agencies in your area or even post a request for recommendations on any FB you may belong to. That way he's being checked in on as well as getting some assistance with his day to day stuff.

Mara
Fuming
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Re: Caring for aging relatives?

Post by Mara » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:56 pm

Melody - thank you for the suggestions :)

rubycrownedkinglet
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Re: Caring for aging relatives?

Post by rubycrownedkinglet » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:36 pm

If there are any young adults in the family that are finishing their education and or still living at home in a basement somewhere, maybe a co-living arrangement could work out. It depends upon the personalities involved.

Your DGU is on the verge of having to be put into a hospital then a nursing home if he has a bad enough fall. He won't have a choice. If he has the money, a senior apartment complex or retirement village might be something more palatable for him and maybe an assisted living center could be put off a while. A selling point would be to tell him he could at least have a choice while he is up and around, not having to decide from a hospital bed.

Most cities have Services for the Aging or something. They can often help. Another thing that varies by state is the availability of services through Social Services or Medicaid. Even though my PILs would not have qualified for Medicaid right away, there was in-home cleaning and cooking help available as well as help with bathing. There may also be Meals on Wheels. Most importantly, a person knocks on the door a couple times a week.

Contact the local social services office or look online. I was surprised what was available.

Nobody can make him move out, and I feel really badly for him, being at that stage and being in denial about it.

My DSis is 75 and had a life threatening injury last year that she is still recovering from. She lives in a house that she and her husband built in 1966 and there is so much stuff everywhere that the thought of cleaning out their things, selling the house and moving 3-4 hours away to be near her son is just overwhelming.

Twelve or so years ago, she and her husband, now 83, were so close to just leaving the house and living in a borrowed camper trailer in a beautiful campground just 10 miles or so from their son. It would have been temporary, until they found a permanent place. My Dsis got cold feet at the last minute and backed out because she was concerned that living in a trailer would end up being permanent.

Now that she and her husband are barely capable of packing up their clothes, I wonder if she regrets letting that opportunity slip away.

Mara
Fuming
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:03 pm

Re: Caring for aging relatives?

Post by Mara » Tue May 14, 2019 7:12 pm

Rubycrownedkinglet - thank you for the information and suggestions.

Who is your “DSis”? Do her and her husband have friends/community where they are? I’m sure it is difficult to relocate so late in life. I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t want to leave behind the people and places they are used to. It’s definitely a downside of today’s culture that people don’t live near family. I am interested in ancestry and it’s interesting to see in my own family, how in the early 1900’s extended family was so close (relationally and geographically). They lived near their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, their grandparents’ siblings and cousins and their offspring... they all lived in the same neighborhood within a couple miles from each other (or sometimes on the same block). In my extended family today, every family lives in a different state!

Melody
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Re: Caring for aging relatives?

Post by Melody » Wed May 15, 2019 6:59 am

A little news for the upside of today's culture. I recently attended a tech show - check out EyeTemp. I have NO idea about the pricing, but EyeTemp is a phone app. You put little magnet like sensors on appliances like the stove and oven and iron (if you use one I sure as heck don't). The app alerts you if you forget to turn the appliance off. If you don't turn the appliance off, it will send texts to your emergency contacts.

How cool is that? I adore practical tech!

Mara
Fuming
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:03 pm

Re: Caring for aging relatives?

Post by Mara » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:02 pm

Melody - that is interesting! Thank you for sharing!

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