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Taking care of elderly

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My husband, 66, and I, 64, have owned 3 RVs over the last 7 years, never being gone more than 2 weeks. In 2013, my dad, 87, and in decent health, moved in. 2 years later my MIL, in decent health except in early stages of alzheimers, moved in. A year later, both of sons, single and out of the service, moved home. My dad passed away in 2017, one son moved out last year ( both have jobs and paid to help with utilities, etc.). My husband put his mom in assisted living because we could not leave her unattended and wanted to be able to go when we wanted. She is getting worse and he wants to bring her back to stay with us. We had plans to go for a few months until the virus and now that is on hold. He has no other family to help with her. We are in good health for our ages except for my husband having had 2 knee replacements, same knee, 2 back surgeries, foot, elbow surgeries. He says he made a promise years ago, before he met me, that he wouldn't put her in a nursing home. She is on a limited income and has enough to stay in AL for about 10 months. I understand it's hard to do but I feel we come first and at our age we don't know how long before we can't go. The younger son(older is her stepson, not close) lives 2 hours away and could check on her occasionally or if something comes up. My question is, has anyone else been in our shoes, and how did you handle it?


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You have had a rough 7 years and I feel for you.  I hope things can improve.

Have you looked into Medicaid for your MIL to solve the financial aspect of a nursing home?  Does your husband realize what it would entail to bring her home?  If she's happy where she's at I think you should investigate Medicaid.  Also, does she need a nursing home?  Is she bed-ridden?  If not, you might want to look into a Memory Care facility.  They are more experienced with dealing with Alzheimers and have great activities geared just for them.  She may be happier in a place like that rather than a nursing home.


Edited by 2gypsies

Full-timed for 16 Years
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Motorhome
and 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th Wheel

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Wow, talk about a full plate. My Mother took care of her Mother after having stroke. After 6 years of care she was declining and could not take care of her properly,as she was also aging. She then moved her to a nursing home. My mother because of this said that she would never live with us as she knows how it effected her. There is no right answer to this. I started full timing 5 years ago because some advice I was given. Several people said do it while you can as they planned it for years to decades. And after a couple years or less had to stop the lifestyle and get off the road because of one or both of their health. So sorry that you have to make this decision as it hurts your heart to do what you have planned. Not sure that there is a good answer. Just try to do what makes you happy inside. 

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We put Dave's mother, who had Alzheimers,  in a facility when his sister and I needed to do so to keep our own health and sanity. She didn't understand why she was there but she didn't understand why she was alternately living at our house and Dave's sister's house, either. Does your husband understand he will have to share a bed with his mother to monitor her tendency to get up at night and go wandering? Does he understand he will also have to watch her all day to keep her from going outside and wandering off? Does he understand he will have to clean her up when she forgets how to use a toilet? Does he understand he will have to bathe her because she can't remember how to do that herself? Does he understand she can't be left on her own for meals because she has forgotten she needs to not turn on, or alternately to turn off, the stove? People with Alzheimer's disease need to be in a fully staffed facility prepared to deal with all that.It's actually the kindest thing you can do for her--putting her in the care of people who  have been trained to deal with these things.


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I tease my daughter that she will have to take care of me when I get "old".

In reality, I have no intention of burdening her with my care.

I was fortunate to be able to purchase a policy to cover my future care, if needed.

Life is tough enough these days and I don't intend to be a burden.

Kim and Betsy

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