This is a really difficult issue.
For 5 yrs my mother lived with us, but I asked her to apply for senior housing (she was poor so eligible for reduced rates) in both where I live and my brother lives. She was accepted in a development near my brother, so she moved near him. This freed up our front bedroom - we have a modest 2 bd/2ba cottage - for my MIL, who was widowed and living alone in a big house.
Her house was expensive and beautiful, but an disability nightmare. Although she is in fine shape, one fall and she'd be really stuck - steep concrete stairs to get in or out. We had a choice - move into her house, or urge her to sell hers and move in with us.
We finally convinced her to sell her home and move into ours. In certain ways this is stressful, but selling her home gave her the cash she needs for assisted living/nursing care in her extreme old age, which she is genetically and medically very likely to experience. She was the classic house-rich, cash poor. Had we moved in with her, it would not have solved the basic financial issue that she had insufficient funds to support a decline in health.
Now, it took eight years to convince her to sell. And she still misses her home of 38 yrs and her friendly neighbors. But we discovered that the weekly visits we paid her were insufficient to show us she is mentally declining from dementia. She has no idea of nutrition, and although some of her diet was fine, half of it was transfat-laden, empty carbohydrate junk food.
Even when she moved in with us, it was difficult to get her to change doctors, etc. (we're 25 miles away from her old home - not insurmountable, but commute traffic here is a nightmare 2x/daily, even on weekends). I finally 'laid down the law' and changed her doctor and dentist to excellent professionals only 10 minutes away.
The other thing we did was make sure not only her, but our own legal affairs were brought up to date when she came to live with us. An excellent estate attorney brought her trust up to date and established our RLT, along with the critical Powers of Attorney for both financial and healthcare.
Parents can be VERY resistant to both change and the need for discussion. Be firm but not nagging, and keep your message consistent, especially if you've got a partner who's also involved in the situation. It can be in everyone's best interests to help them realize as they enter a more restricted phase of physical activity, that life can still be good, and living where people can help more easily because they're nearby, is a positive, not a negative.
Sometimes you can't have that one big conversation - you have to break it up into little conversations, to get your point across and start them thinking about it.
Assisted Living or a Nursing Home?
NYTimes June 10, 2011
I'm happy to report that so far, moving my MIL into a retirement care facility (see my above posts scattered through this thread) has worked out to everybody's satisfaction. There have been a number of minor issues with the facility in getting her settled, but nothing major.
It is a non-profit facility with asst. living that offers three levels of supplementary care, critical care (short-stay; when residents are recovering from outside surgery, for example), and memory care. The staff is excellent. The facility has one of the lowest rates of turnover in the entire state, and floor staff knew her name within minutes of her moving in.
MIL resisted (passively) right up to the last minute, but we got her moved out of our house without incident. This move gave us the chance to go through her clothes and toss any ragged, worn, torn clothing (yes, she argued about that, but we were firm). We purchased new furniture for her one-room unit and bought her several nice new articles of clothing, such as pajamas and slippers and shoes, that she was in real need of but had been unwilling to buy.
Although it has only been a couple of weeks, she immediately responded to the friendly and caring atmosphere at the facility. The staff loves her (we knew they would; she is a very sweet lady). It has been a huge relief to us that she has responded so positively. Her initial reluctance to move has gone. She confessed that although she misses us (we are only 8 minutes away and visit her numerous times during the week), she loves how friendly everyone is. It is very reassuring to her that there is 24/7 staff if she needs help.
MIL is a very social person who loves to chat with anybody. Although very passive about doing activities by herself, she is happy to join anyone who invites her and "shows her the ropes". It is wonderful to see her always smiling. We haven't seen her in such good spirits in years!
Retrieving data ...