Whew--Just when you get the kids grown and squared away...

Old 06-04-2016, 05:31 PM
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Whew--Just when you get the kids grown and squared away...

you gotta get your parents squared away!

I think I mentioned my relief that my dad and stepmom have decided to move into assisted living back in their old hometown in OR (currently living in AZ). I just spent the past week staying with my dad while my stepmom was in OR visiting family and scouting out a place to move.

She immediately found a place and put down a deposit, so now my brother and I (and her kids) have to scramble to get them moved. I spent all week doing stuff like trying to untangle their bills and finances (which my dad totally handled but now his vision/hearing/dexterity/memory don't allow him to stay on top of). I discovered, for instance, they are apparently paying TWICE for the same satellite TV service each month--probably because my dad signed up for bundled services with his cable/Internet provider and never cancelled his other account. Hopefully I can get that straightened out and get them a refund. I opened new bank accounts, set up automatic bill payments, etc., interviewed a home health aid and someone who will organize their move for them and found them a lawyer to set up a power of attorney and update their wills, etc. And I had to explain and re-explain what I was doing over and over to them, and then communicate everything to the other adult kids.

I just got home, after getting a whole hour of sleep last night before I was picked up by shuttle service at 4 am (and maybe 2 hours of sleep on flight home). I have a ticket for a Wilco concert tonight but not going ANYWHERE.

Interestingly, my dad now has the habit of having one scotch per evening--a double on the rocks that he nurses over the course of about 2 hours or more. And I had to pour it for him, which was very odd. Part of me wanted to smell it, but I avoided breathing/smelling it. Scotch was my drink of choice during my alcoholic drinking days. It didn't really make me want to drink, but I was glad I could fix him his little drink without hitting the bottle myself after dealing with all the difficult financial and other stuff.

I bought him a new electric shaver--he looked like a bum when I got there, which upset my stepmom so much, but it turned out the shaver he had was so complicated he couldn't use it, plus it was hard for him to stand at the bathroom counter. I solved the problem by putting a magnifying mirror on the seat of his walker so he could sit in his recliner while he shaves, and by the time I left he was reminding me he needed to shave. My stepmom is thrilled.

I've never been terribly close to my dad, just our personalities, I guess, but I'm happy I was able to do some stuff to help him during this transition. I know I'm not as reliable about calling EVERY week like my brother does, but I think I got some offspring brownie points for what I did this week.

It's all pretty overwhelming for them but we've put together a good team of professionals to help them and we kids are pitching in, in various ways. Even my ex-husband says he will come down to help them when it's time for them to pack up.

I'm gonna have a little bite to eat and go to bed EARLY tonight.
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:26 PM
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i'm so glad you an be there for your parents.....and that they are still there for you.

i'm an adult orphan (and only child)....never had a mom/dad thing growing up. i wish i could come help and be a part of the family experience.
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:28 PM
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Hi Lexie, I have an idea of what you're talking about here. My mother, a widow for 10 years was coping less and less in her house. Thank goodness, like yours, she decided to move into assisted care and I went over, moved her in, packed up the house, ran a garage sale. My sister has financial POA thank goodness so she handled the money side of things. My Mum is my hero because she decided to move into assisted accomodation, even though she didn't want to, because I told her what a strain supporting her was putting on my sisters who lived nearby.

The thing is they cover up declining mental capacities so well that even their health providers fail to catch the early stages. Also they're often unaware that they are coping. My mother always kept a clean house, but on my final visit I found dirt behind everything, out of date food, mouldy fruit in the bowl.....This is why I'll always be grateful she moved of her own accord.

She is doing much better now, has gone from emaciated to a healthy weight and is being well monitored by the staff. She also goes to the gym still and physically is in outstanding form for her age.

Hint: buy your D & SM a clock which gives them time, day of the week and date, and a calendar with plenty of room to write dates on. A small wipe clean board is also useful for reminders.
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:32 AM
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Can you come do the same for my mom, please?
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Old 06-05-2016, 03:11 AM
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Thanks for your post, Lexie--I don't want to think about what happens when my mom can't live where and how she is living b/c it is NOT going to be pretty, but it does have to be thought about...

It's just so difficult to think of parents as no longer being capable and competent. I think you did a great job, and I applaud your patience and resourcefulness. Hope you slept well and are feeling at least somewhat rested and renewed.
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:35 AM
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Great job Lexie!
It feels good to get that taken care of--you are a great daughter
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:49 AM
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For anyone facing a similar situation of getting parents moved into assisted living (or simply downsizing to a smaller place or having their home made more accessible for walker/wheelchair etc.), I think the Senior Move Managers are GREAT. There is a National Association of Senior Move Managers and what they do is similar to what a personal organizer does (figure out what to keep/sell/donate/toss), but they also can coordinate with movers or realtors, help with other logistics involved with a move, etc. They don't actually move the stuff but can do everything else, including getting the new home set up. I was very impressed with the woman we are using, and she got glowing references from previous clients and staff at assisted living places whose clients she had served. The one we use is part of a national franchise and they receive special training, are insured/bonded, and are skilled at working with seniors to manage the emotional part of a move like this. Even if I were able to be there (which I can't), I would use them to lighten the load. The woman whose company we are using charges $55/hour per person working, which I think is VERY reasonable for what they do.
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Old 06-05-2016, 06:06 AM
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That's good info, Lexie--I'm going to file that for the time when it's needed. I checked the site and there's currently only 1 person within a 50-mile radius of my mom, but hopefully by the time we need the services, there will be more (she lives in a very rural area).

Again, it sounds like your folks are definitely at the point of needing a change and some assistance, and I'm glad you found a way to help w/o completely losing your mind!
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