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AIBU to ask what you intend to do with respect to caring for elderly parents?

(113 Posts)
Timeforteaplease Tue 07-Mar-17 13:45:13

I'm in my 50s and my DM (in her late 70s) has always said that she does not expect us to care for her. She didn't care for her own parents; they went into a home. But as she gets older, I think (but do not know for sure) that she is changing her mind and would like to move in if/when something goes wrong. I am guessing that she will not want to spend her savings on a care home.
Do we wait for a crisis to happen or talk to her in advance?
What is the norm for care these days?
For background DH and I both work full time, me from the home - but my job is still full time/high pressure.
Looking for good advice from people who have been through this.

BarbarianMum Tue 07-Mar-17 13:51:44

I would suggest you think carefully about what you want and do nothing that sets anything in stone (e.g. selling her house and using the proceeds to add a granny annexes to yours). Old age manifests in many different ways and imo the most important thing is to remain flexible about how you deal with it and accept there may be different stages of (in)dependence along the way. Having your slightly frail (or even very frail) mum living with you for company is one thing, full on caring responsibilities for someone with advanced dementia, or with complex care needs, is another.

TeenAndTween Tue 07-Mar-17 13:55:00

What are her funds like? How local is she to you?

My DGM had a live in carer for her last 2 years or so. But she had the space and funds to do this. My DM still visited practically every day so carer could have time off, and they ferried carers too and from train station or whatever. (If you treated carers well they were happy to come back).

My FIL had dementia & cancer and was in a care home as DMIL was in no position to cope. DH visited weekly.

I think my parents would want live in carers. Notwithstanding the fact that DF has said to push him down the stairs if he gets dementia. A live in costs about the same as a home (at least it did 10 years ago), but you of course have all the costs of running your own house too. Also this assumes you only need daytime care not night-time too.

Carers can do the care, you can be the daughter.

SukeyTakeItOffAgain Tue 07-Mar-17 13:55:27

My parents for years paid into an insurance policy which contributes significantly to care fees, and also made investments to help pay for care. My dad is already in a care home, due to dementia, and there is no way my mum is coming to live with me or my sister when and if the time comes. She will move into one too.

Being blunt.

FannyWisdom Tue 07-Mar-17 14:00:31

DM passed now but she lived with me 9 months.

She had no savings and was alcohol dependant.

DF still in fine fettle but I'm planning on living in with him should he need it or one of the DC lodging with him.
He's a stubborn old sausage so won't move.

CMOTDibbler Tue 07-Mar-17 14:09:10

My parents both need care. Currently they have daily carers (all self funded) plus cleaner/gardener/handyman, and daily district nurse visits. This just about keeps them going at home, but mum has had one stay in respite when dad was in hospital. They teeter on the edge all the time - but I couldn't have them here, and dad knows that if anything happened to him mum would go into care (he hates the idea, but thats how it is).

I think you can never make judgements about what you'd do in the future - if my mum was just frail, I could cope with living with her. With her dementia? Never in a million years.

notinagreatplace Tue 07-Mar-17 14:12:54

I don't see it as my decision - it's up to them what they want to do, it's up to me what I want to offer.

I could never have my mother living with me, it would drive me crazy, never going to offer that. My dad is unlikely to outlive my mother due to his health issues but, if he did, I would be more open to that - but I don't think he would want to, I think he'd prefer more independence.

Timeforteaplease Tue 07-Mar-17 14:17:43

I could never have my mother living with me, it would drive me crazy, never going to offer that.
This is how I feel. And I am ashamed for feeling this way, but I do.
I will organise her care, meals, visit her daily, go to the docs and the hospital, etc, but I couldn't be a carer for her 24/7.

lalalalyra Tue 07-Mar-17 14:17:57

DFIL is in a care home as he has dementia and it progressed so rapidly he needs round the clock care that MIL can't give. We, as a family, cared for him for as long as possible.

I think MIL will move in with us sooner rather than later as she really hates living alone, but she's made very clear she expects to be put in a home when she develops care needs as she doesn't want to burden us in any way.

jimijack Tue 07-Mar-17 14:18:43

Having cared for my elderly, chronically ill but totally with it granny for 7 years while working full time until her death I know how hard it is, but yet how much I loved it and really wanted to do it.
The same cannot be said for either my parents or dh s dad.
There is no real provision in place for any of them.

I live within a 10-20 miinute drive of them all.

Cannot stand nor tolerate my fil so he will be put into a home, his house sold to pay for his care thereby rendering his son, my bil homeless.

My mum I would like to care for as long as possible in her own home, She does not own her house, Has no savings so it would be the state that would pay at for her.

My dad has remarried, has 2 more kids and is 30 years older than his wife, it would be up to them, I would happily help out.

Best to talk about it, make plans and for every one to be in agreement.

yolofish Tue 07-Mar-17 14:24:39

it's so hard. My DF is dead 21 years ago, DM going to be 87 this year. still lives and copes alone in her own (owned) home, albeit with stair lift, spending her care allowance on cleaner/gardener etc, even drives (eek). Yet I visit 5 days out of 7, do all the trips over a couple of miles for hospital visits etc, am on the end of the phone at all times. To be honest, I find it an enormous responsibility, especially as she is getting more and more difficult with time. She refuses point blank to go into a home - but believes I would put her in one given the chance. She has stockpiled huge amounts of drugs and I think if home-time came she would take them. Not quite sure where that leaves the rest of us to be honest.

FannyWisdom Tue 07-Mar-17 14:26:03

I should add.....

I didn't jump at the chance to take DM (we have never ever liked each other) but she'd burnt all her bridges.
Eventually the choice was a homeless shelter for alcoholics or me.

Most care homes don't allow alcohol but she would bribe carers or call taxis to go and bring her booze.

I suppose really if there had been another option i wouldn't have had her.
It was, as you can imagine, hard.

BursarsFrogs Tue 07-Mar-17 14:28:18

Well, both DP absolutely insist that they MUST be left home alone, no matter how ill they become (physical or alzheimers), and that dying at home in peace of your own ill health and old age is a human right. I'm not quite sure at what point that would become an issue of negligence.

JamDonutsRule Tue 07-Mar-17 14:29:02

I think you have to remain flexible and see what needs develop. It may be that she only requires company and hot meals, or it may be that she becomes bed bound and needs toileting and medical care, therefore a nursing home. It's. Dry hard to anticipate needs, so I would just keep your plans flexible.

WhirlwindHugs Tue 07-Mar-17 14:29:43

I can imagine that we will end up moving closer so we can visit/help more often.

But no I won't be becoming a carer either I don't feel physically up to it, and will probably be working full time when my parents reach that age. I'm happy to have no inheritance if it means they can afford good quality care.

BarbarianMum Tue 07-Mar-17 14:31:01

Well fairly quickly in the case of advanced Alzheimer's frogs And not such a kind, quick or dignified end as they may envision - which is why it may not be permitted.

jimijack Tue 07-Mar-17 14:34:41

Does anyone know the procedure for paying for a care home?
Does property and belongings have to be sold to pay for care homes?
Is it until the money runs out?

CigarsofthePharoahs Tue 07-Mar-17 14:40:50

My parents are late 60s, early 70s and so far in very good health. Long may it continue that was as neither I nor my brother or sister are in any way in a position to look after one or both of them.
To be honest, my mum is in a better state of health than me!
I can't see either of them liking the idea of going into a home. My mums mum had to, she hated it. Very physically frail, but still had most of her marbles. In the end I think she gave up through boredom.
My dads mum refused a care home and died at home alone.
I'm not sure which is worse really, bored shitless in a care home with minimal dignity (no refection on the staff, that's just how it is) or dying alone. My dads mum would almost certainly have lived longer had she been in a care home, but I don't think she'd have wanted too.
On the other hand, her eventual death would have been less traumatic.
When the time comes with my parents, I think I'm going to investigate the idea of a live in carer first. Perhaps we'll have robots that can do it by then 😐

MrsWhiteWash Tue 07-Mar-17 14:42:10

Is she likely to be open to a frank conversation?

My MIL is going this way - including trying to set up obligations suddenly wants to help pay of our mortgage down. They won't talk about any of it though - they'll drop expectation bombs - their current property is unsuitable when they do get frail no downstairs bathroom and steep narrow stairs.

Thankfully DH is not keen - suspect that why he talking of downsizing when children leave despite this property being really good for our old age.

TeenAndTween Tue 07-Mar-17 14:45:09

jim If the 'family' home is empty then yes it would need to be sold to pay for care, if the spouse is still in it then it doesn't. Funding only kicks in when assets go below a certain level (was £16k 10 years ago I think). I know with my ILs we separated their assets (so closed any joint accounts) so that MIL money couldn't be used up by FILs care. Though funding actually only kicked in a few weeks before he passed away.

bigbluebus Tue 07-Mar-17 14:46:11

I tried to pursaude my DParents to move to retirement accomodation near to me whilst they were still able to. They wouldn't because they didn't want the upheaval and inconvenience of moving! Believe me that would have been nothing compared to the inconvenience they caused me and DBs when 'fit and healthy' DF dropped down dead suddenly one day, leaving DM (who was in poor health and for whom DF was carer) on her own with none of us living nearer that 75 miles away.

I already had caring committments for my disabled DD and spent over 2 years using all the respite I had been granted to give me a break from looking after DD, charging up and down the motorway to DMs to help her out. DB also nearly killed himself trying to juggled 2 jobs and 3 kids and keep up with all DM's medical appointments. DM, who was used to being treated like a princess by DF had no fear of making demands on our time. There was no way she could have come and lived with us as DH would have left as she would have needed someone with her a lot of the time and DD could be blue lighted to hospital at a moments notice and be away for 2 weeks.

We were getting to the point where we were looking for a care/nursing home for DM when she ended up being admitted to hospital where she spent 3 months and never went home again. Much as I loved my DM it was actually a relief when she died as I no longer had to try and juggle my already complicated life around her.

MrsWhiteWash Tue 07-Mar-17 14:46:44

There are some nice care homes out there - at least there were a good decade ago when my DGP needed them but there were really expensive.

My own parents know this and don't want to go into one but don't want to be under their children's roofs - so not sure what they are planning as I don't think they like any of the options - my DGP had carers for a while and they were a mixed experience. My IL keep insisting that care homes can't cost that much - I don't think they envisage getting old and frail.

jimijack Tue 07-Mar-17 14:47:56

Thanks teen, fil and bil (aged 42) lives there, has done his whole full time, nothing wrong with other words is not dependant on fil in any way.

He will be homeless if the house has to be sold, I assumed anyway...

TeenAndTween Tue 07-Mar-17 14:52:28

jim I don't know what would happen in that situation, suggest you do some googling.

jimijack Tue 07-Mar-17 14:57:12

Will do, thank you grin

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