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Seeking advice regarding long-distance caregiving
posted at July 8, 2012 1:49 PM EDT
Re: Seeking advice regarding long-distance caregiving
posted at July 8, 2012 3:48 PM EDT
Re: Seeking advice regarding long-distance caregiving
posted at July 8, 2012 9:53 PM EDT
First: November 27, 2011
Last: December 11, 2013
In Response to Seeking advice regarding long-distance caregiving:
Hello, My mother lives about 1000 miles from me. Her spouse (my father) died about 2 years ago. She is 70 and in very good physical health but underwent successful cancer treatment about 2 years ago. My father made all financial decisions. My mother is currently selling her family home of />30 years. She has chronic anxiety and depression for which she refuses to get any treatment or counseling. She has institutional financial advisors and has not been willing to involve her children in financial decision-making. She does not really want to move to be near me or my sister, who lives about 1000 miles away from both of us. The move out of her home is completely necessary but is causing her anxiety to peak. She has made a temporary arrangement to enter a long-term transitional living community, which involves giving up virtually all of her (substantial) assets over the next several years. She feels isolated and alone and wants someone to take care of her. Both my sibling and I have voiced that we feel this is a premature and the facility she is moving into carries a substantial debt load, and we worry that this fear-based decision will remove her long-term independence and possibly leave her destitute should the institution fail. The fine print of the contract also states that they can boot her from the facility if she runs out of money. We would like her to move into a condo, or rent somewhere until she could find a place to buy. She has somewhat unrealistic expectations of what her children should do for her (move there), and I am curious what suggestions people have in this situation. I've tended to be very independent from my parents, as they were very controlling during my late-adolescence and college years. I'd like to help, but I realize that there is only so much I can do. I don't want to be harsh, but I've told her that her decision to sign over all her assets is unwise. I am financially independent myself, so I have no interest in her money, but I feel I should make it clear that I will not come to her rescue if she goes ahead against my/my sister's best advice. Any general suggestions? More specifically, do people have any ideas of how to find a local person who can provide some support (eg checking in periodically, someone to take her to medical appointments)? My mother doesn't really respect boundaries very well, so I think that many well-meaning people are turned off by her who are unpaid (eg church members, neighbors, etc.). Thanks!
Posted by GeneQueen
Since you and your sister are so far away; she is doing the best that she can with those that she knows. Perhaps she knows others who have gone into the community. If this is the type that I am thinking about, it is costly but if she has the money it is her choice unless you feel that her actions based on her psychological factors require the need of a guardian or conservator.
The type that I am thinking about requires you to actually purchase (somewhat) the residence but upon death, the residence reverts back to the complex. For this you actually buy more than just the walls - you get activities, sometimes other services like house cleaning and laundry. Some are what they call perpetual care facilities - you move in as an independent senior and then as time progresses you may need to move to the assited living area and then to the nursing home facility, all within the same general complex.
My mother was older (80) when she gave up her home but from the sound of it, much like your mother - mine was also deaf. I was also closer by and had handled her finances completely for many years. She moved to a one bedroom independent senior highrise in a nice otwn that was not far from where she had lived. It was very nice - bedroom, large bathroom, small kitchen, living room with an eating area. She moved a few months before I sold her home - selling the home was somewhat tramatic for her but I was glad she was already moved into her new home.
They had 24 hour masnned desk security that handled any emergencies that came along.
Meals could be purchased or catered if desired - all or some.
Arranged activities both in and out of the complex
Transportation needs to medical appointments or shopping
Several large gathering areas
Various church services and other joined group activities
An onsight beauty salon
Laundry facilty on same floor that you live on
Ample parking if they had a car
Access for additional charge to other services of need - medical, personal care, caregiving or house cleaning. etc.
Rent and phone was all that was paid for, water, electric, cable was all provided in the rent.
She lived there for 12 years - it took a little while to get use to it but it really worked out fine for those years - I knew she was safe and she did like many of her long term neighbors and many of those that left through the years for one reason or another. At the top of the price she was paying about $ 800 per month
Next she moved to an Assisted Living facility - very nice but costly ($ 3200 per month). She was 89 - only lived there a few months, at least in the assisted living side. She was really ticked off that I did not move her into my home so she never really settled into the routine at the assisted living. She had a stroke, left her without the ability to speak or read and being deaf, that has added to her other problem of dementia. She is in the same facilitynow but she is in the memory care unit at $ 4000 + per month.
It is a great facility, she and about 10 - 12 others are in the memory care area of the complex. The staff is great - she is right where she needs to be.
I told you this so that you can understand the cost of getting older. You can't do what you once did - as things change, you have to have the ability to change your life, hire the help that you need, etc. Once your money runs out, that is when the choices get made for you by the government, because they will be the payer.
So you can do some searches via the internet as to what other alternative there might be in HER area, present them to her if you want; then sum up what you find out her plans to be but I doubt that you are going to change her mind since it is her life and it sounds like the long distance might be a big factor in your & your sister's participation in her life.
There really is no such thing as "long distance caregiving". But you and your sister can make plans for down the road and if the situation warrant, move her closer to you once she has a very limited, if any, say.
Maybe not now but you do need to know how her finances are working and how all of this has been planned out - does she have a will, a power of attornery, a living will or healthcare POA. If she does, she needs only to tell you.
I came back to edit and add - a little more on the financial end of things:
If my mother becomes bedridden for whatever reason or if she has to have a feeding tube, then I will have to move her to a Skilled Nursing Facility and those are running about $ 7000+ a month. She will never have a feeding tube but those are the rules at the memory care unit as to what level they cannot care for there.
Good Luck, many have walked in your shoe before and will continue to do so. Maybe this will help you sum up some prices for the now and the in the future to know what is ahead if she remains a self payer.