Are you the caregiver for your elders?

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    Apr 09, 2012 4:55 PM GMT
    Interesting read. Describes much of my life these days.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/09/living/baby-boomer-caregivers/index.html?hpt=hp_c1
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    Apr 09, 2012 5:42 PM GMT
    Thanks for the link to their great article. You and I have chatted about this before, so here is my advice to others based on my own experience.

    +++++++++++

    Denial. Nobody likes to think about their parent having a sudden or quick death, so the topic avoided. But a very slow descent into frailty and old age is actually more likely. Its so slow, that you don't pay attention until something bad happens.

    You read about seniors getting swindled from their homes and life savings...sometimes from their own family members. That will never happen to your parents...right? Well....memory disorders don't always start forgetting where you parked your car. Judgement and critical thinking skills are not as sharp as they used to be. This is not their fault...but it's a sign that you are now needed.

    For RJers just coming into this, I recommend educating yourself on the aging issues...health care, legal, financial, etc. Talk to others. Read books. But every case is different. What works for one set of parents, may not work for yours. Not to scare anybody, but more than likely, you'll be thrown into this when you least expect it.

    For this reason...I HIGHLY recommend being involved in your parents lives now. Parents often still see their kids as helpless...even when they're well accomplished adults. So, start by helping out in little ways and prove yourself to them. Old people get frustrated with things like computer issues or programming the DVD player. Cooking a good meal for them is well appreciated. It makes their retirement a bit easier, and will give them confidence that you can handle bigger things later on. When the time comes, you are no longer the child in the family.



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    Apr 09, 2012 6:13 PM GMT
    White4DarkerFL saidThanks for the link to their great article. You and I have chatted about this before, so here is my advice to others based on my own experience.

    +++++++++++

    Denial. Nobody likes to think about their parent having a sudden or quick death, so the topic avoided. But a very slow descent into frailty and old age is actually more likely. Its so slow, that you don't pay attention until something bad happens.

    You read about seniors getting swindled from their homes and life savings...sometimes from their own family members. That will never happen to your parents...right? Well....memory disorders don't always start forgetting where you parked your car. Judgement and critical thinking skills are not as sharp as they used to be. This is not their fault...but it's a sign that you are now needed.

    For RJers just coming into this, I recommend educating yourself on the aging issues...health care, legal, financial, etc. Talk to others. Read books. But every case is different. What works for one set of parents, may not work for yours. Not to scare anybody, but more than likely, you'll be thrown into this when you least expect it.

    For this reason...I HIGHLY recommend being involved in your parents lives now. Parents often still see their kids as helpless...even when they're well accomplished adults. So, start by helping out in little ways and prove yourself to them. Old people get frustrated with things like computer issues or programming the DVD player. Cooking a good meal for them is well appreciated. It makes their retirement a bit easier, and will give them confidence that you can handle bigger things later on. When the time comes, you are no longer the child in the family.



    Oh God on the bolded above.

    My dad thought his time could be well spent entering every contest he could find so you can well imagine how that brought the scammers out of the woodwork. We get 419 scams daily, fake checks ... actually real checks from stolen accounts, but still a 419 scam format, five or more calls from Jamaica daily, up to 15 snail mail scams in the mailbox daily.

    It’s been real tough trying to convince my dad, who is a long retired aerospace engineer, that none of these are real. They are SO obviously bullshit, but he has trouble believing that.

    According to Wow Way we can’t block out of country calls so I have to monitor the phone all day long. If they get dad on the phone they can get real close to convincing him that he needs to go down to CVS and wire the scammer money ... in most cases several thousand dollars, for all sorts of excuses ... shipping charges on his grand prize, or taxes or whatever bullshit they come up with. And given that he sounds really elderly and almost convinced, it just increases the volume of calls.
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    Apr 09, 2012 6:15 PM GMT
    White4DarkerFL saidThanks for the link to their great article. You and I have chatted about this before, so here is my advice to others based on my own experience.

    +++++++++++

    ...start by helping out in little ways and prove yourself to them. Old people get frustrated with things like computer issues or programming the DVD player. Cooking a good meal for them is well appreciated. It makes their retirement a bit easier, and will give them confidence that you can handle bigger things later on. When the time comes, you are no longer the child in the family.


    I've dipped my toe in those waters. If it were only that easy to establish trust with those unwilling to relinquish control. Plus I can think of no senior who didn't eventually regret not taking their own advice to others re estate planning. But at least they have us. Who will we have?
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    Apr 09, 2012 6:57 PM GMT
    eagermuscle said
    White4DarkerFL saidThanks for the link to their great article. You and I have chatted about this before, so here is my advice to others based on my own experience.

    +++++++++++

    ...start by helping out in little ways and prove yourself to them. Old people get frustrated with things like computer issues or programming the DVD player. Cooking a good meal for them is well appreciated. It makes their retirement a bit easier, and will give them confidence that you can handle bigger things later on. When the time comes, you are no longer the child in the family.


    I've dipped my toe in those waters. If it were only that easy to establish trust with those unwilling to relinquish control. Plus I can think of no senior who didn't eventually regret not taking their own advice to others re estate planning. But at least they have us. Who will we have?


    "But at least they have us. Who will we have? "

    That was going to be the subject of my next post later this evening when I have some time.

    I'm really really old ... almost a geezer icon_wink.gif so I've been giving a bunch of thought to this after seeing how much of daily life that my dad can't do anymore on his own, and my mom can't remember what she did five minutes ago.

    Yep .... who will we have?
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    Apr 09, 2012 7:11 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    Yep .... who will we have?

    An old thread of mine, "Gays In Nursing Homes" - http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/794295/
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    Apr 09, 2012 8:16 PM GMT
    Thanks for the bring this threat to light.

    Yes, I am already doing this and long distance, it started 4 years ago with the death of my uncle and my mother's care. Not going to bored you with all the details- and all the family drama - its been hard, although I have two other siblings they refuse to be part of the care of my mother (that is another story).

    Just some helpful hints for others or others who are coming into it-

    * Learn your parents finances, open a dual checking account so that you can pay the bills.
    * Ensure that they have a Will, Health Directive, and Power of Attorney.
    * Pay all their bills with automatic debit from the checking account.
    * Learn the benefits in terms of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that they might be entitled to - if need be go to the Social Security office with them (I had to do this)
    * Medicare will only pay 80% of the bill, so in case they need to be rush to emergency or another medical procedure ensure that they have Supplemental insurance 20% to cover the rest.
    * If you parents got divorced - please noted that the spouse is entitled to Social Security benefits (In this case my mother never worked and was always taking care of her children - so she was entitled to Social Security)

    * Seek counseling for support if need be, it can be exhausting.
    * Seek neighbors that might able to keep an eye on things if you are not there immediately - giving them your work number and cell number.
    * If they receive additional income, make sure based on their income if they have to file taxes.

    *Make healthy boundaries between you and the sick parents is okay to say 'No" in a loving way- remember that you are just a child, not a nurse, or a doctor.

    *Take time out for yourself and others - others also want and need your company.

    Hope this helps, and if any needs additional info. they can email me.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19136

    Apr 09, 2012 8:23 PM GMT
    I'm not a caregiver, not yet anyway, because my parents (now in their late 70's) are still extremely active, play golf almost every day, and travel a lot. I feel extremely blessed for that. Also, my parents have set themselves up so that, once they need more care or are in an need of some sort of assisted living type situation, they have made arrangements so that this will be in a place of their choosing and not a burden to my brother and I. I am hoping that I can get them to move to Arizona before they ever get that way, so that regardless of the arrangements they have made we are all nearby. I definitely want to spend quality time with my parents in their later years and not live in separate states.
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    Apr 09, 2012 8:26 PM GMT
    "Are you the caregiver for your elders?"

    Yes. And other people's elders as well.
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    Apr 09, 2012 8:55 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    White4DarkerFL saidThanks for the link to their great article. You and I have chatted about this before, so here is my advice to others based on my own experience.

    +++++++++++

    Denial. Nobody likes to think about their parent having a sudden or quick death, so the topic avoided. But a very slow descent into frailty and old age is actually more likely. Its so slow, that you don't pay attention until something bad happens.

    You read about seniors getting swindled from their homes and life savings...sometimes from their own family members. That will never happen to your parents...right? Well....memory disorders don't always start forgetting where you parked your car. Judgement and critical thinking skills are not as sharp as they used to be. This is not their fault...but it's a sign that you are now needed.

    For RJers just coming into this, I recommend educating yourself on the aging issues...health care, legal, financial, etc. Talk to others. Read books. But every case is different. What works for one set of parents, may not work for yours. Not to scare anybody, but more than likely, you'll be thrown into this when you least expect it.

    For this reason...I HIGHLY recommend being involved in your parents lives now. Parents often still see their kids as helpless...even when they're well accomplished adults. So, start by helping out in little ways and prove yourself to them. Old people get frustrated with things like computer issues or programming the DVD player. Cooking a good meal for them is well appreciated. It makes their retirement a bit easier, and will give them confidence that you can handle bigger things later on. When the time comes, you are no longer the child in the family.



    Oh God on the bolded above.

    My dad thought his time could be well spent entering every contest he could find so you can well imagine how that brought the scammers out of the woodwork. We get 419 scams daily, fake checks ... actually real checks from stolen accounts, but still a 419 scam format, five or more calls from Jamaica daily, up to 15 snail mail scams in the mailbox daily.

    It’s been real tough trying to convince my dad, who is a long retired aerospace engineer, that none of these are real. They are SO obviously bullshit, but he has trouble believing that.

    According to Wow Way we can’t block out of country calls so I have to monitor the phone all day long. If they get dad on the phone they can get real close to convincing him that he needs to go down to CVS and wire the scammer money ... in most cases several thousand dollars, for all sorts of excuses ... shipping charges on his grand prize, or taxes or whatever bullshit they come up with. And given that he sounds really elderly and almost convinced, it just increases the volume of calls.


    In my case, the scammer was a relative. I won't go into details, but mention it because I know its beyond the pale how people can do this. Seems like theft against the elderly should be treated legally like child molestation....and turn the other way when the prisoners dole out their own justice.

    But let this story serve as a warning to others about the significant number of scammers who prey on the elderly.
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    Apr 09, 2012 9:01 PM GMT
    uombroca saidThanks for the bring this threat to light.

    Yes, I am already doing this and long distance, it started 4 years ago with the death of my uncle and my mother's care. Not going to bored you with all the details- and all the family drama - its been hard, although I have two other siblings they refuse to be part of the care of my mother (that is another story).

    Just some helpful hints for others or others who are coming into it-

    * Learn your parents finances, open a dual checking account so that you can pay the bills.
    * Ensure that they have a Will, Health Directive, and Power of Attorney.
    * Pay all their bills with automatic debit from the checking account.
    * Learn the benefits in terms of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that they might be entitled to - if need be go to the Social Security office with them (I had to do this)
    * Medicare will only pay 80% of the bill, so in case they need to be rush to emergency or another medical procedure ensure that they have Supplemental insurance 20% to cover the rest.
    * If you parents got divorced - please noted that the spouse is entitled to Social Security benefits (In this case my mother never worked and was always taking care of her children - so she was entitled to Social Security)

    * Seek counseling for support if need be, it can be exhausting.
    * Seek neighbors that might able to keep an eye on things if you are not there immediately - giving them your work number and cell number.
    * If they receive additional income, make sure based on their income if they have to file taxes.

    *Make healthy boundaries between you and the sick parents is okay to say 'No" in a loving way- remember that you are just a child, not a nurse, or a doctor.

    *Take time out for yourself and others - others also want and need your company.

    Hope this helps, and if any needs additional info. they can email me.


    Excellent advice...especially about pacing yourself. Your city or county should have a social worker that can identify local resources.

    My aunt is a caregiver to my uncle. He is 91 and the local hospice sends out a volunteer out to chat and take walks with him. Hospice is not only for people with x months to live. Dementia is a terminal condition. Also, if you or one parent is a US veteran, then they have programs available too.
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    Apr 09, 2012 9:15 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree said
    eagermuscle said
    White4DarkerFL saidThanks for the link to their great article. You and I have chatted about this before, so here is my advice to others based on my own experience.

    +++++++++++

    ...start by helping out in little ways and prove yourself to them. Old people get frustrated with things like computer issues or programming the DVD player. Cooking a good meal for them is well appreciated. It makes their retirement a bit easier, and will give them confidence that you can handle bigger things later on. When the time comes, you are no longer the child in the family.


    I've dipped my toe in those waters. If it were only that easy to establish trust with those unwilling to relinquish control. Plus I can think of no senior who didn't eventually regret not taking their own advice to others re estate planning. But at least they have us. Who will we have?


    "But at least they have us. Who will we have? "

    That was going to be the subject of my next post later this evening when I have some time.

    I'm really really old ... almost a geezer icon_wink.gif so I've been giving a bunch of thought to this after seeing how much of daily life that my dad can't do anymore on his own, and my mom can't remember what she did five minutes ago.

    Yep .... who will we have?


    Actually, this is going to be a huge problem. Our Greatest Generation parents are much better positioned than we are. Compared to Baby Boomers, they had more kids, more likely to stayed married, have a pension and fought in WWII. All these add up to greater resources.

    But not all bad for us Baby Boomers. We've got technology on our side. Starting a company specializing in high tech medical equipment...robots, video, sensor devices, etc...has limitless opportunities.
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    Apr 09, 2012 10:07 PM GMT
    eagermuscle said
    White4DarkerFL saidThanks for the link to their great article. You and I have chatted about this before, so here is my advice to others based on my own experience.

    +++++++++++

    ...start by helping out in little ways and prove yourself to them. Old people get frustrated with things like computer issues or programming the DVD player. Cooking a good meal for them is well appreciated. It makes their retirement a bit easier, and will give them confidence that you can handle bigger things later on. When the time comes, you are no longer the child in the family.


    I've dipped my toe in those waters. If it were only that easy to establish trust with those unwilling to relinquish control. Plus I can think of no senior who didn't eventually regret not taking their own advice to others re estate planning. But at least they have us. Who will we have?


    Ah, control is a bad word. It congers up images of some evil mastermind. Its better to think in terms of participation and then ultimately, responsibilities. Which is what this is. Parents usually don't want kids to control anything..but if you are to be a possible caregiver, you need to have "conversations" about participating...being in the loop...on medical, lifestyle, legal and financial matters. Eventually, responsibility will be delegated on some things. Unfortunately, in some cases lives might be in danger, and you'll have to force an issue. Fortunately, that is not the case too often.



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    Apr 09, 2012 10:07 PM GMT
    Elder abuse comes in so many ways. It's wonderful to see someone actually taking care of their parent and not leaving them or placing them into someone else's care. My ex's mother just passed away Thursday and she was lucky to have been at my ex's house with my children helping care for her until she died. The way the circle of life should be.

    I took care of an 80+ year old woman who had no one. She had her money spread out in a ton of accounts. One had a disclaimer in bold red type that declared that investing might result in the loss of your principal. She invested anyway. I was able to get her cashed out and all her money into just a couple of accounts but what a nightmare. She loved anyone that would spend some time with her and they became the best friend she had. Realtors courted her in hopes that one day she'd sell her home and they'd get the listing. It was sickening. Free this and free that just in hopes. She was bitter also and ended up being so inconsiderate I discontinued caring for her.

    Talk to your parents, know what they have. Too many kids think it's prying. It's not, it's planning. My ex just mentioned over the weekend, I'm sure glad I got my name on mom's accounts otherwise it would have been a nightmare trying to care for her finances.
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    Apr 10, 2012 1:57 AM GMT
    Yes I am.
    My mom who is soon to be 88 was diagnosed with altzheimers about 3 years ago. It's just this past Wednesday that we finally had to move her out of her house over to my sisters. She's only a shadow of herself now. She has no recollection that she taught school here for 35 years, she has degrees from the Univ or Manchester in biology and botany and can barely name a flower. she used to be able to rattle of the periodic table, do complicated algabraic equations etc and now she doesn't even know how to write a check or even what it's for. Everything's almost gone. We're sort of waiting for the day that she forgets our names now because often stumbles or forgets the name of my older sister who passed away 3 years ago. These days if it's not right in front of her it's like it doesn't exist. Funny thing is is that she remembers everything about her childhood, where they lived, the street name, the neighbors, can name them from old b/w photographs etc.. but she can't remember her own address or even what street she lives on.

    Thankfully there's a lot of organizations to turn to.. Mom herself used to volunteer for the VON, and the elderly outreach so they all know her, she doesn't remember them though.
  • TonyToneTC

    Posts: 109

    Apr 10, 2012 2:15 AM GMT
    Yes I am! icon_biggrin.gif
    My paternal grandmother is over 114 years old and just recently my grandfather died two years ago of old age...118 he was. icon_cry.gif
    Both of them never learned English, so it is hard for them communicate with her grandchildren because they don’t speak and understand Navajo (Diné Bizaad). I am the only one who can help her daily with the livestock, hauling water and firewood, cultivating the fields, obligating to her ceremony (she is a healer and medicine women) etc. Our life is very old fashion; in fact it’s like back in the old days of Horses and wagons. To this day she doesn’t have any modern things such as Television, cell phones, computers, no running water or indoor plumbing, no electricity, and no modern house just a Traditional Navajo Hogan. icon_cool.gif
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    Apr 10, 2012 2:36 AM GMT
    When my grandmother died we discovered she had hidden cash all over the house, anywhere from $100 to a couple thousand dollars in envelopes and stuck in books and drawers and boxes, even socks. It took forever to get her house ready to sell because we had to go through every single thing to make sure we weren't throwing out cash. So be mindful of the eccentricities of elderly people when it comes to storing cash.
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    Apr 10, 2012 2:41 AM GMT
    Coach_Mike saidWhen my grandmother died we discovered she had hidden cash all over the house, anywhere from $100 to a couple thousand dollars in envelopes and stuck in books and drawers and boxes, even socks. It took forever to get her house ready to sell because we had to go through every single thing to make sure we weren't throwing out cash. So be mindful of the eccentricities of elderly people when it comes to storing cash.
    My mom is like that. Fortunately she's told me all of her hiding spots so my brother won't get it. icon_lol.gif
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 10, 2012 3:57 AM GMT
    When my grandmother was quite elderly, and was no longer able to care for herself, there was a program in New York State which provided round the clock care for her, so that she could live out the rest of her days in her own home.

    Since my mother passed away, last Fall, both my parents and all of my grandparents are gone.

    I used to think that I wanted to live longer than my grandmother did (96), but I don't see that happening, anymore.

    I have no idea what will become of me when I'm too feeble or addle pated to take care of myself.
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    Apr 10, 2012 8:54 AM GMT
    beneful1 saidYes I am.
    My mom who is soon to be 88 was diagnosed with altzheimers about 3 years ago. It's just this past Wednesday that we finally had to move her out of her house over to my sisters. She's only a shadow of herself now. She has no recollection that she taught school here for 35 years, she has degrees from the Univ or Manchester in biology and botany and can barely name a flower. she used to be able to rattle of the periodic table, do complicated algabraic equations etc and now she doesn't even know how to write a check or even what it's for. Everything's almost gone. We're sort of waiting for the day that she forgets our names now because often stumbles or forgets the name of my older sister who passed away 3 years ago. These days if it's not right in front of her it's like it doesn't exist. Funny thing is is that she remembers everything about her childhood, where they lived, the street name, the neighbors, can name them from old b/w photographs etc.. but she can't remember her own address or even what street she lives on.

    Thankfully there's a lot of organizations to turn to.. Mom herself used to volunteer for the VON, and the elderly outreach so they all know her, she doesn't remember them though.


    I'm not quite at this point yet with my mom, but I have no doubt that it's coming. She lives in the moment and whatever she gets stuck on comes up every five minutes or so and the rest is forgotten. She still mostly ok with names and can still find her way back home, but other cognitive abilities are no ways near what they were.
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    Apr 10, 2012 9:09 AM GMT
    Yes but other people's Elders is part of what I do.; other peoples children too.
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    Apr 10, 2012 3:11 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidWhen my grandmother was quite elderly, and was no longer able to care for herself, there was a program in New York State which provided round the clock care for her, so that she could live out the rest of her days in her own home.

    Since my mother passed away, last Fall, both my parents and all of my grandparents are gone.

    I used to think that I wanted to live longer than my grandmother did (96), but I don't see that happening, anymore.

    I have no idea what will become of me when I'm too feeble or addle pated to take care of myself.


    This ^^^^^ is the big question.

    True, I hang around with much younger in the gym because that’s what’s there, but with my primary hobby, the collector cars, they’re getting real old real fast. We used to hang around talking about, partying, racing and getting laid and now it’s our aches, pains, and our meds. We do what we can to help each other out, but we’re all getting old and no youngins to take our place.

    I always thought I was invincible, but after watching over my parents the last year or so I realize that I’ll be there before I know it, and it’s rougher than I thought.