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How do we explain that Mom's house is now our house too?

Due to severe dementia, rhematoid arthritis, and multiple other health problems, my Mom needed help to stay in her home. My husband and I moved in to Mom's home with her to provide care for her and her home (lawn care, snow removal, etc.). All expenses are shared - we take nothing for caring for her, and we pay our portion of all utility bills and purchase most of the food. I still work full-time. and my husband is retired, so he sits with her during my work hours. Other family members drop in without notifying me or my husband in advance, and stay for days at a time. We are in a small ranch-style house (no basement, no family room, and certainly not enough bathrooms). We are not always prepared with extra groceries and supplies, and quite frankly, I perceive this behavior as extremely presumptious and rude. I do not want to offend anyone or make them feel that they are not welcome to visit Mom. However, I need to establish some limits and am just not quite sure how to handle this without causing a major problem. Meanwhile, Mom is requiring more and more care as her condition is rapidly deteriorating, so there are more and more responsibilities all the time just with her care. Suggestions anyone???
Status: Open    Dec 28, 2015 - 10:46 AM

Caregiving, Relationships

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Jan 05, 2016 - 10:17 AM

You should discuss with an elder law attorney the possibility of the following:
- Bringing in outside caregivers for respite;
- Entering into a care agreement with your mother to provide pay for the work you are doing;
- Creating an enforceable right for you and your spouse to stay in the property in the event your mother needs to go to a nursing home; and
- Arranging a schedule with your siblings so they know when are appropriate times to visit.
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By usheroes on Oct 01, 2016 - 09:40 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Are the drop-in's relatives or friends? I am in the same situation as you (only I live there part time). I find that many simply do NOT understand dementia. They make suggestions that are not helpful due to the fact that my dad will not remember a minute from now what was said or done. A bracelet? he'll take it off and lose it...etc...among a hundred other non-helpful suggestions.
What I did, was share many of these trials with those I can trust (so they understand a bit of the burden), and when the time is right (they ask what they can do), suggest that gift cards for groceries, gas or a dvd for movie entertainment would greatly appreciated.
My dad deeded his house to my brother and I before he was too far gone. We did use an attorney for this. My dad's reasoning was that we will inherit it anyway, and we felt we were protecting him from other liabilities that could occur due to people trying to take advantage of him. I hope this has helped. Your other two comments actually helped me! :) Take care and please reply with how you are doing! Tammy O.

By usheroes on Oct 01, 2016 - 09:45 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I meant to include this....after a long visit, I generally tell people that he enjoyed their visit but gets very tired and it is more painful for him (due to physical problems), so suggest that they plan short visits to provide company. Always emphasize the part about pain and confusion. People who truly love someone will not want to contribute to that.
I try to keep in touch with others as much s possible, keeping them in the loop, so that I can truly convey where my dad is at and why I am being so protective. If they can't honor this, you may have to be more direct that you are accustomed to. If the house is in YOUR name, then you have a right to tell people whether they can come and insist on how long when do allow them. Most people are simply ignorant of the task you have taken on and you have to be firm, but loving. Tammy O.

By jvogelmi on Oct 03, 2016 - 09:47 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

After several attempts at trying to tell my siblings I no longer want unannounced visits to our home where my mother in living, I arranged with the help of VA to have Respite weekends
were they can visit and me family can take a caregivers break. I now have no other fights or
discussion with them regarding Mom's care. If you are POA and medical POA, they have
no right to be intrusive and you needs to establish boundaries.

By meme41 on Oct 08, 2016 - 09:02 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

My Mother has a stroke in June this year.She live with at my home.she is separate from her husband but her husband want to put in a nurse home

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Jan 06, 2016 - 07:55 AM

I commend you for your work in this thankless task. I would suggest that you pay yourselves something for the services provided. If she cannot be alone a sitter fee is appropiate. Milage for trips to the doctor, grocery store, pharmacy, etc. As long as all her expeneses including the caregiving do not exceed her income it should not be a problem. Keep records of hours and rate of pay. You will have to report the pay as income but not the remibursements.
The good news is that if you live with her for two years and your care keeps her out of a nursing home your mother can deed you her house without penalty from Medicaid. Make sure you have medical records to show she needs constant care and records to show that you are living there. Check with a local elder law attorney to confirm your states requirements on this.
As to the drop-ins who stay over the suggestion to thank them for the assistance leave for a while is the best. If they are truly there to visit it will be expected if there just to get out of town it will hasten the departure.

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Jan 06, 2016 - 07:55 AM

I commend you for your work in this thankless task. I would suggest that you pay yourselves something for the services provided. If she cannot be alone a sitter fee is appropiate. Milage for trips to the doctor, grocery store, pharmacy, etc. As long as all her expeneses including the caregiving do not exceed her income it should not be a problem. Keep records of hours and rate of pay. You will have to report the pay as income but not the remibursements.
The good news is that if you live with her for two years and your care keeps her out of a nursing home your mother can deed you her house without penalty from Medicaid. Make sure you have medical records to show she needs constant care and records to show that you are living there. Check with a local elder law attorney to confirm your states requirements on this.
As to the drop-ins who stay over the suggestion to thank them for the assistance leave for a while is the best. If they are truly there to visit it will be expected if there just to get out of town it will hasten the departure.

Answers

Jan 02, 2016 - 09:34 AM

I was surfing and found your question. I cannot advise you on how to handle the unannounced visitors, other than to say that they should be offering to help with your mother's care to give you and your husband a break. "Glad you stopped by. Here is the routine for Mom. We will be back in six hours (or tomorrow)." I advise you to visit your local Medicaid office if you have not already. If your mother needs long-term skilled care how will that be paid for? If Medicaid is the only option, they will require your mother's home to be sold. There are complicated financial issues you should learn about to protect yourself.
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By usheroes on Oct 01, 2016 - 09:47 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

"Glad you stopped by. Here is the routine for Mom. We will be back in six hours (or tomorrow)."

I love that! Like I said in previous comments, people have no idea and it's up to you to put the brakes on anything that might upset your mom.

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Jan 03, 2016 - 10:24 PM

You ALREADY have a major problem! You moved into your mother's small house and take care of her and her house 24/7, pay your share of the bills, and buy all the groceries - plus doing the cooking, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and handling her finances. And you and your husband carry that burden of responsibility ALL BY YOURSELVES! These other family members only add to your burden. They contribute nothing - not money or respite care, no lawn mowing, raking leaves, or shoveling snow. And they expect to be guests when they show up without warning! From one who's been there - and am now the responsible sibling for supervising my mother's care - although family members do not contribute money or help, they can be quite free with annoying, inappropriate, and unasked for "advice!"

Be kind to YOURSELVES and send all family members a letter setting some simple ground rules. Advance notice of a visit is required - whatever amount of time is best for you, from 24 hours to a week. Do not allow visitors to stay with you - the house is too small, you work full time, and it is too disruptive to your mother's routine, plus much more work for her caregivers. Visitors must stay with friends or get a motel room. Visitors need to come prepared to host a prepared meal they bring with them, or provide take-out or restaurant meals for the visit.

A monthly e-mailed report on your mother's mental and physical condition to the family members would be appropriate. Don't sugar-coat the facts! Your family members probably have no idea how difficult, tiring, and discouraging it is taking care of someone with dementia! It is not complaining to give them the bald facts: you took her to this many doctor visits; the doctor said this; the physical therapist or other specialist said this; giving your mother a bath or shower is hard; you pulled a muscle trying to move her from the bed to the chair; she won't eat what you cook; she threw five screaming hissy fits; she wandered off twice when no one was looking; she tried to cook something and nearly set the kitchen on fire; she doesn't remember the names of her grandchildren anymore; etc., etc. You need a break!

The last rule - every group of family members should be expected to give your mother respite care and you and your husband a at least a weekend break from caregiving on a regular basis! Once they have cared for your mother themselves, they will be much more understanding of her condition, and much more appreciative of all you do for her and the family!




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By usheroes on Oct 01, 2016 - 09:49 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

ebennet has a great response! Please do this. I learned the hard way, but this will reward both you and your husband and your mother so that when the day comes that you no longer have her, you will have no regrets or resentments. .

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Jan 06, 2016 - 05:03 AM

Medicaid has new programs under Consumer Directed Care. In those programs, help comes to your house, you do not go in a nursing home. If this ends up working for your Mom, she would not need to sell her house or her car - if she still has one. And there is no look back on finances. She does need to qualify for Medicaid. Contact your local Department of Social Services or Office of the Aging for help learning about this form of Medicaid.

My husband and I were/are living your exact scenario. Mom is nowgetting set up with help. I can't express how much better I feel. And how much happier Mom seems too.

Regarding the guests, we didn't have family problems but my husband's friends had to be told to simply not come to the house. If he had guests they parked away from the house, stayed in the garage, etc. When his kids had a birthday party, it was off-site. My husband just told them frankly that lots of people and activity upset my Mom and so we couldn't have it. They all respected our wishes. I've read more and more about this issue and dementia and the rule of thumb is 2 hours - you have 2 hours before the person becomes tired/agitated and needs to go back to their routine.


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By smokiworks on Oct 01, 2016 - 05:43 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I am 82. Women relatives have lived to their nineties, but the majority have died in mid-eighties. I do not have the ailments that killed the "younger" ones. I have lower back issues, and do Tai chi once a week. An artificial hip, and one knee, permit me to do shopping,, cooking, etc. But there is constant pain, I don't drive at night anymore, as my vision is changing, which makes paperwork not impossible, but extremely nuisance inducing. My mind is still quick, but there are "Rick Perry" moments. So far, that's annoying, rather than interfering, but I can see that day could arrive. Dare I say that I'm sharper than my children? That doesn't help. My home, which I designed for comfort and ease of operation, is beginning to be a wee bit much. There are a few pleasant places that I could move to, IF I rid myself of 2/3 of my belongings, and sell my house. My savings and social security would not pay the monthly in any of those places. So most of the talk about "a place for Mom" is nonsense to me. I would like to leave my home to my two sons. Divided, it's not much of a heritage. My problem is not an unwillingness to discuss it with them, but that there is no solution any of us are aware of. I have a wealthy neighbor who spent $200,000 for in-home care last year. She has given property to all three children, but would rather decimate her remaining savings than sell her home. i envy her ability to make those choices. Nursing facilities are frankly places I would end my life before being entering. Solutions don't seem to be found under a certain income level, so I value the comment about Medicaid, and shall investigate it in my state, ahead of need. Thank you! rojo1215

By nanb06 on Oct 01, 2016 - 09:43 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

The so called friends etc. need to be told they must always call before coming over. This is common courtesy. If their Mom is feeling like having company, then allow them to come, but make it clear that they can only stay about a hour or two. If after that they continue to come without calling first, just refuse to answer the door or open the door and tell them she is not having guest that day and remind them they must always call first.

I am 76 young, retired from a major oil company in Houston, Texas. The reason I say young, is because I feel 56 instead of my biological age. I owe it to the fact that I deeply believe, moderation is the key to maintaining good health. I never smoked but once, I was 16 and it made me cough so much, I knew I didn't need to do it again. The first time I tried a beer was when I turned 21. Most all my friends enjoyed beer and I wanted to taste it. After taking one swallow, I said "who threw-up in this bottle" I will sip on a glass of wine or champagne at a wedding etc. But only one. I just don't enjoy it enough.

I do yoga daily. I try to walk 2 or 3 miles daily. Some weekends, I go dancing with some of my widow lady friends.I am told I am a good dance partner, which is probably because I love to dance and I love music of all kinds.
When I am out I drink Cranberry juice, which my favorite waiters serve me in a wine glass, as I requested. Men are always offering to buy me a drink, I smile and say " this is cranberry juice", but thank you."

I prefer to eat at home and I prepare very healthy food without fats. During the holiday season, birthdays, weddings etc, I do go out and I eat enough to enjoy the meals, but I never stuff myself, like many of my overweight friends and relatives do. I do believe in respecting people and I never make it a point to criticize anyone. Only when someone ask me, where did you find the fountain of youth? I do explain my feeling about good healthy living.

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