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@CindyK400721 wrote:
My parents, 87 and 85, can no longer live in their home alone. We hired a live in caregiver a little over a month ago. My Dad was hospitalized for a sudden "altered mental status" and since then he's declined cognitively so that live-in help is needed. It's apparent now that they were not keeping up with eating well, laundry and medications before his hospitalization. I live about 40 minutes from them, work full-time and spend a good part of each Friday with them so that their caregiver can have some time to herself. My Dad is sometimes verbally combative with the caregiver. This is a major change because he's always been a calm, caring person himself but I understand that he's frustrated with the loss of independence and that with the cognitive decline can come some personality changes. Anyone out there who can speak to how long it might take for my parents to adjust to this new living situation? We (my two siblings and I) all feel it's best to keep them in their home and together as long as possible. I'm just concerned that Dad's yelling at the caregiver may become too much for her. She does have a lot of previous experience caring for elderly people but still, it seems like a lot to tolerate, from my perspective. I'm trying to come up with some new ways for them to get out of the house now that neither of them drive. Dad was told not to drive anymore during his recent hospitalization. Their short term memory issues make it hard for them to volunteer as they used to. That was always a joy for them. It's SO hard to see my parents so frustrated and angry and upset about the loss of their independence.

Hi Cindy!

Your parents are adjusting all the time, they never stop adjusting, and it's usually an adjustment to something they would rather not adjust to, so the frustration will be ongoing. I don't think they'll at some point simply say, Oh well this is our life now! Let's be jolly and watch Carol Burnett reruns from the 70s!

Although that would be awesome.

I used to work as a geriatric care manager and i've been a medical social worker for over 30 years, and helped make arrangements for both parents when they were alive. I now work in a primary care clinic in a very rural, depressed, part of Eastern Oregon (more cows than people or social services.) Here are my thoughts.

Hire another caregiver for the weekend or something so that this caregiver doesn't work out. I had a client who had a Monday through Thursday, 'round the clock nursing assistant/cook/companion and another one Thursday night through Monday morning. Worked well for years. 

Find enjoyable things that your parents can still do: take them on a road trip for a few hours once a month to a place they love, a favorite restaurant. Rent classic funny movies from the 50s. Play music they loved from their teen years. Increase the pleasure in their lives. You and your siblings can go to a caregiver support group. Hire a geriatric caregiver for a short time to get suggestions. 

 

Schedule times when your siblings come for a visit. Take care of yourself with all this juggling...

 

What about these suggestions make sense to you? 

 

Consider joining https://www.facebook.com/groups/aarpfamilycaregivers/ where there is more traffic and responses.

 

Write more?

Jane

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Adjusting to loss of independence

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My parents, 87 and 85, can no longer live in their home alone. We hired a live in caregiver a little over a month ago. My Dad was hospitalized for a sudden "altered mental status" and since then he's declined cognitively so that live-in help is needed. It's apparent now that they were not keeping up with eating well, laundry and medications before his hospitalization. I live about 40 minutes from them, work full-time and spend a good part of each Friday with them so that their caregiver can have some time to herself. My Dad is sometimes verbally combative with the caregiver. This is a major change because he's always been a calm, caring person himself but I understand that he's frustrated with the loss of independence and that with the cognitive decline can come some personality changes. Anyone out there who can speak to how long it might take for my parents to adjust to this new living situation? We (my two siblings and I) all feel it's best to keep them in their home and together as long as possible. I'm just concerned that Dad's yelling at the caregiver may become too much for her. She does have a lot of previous experience caring for elderly people but still, it seems like a lot to tolerate, from my perspective. I'm trying to come up with some new ways for them to get out of the house now that neither of them drive. Dad was told not to drive anymore during his recent hospitalization. Their short term memory issues make it hard for them to volunteer as they used to. That was always a joy for them. It's SO hard to see my parents so frustrated and angry and upset about the loss of their independence.
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