What to do with Mother-In-Law

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gasdoc
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What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

Almost thirty years ago, we moved to a small town away from family for employment. Some time after that, DW's father passed and we moved dear mother-in-law (MIL) to an assisted living facility in our town. She pays for it with her small amount of savings with assistance from social security benefits and veterans' spousal benefit. I am not sure of the amount of either of these, but together it pays the $3,000 or so per month rent. Although she is in an assisted living facility DW, who happens to be an RN, provides the nursing functions she requires which keeps costs down for her.

Now DW and I are thinking about retirement and possibly relocating. But what to do about Dear MIL? Should we move her to a facility somewhere else where we would like to relocate? I am not sure they would take her in assisted living because she needs a lot of help (which DW currently provides). Should we move her to a full time nursing facility in a new area where we would like to relocate? Or possibly, should we look for a new home that could accommodate dear MIL moving in with us?

The financial part of this question is the following: would anyone know how much of the veterans' spousal benefit might be able to be used to pay DW to be her private nurse? We would have to purchase a larger home, with concurrent additional costs if we were to take this on.

And then not so much on the financial side, does anyone have experience they would like to share with having an elderly person that needs care living with them? Is it possible to get care for dear MIL when we go out of town? Any ideas are greatly appreciated!

gasdoc
Dontridetheindexdown
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by Dontridetheindexdown »

gasdoc,

We have always enjoyed, and respected your posts.

Learning of your parental situation increases our appreciation of you.

Right now, you are in what my DW (retired physiologist) would describe as homeostasis.

I would strongly consider retiring, and staying right where you are.

There is little doubt you are well-connected with medical, social, and other support services for MIL, and yourselves, in your present community.

If/when you wish to travel, you can arrange temporary care for MIL while you and DW are away.

I say this with some perspective.

Right now, my Mom (91) lives independently in a senior community.

My own Dad did not survive a move to that same community a few years ago (he was 90+ at that time).

My wife's parents (late 80's) are in assisted living at Eskaton, and doing well, at least as well as can be expected.

If you survived these last many years where you are, living as you have, most likely retirement there will be wonderful.

My personal advice is to retire in place, adjust your lives as you like, and continue to care for MIL as you have been doing.

You can PM me for additional discussion, or we can discuss publicly.

Thank you again, for all your insight in the past, and we wish you and DW all the best during your retirement.

We have been retired for more than a few years now, and we still look forward to every day.

Harry
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gasdoc
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

Dontridetheindexdown wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 7:23 pm gasdoc,

We have always enjoyed, and respected your posts.

Learning of your parental situation increases our appreciation of you.

Right now, you are in what my DW (retired physiologist) would describe as homeostasis.

I would strongly consider retiring, and staying right where you are.

There is little doubt you are well-connected with medical, social, and other support services for MIL, and yourselves, in your present community.

If/when you wish to travel, you can arrange temporary care for MIL while you and DW are away.

I say this with some perspective.

Right now, my Mom (91) lives independently in a senior community.

My own Dad did not survive a move to that same community a few years ago (he was 90+ at that time).

My wife's parents (late 80's) are in assisted living at Eskaton, and doing well, at least as well as can be expected.

If you survived these last many years where you are, living as you have, most likely retirement there will be wonderful.

My personal advice is to retire in place, adjust your lives as you like, and continue to care for MIL as you have been doing.

You can PM me for additional discussion, or we can discuss publicly.

Thank you again, for all your insight in the past, and we wish you and DW all the best during your retirement.

We have been retired for more than a few years now, and we still look forward to every day.

Harry
I appreciate your ideas. Retiring in place, at least for the time being, is certainly a possibility. It is good to know the options, though, right? Thank you!

gasdoc
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galawdawg
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by galawdawg »

Hope you don't mind a few questions that may help with some feedback....How is your mother-in-law cognitively? Does she enjoy a strong social connection and good relationships with the residents and staff at her current assisted living facility? Does she participate in their activities and interact with her peers?

What type of help does she require? Does she need assistance with activities of daily living or does she need skilled nursing care or have cognitive or behavioral impairments? In other words, would she meet the requirements to enter her current assisted living facility if she were a new resident or have her needs increased to the extent that she would likely no longer qualify for entry into her assisted living facility?
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Peter Foley
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by Peter Foley »

3000 per month is cheap for assisted living. My MIL pays more than twice that in a major metropolitan area.
clip651
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by clip651 »

My first impression of your situation is to agree with the previous poster. You seem to have a good setup for your MIL currently, presumably you have been settled in your own home and local community for some time, etc.

You haven't told us much about your MIL - age? generally stable health? does she like her current assisted living situation, and does she have friends there, etc? How would she feel about a move to a different part of the country and a different facility? Would she be able to make new friends? If you were to stay in the same location, what is the plan for MIL if/when she needs a higher level of care in the future? If MIL is early 70s and in generally good health and might live another two decades, the decision is a bit different than if she's late 80s or older and/or in more fragile health.

From what you have mentioned so far, her current setup sounds pretty ideal for her. I would not assume you can replicate it elsewhere. Though you might, with another assisted living facility plus additional nursing care provided by your DW and/or hired nurses.

In my local major metro area, I am unaware of a nursing facility where I'd be comfortable placing a loved one unless there were literally no other options, regardless of cost, and this is all prior to the complications of Covid (no visitors, high infection risk, no way to check up on care, etc). Facilities vary a lot, of course, maybe where you're hoping to move they are much better than in my area. But understaffing, high staff turnover, stressed staff, and not so individual attention seem to be common themes.

I've cared for my parents in their own home myself partly because there really aren't other satisfactory options. Depending on the needs of the elder, in home caregiving can really become a full time job, and as needs change, the demands on the caregiver change too, and the caregiver doesn't have control of that. I'm grateful I've been able to do it, but it is a lot to take on. My parents never wanted to need this much help, but it wasn't something they could control as they aged. And things could have gone very differently, if either had died suddenly at a younger age, vs. living a long time with multiple chronic conditions.

I've managed to avoid hiring caregivers to come in the home to supplement what I can do so far. But this does mean no vacations for the past few years, among other effects on my lifestyle. If you want to be able to leave on vacation, your MIL will either need to be in a facility you trust (full time, or respite care), or home with caregivers you trust enough to leave them with her and the home she's in, whether yours or her own.

Best wishes, there are no easy decisions here. Take your time before changing what is currently working.

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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

Thanks for the replies so far.

A little additional info. MIL is currently 92 years old, doesn't hear well and doesn't see well. She gets around minimally in her small two-room apartment. Aside from a little BINGO and other entertainment and meals, she pretty much sits and watches TV. DW does have a few caregivers she trusts to help out when we go out of town for no more than a week at a time. While she has friends in her current apartment, I think she would have a hard time meeting people in a new place. She can (barely) handle the daily living stuff, but DW lays her meds out for her once per week, buys her occasional groceries and supplies, helps her with her baths (she mostly does OK on her own though), and weighs her and looks at her and helps adjust her diuretics to keep her weight and swelling stable. I think she would be somewhere between assisted living and full time nursing if DW weren't able to help her daily or at least every other day.

From our perspective, I guess the issue is that there isn't much for us to do in our small town once retired. It does seem to be working while we are both working some to pass the time.

gasdoc
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by bayview »

gasdoc wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 10:02 pm ...From our perspective, I guess the issue is that there isn't much for us to do in our small town once retired. It does seem to be working while we are both working some to pass the time.

gasdoc
Realistically, and a bit morbidly of course, do you have an estimate of her life expectancy? If sounds like she has some element of CHF at least.

Perhaps you and your wife could remain where you are for now, and spend the next few years visiting areas where you might want to relocate, getting a feel for them in a “one day” scenario. And absolutely, throw in some “for fun” trips as well. Take care of yourselves, as well as her!

Like you, we are very fortunate to have our moms in an excellent although pricey ALF. Relocation would be awful for them (92 and 95.) Having trusted backup when we travel (if we ever get to do that again) is priceless.
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by coalcracker »

My maternal grandmother lived with us my whole childhood and died when I was in my mid 20s (I’m 41). In the last few years she suffered from progressive CHF, eventually became bed bound, and obtained home hospice care.

She was on hospice for at least 6 months before passing. During that time she had some nursing during the day, but the brunt of care fell on my parents. It was very difficult on my mother; she looks healthier now at age 67 than she did caring for my grandmother at 50. Before hospice it was Almost an equal amount of work because my parents had no nursing help. Something to consider if you decide to take her in your home.

This may be an obvious question, but does your MIL have any preference?
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by 123 »

From my perspective dealing with aging relatives over the years. It seems unlikely to me that you would be able to find an alternative assisted living arrangement that would work for your MIL, likely a nursing home placement is the only realistic alternative. Her care needs have gradually increased over the many years that she has resided at her current facility. Due to the assistance of your DW the facililty has been able to continue to accommodate your MIL. Another assisted living facility would likely not accept a new resident with the expectation of necessary regular care support by family members. Many states have licensing limitations that clearly define the degree of self-sufficiency required of new residents in assisted living facilities, indeed she might not qualify to be a new resident at her existing facility but she's been sort of grandfathered so far and the issue has not arisen.
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by celia »

Some states (like California) have a program where family members who take care of elderly relatives are paid by the state. The family member gets supposedly better care from a relative who cares about them while the care-giving relative gets some income to make up for not being available to hold a full-time job.

I don't know any details or the name of the program, but saw tax forms for the caregiver several times when I was a Tax-Aide/AARP volunteer tax preparer.
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by MrsBDG »

I've handled seniors moving into and going through IL/AL/Rehab/SNF/B&C/Hospice and I've had a parent live with me through the bitter end. Both were rough in different ways. With the facility parents it was phone calls and flights to handle things, coordinating care from afar, etc. With the parent living with me, it was unceasing, never ending need once dementia set it. I sensed my live in parent declining precipitously during the final year dealing with crisis after crisis with the facility parents. Once they died, I had the choice to place my live in parent, or not. I chose not to, I made the choice to keep her home with me. I did not want to go drive to a home (20-45 minutes away and likely $8k+ monthly as, by that time, she would not have likely qualified for AL, it would have been MC or SNF.

Taking care of a parent at home is an incredible loss of privacy and an unrelenting burden once they cross a certain line. But so is driving to check on them daily. Feel free to ask specific questions or PM me.
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by galawdawg »

gasdoc wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 10:02 pm Thanks for the replies so far.

A little additional info. MIL is currently 92 years old, doesn't hear well and doesn't see well. She gets around minimally in her small two-room apartment. Aside from a little BINGO and other entertainment and meals, she pretty much sits and watches TV. DW does have a few caregivers she trusts to help out when we go out of town for no more than a week at a time. While she has friends in her current apartment, I think she would have a hard time meeting people in a new place. She can (barely) handle the daily living stuff, but DW lays her meds out for her once per week, buys her occasional groceries and supplies, helps her with her baths (she mostly does OK on her own though), and weighs her and looks at her and helps adjust her diuretics to keep her weight and swelling stable. I think she would be somewhere between assisted living and full time nursing if DW weren't able to help her daily or at least every other day.

From our perspective, I guess the issue is that there isn't much for us to do in our small town once retired. It does seem to be working while we are both working some to pass the time.

gasdoc
Having been through elder care placements twice now, here are a few thoughts. Finding an assisted living facility that everyone is happy with and that is affordable is often a challenge. Finding a skilled nursing facility that would meet our high standards was even more difficult. Since you and your wife are both in the medical field, you may be able to get recommendations for a nursing facility from others in your field that you trust.

Your MIL apparently doesn't suffer from dementia and you said that she has friends in her current apartment and would have a hard time meeting people in a new place. So for your MIL, a move to a new "home" at this point in time would likely be very difficult. If you relocate, it may be likewise difficult to find caregivers that meet your wife's expectations if your MIL is somehow able to qualify for AL.

From a financial standpoint, any relocation of your MIL to either a different AL or a nursing facilty will likely be a significant cost increase, perhaps double or more. If you are considering relocating from a small town in Georgia to an area that attracts reitrees, you would probably find the cost of even the same level of care at an AL to be much higher. And your MIL would likely be assessed to require significant ADL and charged accordingly even if she was able to qualify for an AL placement.

Relocating to a home large enough to accommodate your MIL presents a different set of challenges. While you mention that there isn't much to do in your small town, if your MIL moves into your home in a new area, you and your wife will likely become full-time caregivers. Your MIL is at a point in her life where you couldn't simply leave her at home without a caregiver. In many respects, it is like having a preschool child at home but instead of a sitter, you need someone with a higher level of skill and experience. So until and unless you are able to find caregivers in your new locale that you and your wife are happy with, there won't be much opportunity for you and your wife to be out and about enjoying retirement.

I don't know what area of Georgia you are in, but since your wife has caregivers she trusts which gives you and she the ability to travel, you may want to stay put for the time being. I'm sure in the meantime you can find things you enjoy doing to occupy your time, whether a new hobby, volunteering or just day trips to nearby places. We are in a rural area of Georgia but can be in Athens in thirty minutes and Atlanta or Greenville in an hour. While it would be nice to have closer and more convenient entertainment and dining options (other than Waffle House), we do enjoy the benefits of country living.

Hope that provides some food for thought...good luck and congrats on your upcoming retirement!
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

coalcracker wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 10:20 pm My maternal grandmother lived with us my whole childhood and died when I was in my mid 20s (I’m 41). In the last few years she suffered from progressive CHF, eventually became bed bound, and obtained home hospice care.

She was on hospice for at least 6 months before passing. During that time she had some nursing during the day, but the brunt of care fell on my parents. It was very difficult on my mother; she looks healthier now at age 67 than she did caring for my grandmother at 50. Before hospice it was Almost an equal amount of work because my parents had no nursing help. Something to consider if you decide to take her in your home.

This may be an obvious question, but does your MIL have any preference?
We have not broached the subject of moving with her. I am sure she would rather stay put, but she is very compliant.

gasdoc
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

bayview wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 10:14 pm
gasdoc wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 10:02 pm ...From our perspective, I guess the issue is that there isn't much for us to do in our small town once retired. It does seem to be working while we are both working some to pass the time.

gasdoc
Realistically, and a bit morbidly of course, do you have an estimate of her life expectancy? If sounds like she has some element of CHF at least.

Perhaps you and your wife could remain where you are for now, and spend the next few years visiting areas where you might want to relocate, getting a feel for them in a “one day” scenario. And absolutely, throw in some “for fun” trips as well. Take care of yourselves, as well as her!

Like you, we are very fortunate to have our moms in an excellent although pricey ALF. Relocation would be awful for them (92 and 95.) Having trusted backup when we travel (if we ever get to do that again) is priceless.
I don't have an estimate of her life expectancy. She may have an element of CHF (based on leg swelling and weight gain from fluids) but labs have never proved it. Thanks.

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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

123 wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 11:51 pm From my perspective dealing with aging relatives over the years. It seems unlikely to me that you would be able to find an alternative assisted living arrangement that would work for your MIL, likely a nursing home placement is the only realistic alternative. Her care needs have gradually increased over the many years that she has resided at her current facility. Due to the assistance of your DW the facililty has been able to continue to accommodate your MIL. Another assisted living facility would likely not accept a new resident with the expectation of necessary regular care support by family members. Many states have licensing limitations that clearly define the degree of self-sufficiency required of new residents in assisted living facilities, indeed she might not qualify to be a new resident at her existing facility but she's been sort of grandfathered so far and the issue has not arisen.
I agree that getting her into another assisted living situation may be a problem, and we haven't explored that due to the current Covid-19 lockdown. Thank you.

gasdoc
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by Rudedog »

My wife and I are in a similar situation. We are staying put until her parents pass on. Moving an elderly person is very traumatic, if the current situation is working OK I'd put off moving until MIL is out of the picture.
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

MrsBDG wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 1:09 am I've handled seniors moving into and going through IL/AL/Rehab/SNF/B&C/Hospice and I've had a parent live with me through the bitter end. Both were rough in different ways. With the facility parents it was phone calls and flights to handle things, coordinating care from afar, etc. With the parent living with me, it was unceasing, never ending need once dementia set it. I sensed my live in parent declining precipitously during the final year dealing with crisis after crisis with the facility parents. Once they died, I had the choice to place my live in parent, or not. I chose not to, I made the choice to keep her home with me. I did not want to go drive to a home (20-45 minutes away and likely $8k+ monthly as, by that time, she would not have likely qualified for AL, it would have been MC or SNF.

Taking care of a parent at home is an incredible loss of privacy and an unrelenting burden once they cross a certain line. But so is driving to check on them daily. Feel free to ask specific questions or PM me.
Thank you. I guess our situation is unique in a good way in that the assisted living is only 10 minutes from our home, and until the restricted visit policy recently, it was easy for DW to visit daily.

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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

galawdawg wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 5:05 am
gasdoc wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 10:02 pm Thanks for the replies so far.

A little additional info. MIL is currently 92 years old, doesn't hear well and doesn't see well. She gets around minimally in her small two-room apartment. Aside from a little BINGO and other entertainment and meals, she pretty much sits and watches TV. DW does have a few caregivers she trusts to help out when we go out of town for no more than a week at a time. While she has friends in her current apartment, I think she would have a hard time meeting people in a new place. She can (barely) handle the daily living stuff, but DW lays her meds out for her once per week, buys her occasional groceries and supplies, helps her with her baths (she mostly does OK on her own though), and weighs her and looks at her and helps adjust her diuretics to keep her weight and swelling stable. I think she would be somewhere between assisted living and full time nursing if DW weren't able to help her daily or at least every other day.

From our perspective, I guess the issue is that there isn't much for us to do in our small town once retired. It does seem to be working while we are both working some to pass the time.

gasdoc
Having been through elder care placements twice now, here are a few thoughts. Finding an assisted living facility that everyone is happy with and that is affordable is often a challenge. Finding a skilled nursing facility that would meet our high standards was even more difficult. Since you and your wife are both in the medical field, you may be able to get recommendations for a nursing facility from others in your field that you trust.

Your MIL apparently doesn't suffer from dementia and you said that she has friends in her current apartment and would have a hard time meeting people in a new place. So for your MIL, a move to a new "home" at this point in time would likely be very difficult. If you relocate, it may be likewise difficult to find caregivers that meet your wife's expectations if your MIL is somehow able to qualify for AL.

From a financial standpoint, any relocation of your MIL to either a different AL or a nursing facilty will likely be a significant cost increase, perhaps double or more. If you are considering relocating from a small town in Georgia to an area that attracts reitrees, you would probably find the cost of even the same level of care at an AL to be much higher. And your MIL would likely be assessed to require significant ADL and charged accordingly even if she was able to qualify for an AL placement.

Relocating to a home large enough to accommodate your MIL presents a different set of challenges. While you mention that there isn't much to do in your small town, if your MIL moves into your home in a new area, you and your wife will likely become full-time caregivers. Your MIL is at a point in her life where you couldn't simply leave her at home without a caregiver. In many respects, it is like having a preschool child at home but instead of a sitter, you need someone with a higher level of skill and experience. So until and unless you are able to find caregivers in your new locale that you and your wife are happy with, there won't be much opportunity for you and your wife to be out and about enjoying retirement.

I don't know what area of Georgia you are in, but since your wife has caregivers she trusts which gives you and she the ability to travel, you may want to stay put for the time being. I'm sure in the meantime you can find things you enjoy doing to occupy your time, whether a new hobby, volunteering or just day trips to nearby places. We are in a rural area of Georgia but can be in Athens in thirty minutes and Atlanta or Greenville in an hour. While it would be nice to have closer and more convenient entertainment and dining options (other than Waffle House), we do enjoy the benefits of country living.

Hope that provides some food for thought...good luck and congrats on your upcoming retirement!
galawdog, first let me say that I appreciate the comments greatly. I think they are insightful. Second, I am not quite ready for retirement but I am ready to and am beginning to shave my work hours and responsibility. I guess I am in the "One More Year" category, which may change as I decide if I like the reduced hours, etc. Thanks, again! Go Dawgs!

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Watty
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by Watty »

gasdoc wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 6:51 pm Or possibly, should we look for a new home that could accommodate dear MIL moving in with us?
.....
We would have to purchase a larger home, with concurrent additional costs if we were to take this on.
...
Is it possible to get care for dear MIL when we go out of town?
It sounds like she is to the point where she really needs help to be available 24/7 so you would really need to have someone available to come in if you even wanted to go to a movie. In assisted living she may only need help occasionally but she also needs for someone to always be available.

Even going out to mow the lawn may be complicated since she will need to be able to let you know if she needs help. There may also be times when your wife is out and your mother in law needs help in the bathroom or changing soiled clothing and helping your mother in law with that could be really awkward and demeaning for her even if you are a doctor.

If you decide to try to care for her in your home then renting a larger home might be a better option than buying. She might not survive for long or she might need to be moved into a nursing home if she gets worse or living with you does not work out. Having to buy a large house is not only more expensive but it limits your choice of homes so once she is gone you could end up in an expensive house that is not ideal for you.

I think that there was a post a while about about someone that was having a house built with an in-law suite to take care of an elderly parent and the parent died before the house was completed.

Unless there are cultural expectations or financial constraints in home care would be my last choice once they are to the point where they need a lot of assistance. The exception would be if you are going to pay for 24/7 nursing care but that would be extremely expensive.

It was only briefly mention but with the COVID-19 virus causing so many problems with LTC facilities I would really not want to try to change anything right now since it should like you currently have a good situation. I would put any decisions on the back burner for six months to see how things develop.
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by TN_Boy »

Watty wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 9:38 am
gasdoc wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 6:51 pm Or possibly, should we look for a new home that could accommodate dear MIL moving in with us?
.....
We would have to purchase a larger home, with concurrent additional costs if we were to take this on.
...
Is it possible to get care for dear MIL when we go out of town?
It sounds like she is to the point where she really needs help to be available 24/7 so you would really need to have someone available to come in if you even wanted to go to a movie. In assisted living she may only need help occasionally but she also needs for someone to always be available.

Even going out to mow the lawn may be complicated since she will need to be able to let you know if she needs help. There may also be times when your wife is out and your mother in law needs help in the bathroom or changing soiled clothing and helping your mother in law with that could be really awkward and demeaning for her even if you are a doctor.

If you decide to try to care for her in your home then renting a larger home might be a better option than buying. She might not survive for long or she might need to be moved into a nursing home if she gets worse or living with you does not work out. Having to buy a large house is not only more expensive but it limits your choice of homes so once she is gone you could end up in an expensive house that is not ideal for you.

I think that there was a post a while about about someone that was having a house built with an in-law suite to take care of an elderly parent and the parent died before the house was completed.

Unless there are cultural expectations or financial constraints in home care would be my last choice once they are to the point where they need a lot of assistance. The exception would be if you are going to pay for 24/7 nursing care but that would be extremely expensive.

It was only briefly mention but with the COVID-19 virus causing so many problems with LTC facilities I would really not want to try to change anything right now since it should like you currently have a good situation. I would put any decisions on the back burner for six months to see how things develop.
+1

If you take your MIL in, you are not retiring, you are trading a paid job in your profession for well, a miserable unpaid job......

If I had to choose between full time caretaking* and a job, I'd pick the job every time.

How many hours a week is your wife helping MIL? Any "retirement" plan should consider a way to reduce that burden on her .....

*Actually, based on my experience, I'd probably pick a decent job I liked over part-time caretaking.
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by kelvan80 »

Is the Veteran's benefit SBP (Survivor Benefit Plan) or DIC (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation)? There should be a statement somewhere that details out the amount of the benefit.
InMyDreams
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by InMyDreams »

There are similarities between our situations.

As my father aged, I realized that his world was shrinking - he didn't get out of the building without assistance. Now he hardly walks without assistance. His contacts are all within the building (except me and his caregivers).

COVID lock-in hasn't helped, but I think it would be detrimental to him if he were to move out. So even tho he really belongs in ALF (he's in independent now), I am very reluctant to move him. And in these COVID times, moving him to an ALF or ECF may put him in harms way.

You plan to continue working for "one more year", giving you opportunities to explore your personal options. Circumstances change. If MIL's cognition declines, it may not matter if she moves. And we all continue to hope that we will gain an upper hand on COVID, opening up other opportunities.
Lalamimi
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by Lalamimi »

We moved my mom to assisted living a few years ago to be closer to us. ($4500 a month). She also had veterans' benefit (she was a veteran, so received $1800 mo, spouse is about $1300) which I luckily had finally gotten for her after she moved. Ended up at 3 different places, as she regressed. Leave your MIL where she is, it will be less confusing for her, but inquire about additional help. Mom's 2nd place charged about $200 more a month for more care (she was mentally sharp, but after a getting sepsis from a UTI at the first place, she could no longer walk. (more mental than physical). The final place was $3500 mo and did everything for her that was needed. I was working. She passed away a month after we moved (same area) to a larger home (to retire in) and I was laid off a month later. We have few friends here, unlike where we lived when the kids grew up, so it is also something to like about. I advise you to stay where you are, and travel (when we can...) Travel and visit new places, decide on a few you might like to relocate to in the future.
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gasdoc
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

TN_Boy wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 9:58 am
Watty wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 9:38 am
gasdoc wrote: Sun May 24, 2020 6:51 pm Or possibly, should we look for a new home that could accommodate dear MIL moving in with us?
.....
We would have to purchase a larger home, with concurrent additional costs if we were to take this on.
...
Is it possible to get care for dear MIL when we go out of town?
It sounds like she is to the point where she really needs help to be available 24/7 so you would really need to have someone available to come in if you even wanted to go to a movie. In assisted living she may only need help occasionally but she also needs for someone to always be available.

Even going out to mow the lawn may be complicated since she will need to be able to let you know if she needs help. There may also be times when your wife is out and your mother in law needs help in the bathroom or changing soiled clothing and helping your mother in law with that could be really awkward and demeaning for her even if you are a doctor.

If you decide to try to care for her in your home then renting a larger home might be a better option than buying. She might not survive for long or she might need to be moved into a nursing home if she gets worse or living with you does not work out. Having to buy a large house is not only more expensive but it limits your choice of homes so once she is gone you could end up in an expensive house that is not ideal for you.

I think that there was a post a while about about someone that was having a house built with an in-law suite to take care of an elderly parent and the parent died before the house was completed.

Unless there are cultural expectations or financial constraints in home care would be my last choice once they are to the point where they need a lot of assistance. The exception would be if you are going to pay for 24/7 nursing care but that would be extremely expensive.

It was only briefly mention but with the COVID-19 virus causing so many problems with LTC facilities I would really not want to try to change anything right now since it should like you currently have a good situation. I would put any decisions on the back burner for six months to see how things develop.
+1

If you take your MIL in, you are not retiring, you are trading a paid job in your profession for well, a miserable unpaid job......

If I had to choose between full time caretaking* and a job, I'd pick the job every time.

How many hours a week is your wife helping MIL? Any "retirement" plan should consider a way to reduce that burden on her .....

*Actually, based on my experience, I'd probably pick a decent job I liked over part-time caretaking.
DW spends about 5-7 hours per week helping MIL, but much of that is just visiting.

gasdoc
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

kelvan80 wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 11:28 am Is the Veteran's benefit SBP (Survivor Benefit Plan) or DIC (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation)? There should be a statement somewhere that details out the amount of the benefit.
I believe it is Survivor Benefit Plan. And DW has the benefit amount that applies toward assisted living, but she is not sure how much applies toward home nursing (if she does it). Thanks.

gasdoc
clip651
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by clip651 »

gasdoc, how much time do you spend visiting with your MIL? If you pick the route of moving her in with you and your DW, you'll be long term roommates at the least, and you may become responsible for parts of her care, as well, depending on her needs.

If she's in a situation where she only needs a few hours of visiting a week to keep her going, she is really in an unusually good situation for someone her age. I would be very reluctant to mess with that.

best wishes,
cj
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gasdoc
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

InMyDreams wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 11:38 am There are similarities between our situations.

As my father aged, I realized that his world was shrinking - he didn't get out of the building without assistance. Now he hardly walks without assistance. His contacts are all within the building (except me and his caregivers).

COVID lock-in hasn't helped, but I think it would be detrimental to him if he were to move out. So even tho he really belongs in ALF (he's in independent now), I am very reluctant to move him. And in these COVID times, moving him to an ALF or ECF may put him in harms way.

You plan to continue working for "one more year", giving you opportunities to explore your personal options. Circumstances change. If MIL's cognition declines, it may not matter if she moves. And we all continue to hope that we will gain an upper hand on COVID, opening up other opportunities.
Our situations are extremely similar. Thanks!

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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

Lalamimi wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 11:56 am We moved my mom to assisted living a few years ago to be closer to us. ($4500 a month). She also had veterans' benefit (she was a veteran, so received $1800 mo, spouse is about $1300) which I luckily had finally gotten for her after she moved. Ended up at 3 different places, as she regressed. Leave your MIL where she is, it will be less confusing for her, but inquire about additional help. Mom's 2nd place charged about $200 more a month for more care (she was mentally sharp, but after a getting sepsis from a UTI at the first place, she could no longer walk. (more mental than physical). The final place was $3500 mo and did everything for her that was needed. I was working. She passed away a month after we moved (same area) to a larger home (to retire in) and I was laid off a month later. We have few friends here, unlike where we lived when the kids grew up, so it is also something to like about. I advise you to stay where you are, and travel (when we can...) Travel and visit new places, decide on a few you might like to relocate to in the future.
Thanks for the thoughts.

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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

clip651 wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 12:46 pm gasdoc, how much time do you spend visiting with your MIL? If you pick the route of moving her in with you and your DW, you'll be long term roommates at the least, and you may become responsible for parts of her care, as well, depending on her needs.

If she's in a situation where she only needs a few hours of visiting a week to keep her going, she is really in an unusually good situation for someone her age. I would be very reluctant to mess with that.

best wishes,
cj
As above, she needs about 5-7 hours care from DW. Good point. Thanks.

gasdoc
HomeStretch
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by HomeStretch »

Once you feel comfortable traveling and the AL facility opens to visiting nurses, perhaps travel one week per month in early retirement to get out of your small town. You could spend a week visiting possible retirement locations.
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Re: What to do with Mother-In-Law

Post by gasdoc »

HomeStretch wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 1:12 pm Once you feel comfortable traveling and the AL facility opens to visiting nurses, perhaps travel one week per month in early retirement to get out of your small town. You could spend a week visiting possible retirement locations.
Yes, that would work if we stay where we are. The consensus here seems to be to keep things as they are. Maybe i just needed to hear it from folks that can look at it objectively. Thanks, all!

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