Dealing With Aging Parents

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ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
16,886
6,882
Maryland
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Well, our fortunes changed last night. I think the last time my mother was in the hospital was in the 1980's (she's 95). I got a call at noon today, the senior home where she lives found her on the floor in her hallway. She apparently fell, she thinks around 4 AM. She wasn't wearing her lifeline pendant, so laid there until 11:30 AM. The called an ambulance and sent her to the ER. She cut her elbow, but otherwise was unharmed (xray/Cat-Scan and bloodwork showed no issues) But, now we can't trust her to be on her own overnight, so I'm on her sofa tonight. I'll call the home tomorrow and see what they have for assisted living. She had a great run on her own, but the inevitable happened.
 

scloyd

Lifer
May 23, 2018
5,282
9,468
Northern Illinois
Well, our fortunes changed last night. I think the last time my mother was in the hospital was in the 1980's (she's 95). I got a call at noon today, the senior home where she lives found her on the floor in her hallway. She apparently fell, she thinks around 4 AM. She wasn't wearing her lifeline pendant, so laid there until 11:30 AM. The called an ambulance and sent her to the ER. She cut her elbow, but otherwise was unharmed (xray/Cat-Scan and bloodwork showed no issues) But, now we can't trust her to be on her own overnight, so I'm on her sofa tonight. I'll call the home tomorrow and see what they have for assisted living. She had a great run on her own, but the inevitable happened.
Your story is very similar to ours. My mother at 89 fell while getting back into bed one night. She couldn't get up off the floor so she crawled across her apartment floor into the living room to her phone. She laid there next to the phone until the sun came up. Then she called my sister...she didn't want to wake my sister.

Shortly after, she was with my sister coming home from the grocery store and fell on a patch of ice and broke her arm. Went through surgery, went into a rehab facility, got sick there, went to the hospital and never recovered. From the first fall until she passed was about 6 months...so quick.

Wishing you, your mom and all involved all the best.
 

pappymac

Lifer
Feb 26, 2015
2,851
2,776
I left home at 19 when I enlisted in the military and retired in Slidell, LA 21 years later. There were times during my service where I was lucky to make it home for a couple weeks every two or three years apart. Fortunately my sisters and their families lived in the same small town and were always there for our parents. Our mother was put into a nursing home in early 1991 and died on Dec. 1, 1991. By luck, we had made the trip over after Thanksgiving and I was able to spend several hours sitting and talking with her the day before. We were woken up by the phone call telling me she had passed.

Our father died in the hospital 14 months later. He was admitted to the hospital on Thursday and took a turn for the worse on Friday and died Saturday morning before I could get over there.

My point?
One of the very few regrets I have in life is that I didn't find a way to visit and spend time with my parents during my last four years in the Coast Guard while I was stationed in New Orleans.
 

Hovannes

Can't Leave
Dec 28, 2021
314
708
Fresno, CA
Do you have Power of Attorney?
Are you named her Executor?
I ask because you need this done before it becomes necessary.

There are scoundrels who will take advantage of the elderly, and unless you've got skin in the game you're powerless to do anything about it.
Police will be sympathetic but detectives---in my town anyway---could care less about sending an obvious case of elder abuse to the DA.

You might contact the Public Guardians Office. They can have a nurse inspect her home and evaluate how safe she is. Elderly suffering mild dementia can cause fires (leaving a pot on the stove) wreck cars (panicking when they feel lost) and other situations.

Enjoy your mother while you can. Take her on outings if she's up for it.
Be grateful for the time you have together.
 

Balor

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 5, 2022
113
503
32
Newberry, Indiana
I've moved into my parents home in the country 4 years ago. My dad is almost 70 and my mom is 63. They aren't as strong as they once were so I figured, as a confirmed bachelor, I would move in and help then out. I dobt know if you can move them in or move in with them but it certainly helped us out.
 

cigrmaster

Lifer
May 26, 2012
20,238
56,924
64
Sarasota Florida
I left home at 19 when I enlisted in the military and retired in Slidell, LA 21 years later. There were times during my service where I was lucky to make it home for a couple weeks every two or three years apart. Fortunately my sisters and their families lived in the same small town and were always there for our parents. Our mother was put into a nursing home in early 1991 and died on Dec. 1, 1991. By luck, we had made the trip over after Thanksgiving and I was able to spend several hours sitting and talking with her the day before. We were woken up by the phone call telling me she had passed.

Our father died in the hospital 14 months later. He was admitted to the hospital on Thursday and took a turn for the worse on Friday and died Saturday morning before I could get over there.

My point?
One of the very few regrets I have in life is that I didn't find a way to visit and spend time with my parents during my last four years in the Coast Guard while I was stationed in New Orleans.
I am sorry for your loss and thank you for your service.
 

monty55

Lifer
Apr 16, 2014
1,313
2,003
64
Bryan, Texas
I quit my job to help my 85 yr old Dad take care of my 80 yr old Mom after she had a bad stroke and was not able to walk. She passed away after 2 yrs. Dad was diagnosed with onset of Alzheimer's 6 mos. after she passed. I gave up my career to be his caregiver for the next 10 yrs.

This is obviously something you will have to address. It doesn't get any easier, and their condition or age-related issues only get worse over time.

As for an immediate fix to your grocery issue... as stated already, many stores deliver to your home now. I know Cosco and Walmart do down here. You can order the food via an app, pay for it and it's delivered to her.

I had to take my dad's driver's license away right before I moved in to take care of him because he would get confused and lost. It wasn't an easy thing to do because he loved to drive, but in the interest of his safety and the safety of others it's just necessary.
 
Jan 27, 2020
3,222
6,560
Well... maybe I shouldn't post this but oh well, I am feeling a bit of confusion over this and my close friends don't seem to understand my concerns.

So, my Mom is in her mid-70s and she has this new neighbor a couple houses down in his 50s. He looks a bit like a chubby Al Franken. Anyways, he's been helping her here and there, getting groceries on occasion, taking out her garbage cans etc., and he took her out to dinner a couple times. I thought nothing of this as he just seemed like a nice guy. So, I was there yesterday and she asked me to fix something on her phone and it opened to a text exchange between them and well...it seems like something uh, romantic is going on!

My Mom doesn't have much money (which is pretty obvious to anyone who looks at her house) and he seems to be doing ok financially, so I am not worried he's after money but...the guy is recently divorced and as I said lives very close to her so I don't see this ending well.

My Mom had one lung removed like 20 years ago and isn't in the best shape, I'm not trying to put her down just creating some context. I am not at all agist and have had a few girlfriends who were like 10 years older than me, I'm talking 35 and they are 45 or whatever...but someone who is likely 55 with a woman in her mid-70s. I don't know, but that strikes me as a bit strange. I have seen Harold and Maud and found it to be a charming, almost plausible film...but still.

It's nice that someone is giving her attention but I worry about what will happen (emotionally) when said attention might be removed. It's not my business and I don't plan on ever bringing it up but does concern me. Really wish I didn't glance at that exchange and shame on me for even reading a sentence!

edit: also, thanks for the numerous suggestions etc., a lot of helpful stuff and I appreciate the well wishes.
 
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mortonbriar

Lifer
Oct 25, 2013
2,130
3,779
New Zealand
Well... maybe I shouldn't post this but oh well, I am feeling a bit of confusion over this and my close friends don't seem to understand my concerns.

So, my Mom is in her mid-70s and she has this new neighbor a couple houses down in his 50s. He looks a bit like a chubby Al Franken. Anyways, he's been helping her here and there, getting groceries on occasion, taking out her garbage cans etc., and he took her out to dinner a couple times. I thought nothing of this as he just seemed like a nice guy. So, I was there yesterday and she asked me to fix something on her phone and it opened to a text exchange between them and well...it seems like something uh, romantic is going on!

My Mom doesn't have much money (which is pretty obvious to anyone who looks at her house) and he seems to be doing ok financially, so I am not worried he's after money but...the guy is recently divorced and as I said lives very close to her so I don't see this ending well.

My Mom had one lung removed like 20 years ago and isn't in the best shape, I'm not trying to put her down just creating some context. I am not at all agist and have had a few girlfriends who were like 10 years older than me, I'm talking 35 and they are 45 or whatever...but someone who is likely 55 with a woman in her mid-70s. I don't know, but that strikes me as a bit strange. I have seen Harold and Maud and found it to be a charming, almost plausible film...but still.

It's nice that someone is giving her attention but I worry about what will happen (emotionally) when said attention might be removed. It's not my business and I don't plan on ever bringing it up but does concern me. Really wish I didn't glance at that exchange and shame on me for even reading a sentence!

edit: also, thanks for the numerous suggestions etc., a lot of helpful stuff and I appreciate the well wishes.
Yeah, that is awkward... although I think we are conditioned socially to see an older man with a younger woman as a success story on his part, but if it is the other way round then we don't know how to contextualise it.
 

swampgrizzly

Might Stick Around
Sep 26, 2018
63
142
South Louisiana, U.S.A.
Well... maybe I shouldn't post this but oh well, I am feeling a bit of confusion over this and my close friends don't seem to understand my concerns.

So, my Mom is in her mid-70s and she has this new neighbor a couple houses down in his 50s. He looks a bit like a chubby Al Franken. Anyways, he's been helping her here and there, getting groceries on occasion, taking out her garbage cans etc., and he took her out to dinner a couple times. I thought nothing of this as he just seemed like a nice guy. So, I was there yesterday and she asked me to fix something on her phone and it opened to a text exchange between them and well...it seems like something uh, romantic is going on!

My Mom doesn't have much money (which is pretty obvious to anyone who looks at her house) and he seems to be doing ok financially, so I am not worried he's after money but...the guy is recently divorced and as I said lives very close to her so I don't see this ending well.

My Mom had one lung removed like 20 years ago and isn't in the best shape, I'm not trying to put her down just creating some context. I am not at all agist and have had a few girlfriends who were like 10 years older than me, I'm talking 35 and they are 45 or whatever...but someone who is likely 55 with a woman in her mid-70s. I don't know, but that strikes me as a bit strange. I have seen Harold and Maud and found it to be a charming, almost plausible film...but still.

It's nice that someone is giving her attention but I worry about what will happen (emotionally) when said attention might be removed. It's not my business and I don't plan on ever bringing it up but does concern me. Really wish I didn't glance at that exchange and shame on me for even reading a sentence!

edit: also, thanks for the numerous suggestions etc., a lot of helpful stuff and I appreciate the well wishes.
That relationship with the younger neighbor would be concerning for many of us, I think. I know we all want to respect others privacy, but since you have a role in her care, I wouldn't dwell on any shame in discovering your mother's relationship with the younger neighbor. As you described the situation the text exchange discovery wasn't something you went seeking after. It was accidentally exposed to you and perhaps will serve as providential discovery that will explain future events that may transpire in your mother's life and also serve as a basis for your noticing changes in your mother's behavior and emotional state should their relationship change in any negative way. It might be something she chooses to tell you about after she's sure it's likely to be a lasting relationship. I would just use the knowledge of their relationship on a need to basis only.