Friday, September 23, 2016

Investigate CCRC places to live or you might be sorry later

I wish we had known about CCRC. That stands for Continuous Care Retirement Communities. I had a wonderful friend tell me about this. A person can go from Independent living all the way through skilled (nursing home) care and including hospice in these places. Why should you care? Because, if the person needs more care they will have to be moved to another facility.

Mom had been in independent living for 4 years. She was still physically able to take care of herself, but her mind was going. The paranoia and inability to retain just about anything was impossible to deal with. She hid her purse at least 50 times and I purchased her a safe to put it in. Sometimes she still stuffed it in a drawer or under the bed or in a box. I spent HOURS looking for the purse. We even put a "tile" with a phone app on the purse. I changed phones and it would not work.  Money went missing and I even had to file a police report. ($300)  Some of the housekeepers decided they would take "breaks" in mom's apartment.  At least 3 times we know people were in the apartment unauthorized when she was gone. I had even thought of a "nanny cam," but I really did not want to look at video of my mother naked.  I just stopped giving her more than $20 at a time.

We found a new community for mom to move where she could get minimal care (at first) and graduate to more care when needed. It was a smaller apartment and it had french doors out to a courtyard area. This way she still had an outdoor patio and a place for plants. We also were going to save $900 a month. The money was going fast. Our biggest fear was that she would take a dive mentally. Change is not usually easy for dementia/Alzheimer's patients.

Mom fought us on the idea of moving for over a year. We were to the point that we were moving her without her consent. We had the legal power to do so, but it's difficult looking your mom in the eye and saying, "You don't have a choice." I think mom realized she was going to have to depend on us more, plus she KNEW her mind was not clear. She told me she wants to die several times.

I am in the process of moving to another state, so my blogs might not be as regular for a few weeks. I plan on resuming on a regular basis by the end of October.  Stay tuned. I am  continuously learning more than I ever wanted to know about this subject of the elderly, family dynamics, legal issues and Alzheimers.