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Senior Citizen Issues - Assisting Your Parents

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My father-in-law just moved to Gains Ranch in Southwest Austin for around $4k /mo for a independent living unit. It’s nice. No nursing but meals included. Lots of activities and social interaction.

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Mom told me 2 days ago that she "has been saving up for probably 1/2 a year & finally paid off a $ 675 traffic ticket, so  you should be happy about that."

Never mind that around 1 week earlier I gave her $ 500.00 ca$h.

& For the life of me, I cannot figure out how a single woman* in her mid 70's can accumulate so much recyclable material.  I have a family of 4 & she fills up her recycling toter in 1/2 the time it takes us (well, it's actually me doing the hauling to the street).

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Dateline, now.

Mom just sent me a text message that had her email address & password.

Then, when I sent back a text asking why she was sending ANYONE her info, her response was "wrong site!"

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We turned on share location on MIL's phone so we can figure out we she is and direct her next time she gets lost. Poor woman has the worst luck with her GPS never being right.

Edited by ShaggyBevo RIP

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On 11/5/2018 at 7:54 AM, ROFL BOX said:

Dateline, now.

Mom just sent me a text message that had her email address & password.

Then, when I sent back a text asking why she was sending ANYONE her info, her response was "wrong site!"

What do you do at that point?  Dang.

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I could see her making that mistake if she accidentally switched from her browser or email app to her txt app. Inattention or poor eyesight combined with an accident is one thing. If she genuinely confused the two, I'm sorry.

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Last night & I'm headed towards town with both kids in my truck.

I get a call from Mom:  "I stopped on the side of the road to 'adjust' the dog ("Bitsy" is this critter's name) because she was being a bother.  This critter is an  oversized Chihuahua & my wife calls it "Dobby" for it's obvious  resemblance.  Mom dresses it in clothes & it's fairly loose with peeing in the kitchen (linoleum, thankfully) & the very idea of it generally irritates me, so I call it "Shitsy".

Anyway...

"So I stopped & it's soft here, apparently, & I can't get unstuck.  I tried 4H & 4L, not working for me."

The intersection where she's stuck is on my way, so I figure it's no big deal.

I pulled up around & behind her, tailgate to tailgate but around 40 ft. apart.  I asked her to get in my truck & wait a moment (that way she's not in the road).

 

1.  Every idiot light possible is lit up on the dash.  It's like a fargin' Christmas tree & the 4H & 4L are blinking (vehicle is in P).

2.  I put it in N & switched the dash controls to 4H, no sound out of the transfer case (this is a 2014 Tundra).  Tried 2WD, no sound & no feeling of the transfer case dis-engaging.  Whatever, can't obviously figure this out on the side of the road @ 1830 when it's dark.

3.  Put it in R & give it some gas... vehicle nudges backwards around 9" or so.  Flip it into D & give it a shitload of gas... truck finally pops loose after 5 seconds of digging  in & I did a 1/2 donut on the road, U turn parallel to my truck & put the hazards on (she's on the road, I'm in the grass).

4. Walk to my truck & she never got in, was leaning in from the driver's door & chatting up my kids.  There is mud all over the inside of my driver's door & up the back of her sweater from where I had roosted as I got her un-stuck.
 

Fuck me.  I spent 10 minutes wiping down the inside of my window & on the arm rest, window switches, door lock, etc.  It's still a huge mess today as I haven't had time to mess around with it.

Meanwhile, for the entire time I was cleaning up my door, she sat there in the road doing who the hell knows what with that damn dog as though it's no big deal that she is occupying part of the T intersection.

< s i g h >

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On 7/11/2018 at 8:10 PM, BottleRocket said:

My father-in-law just moved to Gains Ranch in Southwest Austin for around $4k /mo for a independent living unit. It’s nice. No nursing but meals included. Lots of activities and social interaction.

I bet he's knocking down a lot of that geriatric booty, good on him.  Hope I get to be the horn dog of a facility someday.

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19 minutes ago, SHOOTER12 said:

I bet he's knocking down a lot of that geriatric booty, good on him.  Hope I get to be the horn dog of a facility someday.

You'll know the easy chicks at the nursing home because their wheelchair seats have slots in them.

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Late night work here @ my Mom's senior citizen apartment. The current time here is 2245 hrs. Xmas night as I start this efforting.

 

She's fat (sorry, Mom... truth bomb) & the supporting MDF / particle board that held her bed (box spring & mattress) finally screamed out "No more! I'd rather die!"

I have some weathered 1×'s on hand & brought those out to fix her up.

 

Team Red & Black to the rescue.

 

Mom has a bad L arm / shoulder, bum setup that won't allow her to do anything for herself from that side. She was head down while the foot end of the box / mattress were up. Apparently managed to turn 90⁰ but still couldn't get up on her own.

 

VERY unfortunately, there is a double deadbolt setup on both the front door & patio access - one deadbolt has a key from the hall side, the top one is only un-lockable from the inside & BOTH of the locks (front & back door) were set.

 

North Hays Fire / Rescue had to come out (before I got here) & fuck up both the door frame AND the door. I hope the management will allow me to R&R the new setup as this is well within our skillset.

 

I can bet they will probably charge @ least $ 600 for an R&R.

 

¡GAH!6bca039cfe3658056bb0f6dd82871212.jpgbcdede7970a0e5d07275cedf7a7c72f2.jpg514257ccb62d796603666f9dea9e5f6b.jpg2590e56957cc4bc20d8aa71b27b356f6.jpgd18ce32bf9f80806e7f3083b4acb9185.jpg6d1e978a19778f8908c68243a44bc432.jpg1c538f631a80d3e9dd8ed143988d29a2.jpg0f84c00c026be1602552447be579b090.jpg

 

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Are there alternatives to the inside-latch only for deadbolts but also provide similar security? I warn my mom all the time that while I understand the second deadbolt makes her feel secure, the slightest problem with her being unable to get to the door, will result in a door being kicked in.

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For those of you dealing with the elderly and phones or other technology, odds are pretty good they aren't going to master it and it will be an ongoing source of annoyance.  It's not dementia, per se, it's just that the older start losing mental flexibility around 70-75 and just can't learn any but the simplest new things, or things that are very analogous to something they already know how to do.

The Jitterbug phone is for real.

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My door guy is going over today to check it out - apparently the management is cool with us fixing this.

& here is a pic of the frame.

Hell, they wrinkled up the door so badly it caused damage by the center glass.

I know we have @ least 1 or 2 Firefighters in here - howzabout y'all break a window & cost me a lot less $$?

I can bet this will easily be a $ 500 expense by the time it is over & I don't think this is a door that is found via McCoy's or Homer Despot.

Labor
Identical door / frame
Door trim
Paint
Lockset(s)
Re-keyed to the existing setup2b9f3b843e2643cb13e57c3132979d64.jpg6e7ec7c49ee2d911f7fc2b0c53b93a72.jpg7dbf820ef75aa4ea767140d7055c2aa9.jpg96030fa89a51bb521f37ced9d2ce5d52.jpg

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On 12/26/2019 at 8:32 AM, TwiceHorn said:

For those of you dealing with the elderly and phones or other technology, odds are pretty good they aren't going to master it and it will be an ongoing source of annoyance.  It's not dementia, per se, it's just that the older start losing mental flexibility around 70-75 and just can't learn any but the simplest new things, or things that are very analogous to something they already know how to do.

The Jitterbug phone is for real.

Hot damn this is the truth.  I have to answer standard computer questions weekly, not to mention run CCleaner/Malwarebytes frequently due to my dad, ahem, contracting spam/viruses from browsing certain....sites....... why can't that mental flexibility be lost first?

Edited by Spur08

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Probably 2 or 3x a month there is some kind of issue that has my Mom wanting to go to the AT&T store to have them fix something on her phone.

 

The latest fuckup is when her phone is set to use the wi-fi wherever she is, the phone's call reception goes to shit.  This has been going on for 3 or 4 months now & was a sudden development.  & Of course she is always wanting to be just 1 step behind the latest / greatest iPhong technology... would have the iPhong 11 Pro Max if she could afford it.

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Wife grandmother is in her 90s. Smart tough woman who went back to school in her 50s because she loves learning. Blind for the most part in one eye and other is degrading.

 

Curious if you guys have any recommendations for some sort of way to have books read to her at a technology level she can use and work with with limited vision. 

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2 minutes ago, Spur08 said:

I think I they make this thing called audio books..

I think his point is, is there some mechanism out there by which his half-blind g'mother can listen to them other than some podcast app on a phone.

Perhaps something like this is the answer.  https://www.loc.gov/nls/enrollment-equipment/equipment-needed-for-nls-materials/obtaining-nls-digital-talking-book-player-free/

 

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On 12/28/2019 at 11:25 AM, ROFL BOX said:

My door guy is going over today to check it out - apparently the management is cool with us fixing this.

& here is a pic of the frame.

Hell, they wrinkled up the door so badly it caused damage by the center glass.

I know we have @ least 1 or 2 Firefighters in here - howzabout y'all break a window & cost me a lot less $$?

I can bet this will easily be a $ 500 expense by the time it is over & I don't think this is a door that is found via McCoy's or Homer Despot.

Labor
Identical door / frame
Door trim
Paint
Lockset(s)
Re-keyed to the existing setup2b9f3b843e2643cb13e57c3132979d64.jpg6e7ec7c49ee2d911f7fc2b0c53b93a72.jpg7dbf820ef75aa4ea767140d7055c2aa9.jpg96030fa89a51bb521f37ced9d2ce5d52.jpg

Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
 

Are you adding any options to prevent this from occurring again? For my mom, I've wondered if there is a wireless, one-sided deadbolt that I could unlock from the outside with my phone. That doesn't seem quite as secure as a one-sided manual deadbolt but removes the scenario that you have above.

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Is a keyed deadbolt really that unsecure?  That would seem the simplest solution.  It may be that landlords are supposed to provide an unkeyed deadbolt.

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11 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Is a keyed deadbolt really that unsecure?  That would seem the simplest solution.  It may be that landlords are supposed to provide an unkeyed deadbolt.

I understand why people like the additional one-sided lock because it removes the ability (perceived or otherwise) for someone to enter unexpectedly.  But if there is a problem on the inside and the person can't unlock it, the door has to be broken down. That can create a delay in getting help not too mention the cost of repairing a door. 

And if its a real life-or-death emergency, I don't care about the cost of a door. But some elderly fall, don't actually hurt themselves but can't get to their feet. I don't want to drop $500 to repair a door in that scenario. 

I'm just looking for ideas on how to make it easier to retain security but not create a barrier to getting inside.

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Looks like a keyless deadbolt is required for exterior doors of apartments in Texas.  Tex. Prop. Code Sec. 92.153.

Looks like the low-cost solution is to break a window instead.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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@TwiceHorn, I was going to respond that Texas law requires it but I didn't have the specific code / law.

& If this happens occasionally, you would THINK that breaking a window would be the better option as it will prob. cost $ 150 on the high end vs. $ 500+ for the whole fucking door & jamb / frame / trim to be replaced & repainted.

 

SteveMartin.gif/ButNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

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On 12/26/2019 at 9:32 AM, TwiceHorn said:

For those of you dealing with the elderly and phones or other technology, odds are pretty good they aren't going to master it and it will be an ongoing source of annoyance.  It's not dementia, per se, it's just that the older start losing mental flexibility around 70-75 and just can't learn any but the simplest new things, or things that are very analogous to something they already know how to do.

The Jitterbug phone is for real.

We made all the TVs at every residence (MIL and our two) the same brand and user interface so MIL only needed to learn one way and it would work everywhere for her and lower our support calls.

Edited by ShaggyBevo RIP

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11 hours ago, ROFL BOX said:

@TwiceHorn, I was going to respond that Texas law requires it but I didn't have the specific code / law.

& If this happens occasionally, you would THINK that breaking a window would be the better option as it will prob. cost $ 150 on the high end vs. $ 500+ for the whole fucking door & jamb / frame / trim to be replaced & repainted.

 

SteveMartin.gif/ButNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

Yeah, I had the idea stuck in my head somehow, don't know where from, so I looked it up.  Shoot, the EMTs or whoever should have busted the center glass in that door and saved everyone a bunch of money.

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13 hours ago, TwiceHorn said:

Yeah, I had the idea stuck in my head somehow, don't know where from, so I looked it up.  Shoot, the EMTs or whoever should have busted the center glass in that door window right next to the door and saved everyone a bunch of money.

Edited for you.

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On 12/31/2019 at 11:11 PM, ROFL BOX said:

Edited for you.

Yeah, that would have been cheapest, no doubt, but they were standing there looking at a window in the door that they busted down.

If you're gonna fuck up the door, why not do it in the cheapest way right spang in front of you.  You could even make it tacticool by using that glassbreaker on your tanto supersteel flip-out springassisted tactical folder.

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I've made the decision recently to move back to my hometown in Iowa, after being in the south for 20 years, to start helping out my folks. They are 75 and 76 and moving around just fine. Minds are fine. But they are still just a little worse each time I see them, so I'm not going to miss out on any more time with them and regret it.

I had to assure them I'm not moving back for them, but that was a flat out lie.  But it's just as much for me as for them. Mending fences and shit. We are at a point now where we will all enjoy and be grateful for the time we spend together.  And fuck they raised me. It's my time to take care of them. 

 

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Mom is looking for something like a mobility scooter.

I am against this because once you go that route, it is even easier to lose your physical agility & strength.

If I don't win this issue, do any of y'all have any experience with these products & ha e a referral?

Apparently it would be 80% paid for via MediCare.

PS: Obligatory pic to get that dig in here before y'all do.1783140e7146b1368d872f228ccc49e1.jpg

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Took her to the Orthopedic Surgeon today - Frosty said she def. needs shoulder surgery & also to have some back work done from the 3 through 7's.

Before the spinal work, however, she needs to have an abdominal hernia done.

Taking her on Monday to her cardiologist & pulmonary docs for preflight clearances on the shoulder. Frosty expects to do a "regular" without needing the "reverse" version.7d58291afb877e85fa90826ebe6d51fc.jpg

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That's a lot of surgery for an old person. Three essentially major surgeries. Do you have a medical person you can talk to and help prioritize these surgeries? A primary care physician? Some sort of generalist who can help you look at the big picture? She could take months, or longer, to recover from each surgery. She could, for example, get a better functioning shoulder, but the trade off might be increased general weakness throughout the body due to lack of activity while the shoulder surgery heals. It's a hell of a conundrum. 

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12 minutes ago, Not that Bob said:

Do you have a medical person you can talk to and help prioritize these surgeries?

Mom is a retired Respiratory Therapist & was the 2nd female Paramedic in the state of Florida.

The ortho, Frosty Moore, is considered one of the best in the Austin region.  I've known him for over 15 years & he handled me when I broke a rib & R clavicle (thrown from one of my horses).
We've worked this out.

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34 minutes ago, ROFL BOX said:

Mom is a retired Respiratory Therapist & was the 2nd female Paramedic in the state of Florida.

The ortho, Frosty Moore, is considered one of the best in the Austin region.  I've known him for over 15 years & he handled me when I broke a rib & R clavicle (thrown from one of my horses).
We've worked this out.

I'm sure Dr. Moore is great.  But he's a specialist and they sometimes lose the bigger picture in cases like these.  Surgeries can be really, really hard on old folks, so do get some opinions on that, beyond "can she survive the surgery."  

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Sounds like a done deal, but I agree that it’s never bad to pump the brakes somewhat on surgery for the elderly. They need to do what is necessary to be out of pain but lengthy recovery can lower their quality of life.

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8 hours ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Sounds like a done deal, but I agree that it’s never bad to pump the brakes somewhat on surgery for the elderly. They need to do what is necessary to be out of pain but lengthy recovery can lower their quality of life.

I'll add to that if she's on a bunch of medications prior to surgery, particularly stuff for blood pressure, afib and respiratory, then it can be hell getting those stabilized again afterward.  My dad would go through periods where they put him on something or changed up something and all hell would break loose, because the pulmonologist, the heart specialist and his general doctor weren't communicating.

As for the scooter, go ahead and get it if you can.  Pops used his for going to the apartment office or functions at the community center, and also when it was bad weather outside and risk of falling.  He also used it to walk the dog, when he still had one.  It didn't keep him from walking when he could.

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ROFL, just read this entire thread thru.  Your mother is very lucky you’re able to manage all of this.  My folks did the same for my maternal grandmother, and it was not easy, especially once they really fade.  Keep on keeping on man. Pos rep all around to those of y’all handling this for your families. 

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On 2/4/2020 at 11:33 PM, ROFL BOX said:

Mom is a retired Respiratory Therapist & was the 2nd female Paramedic in the state of Florida.

The ortho, Frosty Moore, is considered one of the best in the Austin region.  I've known him for over 15 years & he handled me when I broke a rib & R clavicle (thrown from one of my horses).
We've worked this out.

Man, I don’t know you. But you are Aces in my book. My father broke me in 90 days. Seriously, he got a UTI shortly after having hernia surgery. He would have moments where his reality would go back in time in a very arbitrary manner.

His last words to me while he reached out to me with frail hands was “Charlie’s inside the wire”. He started to scream while crying and told me to run, try and save myself. It was one of the most disturbing episodes of my life. 

It did however make me realize I’m a petty man. It forced me to not only change my life. But to appreciate the small things, appreciate the moment. And no way could I work in that environment.

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12 hours ago, Scooter Monzingo said:

Man, I don’t know you. But you are Aces in my book. My father broke me in 90 days.

Believe me, she's got me worked up on more than 1 occasion.  She has effed up her finances in a way that has me constantly having to pay for this, cover for that, fix a money situation... hell, just the other day she apparently lost the remainder of her thyroid Rx & a replacement bottle cost me $ 21 as the next script didn't get covered by her insurance until March.
There are some other prescriptions that for whatever reason aren't fully covered & it seems once a month I am shelling out $ 130 for this combined set.

She's played bingo @ their (weekly?  semi-weekly?) event & she sent a text 2 days ago "I need another roll of nickels".  It's bleeding me, a thousand tiny pin pricks.

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10 hours ago, Armybrat said:

Well, she’s your mom. Don’t let it annoy you.

How old is she anyway?

Similar to you & the Mrs., I reckon.

'45.

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