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July 13, 2011



Hang in there Nicole, it is not easy dealing with elderly relations. I know the frustrations you must be feeling. You are lucky to have your sewing to take your mind away to brighter decisions. Love your blog and so looking forward to the setting up of your craft room.


Sewing is the best therapy! I feel for you with the elderly parent situation. I've been there, done that! Things have a way of working out for the best, even though it may not seem that way at the time.


Yes, that must be a huge challenge. No easy solutions. It'll work out...eventually. :-)

Love the watermelon quilt!! Just darling. I'm always looking at how a quilt is quilted now. Wonder why?? Very creative quilting on it. Love it!!

Stephani in TX

How is it that our children turn into these flowers of people that we love dearly, resembling only slightly the children they were. But, our parents, who also still resemble who they were, have become child-like again. We are most definitely family leaders again. But this greatest generation has gotten to 90+ before giving over the reins. Somehow, there is no precedent because our parents have been showing us the way for many years before needing our assistance. We are the generation learning how to do this. The answer will come to us, situation by situation. I hope your answer comes soon, and ours as well. Our family is a plane ride away so it gets tricky. We depend mightily on the family that lives closest and know their burden is heavy. You will soon see the mix of your generations Nicole, with married children and the new baby on the way. These mountains to climb will even out some...


I know exactly what you are going through as my sister and I did the same dance with my parents in the 90's. They also had some near disasters living on their own. My mother fell and broke her arm up high near her shoulder and my Dad decided to go for a walk in a huge blizzard. For that one we had to call the police to have them stop him from going out because we couldn't get over there. That was it. The police hooked us up with the proper authorities and we got them into an assisted living place which they didn't want to go to but ended up loving. At this age they fear change so the thought of leaving a place they know is terrifying to them but once they are in the proper situation they will adapt. Good luck. I know how stressful and disruptive this is.


Nicole, I'm so sorry to hear that your hubby's folks won't consider assisted living. The sad part is that if it is a good facility, they might possibly enjoy it after they settled in. My sister's father in law was horribly upset with his family when they put him in an assisted living facility (a very nice one), when he was 95. But less than a week after he was there, he LOVED it. He had people of his own generation to visit with, even when he was confused!!! I never had to go through that with my own folks but did with my hubby's mom. It is, I believe, one of the most stressful issues we face as we get older. I surely don't know what the answers are but please know that you and your husband, as well as his folks, will be in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs...


Oh how hard. I think I will be next in this scenario. My Dad is good for now. Yesterday I mentioned visiting a guy that lives at Sierra Sunrise here in Chico that he had met on his Honor Flight. No way. He doesn't even want to go visit him in that place as he put it. I think it's fear. True right in your face fear of the end of days. It's so tough. I think I'd fight it too...but then maybe not...they cook for you there! And I think woman may want this socialization and help more than men. I agree that once they were settled in it may be just right for them. Time for a social worker or close older friend to talk to them. I always have been told it's best to approach it this way. Why wait for a crisis to occur (yes the falling down is so damn scary). Maybe have their doctors talk to them. That way their own kids aren't "telling them where to go and what to do". Let's make a pact that we won't do this to our kids. Amen. xo and get to sewing gal! love, Pam


My thoughts are with you and your husband during such a difficult transition time. His parents really are not capable of making their own decision about such a serious matter and it's going to be tough to do what really is best for their welfare. No doubt they have preconceived notions how this should happen and having your husband back home is part of their scenario. As many of the commenters have already said we're becoming the caregiver generation; ready or not. And it's NOT one bit fun.

Jayne Honnold

Good luck, Nicole, with your inlaws. Being supportive of your husband during this process is important. Together, you will weather this. God bless...


I also feel for you Nicole. We are dealing with the same scenario here with parents on both sides. I finally had to come to the conclusion that my parents loved me as a child and had to make decisions every day that were for my best interest, even though those decisions weren't easy for them all the time, such as punishment or spankings, chores, etc., but they knew it was the right thing to do for me. I know now that some of the decisions I have to make for them are not easy ones or popular ones...but best for them even though these decisions are so hard to make. Sometimes MAKING the decision is the hardest....then when it is carried out with love and respect...things seem to calm down and settle into the flow again. I wish you the happiest outcome.


Difficult difficult difficult! No matter what you do, them being upset can make you feel guilty as if you're doing the wrong thing and that's not true. You are three hours away so moving in isn't an option, nor is bankrupting them and yourselves paying for agency help. Once you eliminate what you can't do, what's left is the right thing and you can feel sure that you've done your best for them. I hope it all works out well.

Butterfly George

The previous comments say it prayers are with you......G

pam hansen

My sisters and I have been there done that with our mom. It was very hard. An ambulance trip after gashing her head and a week spent in a facility changed everything.
The doctor's statement that mother could no longer live alone carried more weight than anything we had to say. We found a wonderful private home for her but the question was still asked, "Why can't I go home?" Our answer, couched in love, was always remember the fall and the doctor saying you can never be alone. Mother spent her final days in that same wonderful home with us by her side and her caregivers continually checking in and assisting us.
Be strong. Get your loved ones in a facility where you will not live in fear of the phone ringing and no one there to help.
God Bless


OH, it's so hard, isn't it? We moved my mom against her will and she was not happy with us. These things are on my mind this week, as it's three years since she moved to her mansion in Heaven. Hang in there, and do what you know you have to do for their safety and your sanity and mental health.

Love the quilt! Sewing finally going to be happening next week here! Room is ready, and now once we have our company for the next four days, I can get to the fabric! Yeah!

Pat in Washington

Oh, I feel your pain! My mom is 92, has advanced Alzheimer's disease and is nearly blind from macular degeneration. She has "progressed" from an independent living facility, to an alarmed facility, to a secure facility (currently almost $6,000/month!). She hiked with the Seattle Mountaineers until she was 80, so she was very physically fit and did not like being contained! We were fortunate in a sense, that she had a burglary of her home of 50+ years (while she was out) and she WANTED to move into independent living. I agree with posters who have enlisted the help of doctors to convince mom/dad that the time has come when they can't be alone. Hang in there - you will make the right decision based in love.


I'm sure the facility you found has encountered this type of problem in the past. They can probably give you advise on how to get them to transition over to the new place. Maybe visits that last longer and longer, go there for lunch, etc..

Good luck!

Sandy (Strlady)

My grandmother needed to go into an assisted living facility when she was diagnosed with Alzhiemers. It took over a year before the inside bickering between her 10 children allowed the move. The girls (5 of them) were the ones giving the care and the boys were making a fuss over taking her to the facility. A lot of guilt and judgement got passed around during that time. It taught me that I, with just one child, would never want to burden her with my care. I have told her that when I can no longer take care of myself that I want to be put in a home that is close to her. I also made sure I put it in my living will because I don't know what might happen in the future and if I don't retain my full capacity, I want her to know that she can take that step guilt free, since that is what I chose. All my siblings have done the same thing after living through my grandmother's ordeal. I'm sorry that you have to go through this. I think that there was alot of stigma attached to Nursing Homes and that generation has a very difficult time accepting that, if chosen properly and with care, an Assisted Living facility is just a safe place to live and not a place where you are abandoned to die.


Oh my! I suppose there is no reasoning with elderly parents who have memory and health challenges. I hope you can find a way to guide them to the solution that works best.

Love the watermelon quilt!


I have to say I think my grandparents are being stubborn and selfish. Even children have to be told 'no' once in a while. (Whether or not they are young or old.) You guys have spent an enormous amount of time and energy researching a care facility that is A) close to you, B) cost effective & meets their needs, and C) close to their preferred hospital. I'm sure that moving is a big scary thing for them and they are afraid of change. When I took my Gerontology course, I learned that these assisted-care facilities are not "jails for old folks." They are designed around meeting the needs of the elderly, who indeed have different needs than us young folks. They are staffed by people who have made it their education and their profession to assist our older and valued loved ones.

My preference is that you guys put your foot down and say, "no, you need to move to this apartment because it is the best thing for you." Come on, nobody gets to have a 24/7 live-in maid wait on them hand and foot unless their name is Bono or Mick Jagger. They need to move into the assisted care facility you--as a loving family--chose. I understand you are trying to be kind and thoughtful by abiding by their wishes, but the full-time-live-in-nurse thing is nearly impossible. Stephen Hawking can afford one of those, we can't.


I've been a quiet reader for years, but thought I'd comment on this tough decision. My mother fell so the only choice for her was a nursing home, but when she died my father was left alone. He could care for himself but couldn't cook or bath himself. So we got a "helper" and that cost a fortune. Meanwhile, my mother in law also fell (she lived 100 miles away) and the doctor wouldn't release her to live alone. (early ALZ). No questions asked, we moved her to an assisted living center in our town. She still thought we were driving miles and miles to see her and one day bled into the next. That lasted 6 months and then we moved her in with us. My sewing time went to nothing and my worries were worst. You just have to do what is best for YOU. They won't remember anyway. One time we were sitting at the dining table in my house (which she thought was hers) and she told me it was time for ME to go home. I said I live here and I'm his wife...her response...."I sure hope not!" so you never know what they are thinking all these years...she passed away a year ago. I'm still adjusting and my sewing has been my therapy!

Sinta Renee

Oh Nicole, that is a quandry. Obviously they are not able to make the most rational decision... and that makes it all the harder on you and your hubby. Maybe a 3rd party person should talk to them??? Good luck.


Nicole, Good luck with the elderly. My parents are quite needy these days and they are in Palo alto and I am in Chico. He always wants me to come stay with my mom so he can go on long drives. Needless to say that is not a good idea! What can we do? I believe in talking to them on the phone almost daily and trying to remember that they are just old and be nice to them every way I can. sometimes it is not easy. Keep smiling! Lizzie

Wendy T.


It sounds harsh but it really isn't up to them to say no anymore. I can only imagine how it must be for an only child to take on the burden of two aging parents. The role reversal never feels right but there has got to be help out there for him to deal with what must be done and that is to have his parents living in a safe environment.
Some advice a doctor gave to me when it was time to move my mother to assisted living (Alzheimer's) - don't ask her if she wants to go - think of it as when you sent your children off to school. It wasn't their choice whether or not to go it was part of life and you helped them through it. Of course they are scared of change but the step needs to be taken for their own good. Not to mention the mental and physical burden it must be taking on your husband. Good luck to all of you.


Nicole, we have just gone through something similar with my husband's mother, only she lived with us at the time. She had fallen 5 times in a 16 month period and had both kinds of incontinence and tried to tell us that wearing a maxi pad was sufficient to protect the furniture and carpets. Two of her falls had produced broken hips, the most recent in January. She started saying (about a year after we all moved in together)' "I'll never have to go to a nursing home because I live with you guys."

After her most recent fall, she didn't bounce back well and couldn't be left alone. None of the nicer places around here had an opening in assisted living, but one was willing to offer her a 2 bedroom apartment in independent living and provide services for her at an additional charge. She willingly moved, partly, I'm sure, because she could tell people she lived in independent living.

I hope that something comes along that makes your in-laws willing to move too.


We've dealt with this too-doesn't help you much but to know your not in the boat alone! We've found if a "professional" ie: the doctor tells them the way it is or has to be they take it better than hearing it from their children-amazing.

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