My parents are 93 and 95, have a large 4 bedroom home with a big yard, big lawn, old trees and falling down fences in a high crime neighborhood. I'm 60 and not very tough emotionally. I moved 1200 miles from my life in another state 4 years ago to be close to them if they needed me. They have lived independently and done very well until they started falling, are getting confused, not eating well, not cleaning their house or yard. Of course they don't think they need any kind of help. I also have a grown developmentally delayed son living in my home who does not drive and needs assistance with transportation to work and medication management. My husband did not move with us. He has been with the same company for 35 years and feels like he cannot retire until he meets the criteria for full retirement. This means I deal with all of the family stuff on my own. I am an only child, I'm tired and worried sick.
I asked them to stop driving years ago knowing that it meant I would be doing the errands and hauling them to everything. I was willing to do this to keep them and others safe. My best friends mother drove too long, totaled three cars before she finally died in an accident and seriously injured 3 other people. That was my biggest fear. But they insisted until my mother had two accidents in 4 days and I took the keys a couple of months ago. My father still insists on driving and it scares me to death. He gets absolutely hysterical if I even try to discuss it. He is my biggest problem. He drives to hardware stores and gas stations but won't go to the grocery store so I have to do that every few days. I live 15 minutes away.
The decline in their mental abilities has made it almost impossible to convince them that it is time to go to assisted living. I took them to a lovely place just a mile from my home where they could live as independently as possible and they liked it a lot, said they would go to "something like that" when they were ready. They should have gone to something like that 5 years ago. I know without a doubt that they would thrive there. They have both lost weight and strength because they don't eat well or get any exercise. They think they can supplement with Ensure to stay alive and that's good enough. No one visits them, my mother has given up church which was her life. It makes me so sad to go see their run down life I cry all the way home.
My mother would go along with moving, she was a caretaker for her mother and aunt for years and understands the burden it can place on families. Unlike me, she had my dad to do the lifting and carrying and yardwork. I have 3 dependent people and two houses with yards to handle by myself. The biggest problem: my dad insists that he can not do it until he has the house in order and he will not hear of anyone coming in to help with any of it including me, my husband, son or professionals. Nothing I say can change his mind. He is too frail to do anything for more than 5 minutes without having to take a nap. So it will never happen. What WILL eventually happen is someone will have a serious accident, fall or illness that will put them one of them in a nursing home until they die. With better care and nutrition they might avoid this. It seems that nothing will do except I send my son to a group home and move in with them.
How do I get through to him that this is the best solution. How do I do this with respect and sensitivity? Am I a bad person to want this easy way out? Any suggestions would be appreciated.