Jerry, you know that I'm in the place where you once were with your parents...and I appreciate your persepctive regarding the care of your parents near the end of their lives.
Julie, it is an HONOR for me to care for my parents, but like many of the others here, I've gone through a bit of metamorphesis in the process--from "obligation" through "labor of love" to now feeling "called" and "honored".
Mom and Dad are in their 90's, and Dad's been in a wheelchair for several years, and nearly didn't make it through last summer's third heart attack. Mom has early Sundowner's, so she gets confused in the evenings; other days, she seems fine, but "slow". They've spent nearly 71 years married, and NEITHER OF THEM wants to move out of their house yet. Both have had several stays at care homes while recovering from accidents or illness.My parents decided to relocate to my town when they retired at 70. I have one sister, who lives out of state, but she and I have worked hard to agree on the care we give our parents, and support our parents as best we can from our respective residences. She phones them daily at 7:30pm to visit briefly, and comes every 6-8 weeks for up to a week to stay at my place, while I take a "breather". It wasn't always this way, though--she only retired a year ago, and so can make that visit now.
I, on the other hand, had a very tough battle on my own hands this year--trying to decide if I could convince (pressure) them to move in with me or into a care home---OR take a leave of absence from my teaching position to help bridge the process . I took a leave of absence from my job at the holidays, and I've realized THAT FOR ME, I'm happier now being able to give them my complete attention, and it has changed from the "labor of love" to the "honor" process. They are sooo happy and feel sooo secure with me available to them.
Yes, I still go up and spend the night sometimes (as Jerry did), and yes, there are the endless doctor appointments and errands and home maintanance jobs, but I am happy and they are happy. And as for my other obligations??? Well, so I will not have as high an income for my retirement...And I do not have as much monthly disposable income anymore...And yes, I'm still short 18 months from taking my "early retirement benefits", so I just have to be patient and make do in the meanwhile. I "gave it up to God" this winter, and I asked Him for BILLBOARDS to know if I was doing the right thing...AND HE GAVE ME A WHOLE PAINTED SKY SIGN!!!
As Ray said, put their safety needs first, give them dignity and respect, accommodate the home as much as possible, and let them have a valid say in their choice of environment WITH HELP. If that's not possible, then pray and communicate with family to head off the worst scenarios, and find a safe alternative. :hug: