It is hard to see your parents age. We always think of them being ageless and always there to be our mom and dad. As children we think our parents will live forever. Our parents are always there to help us out. For those of us who are lucky enough to have our parents live a good, long time.
My mother is falling victim to dementia. But my father is quite remarkable for his age and he is determined to take care of my mother. He keeps saying that my mother took care of him during their sixty plus years of marriage and now it is his turn to take care of her.
My father is still able to do their shopping with his moped. They live in a quiet part of Ontario where he is able to travel around with his moped fairly safely. He enjoys getting out and about. He also now does all the cooking for them. Fortunately, my brother has been living with them but my brother is now looking to move out fairly soon.
I have tried to get my father help with the care of my mother but my mother has refused all help. My father, helplessly gives in to my mother. I wish I could do more.
Once I found out that my brother was moving out, I looked into retirement homes. What a shock that was. The minimum cost for a retirement village is $2700 per month. But it quickly goes up to $3,000 per month and can reach $6,000 per month easily when nursing care is added. All of these places do not allow cooking on the premises as meals are provided. This would not work for my parents.
The only affordable retirement place in their city requires so many applications and interviews that my father was overwhelmed with everything that was needed. Problem is, there is a four year waiting list to get into this particular retirement home. I tried to set up an interview with my father with the local LHIN (Local Health Insurance Network) but he didn’t quite understand what was happening and told the person on the phone that they didn’t want help. I tried to tell my father that he needed to answer their questions so they could get on the waiting list.
The other problem was that even though LHIN provides assistance, none of it was free. So for anyone who thinks that the health care system in Canada is wonderful, it isn’t. I would have had to still pay for the assistance but there were waiting lists for all of it. Pretty much a minimum of eighteen months. Great.
My next option now is to find a one bedroom apartment for my parents that is in a good location where my father can buzz around on his moped and pick up the groceries that my parents enjoy. An affordable one bedroom where they have onsite laundry facilities, is pet friendly and with an elevator so my parents can handle the laundry, is not that easy to find.
On top of that, living in the States while dealing with this is not easy. My brother is working full time. I have signed up to various websites to look for affordable, clean apartments with the specifics needed for my parents. When I find suitable apartments, I forward the information to my brother and he will have to take them for a tour.
My husband was wonderful enough to offer that we move my parents to us so that I could take care of them. But that won’t work. My parents would lose their health benefits and it would most definitely confuse my mother.
I feel better trying to find a good one bedroom apartment for my parents. Also, there is always the option of hiring a private nursing service should my father finally give in and ask for help. My brother has also said that when one of our parents passes, he will take the surviving one in with him.
None of this is easy. But it is my turn now. And it is my brother’s turn as well. They took care of us. It is my turn to help my parents and I will work hard to get them the best I can.