Not sure what to do about my elderly dad.... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have been losing sleep over what to do with my elderly dad. He lives alone in another state, and is over 80 years old. Does not want to move. Like many seniors, he is living on a very small Social Security check...really getting by just month to month. Doesn't really have a lot in savings, maybe a couple of thousand. His prescription medication costs are about 1/8th of his fixed income.

He is not Y2K savvy, not by a long shot (he can't even figure out how a tape player works, so try explaining embedded chips to him). We plan to send him some money, but we don't have a lot either. I want to protect him but feel helpless being so far away. I'm worried that he won't have enough food or water. Worried about his prescription medication. Worried about his SS check (and I am NOT believing Clinton when he says all is well at SSA). I am also concerned because he lives alone in a pretty bad neighborhood. I am praying for him all the time. Are any of you doing anything for your elderly parents in another state? And if so, what measures can we take to help them best we can? Seeking wisdom....

-- Zoe (a@a.a), January 15, 1999


Sounds like having your Dad move into a Y2K compliant (aware, stocked up, etc) Adult Foster Home in your neighborhood would be a good move. 5 residents, home-cooked meals, some companionship, some oversight, you nearby to keep an eye on things and visit when convenient. He may very well be eligible for Medicaid, which will help pay for the majority of his expenses. Check it out. Oh, if so, get the Medicaid checks rolling before they go kaput. :) Good luck.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx

-- Leska (, January 15, 1999.

Get him to your house for New Year's Evil!

-- Anonymous99 (, January 15, 1999.

It seems that the elderly whose minds are still sharp have a much easier time getting it than the younger set does, simply since they've seen the evils of the Great Depression, a world war or two, and so on whereas the baby-boomers and beyond have not. They've seen firsthand the harshness that comes from infrastructure collapse in one form or another and more readily grasp the implications of Y2K if they don't necessarily grasp the technical side of it.

My grandmother, for example, went straight to GI on the first mention of Y2K and itsnasty possibilities, and she is such a techo-neophyte that she asks me to set the time on her VCR for her. (Yes, I can program a VCR clock. And a PC to boot! Amazing!) But when I told her about the idea of chips seemingly in everything that might crap on themselves when the year rolls over, she pondered for a moment and started discussing what she had to do during the Great Depression and offered her opinions on prudent preparations for anything of similar scope.

Zoe, your pop might not be Y2K-savvy or technically minded but if he's in his 80s he's seen things you haven't even dreamed of in your worst nightmares with regard to living conditions. Explain it to him in the right way and he'll probably GI almost immediately.

And then, helping him prepare will be a lot easier.

OddOne, whose entire family is GI all the way now, as are an increasing number of his friends...

-- OddOne (, January 15, 1999.

Zoe, if I were you, I would have him come to my house (yours, Zoe, not mine) for New Year's, as a visit if he won't consider an extended stay. I also agree with the above post. My grandmother raised six kids during the Depression and WWII. She taught me to bake bread. Dad told me stories about Grandma hiding money around the house "just in case," and that's how they survived. I don't know who's going to talk to her about y2k, she's in her mid-80s and lives in a scenario much like your dad, but I know one of my cousins or uncles or aunts will have her over their house. I won't make the mistake of waiting too long, though, to see where she's going to be. Buy your dad plane tickets as a gift and invite him up.


-- jhollander (, January 16, 1999.

I live in the Puget Sound WA area. In '97 I told Ma (in PA) that If you get too sick, they won't ALLOW you to fly out here and you will be too sick to drive then, and will be all alone so come NOW and meet your 10 great grandchildren! I flew back and spent six months convincing her, packing up her stuff, repairing and fixing up her house for sale and putting it on the market. It took a long time but right after the tax law passed exempting capital gains tax from home sales, her home on 5 acres sold. Her arrival here to live with me was my Christmas '97 present.

She is a definite GI and between the two of us we have canned hundreds and hundreds of jars of everything from punkin, milk, pork, chicken, beef, fruit of every kind, jams of all sort and more stuff than I can recount. Her move here has absolutely revitalized her and at 74 she feels a new sense of usefulness, which is an absolute understatement to the contribution she has made to all of our lives, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. To those who warned me I'd hate having my mother live with my husband and me - You were wrong, Big Time. She outsmarts me at scrabble about 51% of the time and usually catches the first fish, or finds the best Y2K buy at a garage sale first. Dont be afraid of your family, it is the greatest gift God gave you personally. Try hard to make family work, you all stand a better chance of survival when you pull together.

-- Ann Fisher (, January 16, 1999.

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