elderly parents - bad situationgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
My mother and grandmother are still alive. They are 64 and 89 respectively. Gran is invalid. Mother is taking care of her. Who else is trying to get their parents to relocate with them and at a great expense (emotional and otherwise)? Gran is too sick and too old to understand, and doesn't want to leave her home of 50+ years. Mom won't leave HER (of which I understand). Do I go and just GET them both and move them in with my spouse and 3 kids? They are 400 miles away right now....not like I can get right there if they need me in a time where our movements may be limited if not prohibited (road blocks, curfews etc). We are very torn by this situation. Any suggestions? I really can't see that I'll just leave them there...I'll probably wind up physically bringing them here kicking all the way.....I don't know But they just can't be there where they are with hardly any family left (a sorry good for nothing brother lives there in their town but they haven't even seen him in months). This is really convicting my heart, and has been for some time.
-- Mr. Kennedy (y2kPCfixes@MotivatedSeller.com), January 29, 1999
Mr. Kennedy: Since no one knows how bad it will be, but going by what the Red Cross, FEMA, and other "experts" are saying, I would go to your mother and grandmother and pack them up and let them be with you. I packed my parents up 5 times off and on the past few years and brought them to my house for 6 months at a time. I had two children (but a large house) and an understanding husband. It wasn't easy, but you do what you gotta do. It will be the elderly and children who will suffer the most. If you were sitting all comfy in your Y2K prep home without your mother and grandmother, would you be feeling good? Take care of business first Mr. Kennedy and prepare for them too.
-- bardou (email@example.com), January 29, 1999.
I think Bardou has the right idea. Prep for them now, and start selling them on spending a "special holiday season" (say, oh minimally Thanksgiving through New Years) with your family. All the lines about "kids only grow up once" and "an old fashioned Thanksgiving and Christmas", etc, etc, etc.
-- Arlin H. Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 29, 1999.
My folks are in their mid-80s and not doing well. Their house would be a pretty good retreat for someone younger (wood stoves, septic, well), but my Dad is beyond coping with a generator for the well. They're only an hour away, so that helps. There is no other family I can turn to. My parents are the main reason I am preparing my home, since I can't see them surviving the stress of a shelter. I will bring them down for the rollover until whenever. (We don't especially get along, and my house is very cramped, so that one act alone makes Y2K TEOTWAWKI for me.) I'm more concerned about the availability of Medicare and hospital service next year than I am about the ramifications of abandoning their house to looters or arsonists. On the other hand, I am looking for a modicum of cooperation from them so I can get most of their valuables to my place for safety and straighten out some of their paperwork. Mom is a massive worrier, so I spoke with her a few weeks ago about what I was expecting, and told her not to worry, I was taking care of everything. Mom GI'd immediately and gave me her blessing to follow my instincts. Haven't really spoken to Dad. He expects to stay at his house indefinitely with the help of home care. 11 months at his age and his frail condition could mean Y2K is never a problem for him. So I don't see any reason to get into arguments with him at this time (he's surrounded by DWGIs), but I will try to keep a pulse on what he might be hearing and worrying about. That's when I'll get more serious about my discussions with him. It would make sense to sell their house this year and close it down properly, but I don't have the emotional stamina to force them into that. They have a right to make their own decisions, but how can they possibly get their arms around the possibilities and the alternatives (especially regarding their life savings). If things do really deteriorate, I sense my parents have a resilience I don't because they grew up in the Depression. It breaks my heart they may be going out on the same desperate conditions they started in. Good luck to all of you with elderly family you're concerned about.
-- Brooks (email@example.com), January 29, 1999.
I guess I needed some affirmation from those who understand the problems. Deep down I already knew I have to do what I have to do, which is make sure I have them with us somehow. They won't make it on their own, or at the mercy of the area "officials". They will be here, no matter what. That brings up getting cracking right NOW on getting all medications together and prepared for. My mother had a quint-bypass 3 years ago (5 bypass) and Gran is on meds for stroke (she's had several). The medication issue will be an act of congress. Has anyone already tackled the prescription issue? Our groups have already run into some problems, mainly with the insurance company not authorizing prescriptions out of "schedule", and don't want to budge an inch.
-- Mr. Kennedy (y2kPCfixes@MotivatedSeller.com), January 29, 1999.
The idea of a long holiday visit is an excellent one, but if for some reason you cannot convince them to come visit you, do what you can to prepare them where they are. Older folks often do not want to move from familiar surroundings; my great aunt (who just died at 98) said the only way they'd ever get her out of her house is if they carried her out feet first (implying that she'd be dead). The stress of moving or a long-term visit might be more than your Grandma might want to deal with, and you'll need to respect that and work around that...
You can help them make a 'warm room' in advance, and prepare them with a fully stocked pantry. You can make sure that they are aware that the power could be out for an extended period of time, and make sure that they have enough meds, blankets, water, etc., plus a means to keep warm and cook. Make up a box of things each month between now and then of things you think they'll need and ship it off to them or take it there in person.
-- Karen Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 29, 1999.
Mr. Kennedy, about prescriptions --
Obviously you will need at least 3 months' supply of extra meds for your relatives. If you rely on the insurance companies and wait too long you will not have the meds. You can independently get the meds individually bubble-packed in sheets; ask your doctor. Shop for a doctor who understands Y2K and is willing to help you pre-prepare. KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS!! Also keep a log of your efforts with your budgeless insurance company. Come 1/1/2000 you'll have the meds and a nice legal record should you become unable to get reimbursed/supplied.
We're not lawsuit-bloodthirsty but sometimes think if the masses began insisting on 3-month's supply of life-critical meds, and waved their "non-compliant" logs at the pharmacists with promises of pursuing legal remedies for blatant negligence and medical malpractice and loss-of-life damages against the insurance companies, then betcha we'd all see more GI cooperation in the medical field.
Don't count on anybody else to help you prepare or to understand your needs. Y2K is a self-reliance project.
Ashton & Leska in Cascadia, who are wondering how their hospice patients will do without all the palliative meds :(
xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx
-- Leska (email@example.com), January 29, 1999.
I know the answer for us is to have them here at the farm. After reviewing your informative and insightful posts, I have weighed our situation. Their home is in a rural area of the Smokey Mountain foothills. Limited rescue,doctor, 911 already exists (or doesn't exist , actually). For us, as their only reliable, 24hr source of care to be 400 miles away would be negligent of me. The warm room and stocking for their home is a good idea for them to "go back to", should conditions warrant, however, we have decided as a family tonight that they will be up here. Mother doesn't want to be alone to care for Gran, especially if the utilities are disrupted. Our discussions here helped me to speak with her intelligently enough to reason the plan out for their saftey to her satisfaction. I thank you all. We have a plan. And we'll be sure to be careful with Gran's feelings as we can.
-- Mr. Kennedy (y2kPCfixes@MotivatedSeller.com), January 29, 1999.