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miracleseeker

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A co-worker recently came into some inheritance money.   She finally was able to buy a house for herself and her small son.   Houses cost a lot in our area so she bought what she could afford.  It only had one bathroom but it was a good size one.  Her 82 year old mother will be living with her later this year and she's not that mobile.  I think it was a bad idea that she decided to turn that one bathroom into 2 small ones just so they would have an extra bathroom.   Sooner or later a wheelchair may be needed for her mom.  The bathrooms will not have enough square footage to even fit 2 people at the same time when she needs assistance going in much less a whole chair.   When I mentioned it to her while the renovation was progressing  she went into denial mode and told me she didn't want to think about it.  I know first hand how hard it is when you don't have enough space to move someone around.   When I renovated my bathroom at my new house I thought I had everything covered but I was wrong.  The freedom to move around is just a necessity.  You can never have too much room.  

My aunt and uncle's house has 3 levels.  The hallways are narrow and there are steps everywhere.  I could barely close the bathroom door when I took my mom in there.   My uncle is 80 and my aunt is 73.  They are both in pretty good health for now and can walk just fine.   I asked her how she is preparing for the day when one or both of them can't handle the small space and steps.  She made all kinds of excuses that it's just one step here and there and they don't have problems getting in and out of the bathroom cause they are used to it.   A drastic solution would be for them to move into a more suitable house while they still can but you know how hard it is to get someone to move when they get older.   Until you are in the situation you will not understand and then it's too late.   Please plan ahead and think about your future.  My mom can barely lift her feet to step over a flat bathroom rug now.  Little things like this seem so impossible a few years back but it happens. 

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Moving to a facility, assisted living or nursing home, may be inevitable for many of us as we age or have health issues and lose mobility.  If our home is designed to accommodate disability, that decision might not be forced prematurely or avoided altogether. Because I have been able to make a few accommodations to our home, I have been able to care for DH at home—making it much more comfortable for him and saving us many thousands of dollars.  Miracle seeker is right.  Hiring an Occupational Therapist to go through your home and make renovation suggestions is a good plan. Some of these suggestions may not cost too much, but make a big difference.

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My aunt's solution to me was that they will move to a nursing home.  Really?  Don't they cost over $50K a year for a private facility?   People say all kinds of things because they don't think it will ever happen to them so they give an answer that is easier said than done.   I know size is limited for a lot of folks but like Genden said at least see what can be done to make life easier.

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A skilled nursing home in my area is $10,000 a month.  Assisted living is less expensive, anywhere from $3000 a month up depending on the size of room/rooms and services needed based on level of disability.

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My aunt barked after finding out that a spicy chicken sandwich at McDonalds was not under a $1.   So imagine her moving out of her house of 30 years to somewhere that costs thousands a month.  Reality bites.

 

 

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Important topic. My husband (he has PD) and I have lived in our house for more than 30 years. I am retiring from work in about two years. We know at that time we have to decide if we should renovate to "age in place" or sell "as is" without any renovation and take steps to move to a place that provides stages of care. Not an easy decision. We've been looking at finding the kind of renovation experts that can help us with what it would take to "age in place". Complicating the decision is that our only son lives in Hawaii (we live in Arizona). Would it be better for us to sell our home and find a place with varying levels of care in Hawaii? Lots of decisions. Also, I've always had renovations in mind for once I retire. To sell "as is" will be hard for me! 

We have neighbors that plan to "age in place" but just renovated a master bath with a step in shower and large glass wall. We'd be looking at a "zero access" shower with a bench! Deciding floor coverings is a big decision too (we currently have carpet). My neighbors and my sister (she has Parkinson's) have gone with hard wood floors throughout (easy for a walker or wheel chair). 

Any advice, observations, or suggestions will be appreciated! 

Edited by Golden01

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My way of thinking has always been to be close to family so they can help when needed.   Hired help has been a nightmare for me from the start.  I have become skeptical of the level of care they give to my mom and how the truth is that they don't give a damn about her. 

Carpet vs floors.  Love floors for the look but I do like the feel of carpet and some are fine with wheelchairs.  It's easier to keep floors clean which is why I only have floors in my house.  However... they can be slippery.

This is a very important topic indeed.  I hope more people will chime in.  Thanks.

 

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19 hours ago, Golden01 said:

Important topic. My husband (he has PD) and I have lived in our house for more than 30 years. I am retiring from work in about two years. We know at that time we have to decide if we should renovate to "age in place" or sell "as is" without any renovation and take steps to move to a place that provides stages of care. Not an easy decision. We've been looking at finding the kind of renovation experts that can help us with what it would take to "age in place". Complicating the decision is that our only son lives in Hawaii (we live in Arizona). Would it be better for us to sell our home and find a place with varying levels of care in Hawaii? Lots of decisions. Also, I've always had renovations in mind for once I retire. To sell "as is" will be hard for me! 

We have neighbors that plan to "age in place" but just renovated a master bath with a step in shower and large glass wall. We'd be looking at a "zero access" shower with a bench! Deciding floor coverings is a big decision too (we currently have carpet). My neighbors and my sister (she has Parkinson's) have gone with hard wood floors throughout (easy for a walker or wheel chair). 

Any advice, observations, or suggestions will be appreciated! 

we were in hawaii last year.Nice place to live.It can be also very reasonable.public transportation there so you don't need a car.There going back to being self sufficient with food there so it will be cheaper.Weather ideal for pd usually about 80 degrees every day,not hot or cold.

Not for us now as all family in nys

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Decisions are hard.  For what it is worth, I vote for living near your son.  I say this not just for the care of your husband, but for you.  As his care becomes more difficult, not only does it give you peace of mind to leave him with someone that you trust while you do necessary shopping and errands, or a little R and R, you have someone close to talk over decisions you need to make or just unload about the difficulties of caregiving.  I would check with my son and see how he feels about it.

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There are only so many places that have good weather so that's not something you can do much about.  Having support to me is a no brainer.  The CG or PWP cannot do it alone sooner or later.

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Thanks for the thoughtful answers!

Genden69,  Your words brought tears to my eyes as you put into words what I think my heart already knows. We are heading to Hawaii for a visit this spring so will have those important discussions. 

Miracleseeker, We live in Arizona and travel often Nebraska where our moms (age 93 and 87) still each live on their own. We know how much difference temperature makes on my husband's PD symptoms! It will either be Arizona or Hawaii for us.

This conversation has also helped me think the difficulties of being further from Nebraska would bring for us too. Travel time from Honolulu to Nebraska is generally 10-15 hours (think how stiff my husband would be), with more than one plane change,  and fairly expensive. We can get to central Nebraska on a direct flight from Phoenix in under three hours for less than $100. 

Lots of food for thought this morning, Glad we have the next couple of years to get it all figured out. 

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Still plenty of time to figure out the "age-in-place" or move somewhere else decision. Yesterday, I participated in a Fox Foundation webinar about estate planning and the new tax law. The speaker outlined how fewer people will be able to take deductions for medical expenses do to the higher amount for the IRS standard deduction ($22,000/married couple). He did mention that remodeling your home to accommodate a disability could be a medical deduction that might (along with other deductions, like ones to charity)  exceed the standard deduction. It hadn't occurred to me that remodeling costs might be a tax deduction. We live in an old home so will be looking at flooring, widening doorways, replacing stone sidewalk, etc. Perhaps a walker/wheelchair-accessible shower, etc. 

Wondering if anyone has done this type of work and had it qualify as a medical expense?  I have not checked any IRS resources yet. 

The Fox webinar will be posted but is not up yet. It was an excellent session. 

Edited by Golden01

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