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When Do You Know: Assisted Living?

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    When Do You Know: Assisted Living?

    When do you know when it's time for assisted living? My biggest challenges are cognitive and fatigue (but I look so good when I'm freshly showered LOL). I can feel I'm loosing strenght (making the bed can be a struggle lately). I live alone in my deceased parents house. I was diagnosed 27 years ago and started Avonex 24 years ago. Slow, steady progression. When do you know? Should I sell the house (over to the care facility now?). Seriously? What do do?
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's learning to dance in the rain!

    I'm not to that point yet, but I think I'd ask myself whether I've become a safety hazard. Are you forgetting that the stove is on or dropping hot pans? Are you too unsteady to maneuver any necessary stairs? Are you slicing your hands on can lids? Do you drop a lot of glassware that shatters? How many times have you fallen in the bathroom? Are you still able to handle the basic functions of hygiene? Do you worry about moving around inside the house even when using assistive devices?

    Only you know whether you're ready for a major step like this. Would it help if you just reduced your daily activities? Like, does the bed really need to be made every day? If you're like my mother, you'll say "yes" to that! Could you ease your workload by eating from paper plates? Clean the house less often. Start living in only 2 or 3 first-floor rooms and close off the rest of the house. Move the washer and dryer out of the cellar and into the middle of the living room. Who cares what it looks like if it's convenient. Hire someone to do the yardwork just often enough to keep the neighbors from reporting you. Have your groceries delivered. Only put away the perishable foods and leave the rest sitting out where you can access them easily. Eat more frozen dinners. Take more sponge baths.

    Does the thought of moving excite or depress you? That alone should tell you a lot.


      Hello dm ~

      Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. I'm sure many persons with MS can relate to the slow progression aspect, which can affect our ability to function with total independence.

      I have been a 'candidate' for assisted living for a couple of years now, but have made the choice to have a care helper (my sister, who is a trained nursing assistant) come to my apartment, at this time.

      She does the tasks that I no longer can physically, or safely, do. Groceries, trash out, laundry, housecleaning, shower assist, some meal prep, and also she is on-call for when I get myself into predicaments. I am most grateful to her, and she is compensated for all of her kind and patient help.

      This arrangement is working out for both of us, for now.

      Would in-home care be something you're interested in, at this time?

      I found a link to About Assisted Living Facilities, on the National MS Society website, which might be helpful for you.

      About Assisted Living Facilities & Senior Care Information |

      I wouldn't make any quick decisions about your house, without discussing your situation first with a social worker, lawyer, etc.

      Take Care
      PPMS for 26 years (dx 1998)
      ~ Worrying will not take away tomorrow's troubles ~ But it will take away today's peace. ~


        Dm --
        Nora had a lot of good questions that you can ask yourself to help in your assessment. And, I didn't read Koko's article, but I hope it has some helpful advice.

        What I could share is that my MIL has had Parkinson's for over 20 years; she is in her 80's. She still lives, with my FIL, in their own independent living home on the campus of a nursing home. If she was alone, she would need health care, not just assisted living. But, because she has assistance, they are doing OK with her husband as caregiver.

        I am guessing that you live alone? Do you have any assistance -- either from a relative or friend that comes in occasionally? Or, have you considered in-home care, as Koko asked?

        Are there any agencies around that can help you assess? Our local fire department will do a home assessment for tripping hazards, free of charge if asked. Maybe some senior centers can give advice or counsel about making those kinds of decisions. At our senior center, I'd contact the director personally; their other staff are volunteers and maybe not as qualified to advise. Or, maybe a nursing home, itself, could give some counsel; the DON (Director of Nursing) or the Social Worker at the nursing home could be a good place to start.

        Possibly even a "Navigator" at NMSS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society) could give helpful advice. When I tried to call my local office about a question recently, they told me that all local office calls are automatically transferred to the national number. 1-800-344-4867
        ~ Faith
        MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
        (now a Mimibug)

        Symptoms began in JAN02
        - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
        - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08

        - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
        - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.


          You could also take in a tenant. Maybe another woman with MS but with different issues then you. Maybe even two(The Golden Girls?) My wife’s PT facility is for MS patients only and mostly women and a couple of them do this and it seems to work for them.


            Here is my thought on a very basic level and coming from someone who likes to retain control even if it entails making unpleasant decisions:

            The time to select and settle into an ALF is before you actually need it. I've seen far too many people put off these decisions until they are no longer able to do it for their self which is unfortunate.
            He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.


              Hello Donna,

              All very good advice, all worth considering more than once.

              I'm similar in facing a decision, and leaning toward Jules' response, not there ... yet. Also face a slow steady (so far) progression.

              Originally posted by dm0329 View Post
              Should I sell the house (over to the care facility now?). Seriously? What do do?

              This sticks out. Research will give you more choice than the above suggestion.

              And if you haven't done the research before starting this thread... Well, that could mean that you are getting ahead of yourself. You too are alone as I am, therefore at the mercy of your own thoughts. Anxiety needs to be put aside. The great suggestions already made considered again would be my advice.

              That said, if you believe that a move is going to be necessary.... Hearing anyone say "sell the house over to a care facility" sets off alarms. Please look into costs & levels of care. Even Level one care (usually 5 levels) is expensive and can vary greatly from one facility to another. If you have cognitive issues be very cautious. I suggest (and the facility will require) a Will naming a medical agent.

              Try as best as one can to dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" before you commit.