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Who will look after you when you can't look after yourself?
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Posted 1/9/2022 05:33 (#9428743 - in reply to #9426873)
Subject: RE: Who will look after you when you can't look after yourself?

NorthWest Indiana
My parents lived 17 miles from us. Not far but when dad got colon cancer back in '89 the girls were little but they and my wife would do chores on nights after school I would go to do things for mom and dad. It took usually 3 hours minimum to do whatever needed done without any real visit time with. them. I told them then that we needed to come up with a plan if they didn't want to go to a nursing home. My mom designed a single level bermed home that had an attached garage without any steps, extra wide doorways, walk in showers (no lips or stepovers) counters for wheelchairs, grab handles in bathrooms, etc. We built it 18 years ago on our farm on the North end and they have lived here ever since. Dad died in November of 2019. Mom went through a rough patch this spring until we got her to a hospital that immediately put in a pacemaker. In fact she is going back tomorrow to their Florida home that they have had for over 20 years. I am one of five children. 3 of them got really mad when they learned of the plan and that I wasn't going to sell the house upon their death. My farm is only 40 acres and I am not losing any ground. 2 of them have come around in their thinking when mom showed them the cost of in home care for my grandmother and that the house the way we built it (3 walls and floor poured concrete with in floor heat) and nothing large, but very functional and comfortable, that in actuality they have more money in the estate due to no payments for home health care. We include mom when we are going somewhere, my wife takes her shopping and to get her hair done and to all of her doctor's' visits. We have greatly enjoyed having them on our farm and so close. Our grandchildren are the real winners as they know their great grands personally and very well. My dad looked over all the 4H calf projects and we would walk the calves by on their daily walks and he would come out on his scooter. We created an LLC with a lawyer so the home couldn't be sold by either mom or dad in the event of a changing mind or dementia, this also protected them if something happened to our marriage or early deaths. It might not be the best solution for everyone but for us it has worked. We offered my wife's dad the same opportunity when his wife died but he chose other routes. It is time consuming but it is time well spent. I didn't get everything done when I wanted (when do we?) but at dad's funeral, I didn't have any regrets.. Mom and I talk of when us kids were growing up and she said it was hard to raise independent adults (meaning she had to let us go and not micromanage us) I now tease her that it is hard to raise an independent elderly parent. She taught vocational computers in a HS, so I share funny cartoons with her generally daily so I know she is up and around and on her computer, I showed her a tattoo failure that was supposed to be "no regrets" but got misspelled into, "no regerts". That has become our saying to each other, "No Regerts". I have an older sister that moved into a town about 6 miles from us and she and her husband have helped by having mom over to their house one evening/supper meal a week.

Some may wonder what caused this mentality. We weren't raised Amish, we were raised Lutheran, but dad bought and sold many horses and we were around the Amish more than most in the '60's and '70's. It was the youngest son's responsibility to care for the elder parents, but he usually also got the farm, I had to buy my own farm. What will happen to my wife and I? I don't know. Like Garth Brook's song "The Dance", I don't want to know. I bought this farm to raise my family on but at the time didn't know that meant my parents and grandchildren. They are my wife's and mine most valuable crop. We aren't saints, just grew up with a lot of Amish and Walton's influence and thought this was the right way.

Feel free to ask, not the pioneers of this lifestyle but glad to answer any questions honestly.
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