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Source: (consider it) Thread: Aging Parents
Uncle Pete

Loyaute me lie
# 10422

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I think the whole bereavement fare thing is a ripoff, too.

What the airlines do is take the full fare economy and reduce it by a third or so. These days, it is cheaper to look for seat sales. If you don't have time or inclination, using a good travel agent will save lots of money. And they'll move heaven and earth for you if informed of circumstances.

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Even more so than I was before

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ebeth

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# 4474

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Here sorting out Dad, making decisions, etc. He's confused and grumpy. I apparently use the "wrong spoons" etc. Yeah... Took the car key from him yesterday. He needs dialysis, a new living situation, a knee repair and a less private attitude.
Yeah, it pretty much sucks...

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"To eat bread without hope is still, slowly to starve to death." --Pearl S. Buck

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
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Here's the update on my father.

Heck, he just bought a bicycle a couple days ago -- then he goes to ER yesterday afternoon and does his dying-and-getting-shocked-back trick. Hadn't even ridden his bike yet...

He's doing fantastically well today, for a guy who keeled over yesterday!

He figures, if he can survive hospital food, he'll live.

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I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

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jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

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quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
I think the whole bereavement fare thing is a ripoff, too.

My father died when a Northwest Airlines plane crashed on take-off from Detroit. When I showed up in Boston to get to Detroit, they at first put me in the First Class upper deck of the 747. Then an apologetic flight attentdent showed up and asked me to move down to regular first class.

My memory isn't all that clear, to be honest, and for all I know, I ended up in Business class or Coach.

In retrospect, I should have refused to move from the first seat. Their idiot pilot killed my father and hundreds of other people, except for one very young girl.

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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Saw my dad in hospital last night. He seems worried/preoccupied about a pacemaker one doctor wants to install. He couldn't tell me much about it, and seemed unsure about when they wanted to do it. He said he had thought they wanted to do it last night(?). He was stacking and fiddling with several brochures about post-heart-attack concerns and rehab and so on.

I told him they'd need to do a lot more explaining before they'd jump up and install the thing. I said they'd need to make their case to him about why they felt it was needed. I said they'd have to draw it all out like a football play on a chalkboard.

IMO, I inherited my rock-like head and my (usually passive) aggression in equal measure from both parents. Who was that tentative, quiet little man and what had he done with my father?

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I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

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Evensong
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# 14696

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My parents are 82 and 78.

Up to the past year, they have been "elderly" but still in control of day to day life.

In the last year, they really have changed.

Dad was in hospital recently for a large tumor removal before which he had been quite sick.

I visited him most days in the hospital and he said "the thing that stresses me out and worries is me is the bills - I find dealing with that very tiring".

So I told this to my mother. Said she would have to take over the finances but if she needed help, to ask.

She asked today. She said they keep losing things and mucking up paying the bills and don't understand what's going on; especially with their Superannuation. [Frown]

They have asked me to do it. But they want to pay me to do it (I was a trained and experienced Bookkeeper in a past life). I shrugged it off as a no,no, but they insisted.

What would you say? I'm not sure about the whole thing.....

Aging parents are an anomaly to me (I'm only 35). They raised me, loved me, have and continue to support me in many ways...

I actually have time this year to help....but next year may not be so easy....

To see them drift away from reality is both a sad and beautiful thing.

[Votive]

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a theological scrapbook

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Roseofsharon
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I think paying you would leave them with some feeling of independence and control over their circumstances, which may be important to them at this particular time.
Would it work for all of you if the payment took the form of a donation to your favourite charity?

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jacobsen

seeker
# 14998

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Paying you would probably give them a feeling of being in control. there's also the point that they would like to contribute, and money is perhaps the only way in which they feel able to do that. I would let them give if it makes them happy. People lose so much as part of the aging process; let them have their own way over this. [Votive]

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But God, holding a candle, looks for all who wander, all who search. - Shifra Alon
Beauty fades, dumb is forever-Judge Judy
The man who made time, made plenty.

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Evensong
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# 14696

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Thanks for your feedback Roseofsharon and jacobsen. I think you're probably right...


[Votive] [Votive] for all those going through the transition from life to death with their parents.

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a theological scrapbook

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Squirrel
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# 3040

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My father has had some medical setbacks recently and now requires more of our attention. One thing that I have noticed has been that, while I'll gladly try and help him, old negative feelings from years ago often plague me. Let's face it, my dad was not the best husband in the world to my mother, and memories of some of the stuff he did back then really bother me.

Has anyone else experienced this?

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"The moral is to the physical as three is to one."
- Napoleon

"Five to one."
- George S. Patton

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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Re: letting the elders pay -- I used to let my elderly grandmother give me a little gas money or buy me lunch, when I'd do errands for her or carry her to doctors' appointments. It really seemed to make her happy. Now she's gone on, it's a happy memory for me.

My sister and I are now privy to info about Daddy's condition that he doesn't know yet. His doctor confided to Sis that they'd found a little self-contained, easily-removed bladder cancer.

He asked that we say nothing until he can gather info and pictures and have all the details ready to present, complete, so Daddy can only have a day or two to be worried before they coordinate the procedure needed. Rather than uttering the dreaded "C-word" a week or more ahead of time, y'know, and leaving Daddy to stew and worry for days and days.

That's a tough situation. If it were me, I'd want to know all, immediately. Sister has Daddy living with her, I trust her to know when it's time to agree with the doctors and when it's time to ignore them. I'm certainly not going to jump up and spoil the deal. If it weren't something that would be dealt with in a matter of days I might have a different opinion, however.

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I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

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Jane R
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# 331

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If it's any comfort, Janine, two men I know* were diagnosed with bladder cancer about five years ago - they were both treated immediately and have been clear ever since; in fact they'll be declared Officially Cured next time they go for a checkup. If it's caught early enough it's one of the easiest cancers to treat, apparently.

[Votive] for your family, especially Dad and Sister.

Jane R

*not related to each other; pure coincidence that they were diagnosed at the same time!

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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The Dr. sounded really upbeat about it -- found early, easily removed, etc. It's just hard for me to get my head around not blabbing all info immediately.

Daddy goes in 4 days to discuss it and see the Dr's diagrams and details and such.

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I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

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W Hyatt
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# 14250

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After having to face similar decisions with my parents, I can sympathize with the difficulty in knowing what to do in general or in any particular case. It's tough because love pulls you in two different directions: respect for their right to know and fear for the stress it might cause them.

In fact, as a result of what my siblings and I have been through, I've already given my kids permission to blab to me or not, whichever they thinks works better, if and when they are helping to take care of me. I've also warned them that I can't promise how I'll react since I might have dementia, but at least they'll have my permission. I just hope I can remember to remind them as I get older.

I also hope everything goes well enough for you and your family that it all becomes a moot point. [Votive]

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A new church and a new earth, with Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life.

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Autenrieth Road

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My mother is staying with me temporarily while she recovers from double hip replacement surgery in January. She's been with me for 10 weeks, since May when her Medicare 100 days rehab stay ended. It was expected to be a 1-3 month stay with me. The goal is for her to be able to reach her feet (with some bending) so she can dress herself.

Today she called her doctor to find out when she could expect to be recovered. He says 6-9 MORE MONTHS.

My mother can be a hard person to get along with.

I don't know how to cope. I don't know what to do except to keep on coping. I feel like my life is on hold for a whole year. I hate this, except I can't let myself feel very much, otherwise I wouldn't be able to cope.

Advice, commiseration, thoughts, whatever, gratefully accepted.

[Help]

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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quote:
Today she called her doctor to find out when she could expect to be recovered. He says 6-9 MORE MONTHS.
We had something along those lines with MIL. She had one hip replacement and was in rehab ward in hospital for six weeks after that and then in respite care in a nursing home near hospital for some weeks. She was taken to physio etc by car from there.

She then went home and we received a late night call from hospital near her home that she had dislocated the hip. It was fixed under a light anaesthetic but they recommended some respite care. While packing up for this, I discovered the exercise sheet she had been given, carefully hidden in the middle of a pile of magazines in her wardrobe. (Cleaning out her house is a whole other tale of woe!)

She finally admitted she had done no exercises, no walking, not even to letterbox , but had stayed in bed all day every day since her return. No intention of ever moving if possible. Muscles could not hold replacement hip securely because they were without exercise.

She was admitted to low level hostel care and has steadily gone downhill ever since. She's dislocated that hip seven times. It's extremely painful and has had two more replacements of the same joint. Now suffers dementia.

I give all this as background because I have seen what elderly people in this situation can be like. Is your mother doing rehab with professionals? Is she doing her exercises. Is she following guidelines regarding bending etc to help hip? If she's like my MIL, you would need to actually see the exercises being done. She religiously told us that she did them when she had absolutely no plan to help herself in any way.

Six to nine months sounds an excessively long time for recovery, regardless of where she is staying. Can you go with her to doctor for assessment? At least you would hear what was said, rather than what she understood or perhaps even has decided not to pass on.

Where I lived at the time was totally unsuitable for her to stay. I could not have lived with her as long as you say your mum has been with you already. I think you need to get some professional answers from the doctor or therapist as to cause of this time. Perhaps also investigate some sort of respite care if that sort of thing is available to you. I'm in Australia so don't know about such things for you.

Meanwhile, is there anyone who could have her for a while or be with her so you could get away for a weekend etc. Best wishes to you in a very hard situation where in one sense you are damned, no matter what you do.

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Buy a bale. Help our Aussie rural communities and farmers. Another great cause needing support The High Country Patrol.

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Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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Thank you, Lothlorien.

quote:
Six to nine months sounds an excessively long time for recovery,
And that's counting from now, which is already six months on, making it 12-15 months total.

Inspired by your post I asked my mother if I can talk to her surgeon myself and she said yes. Part of what I will do is ask him to support me in encouraging her to find a doctor for an in-person evaluation up here. (I live 6 hours from where my mother normally lives, hence 6 hours away from her doctors.)

She says that he says no particular exercises are required, and I want to grill him about that too,and what the recovery process is, and what the odds are that in another 6 months he'll be predicting 6-9 more months again.

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Truth

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Autenrieth Road

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She does walk daily (slowly, which is all she can manage).

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Autenrieth Road

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Turns out the doctor meant 6-9 months from the date of the surgery. So 3 1/2 more months from now will make nine months. That's easier to cope with.

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Truth

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JoannaP
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# 4493

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Seeing as this has been bumped, I thought I would take advantage and ask for advice in dealing with my mother (or just vent). Her hip replacement op is now off, after the surgeon changed his mind on how to deal with her coming off warfarin. She seems to be taking that as final and is talking about getting used to the pain and painkillers and investigating mobility scooters. I hope this is just a short-lived phase and she will at some point start thinking of other hospitals again, possibly with a cardiac unit attached, where they might be more used to people on warfarin. I guess I should let her go at her own pace, but it is so frustrating. [Help]

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"Freedom for the pike is death for the minnow." R. H. Tawney (quoted by Isaiah Berlin)

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin

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JoannaP
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# 4493

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To clarify: it is frustrating watching her suffer and cope with a restricted life, knowing that it is not necessary and that a relatively common operation could solve a lot of her problems.

It seems so unfair that Dad, having fought every inch of the divorce, is now blissfully happy whereas my mother seems to be having to deal with one problem after another.

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"Freedom for the pike is death for the minnow." R. H. Tawney (quoted by Isaiah Berlin)

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin

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Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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JoannaP, I'm sorry to hear you and your mother are going through that. Would it be possible for you to do some research on hospitals, and then present that information to her?

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Truth

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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[brick wall] [brick wall] [brick wall]

My parents are both in their eighties and doing very well most of the time. Mum is slightly forgetful and Dad does not walk as fast as he once did.

However Dad is a total introvert and as he is getting older he is getting worse. The problem is that this means he wants family to work as an interface between him and the rest of the world. Yeh he has always done this, but he is getting worse.

After several weeks of imperfect connection to the internet, he rang me, and I told him to ring his suppliers. He did so and they recommended a new modem which they duly sent.

Now instead of finding someone around locally to install it, he brought it across to my flat for me to tell him how to. I gave him instruction along with my mother and told him that if he had any difficulties he was to ring his supplier.

So he has difficulties (basically he had a USB connector before and now needs an ethernet) so what does he do. Because I have told him not to ring me but ring his supplier, he waits until today when he normally calls to tell me. So I have to tell him to ring his supplier.

Also he has a local guy who services his computer who I am sure is quite capable of sorting him out if he does not want to ring his supplier.

So I am expected to diagnose at 50 miles away what he should do. Have you tried looking at the back of a PC from fifty miles away! Also given his ability with electronics communication is difficult. I can't say "look for an ethernet connection".

Then to make matters worse, he has learnt his best friend is ill. Does he pick up the phone to him and ask how he is? Does he heck. Does he ring another friend who is close to his best friend and local? Does he heck. He rings me, gets me to check the details and only when I have feed back that his friend might like a call does he think about doing it.

[brick wall] [brick wall] [brick wall]

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Walking 18 miles to help Refugees get an education.

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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Did I ever give y'all a link to this poem (4th one down)? I've sent copies of it to older churchmates when they've lost their spouses; they told me later it was greatly appreciated, and asked that it be used in subsequent funeral services.

Much as we don't want to dwell on it, fact remains most of us will still be standing when our Elderlies pass.

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I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

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Autenrieth Road

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Four more months.

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Truth

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Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

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Is that in line with the +/- 3.5 months you mentioned upthread, or do you mean the Dr. has added four more months?

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I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

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Autenrieth Road

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The latter.

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Truth

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JoannaP
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[Votive] Autenrieth Road

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"Freedom for the pike is death for the minnow." R. H. Tawney (quoted by Isaiah Berlin)

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin

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Autenrieth Road

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Now the Dr. is saying "not sure when, but it will come." I have given my mother a date by which to go home whether or not she is fully flexible. She will have to learn to manage. I wish I could be a more perfect daughter but there it is, I'm not. I will be helping her with some things like buying a TV and a refrigerator, and going down to visit her regularly.

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Truth

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Jessie Phillips
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My parents are both still alive - although the most recent spouses of both parents have passed on. I think hell will freeze over before they get back together, though. Course, if they did get back together, they could at least check up on each other, which would lift the burden off me for at least a few years.

Not that it's a big burden; they're both still fairly independent. However, they do tend to confide in me their fears about their deteriorating capabilities. And I'm not sure how to handle that, because, funnily enough, I'm scared by the thought of my own deteriorating capabilities too (and I'm only 36).

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Taliesin
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# 14017

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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
Now the Dr. is saying "not sure when, but it will come." I have given my mother a date by which to go home whether or not she is fully flexible. She will have to learn to manage. I wish I could be a more perfect daughter but there it is, I'm not. I will be helping her with some things like buying a TV and a refrigerator, and going down to visit her regularly.

Autenrieth, you've done loads and loads. And it's far better to give someone a clear message and boundary, rather than a lot of hinting and sniping and trying to force them to make a decision based on what they think you probably want. Sounds like you've taken all the emotional responsibilty. I hope I can be that brave when it's my turn. (and it will come... )
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jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

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What Taliesin said, AR. You've done a lot and are willing to help with the logistics and practicalities of the move. You're not neglecting her, you're just keeping yourself sane so you can continue to provide what help you can. And sometimes a bit of distance (and another set of eyes) makes it easier to see what to do.

I remember when my mother (sliding into dementia) moved into an assisted living apartment and I watched my brother (who was her daily caretaker at that point) trying to get her to decide where to place the wall-lamp for her desk.

She kept getting distracted by things on the desk, he got increasingly frustrated because she wasn't giving him definitive feedback on the best place for the lamp, and I was stifling the urge to say "For fuck's sake, Pete, that spot seems to work, just pound the nail and be done with it! She's past the point where she's actually going to sit there and type letters, so it doesn't really matter."

[ 16. November 2010, 11:26: Message edited by: jlg ]

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Autenrieth Road

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Thank you, Taliesin and jlg.

Jessie Phillips, I used to be terrified of cancer. Then, sometime in my mid-twenties, I decide I was probably going to die of cancer and accepted it. I haven't been scared of cancer since. (No, there's no reason to particularly think I'll die of cancer rather than anything else, but the mental acceptance is what was important.). Perhaps there's some exploring the terrain of diminished capabilities you could do, and thinking about what is worthwhile in life even as some parts of it get harder.

The monsters we have to slay are not usually dramatic, and the victories we win often go completely unrecognized, but there is great courage involved in accepting the human condition and carrying on in a loving manner regardless.

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Enigma

Enigma
# 16158

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Both my parents are elderly, ill and frail, living at home together, fiercely independent but struggling. I find it very difficult to know what to do to support them. They say they want me to live my life yet I know that the more time I can spend with them the happier they are (or less depressed with old age!) Any advice on how to achieve the right balance? I am single so probably in their eyes have no family responsibilty and therefore more available. However I work full time and have a fairly active church and social life. At what point should I step into the role of parent/carer for them?

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Who knows? Only God!

Posts: 856 | From: Wales | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by Enigma:
Any advice on how to achieve the right balance?


It seems to me that finding the right balance starts with accepting that you only have 24 hours in a day, and you're not going to be able to do everything you want to do, or everything you think you ought to do, or everything other people expect you to do. That has to be okay, or you'll make yourself crazy.

There will be times where taking care of your parents will mean that you don't do some other things that you want to do, or ought to do. And sometimes taking care of other things will mean that you don't do some things for your parents that you want to do, or ought to do. You really can't do it all.

For me, accepting that has always been hard. But it's true. And there's no way around it.

Once you've accepted that, you need to figure out if you have a tendency to do too much, and you're likely to wear yourself out and become exhausted and resentful, or if you have a tendency to do too little, and you're likely to find yourself feeling awful one day because you missed out on doing things that, in hindsight, you really wish you had done.

In either case, figure out what you ought to do, and what you want to do, and what you can do. Then make out a schedule for doing it. Having a schedule makes it easier to set limits if you tend to do too much, and it makes it easier for you to discipline yourself if you tend to do too little. It provides a measure of structure and predictability for yourself and your parents. They'll know that they can count on you for that much, and you'll be able to count on time for the other things in your life.

The schedule also gives you a framework for knowing when you need to get more help. If your parents need more help than you can fit into the time you've committed, then you either have to figure out a way to commit to more time, at least for a while, or you need to use part of the time to figuring out how to get more help for them. If they can't keep up with their laundry, and you can't do it for them, can you hire it done? That sort of thing.

Emergencies will come up, where you have to throw the schedule out and just do whatever has to be done. Hopefully not too often.

That's my thoughts on it, anyway. But maybe something else would be better for you.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

Posts: 10269 | From: Pacific Northwest, USA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jessie Phillips
Shipmate
# 13048

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Thanks for Autenrieth Road's post.

Since I last posted, on the plus side, both parents appear to have put better social safety nets in place. I suppose my big anxiety is that if they can't afford to pay for their own care, then neither can I - because I am in a much weaker position financially than either of my parents are.

Of course I don't want my potential inheritance to be eaten up by care costs. Having said that, as it stands, they are both reasonably fit and healthy, which means that their current care costs are low. They both have pension and annuity incomes that cover those costs with plenty left over. This means they do not currently pose a financial burden, and it even means they're in a position to bail me out if necessary. And that's worth more to me than the possibility of what I might inherit when they die. So let's hope that they stay healthy for as long as possible.

And let's also hope that the pension companies don't go bust. The way in which an elderly person's pension plugs the gaps of the state welfare system for their working-age children, and the anxieties that go with it, is something that it's remarkably difficult to get people to talk about honestly.

Posts: 2244 | From: Home counties, UK | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Welease Woderwick

Sister Incubus Nightmare
# 10424

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Copied over from another thread:

quote:
Originally posted by no_prophet

He's living alone at 84 in interior Mexico in a primitive Indian village (bad water, low cost, third world type conditions, but glorious for the healthy rich, which means lower middle class for Canada), more than 15 hours travel via 3 planes from family in Canada. My mother died down there 2 years ago after they lived there for 20 years. He's sold his house without telling anyone (I got a text message) and says he's moving back to Canada, but then says he's not because it is expensive and cold. But then he is. He says he can't afford rent, which is his way of saying I don't want to pay it and 'may I live with you'.

Went through the sandwich thing, with children on the one side and spouse's now deceased parents on the other. Loved them and were closer to them than my own.

I suspect there are any number of shipmates dealing with such stresses of older parents. This is enough to sink my boat some days - was on the phone for 6 hours today with him, more than 15 hours travel via 3 planes from family in Canada. My mother died down there 2 years ago. He's sold his house without telling anyone, with sisters (brother is conspicuously absent) - and need a phone call with God just about now.

At any road, I'm thinking there's something just quite good about knowing of others' stories and adventures in situations like this.



Grits responded

My parents moved in with us around 1993, I think, when they were relatively young (early 60's.) It's had it's ups and downs. Lord, how I miss my privacy, but they have been a lot of help, too, over the years. My dad died a few years ago, and that would have been so much more difficult if they had still been living alone in another state. As it was, they were right here, and no one had to be displaced to care for him or after he was gone. I know it made that situation much easier for my mom.

I assume I be caring for her in the future (she's turning 79 this year and still very healthy), but at least I'll be in my own home. If your dad's already 84, you're not looking at too many years to deal with him. Surely with two sisters, you can figure out a way to parcel him out fairly, working out some kind of equitable schedule. If not, try to find out his actual financial situation and see if you can find him a place he can afford on his own, perhaps near you or one of your siblings.

I'm sorry you've already been through this once. My husband has two brothers and a sister, so I hope it's going to be easier to care for his parents when the time comes.



No_prophet then said

--I guess this should be moved over to the other thread, which I missed! --

One sister is on track and helping. The other is not. Neither have the personal nor financial resources to help. In comparison we're rich (though not).

I've got two places he can afford, I would even pay part rent, but he says it is too expensive. So the decision becomes whether he wants to come back or not, money be damned. He has to come back here because as a returnee he can have health care. The sisters are 4000 Km and 2500 Km away, Canada is a big country. My brother lives in China, where he chooses to to not connect with us. MY second sister recasts the thing as his independence, and we have yet another go around. The decision to stay or go is to be made today. Off the church, then I am to talk to him about whether he's returning to Canada or not. I hope.



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I give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Fancy a break in South India?
Accessible Homestay Guesthouse in Central Kerala, contact me for details

What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

Posts: 48139 | From: 1st on the right, straight on 'til morning | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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He authorized me to put a deposit down on an seniors' apartment where they serve one meal per day. After 6 hours of phone calls, was able to get this to 'make a decision to return or not and we'll live with your decision.

Had been looking at seniors' apartments for months and this came open so it was now or never.

I was immeasureably helped by running into an old family friend who I haven't seen for a year or more, and he told me to get to the simple decision of 'come to Canada or not'. I will take it a providential that we bumped into each other, because with out that, I would not have been able to say this clearly and get the decision made.

Now the next thing is moving him the 5000 km here, 8500 if it's driving.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10911 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Autenrieth Road

Shipmate
# 10509

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no_prophet, that sounds like good news. Best wishes with the move.

Jessie Phillips, I was much happier once I resolved that I had no reason to expect any inheritance from my parents whatsoever: their money (what they have of it, which isn't much) is theirs to spend as they see fit.

On the home front, my mother is now back in her home, and I'm in my home, and they are four states apart. Hooray.

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
birdie

fowl
# 2173

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I've been putting off joining this thread, but I think the time has come...

Mum and Dad are 80 & 81. Dad has been increasingly struggling with his memory for a couple of years now. Mum managed to get him to go to the doctor last year, and at the appointment he answered all the doctor's questions to assess his memory with no problems. However he's been again this week and found it far more difficult - when asked about the date/time of year etc he got it completely wrong.

The doctor is doing bloods etc to rule out any physical cause and assuming these come back clear, will be referring Dad to a Memory Clinic.

I have no idea what a Memory Clinic is or does - anyone have experience of this. What sort of thing might they do and, most importantly, is it any help?

I don't know how all this is going to work out for our family in the longer term. There are 6 of us kids, so in theory none of us should be shouldering anything alone. However one of my brothers is in long-term rehab after head injury last year - Mum makes the hour and a half train journey to see him most weeks. Two of my brothers and one sister live quite near Mum and Dad, and my other sister and I are further away. I have small children.

I think I'm going to really struggle with not being able to help as much as I want to. And I'm very aware that one of the disadvantages of being a larger family is that it's easy to get out of the loop, and drift away from it all if you're not one of the close-at-hand people. I don't want that to happen but I'm also severely limited in what I can do.

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"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness."
Captain Jack Sparrow

Posts: 1290 | From: the edge | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Autenrieth Road

Shipmate
# 10509

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(((birdie)))

My three siblings and I all live far apart, and far from my parents.

When we first started this odyssey with my parents (it goes back more than a year before my mother came to stay with me temporarily last year), me and my three siblings had a couple of conference calls. Well, not quite a conference call: three of us together on one phone, talking to the fourth in turn, and relaying what was said. (Three of us siblings had converged on the parental family home; the fourth lives in another country. We made the calls from our motel room; adding my parents' opinions to the mix on our planning at that point would have been a mess; hopefully you have a more functional family.

Since then we've kept in touch by email, and we usually copy the other three on emails we send between us. That keeps everyone in the loop.

As the person doing the most direct hands-on care for the last ten months, I've really appreciated the moral support from my siblings, telling me I'm doing a good job, calling me up just to say hi, and so on.

One of my brothers, while far away, has been taking care of helping with finances--not by giving money, but by giving advice to help my parents dig themselves out of a deep hole. He also has driven three times (across half the country, and as I'm in the US that's a LOTof driving) up to my mother's apartment to help with various things (most recently, to pick up my father's belongings after he walked out on my mother taking not much more than the shirt on his back. Like I said, I hope you have a more functional family than I do.)

One principle I've had in this whole process is to be grateful for whatever my siblings can do or choose to do, and not to think they should do more or different things.

There are things you can do from a distance: talk with your parents and siblings, both about the situation and just about nice things as a break. Maybe you can find out information about memory loss and Memory Centers. Maybe occasionally you can go stay locally, and give the close-by siblings a vacation. You can ask them what they would find helpful. You can send gifts, either large like a spa day or a gift certificate for dinner out or football tickets, etc., depending on your budget, or small, like notecards, a book, a jar of jelly, etc. This isn't meant to be exhaustive or prescriptive, just brainstorming, but maybe some of these ideas help.

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Birdie

Mum went to a memory clinic a couple of years ago, she was having minor memory problems, the sort in most people you would not worry about but in Mum it was troubling her because she was no longer managing to keep the church books.

They do a number of tests to decide whether someone actually has a level of dementia. My mothers was slight but marked if I noted. They put her on aricept and for the first year or so monitored her progress and then transferred her to the local hospital when there was no obvious further decline.

If dementia is diagnosed they also will send your father for a driving check. My recommendation would be that you get him to have a driving lesson or so, to bring him up to standard on modern driving. My view is we should all be required to have lessons every ten years and maybe resit the theory exam just to keep us up to scratch on the driving regulations.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Walking 18 miles to help Refugees get an education.

Posts: 20586 | From: city of steel, butterflies and rainbows | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Beenster
Shipmate
# 242

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Thanks to those who have posted their experiences. I am finding it a really sad little inroad into my life as I watch mom lose her memory. It is not significant at the moment and I don't see her as being in danger - eg turning on the gas and not lighting the hob. But the amount of things she forgets - I have told her things over and over again - some long time ago and some the day before.

My father is in a home with dementia - he is a very docile chap and smiles with delight when I visit and also if I utter the immortal words "Don't tell him Pike". I struggle but I am so blessed. I have these times to talk to him about happy memories that he has given me and what a great dad he was. I don't know what he takes in, but I have the opportunity to have beautiful conversations - that is a gift and I am thankful.

My siblings are very hands-off. I have done what I can to engage them in supporting my mother and they remain very very hands-off. I have a poor relationship with my siblings and haven't got the energy to have another round of conversations and agreements with them as to how visiting can be shared - only for the agreements to slide. I am bored with non-excuses, bored with the yes yes yes - and them not delivering on the agreement - and furthermore, bored with other relations who see it as my responsibility to get my horrible siblings who bullied me through childhood in line.

I must try and persuade my mother to go to a memory clinic. I think that will be a hard admission for her but if they can measure how she is now, then we will have a basis for seeing if this is how she is or whether she is on a decline - and then maybe something can be done.

Sorry this is a bit whingey - I don't have any helpful suggestions to anyone else but just feel endlessly sad at the status quo.

All will be well.

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Tukai
Shipmate
# 12960

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I'm posting this partly to bump this thread back in to activity, because (I fear) some of the concerns raised here are all too real for some other shipmates who haven't seen it.

Personally I am the only son of a now elderly mother (aged 88), who lives alone since my father died a few years ago. But I live in another country, at least for the next few years, and none of her other relatives live in the same State as her.

What she wants is for me and my wife to come and live near her, but we are very reluctant because we know that she would be very demanding - "family should fully look after me, because they are family" . But she was never much help to us when we needed it, notably when our children were small. And anyway , her town is one where we wouldn't want to live long-term, as it lacks intellectual and cultural activity. Fortunately it is a nice place to visit/ holiday for sunshine and beaches, which we do several times a year - and our children likewise.

Although she is remarkably healthy and independent for one of her age, and certainly mentally alert still, she is starting to creak at joints, and as she is officially a "War Widow", in Australia this entitles her to a lot of free medical treatment. So in the last few years , she has had a series of operations in the (vain) hope that they will restore her to full physical fitness the day that she leaves hospital. When this doesn't happen she gets even more frustrated.

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A government that panders to the worst instincts of its people degrades the whole country for years to come.

Posts: 563 | From: Oz | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged
Landlubber
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# 11055

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Tukai

I have the mirror problem - my Mum wants to come and live with us.

Fortunately, my husband has always had a more realistic grasp on what is practical which counters the guilt I feel and that has helped considerably. (I am away for work most of the week and all her friends and the rest of the family live hours from here.) As a result, we have said that if she wants to move to sheltered accommodation nearby we will help her. To be fair, she really does need to move or have her house adapted. However, she won't make the decision to do either - possibly because she still hopes to be taken in by me or one of my siblings. (She is mentally competent so no-one can or should make up her mind for her).

So we wait until something changes ...

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They that go down to the sea in ships … reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man

Posts: 367 | From: On dry land | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
St Everild
Shipmate
# 3626

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It is so difficult, isnt it?

My mum started with mild symptoms of dementia last November-ish, went to a memory clinic and was started on Aricept. In February my dad was taken ill (he's chronically ill anyway - for the last 20 years) and my mum (who by then was very much worse) was taken into hospital as she was dehydrated, refusing to eat and he couldn't cope.

Eventually a CAT scan showed 2 brain tumours. She died last night, having never come home from the hospital.

They live 200 miles away from me and my sister lived further away than that. My mum was the sociable outgoing type...my dad was not and is not.

I have absolutely no idea what the future holds, except that if he continues to live where he is, neither I nor my sister will be able to offer much support due to the distance and length of time it takes (even when the roads are clear) to get to him.

He would do better to move nearer one of us...but which one, and into what type of home? (Did I mention that he is stubborn type?)

Posts: 1768 | From: Bethnei | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by St Everild:
She died last night, having never come home from the hospital.


I'm so sorry to hear that St Everild.


[Frown] [Votive]

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 12592 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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[Votive] St Everild

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Buy a bale. Help our Aussie rural communities and farmers. Another great cause needing support The High Country Patrol.

Posts: 9356 | From: girt by sea | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Roots
Apprentice
# 16193

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Last year, dad, 88 then, fell through the door of a fish shop and broke his hip. Because hospitals were far away, they put him in a car for a 350 mile journey and we thought we were going to lose him, as we had heard at that age, they dont survive such things....especially when in hospital, he keeps trying to escape from the bed and sees trains coming through the walls and keeps ripping the oxygen mask off "I wasnt a pilot! I was in the Navy!!!"

But the old goat was found to be suffering from a lack of alcohol and hadnt been having his daily tipple and once that was rectified by smuggling wine in, he recovered, and the next year, he was waiting for me (with a tape measure in his hand) to do some work around the house and was up and down ladders all the time.

Mum, 87, does her own washing with a twin tub and refuses an automatic machine.

Such lovely people...am on my way next week to see them after two years and cant wait!

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Just waiting for the end of the road....seems so far at times....

Posts: 26 | From: The Centre of the Universe | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
Landlubber
Shipmate
# 11055

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Sr Everild, for comfort, strength and wisdom [Votive]

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They that go down to the sea in ships … reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man

Posts: 367 | From: On dry land | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged



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