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Source: (consider it) Thread: Aging Parents
Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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A work associate has a mother who is in assisted living (a care home). The staff is augmented by Visiting Angels, essentially hired additional help. Last Xmas my friend decided to give the Visiting Angels woman a holiday, and she and her brothers took care of the mother for the long weekend. No one was happy, and the mother kept on demanding her Visiting Angel. Sometimes you just do not want your kids to help you.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Piglet
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I've been trying for the last couple of days to formulate a sensible (and sensitive) post for this thread.

Uncle Pete, you have my sympathies: I should imagine that it's much harder to move into a "care facility" when you're in full possession of your mental faculties and can see easily where they're falling short than it is if your mind is beginning to fail.

Most of the APs being discussed here are in their 80s or 90s, and may have begun to lose some of their mental faculties, which may make their new surroundings all the more confusing and alien. They may blame this confusion on their children, because they imagine that they've been "dumped" there by them.

My father was taken into the "assessment and rehabilitation" ward* nearly three years ago, just before his 90th birthday. Most of the family (including me) went up to Orkney to celebrate his birthday, and we took him back to the house, then out for dinner (which he enjoyed), then my sister and brother took him back to the ward. He became extremely distressed, and didn't want to be left there, which in turn distressed my sister and brother.

Shortly afterwards he was transferred to the local old people's home, and after that whenever any of us took him out for little trips, we had to be careful not to take him anywhere near the family home, as he would think he was going home and become distressed when he discovered he wasn't.

He's now at the stage where he's physically completely dependent: he's being kept alive by a pacemaker and a feeding-tube, and while we're fairly sure that his mind is still functioning, he's unable to communicate (the feeding-tube has buggered his vocal cords), and he really has no life at all - just existence.

I don't know that there's ever a "right" approach to the care of our elderly relatives: there certainly comes a point where full-time professional care is the only solution. When my mum went into full-time care, my dad found it terribly hard to leave her there every night, but he knew that he was doing the right thing, because he was no longer able to look after her himself.


* This was the same ward in which my mum had spent the last 10 years of her life; it's been re-classified from "geriatric care" to "assessment and rehab".

I'm sorry this has been a bit of an epistle, but I hope it has made some sense.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Huia
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# 3473

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quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
Maybe over Christmas someone who is not you could talk to her about this stuff? I'm sure Mum would believe my brother over me, if only because he has rarity value - luckily he has viewed me as an adult all his life and will tread the party line!


Oh, the power of the stranger. Within a few days of the major quake here most of the care homes were evacuated to other cities because Christchurch was no longer considered safe and power and water supply could not be guaranteed. I moved to the other side of town. I was sitting in a strange Mall next to an elderly lady who was distressed because family wanted her to move out of town until her house was rebuilt. We talked about how difficult that would be for her as she had never lived elsewhere. I imagined have my mother in a similar position and talked about how I would need to know she was safe and had access to toilets, baths and showers and how I would worry about her if there was another big quake.

Anyway when her daughter, who had been shopping turned up she said, This lady thinks I should go to Auckland so I will go .

Her daughter looked astonished - as well she might - smiled and said,"That's a good idea Mum"

Huia - busybody of this Parish

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Jane R
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# 331

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Sarasa:
quote:
I'm off to see my mother in law for the wekend. As she isn't my mother I find dealing with her foibles a lot easier.
Yes, I find this as well (though my own mother is currently quite capable of taking care of herself). When M-i-l needed to have a tooth taken out I was the one who had to take her to the dentist and persuade her that it really needed to be done. Not sure whether it was because she trusted that I wouldn't say so if it wasn't true (she wouldn't listen to Other Half OR the dentist), or because I was the only one who told her bluntly 'if you don't have it out it will rot and you'll have to go to hospital'. Probably both.

I can do that sort of thing, but I can't take care of her full-time. I have a seriously ill child to look after and a business to run.

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Fredegund
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# 17952

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I suddenly remembered this:
[[Nurse and George]]
One day is much like any other,
Listening to her snap and drone.

[[Nurse]]
Still, Sunday with someone's dotty mother
Is better then Sunday with your own.
Mothers may drone, mothers may whine-
Tending to his, though, is perfectly fine.
It pays for the nurse that is tending to mine
On Sunday,
My day off.

From Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George.

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Pax et bonum

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Penny S
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Breaking my self denying ordinance to say that while D's son finds the situation much worse than I do*, I, the stranger, do not find it easy. OTOH I am the interloper trying to separate her from her son, not an uninvolved stranger - one of which we desperately want.

*He does brilliant analysis of what causes her distressing and distressed condition, past traumas, possible autism (I found, checking out because she does not match the boys with Aspergers I taught, that demand avoidance was an almost perfect fit), but faced with her winding up procedures, cannot cope well at all.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Well, after a difficult weekend in which one of the Dowager's friends called us to say that he had visited her and she was unable to find anyone to talk to in her care home, I took a call today from the manager of a different care home. She had been to assess Mum with a view to her spending a month with them, my idea being to work the old salesman's trick of 'does Tuesday morning or Wednesday afternoon suit you better?' on Mum.

The manager of the other care home was much more upbeat about the amount of care Mum would need and they had obviously had a very useful chat. Upshot is, after Christmas she can go to Care Home 2 for residential (rather than nursing) care for a while, or permanently if she decides that's what she wants! I do wonder if a couple of weeks of being fed and watered regularly has done Mum some good, so she was able to converse with a stranger and give a good account of herself. I shall leave aside the phone call I took in church yesterday, during the run-through, which started off with a 'WHAT'S HAPPENING?' and ran the gamut of 'but someone will pick me up for the wedding?' and 'so this lady will take me somewhere else?', after she'd been told that she would be having a visitor today.

I've thought a lot about why Mum is so unhappy, and have worked out two things - she really can hardly see, so she can't do crosswords or read, or even identify the TV in her room (!) and this has meant that her only entertainment is to talk to people; but her failing sight means she can't identify suitable partners in conversation. How very sad is that [Confused]

Saturday should be fun; 90-mile drive to collect her and her possessions from Care Home 1, return to her home (which I must remember not to call 'home') to collect suitable clothes for four days at our house for Christmas, then 90-mile drive to our home. Never mind, if she enjoys seeing her family at Christmas, it will all be worth it! [Smile]

Mrs. S, crossing her fingers

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Piglet
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# 11803

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Would it be feasible for you to call at her house and pick up the suitable clothes before you collect the Dowager, so that you don't need to take her there, thereby avoiding any "oh, am I going home?" scenarios?

Just a thought, precipitated by what we had to do when Dad was at that stage.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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That's an idea, Piglet - my only reservation is that it leaves me open to the 'well, YOU brought all my stuff and it's All Wrong!' gambit.

[Killing me]

It won't be so bad this time (23rd) as she will be happy to come to my place for Christmas. I'll just have to manage when she goes in the other direction!

Mrs. S, making mental lists whichshe will only forget [Killing me]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Fredegund
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# 17952

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Mrs S: Silly question, probably, but what is she like with the Radio. If she likes old comedies 4extra would be just the ticket. My Mum would have loved it, only her problem was hearing.
Good luck with the Dowager. [Votive]

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Pax et bonum

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Fredegund - she used to like the radio, always Radio 4, but she never seems to bother with it now. She doesn't like being in her room, don't think she'd even noticed the telly in it, hasn't looked at her newspaper or book: I'm beginning to think all her senses are closing down on her.

Another panic phone call today, she didn't know what was happening or where she would be for Christmas (!). Unfortunately she got my voicemail and it took me an hour to get back to her as she can't/won't use her mobile phone; by then all was sweetness and light as her friend had gone to see her.

THEN she started telling me no-one else had been to visit her *sigh* and in the middle of THAT conversation suddenly announced that her toenails were getting too long [Eek!]

I really hope she can settle into Care Home 2!

Mrs. S, wrecked again

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Ethne Alba
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# 5804

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Another really lovely visit to my own AP in their Care Home!

AP mentioned that they were so glad they had moved into this home as they don't have to remember a single thing.
"And isn't that a blessing? Not having to remember to do something ever again!"

Indeed so.
It's been a joy and a delight to see the professional care and genuine love shown to my AP. And to see Ap's own very real appreciation of this gift to them.

So Very glad we made this decision. Best one ever.
And it's great to sit and read the newspaper with our AP. It used to be the other way round. Come full circle now.....
.
.
.

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Sarasa
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# 12271

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Mrs S - hope all the plans work out well for you, it sounds like a lot of driving and a lot of organisation. Will the second care home be a able to care for the Dowager if she starts to need more help?

We went to see my lovely mother in law at the weekend. She has lots of scabs and bruises from her last fall and is more immobile and muddled than ever which led to some fun conversations. However she always seems much happier and content than my mother, maybe because she lets my brother-in- law who calls in twice a day and managers her life take all the strain. Also unlike my mother she is still genuinely interested in other people. She was very sympathetic when I explained what a worry my mother was to me and gave me some good insight into how it feels when someone insists that you take a course of action that you don't want to. In her case it was getting in a cleaner, something she thought would diminish her. As it is she gets on really well with the young women that comes round and feels her life has been enhanced, not only by feeling happier about the state of her house (which was always much cleaner than my mother's flat) but by making a new friend.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Thank you all for your concern for the Dowager and me [Overused]

Sarasa, Care Home 2 has three floors - one residential/minor nursing; one heavy-duty nursing; and one for real dementia patients. The person whose room Mum is getting (good light and near to the action) is moving to the top floor. So, yes, they should be able to manage her.

I am so glad we do not have two old ladies to cope with, though Mr. S's mother was different in every way (no, perhaps not every way - equally stubborn). Especially as Mr. S would not have been any better coping with her than with the Dowager! Pleased your MiL is more responsive to your efforts ;o)

Mrs. S, fingers still crossed

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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I was hoping to post better news, but the Dowager finds Care Home 2 equally loathsome, if not worse. [Ultra confused] Of course she's only been there two days, after four fun-packed days seeing most of her family, including the Intrepid Grandson (well-named!) but sadly all the goodwill that had accumulated over those days dissipated very quickly. After four days of acting as nurse, ladies' maid and PA, my goodwill was running out pretty fast, too [Devil]

I think she has lost all her internal resources - at Chateau S, she was totally dependent on me to suggest that she might read the paper ('if you sit at this table, so the light is good') do a crossword ('here's a pen, and I'll turn on the daylight lamp') or whatever, really *sigh* She realises that she has to be in care somewhere, but there seems nothing she would like, apart from a constant stream of personal visitors.

I read in the decluttering thread about elderly people being very attached to things, but photos etc seem to have no appeal unless someone is talking to her about them [Roll Eyes]

I'm not unsympathetic, I do understand it can't be easy, but she doesn't appear to me to be trying to do anything for herself - and there really is a limit to what others can do to amuse you. Oh dear...

Mrs. S, whose best is not good enough [Waterworks]

--------------------
Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sarasa
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# 12271

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Mrs S - I was wondering how things were going with you and the Dowager over Christmas. Let's hope she settles into the new home and finds things to do.

I spent four days over Christmas with my mother at my brother's house. Her very poor eyesight and memory made things tricky, she kept on confusing who was who for a start. More worryingly she was very upset because none of us believe that the next door neighbours are coming in and stealing her ibuprofen rub, soap etc. She has made up a narrative that makes it all logical to her. At least my sister-in-law and I managed to take her out and find a lovely frock for her birthday party, although that involved both of us being shouted at first. As SiL says she just wants to be a pretty spoilt young girl again.

We dropped her home yesterday. First thing today she phoned up to say a hair clip had gone missing. I schlepped over there (two trains and a bus away) and found it. I have also made an appointmnet for her with her doctors to discuss her increasing confusion and to try and get something sorted. Talking to her over Christmas it was obvious that she thinks she doesn't need help and that we are all very unkind to even suggest she gets some. Now how do I manage to get her to the doctors without her having a melt-down?

Hope everyone else who has an Aged P had a good Christmas

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Ain't that the awful truth, Sarasa - they just Don't Want To Be Old! (btw, you're a better daughter than I - no way would i have done that for a hair-clip!)

The Dowager had a lovely frock for Christmas Day - she chose it from a Posh Catalogue and I ordered it, and ever since it has been 'I don't think I ever tried this on' - 'yes you did, it looked lovely, or I'd have sent it back' - 'did you get me any black socks?' 'no, you have to wear tights, and yes, I have got you black tights' - give me strength!

I'm afraid I said to her 'if you ask me One More Time what you will be wearing, I shall make you stay in your dressing-gown all day'!

Mrs. S, praying she never gets Really Old

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Lothlorien
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# 4927

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“A constant stream of visitors?” Husbands grandmother not only wanted this but was still with it enough to keep a daily record of visitors. At least for a while.

Family was kept as another list and several members had to visit every day.

There was yet another list which said things like Nurse brought water to wash. When she returned an hour later, water was cold. Breakfast was forty minutes late and I could not eat it.

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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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The Intrepid Mrs S
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I discovered that I knew more about The Dowager's visitors than she did, so I suggested she wrote them in her diary ... but of course she never had her diary with her when she saw them, and then - guess what? - she forgot!

Whether a telly and/or radio in her room would help, I don't know - she doesn't like 'silly games' as played in the communal lounge BUT she has the FB Syndrome of 'is someone else having a better time than I am?' [Devil]

EA, it was a treat to read about your APs being happy in a care home [Overused] just shows it CAN happen!

Mrs. S, aka Pollyanna [Killing me]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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lily pad
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# 11456

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Most that I visit have a book open on a table for visitors to sign. It helps for family members to know who has been by and it often gives me something to talk about when I see people I know or those who are close to the resident.

Personally, I feel like you need to give her a few months in a residence where your contact is just to say, "I'm sure it will all work out okay." We moved often as kids and mom always said it took six months to adjust to a new place.

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

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Piglet
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# 11803

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The place where Dad is has a visitors' book at the entrance, which all visitors are expected to sign, and write in who it is you're visiting. I must confess it's never occurred to me to see if there were any other people who'd been in to see him, although the staff would probably let us know anyway, and the friend who visits him regularly keeps us informed as well.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Penny S
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# 14768

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Prayers for all of you with these difficult old women - so familiar. But I would just like to know - have they always been like this, or is it just with age? The one I know has been like it as long as her son knows.
We had an appointment for a doctor to phone and discuss his mother with the son - we were definitely told it would be after 7, but he called at 5.45, and her son wasn't there. A whole weekend plus Bank Holiday before contact can be made again.
And she has to be registered with the GP as permanently here for anything useful to be enabled, which is the last thing I want.
Today is a bad day - it was her late husband's birthday.

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Sarasa
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Penny S said:
quote:
Prayers for all of you with these difficult old women - so familiar. But I would just like to know - have they always been like this, or is it just with age? The one I know has been like it as long as her son knows.
I think people somehow distill down to one or two traits as they age. My mother has always been tough and decisive,, and has never really been a great one for logical thinking. However when she was younger she was also very charming, which enabled her to get her own way while making you think you'd won too. The charm seems to have worn off unfortunatly.

To go back to finding homes for APs. I've always assumed it is the same as finding schools for your children. You listen to their wishes but go with what you think is best for them, not what they actually demand, and hope the two are the same. Hope the Dowager is settling in a bit more Mrs S.

The reason I went over to sort out mum's hair clip problem was that she made it very clear over Christmas she is on the verge of phoning the police about her neighbours. I probably shouldn't have bothered as she phoned up yesterday with another problem. Apparently her iron had been left with water in it which means the neighbours must have come in and borrowed it as of course mum would never leave it like that. I think we'll just have to wait till the police are called and take it from there. I feel sorry for the neighbours though, who seem from what I've seen of them to be fine. The whole thing is totally stressing me out. [Frown]

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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Penny S, the Dowager hasn't always been this difficult, though she's always been a *bit* difficult. I am getting to the stage of not being able to remember her before all this kicked off (which is so sad).

I really have no preference as to where she ends up; all I want is for her to be, if not actually happy, then at least content. We are blessed in that the cost isn't a problem, but whatever they say, money can't buy everything and sometimes it seems as if it can't buy *anything* (except of course food, shelter, warmth, laundry, 'entertainment'...)

Must have another go at giving her a ring, though the prospect fills me with dread - and that's awful [Waterworks]

Mrs. S, reaching for the phone with trembling hands!

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Piglet
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# 11803

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I totally understand your trepidation about phoning the Dowager, Mrs. S., although my problems were brought about more by physical changes than psychological ones.

When Dad was still able to carry on a semblance of a conversation, I maintained the habit of phoning him once a week, but his speech had become sufficiently difficult that it was very hard to understand him, and he'd occasionally either veer off the subject altogether or say the same thing over and over, so eventually I gave up - it just wasn't worth the hassle (and I suspect he found it a hassle too, to a certain extent).

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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To be fair, she was much more responsive and cheerful today - still not what you'd call happy, but a great improvement on Friday.

Was this because her dear neighbour had visited and held her hand? Probably.

Thank you to all of you for your kindness and support so far along this difficult journey, and prayers for all of us, old and not-so-old [Votive]

The Grateful Mrs. S [Overused]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sarasa
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# 12271

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Oh dear. I chatted to mum last night and despite still being convinced the neighbours are stealing things (loo rolls this time) seemed more cheerful and seemed to accept my explaination as to why they had run out and had not been pinched,
Today she phoned to ask why I hadn't come over. I hadn't said I would . I'd told her quite a few times over the last few days I'd be over on Wedneday but I guess she'd got her days muddled. More alarmingly she'd slammed the door in 'stealing' neighbour's face when she'd expressed concern about mum having accidently left the door on the latch a couple of times. She shouted at me when I said that whatever she thought of the woman she'd been rude.
I can't imagine it'll be much longer before the neighbour is either cornering me when I visit or calling in the social services.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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Oh dear, indeed, Sarasa [Votive]

might it be possible to speak to the doctor before you take her along there, and ask if a mild anti-anxiety drug might help? Luckily the Dowager was already in hospital when the nurses realised how very, unreasonably, anxious she was, and got her on to a little blue 'happy pill' - her words.

I am suggesting this - IANAD, as you know - because I see parallels with the Dowager's behaviour when she used to panic over something, panic at me, and then refuse to accept my (perfectly logical) explanation [Roll Eyes]

Anyway you have my [Votive] and empathy...

In other news my brother also phoned her yesterday and they managed a laugh, so fingers crossed at Chateau S.

Mrs. S, hoping for the best

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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[Votive] for Sarasa, Mrs. S. and their respective dowagers.

I was speaking to my sister today, and Dad's apparently got a chest infection (a not-uncommon occurrence in old people's homes at this time of year). He's been given antibiotics, but at nearly 93, it's still a bit of a worry.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 20272 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
The Intrepid Mrs S
Shipmate
# 17002

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[Votive] for Piglet and Daddy Pig [Votive]

(you didn't put anything on the prayer thread, Piglet, hence this post here)

I have messed up the internet access for the Dowager's bank account [Help] and feel like a complete numpty, especially as I don't know what I did wrong *sigh*

but on the plus side I have ordered her a daylight reading lamp, floor-standing, which I hope will help her [Smile]

Mrs. S, [Confused]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

Posts: 1464 | From: Neither here nor there | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged
Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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@Intrepid Mrs S, There was a tabloid campaign around the security, or lack of it, on bank sites in the middle of December. I have found I can access my account from my phone and tablet but not my laptop, haven't spent time working out why.

[Votive] for all dealing and/or worrying about/with aged parents.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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Mrs S, hope you sort the tangle soon. I have been meaning to say that while your mother does not like this place any more than the first, she probably needs time there. Rather than chopping and changing every few weeks.

[ 03. January 2018, 07:52: Message edited by: Lothlorien ]

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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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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
I have messed up the internet access for the Dowager's bank account [Help] and feel like a complete numpty, especially as I don't know what I did wrong *sigh*

In my experience, you may have:
  • Typed the wrong password more times than allowed
  • Accessed the account from a computer that hasn't accessed it before
  • Accessed the account from the same computer as before, but with a different IP address (i.e., you brought the computer to a different location from its usual, such as a Starbucks or other shop with Internet access, or a hotel)
In any of which cases the bank has locked the account and will send you an unlock code by whichever method the Dowager specified (e-mail, phone, text message) when she set the account up -- that is, if she specified a method.

You may have to see someone at the bank to sort the situation out, especially if you don't know how the Dowager may have set the account up and (given her present state) have no way of finding out.

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"I take prayer too seriously to use it as an excuse for avoiding work and responsibility." -- The Revd Martin Luther King Jr.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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Thanks Miss Amanda and all, but I have no-one to blame but myself - I set the account up *blush*

I think I probably got the digits of the PIN wrong, because - and I know this sounds dumb - this particular site will sometimes ask for them in the wrong order IYSWIM. Anyway, they sent me a re-activation code and all appears to be well again [Overused]

Loth, I'm sure you're right and she needs to stay put for a reasonable amount of time - she's booked in here for a month so we'll see how she goes. I'm going to see her on Monday, taking a daylight reading lamp for her.

This quite broke my heart - when I told her I was taking this along to help her to read, she said 'and can you get me something so that I can understand what I'm reading?' [Waterworks]

Oh dear, to quote Sarasa...

Mrs.S, breaker of bank accounts [Killing me]

[ 03. January 2018, 12:13: Message edited by: The Intrepid Mrs S ]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

Posts: 1464 | From: Neither here nor there | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged
Sarasa
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# 12271

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Glad you got the bank account Mrs S. Sorting out access to my mothers accounts on-line is another thing on my to-do list.
I hope by the time her month is up the Dowager will be more settled. Has she seen an eye specialist about her macular degeneration. Although injections didn't really help my mum they do work for a lot of people.
Mum was in a good mood when I popped over to see her today, she's even been and appologised to the neighbour for slamming the door in their face, [Smile] and there was no mention of anything being stolen.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:


This quite broke my heart - when I told her I was taking this along to help her to read, she said 'and can you get me something so that I can understand what I'm reading?' [Waterworks]

Keep your eye out for a collection of fiction she may read. MILused to read paperbacks. She wanted ones she described as clean, although we all knew she would have bought otherwise for herself. We found plenty when we cleaned out her house.

I was shopping in ALDI one day after she had moved to the nursing section of place she was in. I found a paperback collection, one Austen, a Bronte and something else now forgotten. It was perfect. She went from one book to the next, not knowing they were different authors, and when she reached the end she just started over again. It lasted a couple of years. Best $15 ever spent.

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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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Piglet
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# 11803

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quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
[Votive] for Piglet and Daddy Pig [Votive]

(you didn't put anything on the prayer thread, Piglet, hence this post here)

Thanks, Mrs. S. I think when I was on the prayer thread there seemed to be Shippies who were in greater need, but it's always nice to have your prayers. [Smile]

I agree with Loth about trying to get your mum to stay at the new place for long enough that she can get used to it. She might even make some friends, which would be no bad thing.

As regards the reading thing, when Mum went into the geriatric ward, Dad would bring her books that he thought she might like, magazines like BBC Good Food (which she'd always bought - she loved cooking) and books of crossword puzzles, which she had loved. I think she tried for the first few months, but after a while either the physical or mental effort became too much for her and she just kind of gave up.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 20272 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fredegund
Shipmate
# 17952

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Re books - does she need to have the large-print editions, or one of those gadgets to magnify normal print? We had limited success with both for a while ( a la Piglet).
Another possibility - would she like a trip down memory lane with some old favourites? I remember digging out her Sunday School copy of Cranford, which was well received.
And try Sudoku, if words are becoming a problem.
[Votive]

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Pax et bonum

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lily pad
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# 11456

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quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
...This quite broke my heart - when I told her I was taking this along to help her to read, she said 'and can you get me something so that I can understand what I'm reading?' [Waterworks] ..

When my cognitive function was impaired for a while, I found the only books I could enjoy were ones that I had read before and were old favourites. When I read this, I wondered if she might enjoy re-reading books that she has loved in the past? I know it was a lifesaver for me as it helped pass the time and I wasn't anxious about forgetting who was who.

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Sloppiness is not caring. Fussiness is caring about the wrong things. With thanks to Adeodatus!

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Another option would be a book of popular poetry perhaps even a school edition of sixty years ago. Poetry is usually shorter and this requires less effort to read an entire piece and there is a high possibility of familiarity.

Jengie

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

Back to my blog

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Diomedes
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# 13482

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I second the poetry suggestion. When my mother was struggling with concentrating to read or watch TV - or even holding a conversation - she could still recite reams of poetry she had learnt in school 80 years before. This even extended to poetry in French and German; I found that staggering when she couldn't remember much else. We found a large print copy of Palgrave's Golden Treasury which contained so many of her favourites. The BBC produced a 100 Best Loved Poems book which was also a great success.

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Distrust simple answers to complicated questions

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Uncle Pete

Loyaute me lie
# 10422

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Many many years back when my mother was in the last stages of emphysema, I travelled down from Ottawa every weekend to visit her and to do what business stuff needed to be done. She was bored, but did not have the attention span for books, TV or other things.

I used to bring her things like the National Enquirer, The Star and such papers so she could tut-tut over the doings of the celebrities and laugh at some of the more outrageous conspiracy theories.

Not high reading, but fun. When I was there, though, I held her hand and we chatted about the family and some of her friends.

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Even more so than I was before

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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I have a feeling that one of the books Dad brought for Mum was a poetry one; there were also a couple of poems (notably The Owl and the Pussycat and The Tale of Sonia Snell), which she had recited (and taught) to us as children, and we'd read a few lines to see if she'd remember the next one (for quite a while, she did).

Old photographs are sometimes also a success, especially if you can encourage the Dowager to tell you about people in them who are old enough for her to remember better than you do.

Sometimes a conversation that starts, "that's So-and-so - I've completely forgotten his wife's name - can you remember? can trigger all sorts of memories.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 20272 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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The owl and the pussy cat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat. They took some money and plenty of honey wrapped up in a five pound note. The owl looked up to the heavens above...

I can even remember much more and the tune.

Would she like the Hums of Pooh? We had old vinyls with songs sung by Sir John Mill. My sons sing them sometimes if it suits circumstances.

Or perhaps Vera Lynn and songs from WW II.

[ 05. January 2018, 00:44: Message edited by: Lothlorien ]

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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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Piglet
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# 11803

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On several occasions (usually church suppers where a modicum of silliness was required) we've sung it to Anglican chant, which is quite fun.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 20272 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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{tangent alert}

quote:
Originally posted by Piglet
On several occasions (usually church suppers where a modicum of silliness was required) we've sung it to Anglican chant, which is quite fun.

Another bit of fun is to sing the doxology to the tune of Hernando's Hideaway.

{/tangent alert}

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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Sarasa
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# 12271

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Oh dear (yes it's getting to be my constant refrain). I went to see mum today bearing the invites for her party. Got a few of those sent off and left her at her Keep Fit class with more to give out. So far so good.
However mum is back to being convinced that the neighbours are stealing things, today it was j-cloths. More worryingly (and I think this deserves more than an oh dear) she told me that another neighbour, M, had brought up a set of her keys, saying she'd found some people trying to open mum's letterbox (she lives in a block of flats where everyone has a box in the lobby). I am extremely doubtful abot this story. The keys in question are a set mum came across when I was thee before Christmas. We agreed to put them in a safe place. She told me over Christmas they'd gone missing, and when I checked last week they weren't there. That would seem to back up her story, but how would someone get in and find the keys without disturbing mum and if they did why would they try to open her postbox with them when there is obviously not a postbox key on the keyring and its the sort of box you could probably pick with a hairpin anyway? I've dropped a party invite through M's door with a note asking her to phone me, to see if she can shed any light on mum's story. I've heard of scams where people use the sort of postbox mum has to set up dodgy accounts and I wonder if that is in the back of her mind (she listens to a lot of Radio 4)
My sister-in-law is supposed to be picking mum up on Wednesday to spend a couple of days with them and have a look at a sheltered accomodation flat. Mum is saying she'd not going because she has too much to do. I'm leaving s-i-l to sort that one out

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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Sarasa
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# 12271

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Sorry for the double post. Kind neighbour phoned me. Apparently she found mum's keys (her proper set with post box key on the ring) in mum's post box and took them up to her. She assumes mum put the door on the latch, went down to look for post, took the post up but forgot the keys. No mysterious people involved.
Mum phoned me to get cross about my sil coming over, and how she doesn't want to go and look at other places to live. I was trying to express my concern that she is getting a bit confused, but got shouted at and told that I was losing my mind as 'people in their sixties get Alzheimers'. I didn't dare tell her that I'd been in contact with her neighbour.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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You're right, Sarasa - that is going beyond "oh dear".

Prayers continuing to ascend for you and your s-in-l, your mum and her neighbours.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 20272 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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Oh dear, indeed, Sarasa.

Worst visit ever to the Dowager today at Care Home 2. Mr S came with me, as we are now off househunting, and between us we took in her TV from home, her radio, and a brand new daylight lamp to help with her reading. We got all that installed, and after a bit of fuss about whether Care Home 2 would want her to pay extra for all this electricity (!) we went out to lunch.

I have never known her so difficult, so negative (and that's saying something). She hadn't a kind word for anyone and was exceptionally nasty about the neighbours who sat with her after her last episode - I said to Mr S that she probably blamed them for her ending up in care,because they'd phoned the doctor - and me - rather than just taking her home and leaving her. In the end, I said I wondered what she said about me when I wasn't there [Mad] which actually did bring her up short.

Whatever she says sounds to me like criticism - she had a thank-you card from Master S's Lovely Wife and said the handwriting looked like a child's [Mad] - and is seriously over-dramatised, which just sets me off [Mad]

Mercifully a friend, with a mother further along this journey than the Dowager, said to me that the Dowager was safe, and that was all I could reasonably do; I wasn't about to change her attitude, That did help, but oh, I hate hate hate it to be like this [Mad]

[Votive] for the Dowager, for Sarasa's Mum, for Daddy Pig, for all APs past their sell-by date

Mrs. S, not waving but drowning [Help]

--------------------
Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

Posts: 1464 | From: Neither here nor there | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged



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