AGING PARENTS

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Any of you graying ILXors dealing with this? I am the sibling living closest to my 87 year old mother so I spend part of almost every day running errands with or for her and also taking her to doctor appointments. I have to keep track of all her medical issues because she can't remember anything. Not Alzheimer's—just severe short-term memory losses. My sister and I convinced her not to drive, which she resents mightily on account of being in complete denial about all her aging issues (Hearing loss, poor vision, the memory thing, heart condition, late-onset asthma). I'd love to play along with the "I'm fine" delusion, but not if it means letting her drive! I would have to live with the guilt if she hurt someone!
She also insists that she is capable of traveling alone on a bus, and believe me, she is not! I have been to the ER with her too many times for one reason or another. No way am I sending her off on a bus! When she goes to visit relatives we line up a driver, or drive her ourselves.
The whole thing has me mildly depressed.

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Monday, 21 August 2006 17:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Any of you graying ILXors dealing with this?

It's a ways yet for me -- my folks are in their sixties and in good health still. But my dad is starting to slow down a touch -- kinda good that he's retired, officially -- and more than once I've wondered a bit about what the not-so-far-away-now future will mean.

Certainly I salute your patience with this all -- I'm not sure how I would react.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 21 August 2006 17:52 (fifteen years ago) link

But I'm not patient at all! That's the problem. It's hard to convince myself that her behavior isn't deliberate cussedness, because she has a cussed streak! But her brain is obviously changing.

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Monday, 21 August 2006 17:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Had to deal with this with my mother in law some, recently. Gave me a preview of how it might be with my own parents, and it was absolutely fucking exhausting. She's not intentionally cussed, but stubborn nonetheless.

The patience is key, but it's really hard to keep it up. Can other siblings/capable family members come to visit to spell you for a bit?

patita (patita), Monday, 21 August 2006 18:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Any of you graying ILXors dealing with this?

If by 'graying', you mean 'balding', then yes, to some extent I am such a one.

At the moment the brunt of the responsibility has fallen to an older sister who lives much closer to my 81 year old mother than myself or my other siblings. She takes on the 'dutiful child' role, while the rest of us come in and put in a burst of assistance whenever the tide of troubles rises above a certain level, so my sister doesn't burn out.

My father died two years ago. During his last year and during the year immediately following his death, I drove the 75 mile round trip to see the two of them (later, just my mother) very often. There was so much that needed tending to.

My father, too, suffered from severe short term memory loss toward the end of his life, reducing him to a small shadow of the man he had been - because he became literally unable to encompass any activity that could not be completed within the two minutes or so that he was able to form and hold a single thought. He, too, was inclined to minimize or dismiss the severity of his problems. I finally realized that he understood very well the extent of his diminished capacity, but facing it was too great a threat to his sense of worth and happiness. Denial was how he held depression at bay.

Now that he has passed on, my mother has grasped the nettle of losing her companion and mainstay of 57 years with surprising firmness. I spent 8 months visiting her almost weekly during that transition. It helped a lot, I think, to have family members to talk to and grieve with, and help her form plans and carry them out.

I wish both you and your mother the best, but, as you no doubt know in your bones, even the best possible outcomes available to you and her are still damned difficult to embrace. The cost of love can be pretty steep sometimes, and the bills fall due with increasing frequency at this time. Good luck.

Aimless (Aimless), Monday, 21 August 2006 19:10 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm dealing with this with my grandparents and (sooner or later) my parents.

I just moved all of my (paternal) grandfather's stuff in with his, uh, 'friend' because he couldn't afford his truck payment and townhome rent and medicines and everything else at once. And since he's still part of the family cosntruction business I spend much of my day ensuring that he isn't overworking (or just screwing things up - he gets frustrated easily that his muscles and joints don't work like they used to).

My grandmother (maternal) has Alzheimer's (early-mid stage), and drove me kind of nuts before it was full-blown. Neither of my uncles, none of my ten cousins and my brother don't do shit. Anything not handled by my parents falls directly to me. The extent of the agonies here (some her fault, some not, mostly involving my useless uncles and their brood) is too long to list.

With both I'm always on-call to fix something or help out or figure out why the TV isn't working or why this bill didn't get paid. I can't say no, even when I want to, and the occasional feeling of being put-upon hasn't helped my relationship with my grandmother. (And, theoretically, I'd like to move north when my finances are sorted and my degree is finished - but I can't knowing that I'd leave anyone in the lurch.)

Only 20 years 'til my parents are in their late-70s...

milo z (mlp), Monday, 21 August 2006 19:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes, although my particular issues are different. My father has had one major stroke and probably innumerable little ones. The first one forced him to retire. Although, in the grand scale of things, he recovered, he definitely has problems remembering things (e.g., the Rolling Stones came out as "the one with the lips" after about five minutes) and isn't too steady on his feet. He's been in three car accidents in the last two years -- not hurt, but totalled two cars. A certain degree of bad luck, but the end result of it all is that he doesn't really leave the house, so he mostly just lays on the couch, watches television, and is grumpy and depressed. Thankfully, my mother's in pretty good health. But none of us really have any idea how to deal with the situation, and it falls to me to say "no" and/or make any "unpleasant" decisions. Meanwhile the two of them of managed to complete bungle their finances: they are possibly the only household in America who have managed avoid ANY capital appreciation on their real estate over the last 20 years (although they have done a wonderful job accumulating credit card debt). Sigh. I am already worried enough about my own finances, but it has now become apparent that I am unlikely to ever own my own home, as any extra money I have will be needed to keep them afloat.

i'll mitya halfway (mitya), Monday, 21 August 2006 20:17 (fifteen years ago) link

My parents are both in their late 50s, so not really aging as such, though my mother has a sort of rare foot problem, which affects nerve endings in her feet, and the implications of this and the way she has dealt with it thus far have caused considerable strain in the family.

It's a tricky situation as for whatever reason, mostly a weird sort of shame or embarassment, she is loathe to talk about her problems with my Dad or myself, or anyone really, my sister whom she is very close to can sometimes get a little discussion about it.

It's terrible because she grieves for her feet as things worsen, quite slowly, though the condition may one day lead to her being in a wheelchair. She grieves yet she never seems to get past the denial stage, she can't accept or discuss the problem.

So she will often cry kind of uncontrollably, it's awful to hear, but worse is that she won't allow you to help or even talk, my Dad sometimes just says to me "I have no idea what to do", which is also quite weird, it all feels kind of dysfunctional.

So I relate to the "denial" thing you mention Beth, my mother is much younger and this is a problem. I can only imagine what she'd think if she knew I was discussing this on a messageboard...I just wish I had some productive advice rather than just empathy...

Ronan (Ronan), Monday, 21 August 2006 20:31 (fifteen years ago) link

Empathy is just the ticket, thank you all. I don't think there are any easy solutions. People say "you have to hire someone," but that would entail such a huge loss-of-face for my mother. Suddenly she'd be this person for whom people have to be hired. I'd like to put that off as long as I can. Which means extra strain on my nerves, but I have to feel like I'm doing right by her, as long as it doesn't turn me into a total bitch. Which it could do. When I'm the slightest bit sharp with her she'll say "don't get mad at me all the time," which is manipulative crap because I DON'T get mad at her all the time. But she loves the sacharrine niceness of hospital nurses. She wants that from everyone, all the time, and sorry, I just can't do it.
Yikes, Ronan. Your poor mom! But maybe it's good that she's weeping like that. Sounds like a little window of non-denial.

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Monday, 21 August 2006 23:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Argh, that pride and independence is hard to deal with. It had my grandmother living alone until she was 102, and my mother, aunt and uncle running around at her beck and call constantly for 8-10 years before that.

Good luck Beth, and everyone else posting here. I've been really lucky so far, but the day isn't far off -- my mother will be 74 next month and my dad is 77. But my dad, Jesus, he heals quicker than Wolverine. He planted his garden this year, went in for quintuple bypass surgery, and was recovered enough to bring in the harvest himself.

Danny Aioli (Rock Hardy), Monday, 21 August 2006 23:58 (fifteen years ago) link

I've told you before and I'll tell you again, Rock Hardy. You come from excellent stock!

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:04 (fifteen years ago) link

My father's 77, suffers from dementia and psychoses due to alcoholism which the psychiatrists think was in part due to early onset alzheimers as well as his being extremely depressed. He's in a home, a wreck of a man and his family barely talk to him and none of his old friends come near thanks to the treatment he metted out to everyone. My mum watches out for him and takes care of him. It's quite horrible, he doesn't recognise me.
I'm just saying I hope you appreciate good people in ill health as well as good health. It's a massive burden and can be very upsetting. My eldest brother refuses to aknowledge my father's situation in anyway which is horribly awkward because he's the legal next of kin. (Which is another thing to be wary of when you have to take care of your parents, your status in law). Don't be ashamed to look for help if you can. But if you do make sure that they're treated well, homes and nurses aren't necessarily good, abuse of the elderly is more common than is often aknowledged and pretty horrible.
Anyways I hope all your parents always have plenty to smile about whatever their troubles.

Major Alfonso (Major Alfonso), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:14 (fifteen years ago) link

xpost --
I think about death a lot, but haphazardly -- impressionistically, I guess -- because I haven't had to face it up close. I don't really want to live as long as my grandmother. There was a big reunion of my father's clan a couple of years ago and just by chance, a couple of days earlier there had been a story about an 80-year-old guy who played golf with his buddies and had died of a heart attack right after finishing. I was telling one of my aunts about this, and how awesome it was. "That's how I want to go, 80 good years, then lay down for a nap and drift away." My aunt was a bit pissed off at this. "I'm 80 years old, do you think it's time for me to lay down and die?" Holy fuck, ultimate foot in mouth.

Danny Aioli (Rock Hardy), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:17 (fifteen years ago) link

Oops!

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:19 (fifteen years ago) link

I blame my dad's wine.

Danny Aioli (Rock Hardy), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:25 (fifteen years ago) link

If wine was the key to longevity we'd be a family of the undead!
My parents used to get mailings from the Hemlock Society, but when it came right down to it, my father couldn't do it. He had Alzheimers, too, so if there was ever a case for offing yourself... I think in a case like that you just have to pick a day to do it and stick to your plan. My father was a terrible difficult person—I wrote upthread about the difficulty in believing that my mother's dotty behavior isn't deliberate—somehow manipulative. With my father it was the same, if not more so. Even though I knew his brain was being turned into a rotten hunk of plaque I still felt like the resulting behavior was just more of the same shit we'd been putting up with our whole lives.

The child unable to believe that the parent has lost power?

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:31 (fifteen years ago) link

terribLY difficult. Sheesh!

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:34 (fifteen years ago) link

haaa, no, I blame my dad's wine for being thoughtless enough to tell some old people I wanted to die when I got their age. (Which is not exactly what I was saying, but I'm sure it sounded like that.)

Danny Aioli (Rock Hardy), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Too bad you didn't say quickly enough, "Oh, I figure I'd have to live at least to 90 in order to get in that many good years!"

Aimless (Aimless), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 01:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Good one!

My mother (89) has had alzheimers for about 8 years. Her body has served her well, but her brain slowly went to bits shortly after my stepfather died. Unable to manage her house anymore, my brother and I moved her to an independent living center that guaranteed access to its nursing home if and when the time came. It came about two years after the move. I live 3 hours away, but my brother lives within walking distance and visits her several times a week and we included her in family events until about a year ago when she just became unable to feel comfortable outside of her nursing home environment.

She's now almost totally deaf and has never used a hearing aid which makes any serious communication impossible. I visited last week and found her doing a crossword puzzle. We did the puzzle together for a while, but her mind kept drifting all over the place.

My wife's father (82) has Parkinson's and fell down the stairs recently. Compression fractures of three vertebrae was the diagnosis. Surgeons injected some kind of cement in his spine and he was getting about with a walker after only a few days. My wife plans to care for him in his home in the near future. He suffers from dimentia, too, but is on so many meds that I think that may be a contributing factor. This guy was an infantryman in world war II, a radio and tv personality and has had a very good life. He is loved by many people and has had countless visitors at the hospital. He is very frail now and has told me, and I'm sure others, that he knows his life is at the very end.

These are two of the coolest people that I have ever known, both with precious little time left. One knows it and one doesn't seem to. They are both receiving the best care available, but y'know sometimes that don't mean a thing. My thoughts are with all of you.

jim wentworth (wench), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 01:27 (fifteen years ago) link

five years pass...

This. Heavy shit, huh?

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Monday, 20 August 2012 17:34 (nine years ago) link

yep

curmudgeon, Monday, 20 August 2012 18:31 (nine years ago) link

In darker moments, I look at my folks now (esp. my Pa who is 75 this week) and feel like the wave of their good years is just on the cusp of breaking. Not really ready for it, not at all.

that mustardless plate (Bill A), Monday, 20 August 2012 18:44 (nine years ago) link

My mothers good years are most definitely past. This has become very evident as she's staying with me for a couple days and it's totally heart breaking. Also, there's some memory loss/disorientation stuff happening that's scaring the crap out of me.

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Monday, 20 August 2012 18:54 (nine years ago) link

so heavy i can't really talk about it

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Monday, 20 August 2012 19:00 (nine years ago) link

Yeah. I started trying to talk about it with someone at work and couldn't really hold myself together. This is really tough. :/

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Monday, 20 August 2012 23:12 (nine years ago) link

Good luck Erica... luckily my parents are still mostly 'together' and my dad's problems are a result of his alcoholism rather than real mental deterioration, but it's still awful to have to deal with this stuff.

one dis leads to another (ian), Monday, 20 August 2012 23:31 (nine years ago) link

yeah i'm going through this too. all the best, E x

jed_, Monday, 20 August 2012 23:36 (nine years ago) link

and everyone else :/

jed_, Monday, 20 August 2012 23:36 (nine years ago) link

This took up took up over 10 years of my life (from 1994 - 2008 in fact). Both my parents got ill in their early to mid-seventies, and both had dementia and a pretty terrible end in a nursing home in their late seventies.

I spend most of this period visiting at weekends, and other times - and in that rather mad space where you seem cut off from the concerns of normal life, unable to relax for a minute, and living a kind of nightmare existence that no-one else around you realises. (Nothing like the horrific life of a full-time career - but bad enough).

The only thing you can say about it is that it passes, and you realise that what felt like an endless enduring period was in the end just another temporary era.

Bob Six, Monday, 20 August 2012 23:43 (nine years ago) link

Siblings help -- if you're lucky.

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 20 August 2012 23:46 (nine years ago) link

I'm an only child. This is the only time I've ever wished I had siblings tbh.

Thanks, guys. Things are OK and we had a really nice evening. She's staying with me until she flys back to FL on Wed. Ian - alcoholism is a factor here too in addition to a lot of other things. I guess I just really feel for my dad and am really saddened by realizing that it's only going to get worse from here and I'm afraid it's going to do so pretty quickly.

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 00:10 (nine years ago) link

I feel for you, ENBB. I'm an only child too; my mom's 84 this year but still drives, takes care of her own stuff, is still sharp as ever (dad died in 2000). But I dread so deeply the coming of the signs. I can't even model it in my mind. Hugs.

Lewis Apparition (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 00:37 (nine years ago) link

my mom's 84 this year but still drives, takes care of her own stuff, is still sharp as ever

That's fantastic, good for her! Mine is 74 this year but she's an old 74 and hasn't driven in at least 5 years. Anyway, like I said, we had a lovely day today. It's just a really difficult process to watch and I worry about what will happen down the line.

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 00:53 (nine years ago) link

pullin for you E - us only children gotta stick together. this terrifies me too - and is a big part of what motivates me to do what I do now - but hopefully there will be a good, long time before anything really happens.

jack chick-fil-A (dayo), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 00:58 (nine years ago) link

You know you have my support as another only, but I'm too much of a weakling to talk about this stuff
In earnest
In public
Beyond this

But you know where to find me offboard if you wanna talk!!

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 01:57 (nine years ago) link

i will say that my mom is pretty damn sharp in mind, but whenever i visit, i insist on driving EVERYWHERE. her driving scares the bejesus out of me, don't understand how she hasn't had her license taken away. and it only gets worse as she gets older.

for reasons of sass (the table is the table), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 05:28 (nine years ago) link

yeah driving is often the "tipping point" of aging parents decline. really hard to give up.

my heart goes out to enbb,la lechera, ian and everybody facing this. all my middle-aged friends have ailing/aging parents right now, you guys are confronting it early like i did. these days my father in law is essentially dying, i was going to post this on the fuck cancer thread but it fits here too. he's 84, until a couple years ago was robust mentally and physically, the picture of how you'd hope to age. so it's shocking to see his rapid decline not just bodily but he's become very confused and withdrawn, barely a shell of his former self. chemotherapy is keeping him alive but at what cost? we just had our annual visit and my wife, her mom (who's a rock) and her two siblings are stressed out and struggling. not much else to say. but it's good to talk about it, in fact it's important for your - our - own mental health to let it out.

(REAL NAME) (m coleman), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 09:39 (nine years ago) link

My dad had the driving decision taken out of his hands as he went blind in one eye at the start of the year, but he was getting to be quite a dangerous driver before than (he's 80) so we're really quite glad about it.

ailsa, Tuesday, 21 August 2012 09:54 (nine years ago) link

even though she knows she needs them, my mom refuses to get glasses because she thinks that they make her face look weird
she lives in fear of having her driver's license taken away from her because she is a very independent person and likes her alone time
:(

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 13:24 (nine years ago) link

My mother-in-law has had quite serious dementia for the past six years or so. This started when she was in her early-to-mid 60s - one of the first events that really got us thinking that something was up was when she drove her car the wrong way round a large roundabout into oncoming traffic. At the moment she lives in a nursing home as is pretty much just a shell of her former self - she doesn't even know who her children are any more when they come to visit, but thankfully she does still appreciate the company which at least is one small positive that you can take away. Totally depressing though, so for anyone out there who is dealing with this right now, I can totally sympathise.

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 13:35 (nine years ago) link

My mom, turning 80 next month, has been fighting the decline, bless her. Joined the hospital wellness center, has been selling and giving away decades' worth of my dad's accumulated packratcrap, still gets out there and mows her own lawn, etc. Next week she, my daughter and probably my wife are heading off to Biloxi to the casinos. But the decline is there...bad knees, bad feet, diabetes... My sympathies to everyone having a tough go of it these days.

Romney's Kitchen Nightmares (WmC), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 13:45 (nine years ago) link

My mum (68) has been dealing with my gran (88) for a long time; my gran has alzheimers. About six months ago she finally got her moved to a nursing home in the same town (200 miles from where my gran was before). Only now is she at the point where she can see any humour in the situation, which results in Facebook messages like this from my mum:

Today's visit to your gran!

G. (after a bit of mumbling and searching for words) Are you my daughter?

Me. Yes.

Gr. Are you really my daughter?

Me. Yes.

Gr. I can't remember. Am I your mother?

Me. Yes.

Gr. Where did we live?

So I started giving her a potted history of our life.

GR. How do you know you're my daughter?

A bit later on....

Gr, Haven't I got nice legs!

She thought it was quite funny that she couldn't remember things; seemed very happy and settled. The staff bore this out.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 14:11 (nine years ago) link

three months pass...

My mom and grandma live together with mom's "girlfriend", and I moved to be closer to them and my terminally ill Dad (they were separated). Grandma is sharp as a tack and well into her 90s. Of course I love Grandma, but mom is making seeing Grandma a miserable experience.

Like I said elsewhere she is getting into that old people thing of being passive-aggressive. I know I called her a "fascist" I didn't mean it, it's that her emotional state is kind of fascist.

It's her stupid family. She wasn't raised by her own mother, she was raised by her abusive and creepy grandmother and aunt and it really shows in how she deals with stuff like death and adult responsibilities.

If anything difficult happens in her life - death or whatever - she just escapes mentally. Her mom's family had a lot of money and stuff was handled for her all her life!! She doesn't understand why other people don't have it as easy. Because of her family, she feels she has a lot of power and I can't ever suspect her of having mental problems EVER.

six months pass...

My mom gave up driving last month. Kinda shocked, but pleased that she came to the decision herself. She's 88 and is in reasonably good health for her age - despite the piles of crap that she's hoarded (ongoing issue for her entire life). Sister is gone for several weeks so I'm on mom duty... it's extra frustrating because her hearing is so bad that she leaves the televisions on with the sound maxed-out and she can't hear the phone.

Vexing problem of the moment... Her sense of time and calendar dates are slipping, so making plans becomes a comedy of errors ("stop by this week" *does so* "what are you doing here, I said to come by next week") ad infinitum ad nauseum

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 1 July 2013 23:40 (eight years ago) link

wow, that sounds like a serious challenge. i'm sorry. i have this thread bookmarked and it popped up just as my parents arrived yesterday for their first visit in 3 years. they are aging. my mom is in great shape (in spite of some health issues this year) but my dad keeps looking and acting less like himself, which is thrown into stark relief when we look at old pictures together.

hmph.

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 14:15 (eight years ago) link

I am going to visit my parents this weekend and I think that I'm actually going to have to ask them point blank what they want me to do for them if they ever get dementia or need care etc. My mom is in bad shape and her memory is already slipping and my biggest fear is that my dad dies first (though this is prob unlikely you never know) and I'm left to make decisions for/about her. I want to know now and while I know she's not going to want to talk about this I'm going to make them because I'm an only child and they have no other relatives here to help and I can't handle the stress and weight of this alone without knowing what they want.

Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 14:19 (eight years ago) link

Just to share my own personal woes on this thread --

My father nearly died last week; he collapsed on his way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The ambulance came and got him to a hospital and it turned out he had two massive ulcers in his stomach and large intestine. This comes about 6 weeks after a surgery to biopsy a growth in his spinal cord.

Yesterday morning, recovering from the emergency surgery to stitch up the ulcers, he had a major heart attack and is in the hospital with a breathing tube, heavily sedated etc. On our way up to Rhode Island yesterday our van broke down on the Triboro Bridge -- shocks gave out and started to rub against the front tires, causing lots of burnt rubber smoke. We got it towed back to your neighborhood (luckily we weren't halfway through connecticut) and it's going to be repaired this afternoon, $800 later. I'm incredibly worried about my dad. The doctors are not sure how to treat him; they can't give him the usual blood thinners and medications because of the ulcers and recent surgery. I wish so badly I was there. And now I'm worried about the drive up, even though the car is getting fixed, I have a strong distrust of automobiles... Just don't know what to do. It's bad when my aunt is telling me to go straight to the hospital and bring his 'paperwork' (read: living will.)

So scared :\

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 17:06 (eight years ago) link

I'm sorry to hear all of that.

Tottenham Heelspur (in orbit), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 17:37 (eight years ago) link

me too. suerte, ian.

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 18:41 (eight years ago) link

major positive step. one step closer to getting him back home! and getting strength back.

the utility infielder of theatre (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 26 October 2021 21:49 (one month ago) link

glad to hear he's out of hospital, Neanderthal.

I'm a sovereign jizz citizen (the table is the table), Thursday, 28 October 2021 21:26 (one month ago) link

thanks tabes! I visited him yesterday in the rehab facility. it's a little....well...chaotic, but he was watching TV (as usual) and apparently walking fine. looking forward to him being home soon, though it has given us a bit of a break as well and let professionals take care of him to an extent that exceeds our capability for the time being. but his chair is lonely so I want to see him sitting in it soon. thinking a week or two and he'll be back.

the utility infielder of theatre (Neanderthal), Thursday, 28 October 2021 21:39 (one month ago) link

Excellent.

dow, Thursday, 28 October 2021 21:44 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Dad comes home Monday!

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Saturday, 13 November 2021 20:45 (three weeks ago) link

he's home!

only bad thing - they sent home someone else's meds with him (in addition to his own). that's...pretty startling.

who do I report that to?

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:53 (three weeks ago) link

(I mean, we're calling the facility to alert them so they can pick up the meds, but I'm worried that they might do this again and want this addressed beyond just telling them)

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:53 (three weeks ago) link

Director of Nursing at the facility

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 15 November 2021 19:10 (three weeks ago) link

Thank you!

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Monday, 15 November 2021 19:21 (three weeks ago) link

Done btw

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:00 (two weeks ago) link

Dad fell this morning. Home less than 24 hours.

He's ok but...ugh

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:00 (two weeks ago) link

The fall cycle really sucks. I’m sorry :(

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:16 (two weeks ago) link

on the plus side, we hadn't yet tried the gait belt, which should make a big diff (we hadn't been using one previously. the shit I don't know, loooord...)

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:51 (two weeks ago) link

how easy is it to get a doctor's prescription for a hospital bed?

I'm tempted to offer to give them my bed as it's lower.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:54 (two weeks ago) link

The script is easy; it’s getting Medicate to pay for it that is virtually impossible unless he is bed bound, requires head elevated a minimum of 30 degrees, and has pressure sores.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:09 (two weeks ago) link

*Medicare

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:09 (two weeks ago) link

Tho to be fair you live in the capital of Medicare fraud, so maybe your chances are better than average

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:11 (two weeks ago) link

lol. i think a better idea is for me to offer my bed to them, as it's lower. theirs is a bit high and it's on a box spring which isn't the type that they recommend removing. mine is much lower and it's a shorter walk to my bedroom.

mom is thinking about it. my bed's new and comfy and built for 2.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:15 (two weeks ago) link

Do you have home PT/OT coming? This is the perfect sort of thing for them to advise on

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:35 (two weeks ago) link

both - in the past the OT talked about their concerns re: the bed height but their suggestio nwas "take out the box spring" which we can't cos it's not the wrong type of bed to do that. but we never gave the idea of switching beds.

waiting to hear from them when they're coming, one of them was supposed to be here today.

good idea for asking them!

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:40 (two weeks ago) link

another day, another fall. more like a slip this time, out of bed.

this is just ridiculous. I had to go to a follow-up appointment for my vaccine study, I was only gone 90 minutes. what, I can't even leave the house now without this happening?

mom doesn't seem to be able to keep him steady, and didn't use the gait belt this morning (why have it if we don't use it?).

he's complaining of dizziness. so when the therapist comes today we're going to have to talk to her and figure out what to do.

we can't live like this. and dad says his knee hurts now.

we're getting a new industrial wheelchair, I've suggested to mom using the old one we have in the house until then. she doesn't seem to want to as she thinks he'll get used to it and never walk again but honestly what's the alternative?

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 15:07 (two weeks ago) link

I feel for you, Neanderthal. I've seen your situation in my own family, where new problems emerge faster than you can address them, and the latest solutions that you so arduously put in place are outmoded almost as soon as you've: a) bought the equipment or b) changed the meds or c) hired the home aide or d)... whatever it was that was supposed to 'fix it'. You get on a treadmill of minor crises that seems to be accelerating. At some point you can strike the word 'minor'.

All I can say is you're being a fabulous caregiver and if there's any way you can shuffle some of your burden onto family, friends or neighbors, it's worth thinking about. You aren't superman and trying to be will eventually imperil your ability to do be of any help at all. Don't break yourself!

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 20:12 (two weeks ago) link

really I need my brother to step up and I've treated him with kid gloves on the subject and I have to be blunt. we've had a good relationship for years and I guess part of me is afraid of splintering that but he's basically living his life unimpeded while the rest of his family is making sacrifices. I don't believe everybody is inherently capable of this type of support but if dude gave up even like 10% of his social engagements it'd be a bigger help and he just won't. yeah, he's busy, but I had to turn things down outright.

*venting*. I've always been an introvert and I grew more extrovert tendencies after I got on Effexor, which made me a more social animal ,but that side of me is almost gone now. I'm too exhausted to deal with other people.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 20:16 (two weeks ago) link

that's a really nice post Aimless and as it happens I totally agree with it. I really feel for your situation too Neanderthal. I love very far from my folks but this sort of thing is going to start happening soon and my sis does not have a great track record with helping out on this sort of thing. So I have some thinking to do.

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 23:15 (two weeks ago) link

Agree ty for that post Aimless

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 23:19 (two weeks ago) link

ty, but this isn't about me. I'm an orphan now.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 23:39 (two weeks ago) link

Money does not solve all of the aging parents problems, but damn it sure helps with options. In the absence of anything resembling a care system i.e. the USofA

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 18 November 2021 00:08 (two weeks ago) link

Like, my dad had 10 years of decline before dying from Alzheimer’s, but my family situation was completely different because $$$

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 18 November 2021 00:10 (two weeks ago) link

Ne, maybe ask Home Health about bedrails? I ordered a couple of set, w/o dealing w HH or Medicare, because couldn't wait---but, after merely rolling a little too far sometimes in her sleep, or slipping, as you mentioned, then (don't know if your father ever gets this restless, but neither did she before this) my mother went in hospital and tried to climb over those professional rails at least a couple times, ditto hospital bed during home hospice---the ones i ordered were never used, but very popular, with mostly good customer reviews:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005EHNL3M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
And these, the regular size:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0070WGV9K/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1
There are others, of course.

dow, Thursday, 18 November 2021 01:34 (two weeks ago) link

thanks dow.

fortunately, there are still house calls made! apparently....our skilled nursing gave us a brochure for at-home health care for minor issues and we used it today, and thank god. they came and examined my dad's knee, noted it was swollen, wrote an RX for x-ray, gave him injections, said he can do a little walking but to limit it for now, and the x-ray will be done *at our house*.

godsend. all that for a $35 co-pay.

don't get me wrong, senior care in FL sucks balls, but that was the only good thing that happened today. it was my folks anniversary. 49 years. it was pretty much ruined. mom has been in tears most of the day.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 November 2021 00:59 (two weeks ago) link

Sorry about the anniversary sad, but YAY for scoring a house calls practice! That is HUGE and will come in handy big time.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 19 November 2021 02:33 (two weeks ago) link

Seriously. We couldn't have handled an urgent care wait today. This was eaaasy

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 November 2021 02:40 (two weeks ago) link

Strength to you, Neandi, and if your brother really will blow up or cut you out for asking him to do 10% more than nothing, maybe better to get that over with than keep having it hang ominously in yr future.

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Friday, 19 November 2021 06:05 (two weeks ago) link

Is there something *very specific* that you can ask him to do on a weekly basis? Some people need a discrete assignment spelled out for them when a general “hey can you maybe step up and help here” doesn’t work. Plus it makes them look like a total dick if they say no or fail to execute. Shaming for the win!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 19 November 2021 15:06 (two weeks ago) link

yeah that's what i'm planning to do - "can you come over this week to help mom take him to appointment" etc etc

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 November 2021 15:28 (two weeks ago) link

thanks!

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 November 2021 15:28 (two weeks ago) link

My mom will be relocating to be closer to me in the next year or two; my brother lives out of state, but he is soooooooo manipulable (is that a word?) via guilting and I WILL be making use of this on the regular.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 19 November 2021 15:59 (two weeks ago) link

sooooooooooooooo, lots happened. anyway, last night, the friend I mentioned on the cancer thread was in town one last night, with his girlfriend, and especially due to his recent bad news, I wanted to see him before he left. I had maybe a 3 hour window as dad's usual bedtime is 10, and I didn't want mom by herself for that. also, friend's Jeep had a battery that wouldn't start, so I offered to jump his car.

I'd only just finished work, and mom was out doing errands, so when she got back, she told me I should go meet my friend, but that she did have to go to the laundromat across the street for a bit (our dryer only semi-dries lately, sigh....). this meant dad would be unsupervised for a short while.

he was seated in his recliner, so against my better judgment, I said "ok", as we've done this before mostly without issue. However, on occasion, he's tried to get out of his chair. Usually, it's because he wants to change the channel and doesn't have the remote - he'll try to get up to get it and will slide on his butt. so I gave him both remotes so he wouldn't do that (which is my usual move), and told him mom would be home soon and not to move (he understands conversation very well, and he agreed).

I get to the friend's and am in the process of jumping the car when mom texts me that she got home and found dad on the floor. We don't know what he was trying to do, but mom said his ice pack for his knee was on the floor, and also she didn't see the remotes on the arm chair. We think he either knocked the remotes off the arm chair or dropped his ice pack and tried to pick it up. I told mom to call 911 as I was 45 minutes away, and they got there in like 5-10 minutes and picked him up without issue, he's fine, not hurt. but of course, I was flipping out and then i slowly calmed down.

Today, the plan was to relax. I had plans with another friend in the morning. Well....first of all, I had agreed to housesit for my friend on the 21st and 22nd. Well, apparently he meant 20th-22nd, and didn't realize he gave me the wrong dates, so he messages me after he and his wife and kids have already left the house to go to an out of town resort, and tells me they've left and all is ready for me to come by. Was pretty aggravated about this but I wasn't about to punish his animals for it, and it's not a terribly difficult or time consuming thing, so whatever, I pencilled that in in my head and said I would talk to him later about his 'mistake'.

so then I go to get dad up, and find this bump on his chest, resembling that of a hernia (which he actually does have). he says it doesn't hurt, but we hadn't seen it the night before, and it was concerning. we were worried it might have happened during fall. so reluctantly we got ready to take him to get it checked out, meaning I had to cancel on my second friend in two days, and mom and I had to give up a huge chunk of the day we'd planned to use to relax. we figured we'd just have them do his x-ray since the group that was supposed to come by to do it at our house still hadn't come by.

we were both stressing and very exhausted, and mom called my brother to ask if he could come by, because both her and I were mentally exhausted, we were going to have to load dad into a car with a bum knee (which we hadn't done before), and we could use the help. He was working, and she asked if he could take off just once to help (since he about never leaves work for anything). he messaged me to try and weasel out of it and I just bluntly said "I ain't gonna tell you what to do, and I ain't telling you to get fired from yur job, but mom and I are on our last legs here" and proceeded to tell him that we've given up a LOT, that I've had to cancel all of my plans for the weekend, and that I've had to take off of work in the past too.

motherfucker shocks me by agreeing to leave early and he showed up and was actually a huge help. we tried going to multiple urgent cares with X-rays but got turned away for a variety of reasons (one said he needed to be able to stand on his own and that their facility was smaller than a hospitals so we couldn't come back with him to help him stand). so we wound up going to the ER, the bump on his chest the doctors didn't find to be a concern (they felt it was small, and just related to his hernia but not a pressing issue according to them). x-ray showed no breaks, and dad seems to be able to put more weight on it, as we learned while loading him into the car.

but my brother took over and would not let mom do anything (to give her a break), and I also got a bit of a break, and it helped a ton.

it's too early to say he's turned a corner but this is the first real time he's really sacrificed anything. and obviously we don't want him leaving work often, it's just that today, we were too tired to go it alone.

(I did also manage to walk the dog twice and feed the fucker in the midst of all this).

let's just say I'm watching football tomorrow and little else.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Sunday, 21 November 2021 04:45 (two weeks ago) link

(xray was for his knee, and the friend who I was housesitting for is diff than the friend who I had to cancel plans with. my whole post was sloppy, sorry)

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Sunday, 21 November 2021 04:47 (two weeks ago) link

my folks are now both 77, which must be an ILX approved age. Doing pretty good aside from my mum’s late onset, slow progression Parkinson’s which is totally managed by medication for now.

assert (matttkkkk), Sunday, 21 November 2021 08:32 (two weeks ago) link

My mom is in her early 90's and is in assisted living. She's well-cared for, and has something of a social network there. (She has dementia, as do the other residents.) When I visit or call we have fine, upbeat, normal conversations, but at some point she will refer to a recent visit she had from a friend or relative who has been dead for years. She has essentially outlived her friends and family, but has brought them all back. Every so often she will say she's feeling down, because she heard that so-and-so (again, long deceased) has recently passed away. I find it interesting, this conjuring back the dead only to kill them off again and again. Not that she's doing it intentionally, I think it's just a subconscious attempt to make sense of an increasingly confusing situation.

henry s, Sunday, 21 November 2021 18:29 (two weeks ago) link

I think My Mother is losing it mentally, she is 70 and just generally confused. She lives Down The Road and has other children but all lontano. So I fix her internet for her, but she phones up the social work and rants on my behalf, I have an assistant but she's... non-confrontional like. So I guess my mother will die in the next year or so and I don't know what the fuck to do, I can't use the phone. My father occasionally sends me football shirts from Korea but is otherwise not to be relied on, my siblings live far away and have babies and such to deal with, I'm just scared what's going to happen to me shortly. Social Worker hates me for spurious reasons, I have a cat and a fridge and am acting as an adult but eeeeeeh... Imma be put in some home when my mother dies and that's gunna be soon

The Speak Of The Mearns (Jonathan Hellion Mumble), Sunday, 21 November 2021 18:56 (two weeks ago) link

my mom died a year ago and this morning i dreamt she’d finally come back, we were getting ready to go out together and i was so relieved and happy and excited. i heard her walking into the room but then my guy spoke to me, it was actually him walking in irl and i woke up and remembered she was dead and it felt like i’d been kicked. (it’s okay tho, i’m okay, her death was okay, it all just keeps being strange)

cookie hat, esq. (cat), Monday, 22 November 2021 19:17 (two weeks ago) link

My mother just came up to mines to watch the football... there is no football on today. Then she started rambling about milk bottles, I don't know what the fuck is going on in her head

The Speak Of The Mearns (Jonathan Hellion Mumble), Monday, 22 November 2021 19:47 (two weeks ago) link

aw dude, i’m sorry. my mom was pretty scattered for the last few years, i found it best to just roll with it in a laid-back way even though it was scary to see her unmooring like that.

cookie hat, esq. (cat), Monday, 22 November 2021 20:03 (two weeks ago) link

boy do i hate having to be the responsible adult in the room

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Saturday, 27 November 2021 11:02 (one week ago) link

so sorry, Brad. it really isn’t fair.

a swift, a shrike, a kite, a (cat), Saturday, 27 November 2021 20:29 (one week ago) link

Sorry, Brad, I know some of how that goes.
Got this today from Chuck Eddy---it's not private, as you'll see, so okay to post here, though it is a powerfully candid, concentrated account. He's mentioned some of it in the Voice and elsewhere, over the years, but even if you've read that, brace yourselves (no melodrama, "life and life only"):

New post on Eliminated for Reasons of Space

Peggy Eddy, 1931-2021
by Chuck Eddy
Fifty years ago this past September 22, Margaret Mae Eddy (né Richmond né Griffith) adopted me and my four siblings, aged 4 to 11 at the time. She would have been 40. My natural mom had died of ovarian cancer at 46 the previous June. Peggy, as most people called her, had been a nurse in the hospital where my "real" mom Elizabeth (also a nurse) died; it's where Peggy met my dad, who within a year she married. I've been told all my life (no idea if it's true) that Elizabeth somehow approved of the pairing, since she recognized Peggy was a great caregiver. Which was an important trait, since my dad died -- committed suicide -- two and a half years after the adoption, in February 1974. He was 43. I'm used to parents dying young. Old, not so much.

Peggy wasn't always a great stepmom. She was, in a lot of ways, it seems to me, psychologically abusive. Someday maybe I'll go into details; I finally, in this past year, confronted her about it. That was probably a good thing to do. But abuse or no, it's hard to know what would have become of my two brothers, two sisters and me if she hadn't shown up in our life. We had spent maybe a year and a half in a Catholic orphanage (St. Vincent/Sarah Fisher Home, Farmington, Michigan) when Elizabeth was dying and my dad thought he was incapable of taking care of us. We could easily have gone back there, or been split up from each other. (Even at Sarah Fisher, we were divided into different "cabins" based on age and gender.) Peggy is the main reason we stayed together. Think of that -- my dad hung himself and left her with five kids who weren't even hers. But she'd made a commitment, and she kept it. Stubbornly, which is the way she did pretty much everything. Trying to reconcile the saintliness of that act with the memory of whatever she did wrong in raising us (hey it's not like I've always been a perfect parent myself!) has kept me in therapy, on and off, for pretty much all of my adult life.

After high school -- well, after my first year in college at University of Detroit -- I got the hell out of Michigan, shut the door behind me, and almost never looked back. As life strategies go, that kind of compartmentalization has served me pretty well over the past six decades. Three of my siblings stayed in suburban Detroit. One of them stopped talking to Peggy a few -- maybe several -- years ago; I never knew specifically why, and never asked, even though Peggy asked me if I knew why pretty much whenever we talked, which wasn't that often but was often enough: on her birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas, a couple times when she was hospitalized a few months back. Even though she'd never met him, she almost always also asked about my wife's dad, who's in his 70s and has early onset dementia and is in assisted living here in Austin. She inevitably had advice about how we should or shouldn't be dealing with him. She was always full of unsolicited opinions about stuff like that. She could be a real know-it-all, a real pain in the ass.

Last time we talked was October 15, her 90th birthday. She was grumpy, and it didn't help that I probably asked a couple stupid questions about her medical treatment. Especially being so geographically detached -- unlike my youngest sister Emily and stepsister Nancy, who had to put up with her every day -- it was hard to keep all the medical issues straight. Her body had become increasingly frail over the past few years. As recently as this summer, though, her mind was sharp. She told me what she remembered about polio and smallpox. Fairly recently, she was still providing in-person care to elderly patients years younger than she was.

This morning, Emily called me. Peggy had died peacefully, on her couch, sometime after waking up. She had just, in the past day or two, come to terms with the realization that she was about to go into assisted living care herself. Now I have to figure out if I'm going to fly up for the funeral next week. I've been trying to sort out my mixed feelings all day. I don't even know if I'm comfortable flying now, what with omicron and all. I'm leaning toward going if Emily needs the support, if she says my being there would be helpful. But I've been to enough funerals, since I was little, to know that it will only depress me. I don't want to have to stand around shaking strangers' hands all day. Michigan December weather won't help; my fingers turn white and go numb with Raynaud's as soon as the temperature drops below 50ºF. On the other hand, maybe obviously, there's a good chance I'll feel guilty if I *don't* go. I already feel guilty for not swinging up to Michigan when I visited my daughter in Cleveland this summer. But none of these seem like legitimate reasons to go, or not to. Still trying to process all this. Maybe I should sleep on it.

Chuck Eddy | December 3, 2021 at 4:39 pm | Categories: Not Music | URL: https://wp.me/pcuz5h-1QM

dow, Saturday, 4 December 2021 01:15 (two days ago) link

I told him I thought he would be wise to sleep on it.

dow, Saturday, 4 December 2021 01:20 (two days ago) link

That is really well written, thanks.

Goofy the Grifter (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 4 December 2021 13:47 (two days ago) link


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