Community Message Boards
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 49

Thread: Elderly Parents Support Thread, Anyone?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    978

    Elderly Parents Support Thread, Anyone?

    I wasn't sure if this would be the right arena to put this thread in, but it is, in a way, about healthy living.

    I can't be the only one out here on the BB that has elderly parents and is dealing with their issues. (I also have a teenage/college aged son - can anyone spell STRESS??? - but that's another thread altogether).

    My Dad is 88, my mother 87. Dad was released from the hospital yesterday after going to emergency by ambulance on Saturday. He'd had a bad cold and had been coughing a lot. He said he had a pain in his stomach and wanted to go to the hospital. Long story short, he had pneumonia and the pain turned out to be a hematoma. We thought there was a mix up on his blood thinning medication, but today at his doctor's office, he said he had been working on a fence post in their yard and it hit him in the stomach. Four days in the hospital and that was the first we'd heard of it!

    My Mom was diagnosed over the summer with subcortical vascular dementia. There are Alzheimer type symptoms, but it's not the same. She is taking Aerocept for it and at times seems to be much better. But whenever she is stressed, or out of her comfort zone (home), she seems easily agitated and just plain zoned out. She is definitely not the woman that raised me, not the woman she was even 5 years ago. She is more like a 4 or 5 year old in some respects. If I tell her something she doesn't like, she'll stick her tongue out at me! (like a child).

    Anyway, I started this thread with the hope of seeing if others on the BB are going through "elder" issues and perhaps we can prop each other up now and then. Sometimes just sharing an issue here helps others and give others ideas of how to handle situations similar to theirs. That's what I'm hoping anyway.

    So am I the only one here with elder issues? If not, let me know what you're dealing with and how you're dealing with it. Hopefully we can help each other!

    Barbara
    barbara-cook

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    East Bay
    Posts
    1,451
    So sorry to hear about your parents. It is difficult isn't it? And I don't have a teenage son or daughter.

    I'm dreadfully tired right now so won't go too in-depth but do want to participate. My father is 83, legally blind, bad hip with a number of other ailments, and lives on his own. My sisters and I all live in other states. Last winter he fell outside on the patio and was unable to get up. He's alive today because a good samaritan drove by and saw him lying there. He could have easily frozen to death. We stress about him constantly. I so wish I could move back home and take care of him but that's not going to happen.

    My husband's father is 93 and lives in a senior home in Nevada. He's been diagnosed with the beginning stages of Alzheimers but I think he's further along than that. He calls us multiple times in the same hour saying he's at the old Prudential builiding in Southern California and waiting for us to pick him up. With each call he sounds more desperate. He can't understand he's right where he's supposed to be.

    There just aren't any easy answers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    2,357
    I hear ya! My Mother turned 83 just this week, and right now everything is good. She is in good health and able to live on her own quite nicely. However, my sisters and I keep our fingers crossed that it will last. The closest of us is 4 hours away, which makes it difficult to be there in an emergency, or to even take her to doctors appt to see how everything is going. But right now we are thankful she can still drive and maintain her home.

    And then there are my in-laws - 83 & 85. My FIL's driving makes us all nervous, yet he feels he can drive anywhere. MY SIL bought him a GPS, and we spent quite a bit of time showing him how to use it, but when he drove to our house a few weeks ago ( 7 hours) he forgot the GPS at home and got lost coming and went way out of his way. And of 4 children, we are the closest to their home in PA. We're in NC, sister in TN, and 2 more brothers in CO.

    We just know issues are right around the corner, and it will be a challenge dealing with them from a distance.
    Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    978
    Our battle right now is trying to keep them safe - to get them to understand that being safe means being able to stay in their own home. My brother and I live near by, my sister is on the other side of the country. So we stay in touch with her, but she only comes to help when the situation is rather extreme. We are hoping that this weekend we can get them situated so that they can live on the first floor of their home. Their house is a 175 year old farm house. The stairs to the bedroom are steep and narrow. My mom has fallen on those stairs countless times. The bathroom is on the first floor, so it makes sense to have them live downstairs. My father is fighting it. Next is to somehow get their laundry facilities up from the basement. My dad usually carries it down and up, and my mom will go down just to do the laundry. Again, the stairs are not the best.

    Another thing we are battling is their dislike of having anyone come in to help. They have almost never paid anyone to to anything for them (besides re-roofing, siding and windows for the house). I'll be cleaning the house for them this winter. Then we have to find someone to come in a couple times a week when I go back to work in the spring.

    I know I am fortunate that they are both relatively healthy this late into their eighties. But it stresses me no end to be around them when they tell me "don't worry about us, we're fine", when I know darn well they aren't! When I get the phone calls like I did last weekend "Dad wants to go to the hospital", when the day before I was told he was better, makes me kinda angry. And I'm afraid I don't handle it well. I don't want to be a stressed out basket case when I'm not with them or when I'm with my husband and son and step-daughters. But I can't ignore the issues or pretend everything is okay either.

    Thanks for joining in!
    barbara-cook

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    2,961
    Barbara, you are the embodiment of the Sandwich Generation!

    My father is 84. He is active, fairly healthy (just aches and pains of various types), and only on 2 prescription medications. I was just in the car with him last weekend, and he still seems fine driving (but we all dread the day that we may have to take the keys away). However, we found out 3 years ago when my mom died that things can turn around on a dime and go downhill more suddenly than you can imagine. Fortunately, one of my sisters, 2 of my nieces, and countless aunts and cousins live nearby, and he has neighbors who keep a close eye.

    Over the years, both dad and mom had miscellaneous medical issues that would put them in the hospital, and they wouldn't tell us until afterward. It took years to "train" them to call at least one of their children when something serious happened, and to convince them that they weren't "bothering" us.

    Good luck to everyone; as someone above said, there are no easy answers when these issues get difficult.

    Megan

  6. #6
    I'll join the club. I am pretty lucky: I live an hour and half from my mom, and she is relatively healthy at almost 80. My sis is about an hour and half on the other side of her, and we meet at least twice a month at Mom's, and she has been driving to visit us on occasion.

    I worry about her driving, I worry about what would happen if she fell in the yard, I worry because, as she says, her "brain just doesn't work right any more."

    And, of course, I worry about what I will do when I don't have her any more.

    Luckily, I am not in a 'sandwich'. My kids are grown and on their own, and I don't worry (much) about them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    San Ramon, CA
    Posts
    12,858
    My parents are relatively healthy (80 and 81) and live nearby. My father is also 81 and lives in Florida. His companion has mild dementia. Last time he was in CA he brought up the subject of living with me at some point. I don't like my father and I can't imagine living with him Also, if anything were to happen to my stepfather, I would need to help my mother. Obviously, living with her ex-husband would make it difficult

    As some of you know, I work in the industry (client care coordinator for a company that provides non-medical in-home care) so I see the potential problems on a daily basis.

    Emergency pendants are a great idea for anyone who lives alone or if one person has diminshed capabilities. It can stop an emergency from becoming a castrophe. Talk to your parents about getting one. The one we use is on a month-to-month contract and is reasonably priced. Make sure everybody has an advanced health directive and know where it is and who has power of attorney.

    Talk about end of life choices. Look at independent and assisted living BEFORE they need it so you aren't making a quick forced decision. Interview in-home care providers, see what they offer and what they cost. Try and create a plan for the 'what hopefully never happens' so you aren't reacting in panic.
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Madison, WI USA
    Posts
    7,848
    I don't have time to post right now, but definitely will be watching this thread!! I stress out over what to do about my dad. He's in assisted living apartments & his insurance runs out in June. Eek! What are we going to do?? Social security isn't enough, yet if you have more than $100, it seems that you can't get Medicaid. I'm really worried.

    Once my current big work deadline settles down, I would love to be regular onthis thread.

    Thx for starting it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    978
    My husband and I took dinner over to my parents last night. When I walked in the door, she apologized for sticking her tongue out at me, which was nice. I guess my brother told her to, telling her it really hurt me. But at the same time, I was dismayed to learn that they were refusing to let us move their bedroom furniture to the first floor. Not just yet, is what my mom told me. My dad could barely get out of his chair without help. He told my husband that someone had brought food over for them, but it was stuff he can't eat (due to his blood thinner). Big help. My mom told me today that he was doing better and walking around more. Guess our dinner helped!

    I did up the dishes and noticed that the house is really dirty. Just hasn't really been tackled in months. Understandable since my mom was hospitalized in June and really can't do the more strenuous jobs herself anymore, and my dad is busy with his overly-large garden all summer. I felt very overwhelmed, telling my husband later that I'd be over there for weeks cleaning the house this winter. He tells me a couple of hours a week should suffice. I hope he's right, but I kinda doubt it. I ended up taking 2 large baskets of laundry home with me because I don't want either of them going down into the basement. So I spent today doing 8 loads of wash (4 of ours, 4 of theirs). I was saddened and a little embarrassed by the state of their underwear. Honestly, my parents have more money than I'll ever have and I was really tempted to throw the undies out. Maybe I should just so they'd have to get some new stuff. Maybe next time. Then my son brought home another load! Good thing our washer and dryer are "heavy duty" and relatively new!

    I think the hardest thing for me to deal with is the fact that my father is being incredibly selfish. I never, ever thought that about him before this past year. A visiting nurse and social worker told them that my mom shouldn't be going up and down stairs, and yet here he is refusing to bend a little so that she is safe, not to mention his own safety. It scares me to think of one of the falling down the stairs. They insist they're fine with the railing. I know from personal experience (we have a split level) that the railing doesn't always help. (Luckily I've only mis-stepped on the two-step part of the house!) My father fell on the basement stairs about 10 years ago and was battered and bruised, so it really puzzles me to think he can handle it now, ten years later.

    I count myself lucky that nothing serious has happened yet, but I know it's only a matter of time. At 87 and 88 they really are showing their age. I know we can't force them to do anything they don't want to do, but I really pray that they figure out it'd be easier to get everything on one level now to prevent injuries, even death, by doing so.

    If this thread helps, just by giving a place to vent and share experiences, then I'm so glad I did! I look forward to sharing with others and reading about your experiences and solutions (hopefully there are some!).

    Best wishes to everyone.
    barbara-cook

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Posts
    526
    A very timely thread indeed. I live 7 hours away from my parents and just fret over every telephone call because I just know there are things that are not being said.

    My oldest brother, who took GREAT care of my parents, was killed in a motorcycle accident in September and my SIL was terribly injured in the accident and has been living with my parent since being released from rehab and while awaiting additional surgeries. That helps me because I know I can ask her what is going on but again, I'm 7 hours away.

    I have another brother that lives about an hour away but he has quite a bit going on with his 5 children, a job, a wife, an ex-wife, etc. and, while he is trying he's trying to take my brother's place and that's just putting too much stress on him.

    In a word.....UGH.

    Both parents are diabetic, my mother has a pacemaker that is doing 98% of the work, my father is a cancer survivor and had a hip replacement earlier this year and just plain will not do what he is supposed to do with regards to walking, etc. STUBBORN is not enough of a word for either of them.

    I was down this weekend and my poor mother is so tired from taking care of everyone that she's letting herself get ran down but just will not let me help when I am down there. "You don't get here often enough for you to work when you're here" Very frustrated right now - being tired and still grieving the loss of my brother doesn't help I know but I'm just not sure what to do.

    My dad is the only that drives and that SCARES THE YOU KNOW WHAT OUT OF ME. My mother has never driven and my SIL can't right now. If something happens with my dad I'm just not sure what my mom will do.

    Sorry - it's quite obvious I'm tired so I'll stop for now. Didn't mean to run on.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    San Ramon, CA
    Posts
    12,858
    Barbara
    Maybe your parents will consider meals on wheels as a trial basis. They will prepare meals based on medical restrictions.

    Ask your parents why they are resistant to moving their bedroom downstairs. See if you can address their fears while still having them downstairs. If they are adamant about sleeping upstairs, look into a chair/stair lift if they would use one.
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    1,925
    Quote Originally Posted by tbb113 View Post
    Emergency pendants are a great idea for anyone who lives alone or if one person has diminshed capabilities. It can stop an emergency from becoming a castrophe.
    My mom (age 78) just moved into an assisted living facility where they give the pendants to residents. They tell them that they can press the button whenever they have a question or need some type of help- it doesn't have to be an emergency. Unfortunately, that only works if you remember what the pendant is for.

    The neurologist said that my mom has moderate to advanced Alzhiemers and advised 24 hour supervision. Neither my sister or I can have her live with us, so we opted for the assisted living home. Physically, she gets around fine, but she has poor judgement and is easily confused.

    It is such a relief to know that someone is around to keep an eye on her and get her involved in activities during the day. My sister and I were really stressed for a couple of months because she would call us everytime she had a headache and thought she was dying. I started to resent the amount of time caregiving took me away from my own family (DD is a junior in hs). I feel guilty about those feelings and that's the hardest thing for me to deal with right now.
    Positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time. - Inception

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    19,680
    Quote Originally Posted by SusanMac View Post
    ..What are we going to do?? Social security isn't enough, yet if you have more than $100, it seems that you can't get Medicaid...
    If you have more than $100 you don't qualify for Medicaid? I've known elderly folks with more than $100k who absolutely get it. Are you sure that's correct?
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    978
    tbb113 - we are thinking about Meals on Wheels. I think my sister looked into it briefly while she was here last summer, but not too deeply.

    As for WHY they don't want to move to one floor, I don't think it's a fear factor, I think it's more of a PRIDE factor. It's as if they agree to go along with it, they have to admit that they are getting older. My mom tells me that "I hold onto the railing". But in that split second it takes to fall, you might not have your hand on the railing, and your upper body strength may not be enough to even slow the fall even if you are holding it.

    The chair lift would be wonderful, but they live in a very old farm house (about 175+ years old) and the stairway is only about 2.5 feet wide and also takes a sharp corner almost at the top. I doubt it would work. And knowing them, they would find some excuse (it costs too much, we don't need it, we're fine, etc.).

    I tried to talk to my mom about it again today and mentioned that we all think dad is being selfish. She was appalled that we would think that of him and said he is absolutely not selfish. What would you call it if your spouse didn't seem too concerned about YOUR safety??? We've all tried to tell them that we're not concerned about HIM going up and down (as he is the stronger of the two), that we're concerned more about her (see the railing thing above), but our main concern is that they are living in a SAFE ENVIRONMENT. They just don't seem to get it.

    AT this point, we are checking on them daily (between my brother and I) and keeping my sister informed as well.

    MY SIL mentioned today that social services MAY inquire as to why WE didn't do something if something unfortunate should happen. I'm not sure about that, but plan to check into it. Does that mean we should have recorded all these discussions just to prove that we've TRIED?

    Wow - I feel just a little bit better knowing I'm not alone in this big boat, that all of you are right here with me! I hope it is helping all of you as well!
    barbara-cook

  15. #15
    Medicare and Medicaid are different--Medicare is for anyone over 65--Medicaid is income dependent.

    SusanMac's dad must be too young for Medicare and too 'rich' for Medicaid.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    East Bay
    Posts
    1,451
    Quote Originally Posted by Canice View Post
    If you have more than $100 you don't qualify for Medicaid? I've known elderly folks with more than $100k who absolutely get it. Are you sure that's correct?
    Sure you're not thinking of Medicare? From Wikipedia:

    Medicaid is the United States health program for eligible individuals and families with low incomes and resources.
    It is a means tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states.[1] Among the groups of people served by Medicaid are certain eligible U.S. citizens and resident aliens, including low-income adults and their children, and people with certain disabilities. Poverty alone does not necessarily qualify an individual for Medicaid. Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with limited income in the United States.

    (In California I believe it's called Medi-Cal.)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    19,680
    Oops, yea, Medicare. That would explain it!
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Dadeville, AL
    Posts
    12,866
    I really don't belong on this thread, because my situation isn't current... all my parents/in-laws are gone.

    However, dealing with stubborn parents is something I know a little about. And they won't, for the most part, take advice from their children because they still think of us as children! It's very difficult for parents to think of themselves as needing help from us, so you have to bring in bigger guns -- a priest/pastor, or a doctor to tell them that they are disabled, can't do stairs, need help, etc. It has to be someone they trust, but isn't part of the family -- someone with a broader range of experience than their children. This person has to give them the practicalities, as well as tell them straight that they're not being fair to their children to worry them so much.

    I don't know if this will be helpful, but it worked for us with my mom, who was determined to stay in her house til they carried her out feet-first! She finally did go to an assisted living, then a nursing home, then moved to a nursing home near my brother.

    My DMIL, who just passed away, made these decisions for herself, but not until she'd had a couple of falls, one in the shower, which ran cold for a few hours until she could crawl out!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    978
    LakeMartinGal - of course you belong on this thread! Just because your parents are gone doesn't mean you can't give the rest of us some coping suggestions. I have thought about bringing in someone else to give my parents the idea of moving their bedroom downstairs, but I'm not too sure who would be any more successful than we have been. They have a relatively young pastor (in this 30's -what would HE know, and my mother has mentioned she's not real fond of him...), so that wouldn't work. My brother has been taking them to their doctor, and they aren't that fond of HIM either! Not too many people left that they would really listen to.

    But what gets me crazy, is that since my father was released from the hospital (nearly 2 weeks ago), they have both been sleeping in the living room ANYWAY!!!
    My dad on the couch and my mom in her recliner.

    To me, that's just nuts. At least the bed would be more comfortable.

    In most things I can go along with the "baby steps" thought process, but sometimes things HAVE to move a bit faster than that.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.
    Last edited by barbara-cook; 11-23-2010 at 08:26 AM. Reason: wrong choice of word!
    barbara-cook

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Dadeville, AL
    Posts
    12,866
    Take it slow, Barbara -- old folks (and some younger ones ) like to think that things are their own idea. Why don't you suggest to whichever parent is most reasonable that the bed be moved into the living room so the other parent can be more comfortable? Then, maybe they'll ok moving the other one, as well.

    Change is scary for everyone, but giving up the familiar is especially hard on older folks. And giving up where they've lived for 100 years will be very hard. Is there an adult day care or somewhere a friend lives that you can take them to visit? Having a friend extol the virtues of a place could make it easier for them to make up their minds, too.

    As to their doctor -- are they seeing a gerontologist? A lot of times, a doc that specializes in older folks can help with these issues -- especially since they don't particularly care for the doc they have now. Is there a pastor that they had before who could be contacted?

    Maybe their doctor could recommend an occupational therapist? They come into the house and give real-world suggestions to make the house safer and easier for them to handle.

    Have a great Thanksgiving, yourself!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    NV
    Posts
    73
    Count me in!
    My 89 year old mother lives in an assisted living facility about 10 miles away from us. It took my brother & I 3 years to convince her to get rid of her 2 story house that was 450 miles away. She just recently gave up driving (luckily her decision because of the difficulty of manhandling her oxygen tank into the car) - but of course I'm now her only means of transportation because she just can't lower herself to use the facility bus)
    Our big issue is the changing of roles - I'm the youngest, and only daughter - & she can't see me as the caregiver. She has the uncanny ability to change everything into being my fault. Every conversation with her is a tight-rope walk & she can turn on me really fast!
    For full disclosure: I'm an Occupational Therapist with over 30 years experience, and currently work home health with elderly patents, and I really know what I'm talking about when it comes to safety & adaptations. My mom has a real hard time taking suggestions from me - & I'm sure she waits till I'm out the door before she sticks out her tongue!
    Whew - it's nice to rant a little, isn't it?
    Barbara

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    San Ramon, CA
    Posts
    12,858
    A surprising amout of my senior clients sleep on the couch or in their recliners and it has nothing to do with stairs as they live in a one-story home. Your parents may be having trouble getting in/out of bed and find the lower couch/chair easier. If your mom has breathing issues, she may find the chair keeps her more upright and easier to breathe.

    And in their minds, only 'sick' people need a hospital bed so they don't want one even if it would make them more comfortable. I have a client on hospice who is still sleeping on her couch so she can watch tv, etc. She doesn't want a hospital bed yet.
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    978
    How did everyone's Thankgiving go? Hopefully you were able to enjoy the holiday. My parents were here for dinner and everyone seemed to have a good time. I had been busy in the kitchen for 3 days straight so I was pretty tired by the time dessert was served.

    I spent 3 hours cleaning at my parent's house this past week. When I arrived and announced I was there to clean, they both just looked at me like I was from another planet! I said "We talked about this, several times, remember?" In fact, my mother had ASKED me to come and clean. Then I said I was going to start with the bathroom. My Mom said "your brother just cleaned the bathroom." I asked when. "Well, he put the new shower in, the sink." Well, he REMODELED their bathroom, almost 2 years ago. I kinda laughed and said "well, I'm not here to remodel it, I'm here to clean it." So I went and looked. "Yep, it needs cleaning."

    Later on, while vacuuming, I noticed that they stored their vacuum in the coat closet. And the bag in the vacuum was very full. And their coats all smelled like full vacuum bag. My Mom says she can't smell anything, so I'm sure that's the reason. I couldn't find replacement bags, so I've asked my brother to look into that next time he is there. I managed to make a dent in the house cleaning. A small dent, at least. I figure I'll be there once a week doing some heavy-duty cleaning to get the house up to my standards.

    I know these problems are quite minor in scale. I know some of you out there have horrendous problems to deal with. I have calmed down considerably since I first started this thread. I guess I've accepted the fact that I can't force them to make changes their don't feel ready to make, and if someone forced me to change the way I was living, I would not be happy about it either.

    I want them to be safe, but I don't want them to spend that last days (hopefully months and years) alive being angry about something we MADE them do. I can only hope and pray that they stay safe and watch out for each other and not be afraid to ask us for help when they truly need it.

    I'll be watching this thread and posting from time to time. But in the meantime, I'll be concentrating on staying calm and doing what I can.

    Best wishes to all of you!
    barbara-cook

  24. #24
    For my mother's birthday last spring, my sibs and I rented her a dumpster--and she was tickled to death.

    She lives in a rural area with no trash pickup--she burns some things, recycles others, but she had an accumulation of old appliances, furniture, and junk in general.

    My sister and I spent 2 weekends shoveling things out and getting rid of her mouse problem.

    She says she wants to do it again this year, and work on the barn this time.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Dadeville, AL
    Posts
    12,866
    Barbara, I'm glad you've found some peace with this situation.
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    One Particular Harbour
    Posts
    2,375
    Quote Originally Posted by barbara-cook View Post
    I want them to be safe, but I don't want them to spend that last days (hopefully months and years) alive being angry about something we MADE them do. I can only hope and pray that they stay safe and watch out for each other and not be afraid to ask us for help when they truly need it.

    Best wishes to all of you!
    This is what we struggled with this summer with my FIL. He was dying from cancer, but he emphatically did not want a cane, or walker, or chair lift, or hospital bed. (He eventually went thru all of them )

    The thought of him tumbling on the stairs was horrifying to us, but at the same time we came to the conclusion that it is HIS life and we can only do so much. If he is willing to risk the chance of falling because he is too proud or stubborn or whatever to use assistance, there isn't much we could do (and he was still cognitively able to make these kind of decisions).

    While it did strike me as a bit selfish to put that kind of worry and possible guilt on your kids (what would they feel if he did fall - should they have insisted on a chairlift,etc?) I had to make my peace with the fact that I had never been in his shoes.

    Best thing we learned was to have these kinds of conversations years before, while everyone is still healthy, to discuss things like how much assistance would you want, etc and see how people feel before reality sets in.

    (Sorry to the OP if I got off track a bit!)
    Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    20
    I can identify with this thread. My mother will be 87 Saturday and my father 89 on the 19th. They make a good team. She's had both hip replaced and he's legally blind, hard of hearing (and won't use his aids) and has some dimentia. I've mentioned independent living so my mother wouldn't be my dad's sole socialization. Independent/assisted living is a great idea for their friends but not for them! My sister and I each live about 20 minutes away and are retired so that helps. My mother fell and broke her pelvis last year so sis and I took turns spending the night for awhile, then providing meals and cleaning after that. At least they live in a condo so no lawn care/snow removal needed. My husband and brother-in-law are very helpful. My sister and I try not to leave town at the same time. I keep telling myself I'll be doing this to my kids some day!

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    979
    I'm here too!

    My Mom passed away in February. She spent her final 6 months in a secured area of a Long Term Care facilty due to dementia. I was comforted that she no longer knew what she was missing. Mom use to wear designer clothes and now she was in $20 polyester slacks with a stretch waist because it made changing her diaper easier on the staff and the commercial laundry didn't ruin these.

    We have given up suggesting my in-laws move to a retirement facility. Mom is 92, has minimal vision and is quite frail. Dad is 98, cannot hear and has a bum knee that gives out. He finally agreed to use a walker in the house. Mom can`t see to cook so Dad now helps. He`s spent more time in the kitchen in the last 6 months than he`s spent in there his whole life!

    The washing machine is in the basement and they have refused making any changes to the house to bring it to the main floor.

    When you look up stubborn in the dictionary you will see a picture of my wonderful in-laws

    So it finally happened on Friday. Mom had been in the basement doing laundry and fell going up the steps. She is having surgery today to repair a fractured elbow plus she also broke her pelvis.

    Dad will not be able to stay on his own so respite care will probably be arranged for him tomorrow.

    Thanks for listening and good luck to everyone else!

    Danita

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    NJ USA
    Posts
    3,222
    Both of my parents are gone now, but I'd dealt with some of the issues you've discussed. It's so very difficult; blessing to all of you who are dealing with this.

    My mom had various medical issues, but everything worsened exponentially when she went into kidney failure and required dialysis. After the diagnosis, I read an article about how kidney problems are common in the elderly (due to other illness, multiple medications, etc) but are not looked for enough by health care professionals. Please be alert and nag your parents' doctors to test for and look out for these problems.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kenmore NY, near Buffalo
    Posts
    6,182
    You know, i don't think of my mom as elderly, but most people do... she has some amazingly young traits, and some cliched blue-hair habits, now. A mix. I live only 20-ish minutes away, but her schedule is too busy! She has fianlly just realized thati am serious about having her call me when something big is happening, instead of just telling my sisters, until after it's over. i never found out about her uterine cancer until a year later-- as if it doesn't affect me!!! Well, besides the non-selfish reasons, i am the only one that has-- unlike my three sisters-- my Mom's exact body shape, I mean, exactly. it's nice to know what you should be worrying about healthwise as you go into your forties, but my family has no understanding of that concept.
    As it stands, she lives on her own in an elder-specific apartment complex, a few mintues drive from my youngest sister. But she ignores and forgets some of her chronic health issues, and thinks doctors are all out to get you.
    it's a little difficult. Her driving has deteriorated, and i have brought it forcibly to her attention. that is always a hard thing to give up; if we could afford a driver, i'd do it in a heartbeat. and i'm not yet well enough to do it for her myself-- if and when that happens...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •