Author Topic: Dealing With Aging Parents  (Read 32341 times)

Scott6373

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2007, 04:18:50 pm »
I don't call my mother as often as I should.

She has Alzheimer's, and although she can still talk on the phone and probably would even recognize my voice and remember my name, any conversation past that point is almost impossible. She answers questions and talks, but her words bear no relationship to reality, they're just rambling nonsense. And she can't hold any kind of continuous dialogue. For example, if she says A, then I respond B, she has no idea what I mean by B because she's already forgotten A.

Because she's in a nursing home without a phone in her room, it's kind of hard to get her on the phone. When I do call her, I'm sure she forgets the second she's hung up the phone. And it's hard to be reminded of how much unlike herself she is.

But those are rationalizations. I still feel guilty about not calling her more.


It's easy to fall into that trap.  There are some great resources out there for family who are dealing with a parent who has Alzheimer's.

Offline David In Indy

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2007, 04:33:56 pm »
My mother passed away from leukemia in 2003, but my dad is still alive.

Dad is suffering from parkinson's disease. But I can't believe all the medications they are giving him. He keeps all his medicine on a small 2 foot shelf in the kitchen and it is totally stuffed with medicine bottles. He is taking blood pressure medicine, diabetes medicine, 2 or 3 different medicines for his parkinson's disease, 3 different pain medicines (2 of which are narcotic), anti depressants, nerve pills, heart medicine.... the list goes on and on. I don't think it's a very good idea for him to be putting all these different medications in his system. Dad is very stubborn though, and he will NOT listen to me. I think he finds some security and comfort in all these different pills.

He sometimes drives me nuts too. I live on the other side of the city from him. A couple of months ago he left a message on my cell phone saying he needed me to come over. When I tried to call him back he failed to answer the phone. Thinking the worst, I jumped in my car and sped across town to his house. When I arrived, he was outside riding around the front yard on his lawn mower! GEEZ!!!  >:(

But he's starting to "go around the bend" as we say in Indiana. His mind is going I think. He is becoming very forgetful and more "childlike" in what he says and does. This often happens with older people but it's very sad when it happens to someone close to you. I suppose the day is coming when I will either need to move into his house, or move him into mine. I've already asked him about hiring a part time nurse and he's declined the offer. He's not comfortable with a stranger in his house taking care of him.

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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2007, 08:10:18 pm »
He sometimes drives me nuts too. I live on the other side of the city from him. A couple of months ago he left a message on my cell phone saying he needed me to come over. When I tried to call him back he failed to answer the phone. Thinking the worst, I jumped in my car and sped across town to his house. When I arrived, he was outside riding around the front yard on his lawn mower! GEEZ!!!  >:(

This is the worst, I agree.  I tell people I'm starting to get gray hair because of episodes like this.  She doesn't answer the phone when I call.  I think maybe she's in the bathroom or outside.  I call again after lunch and still nothing.  My sister calls in the late afternoon, "Have you heard from mom?  I've been calling and calling."  We talk, we rationalize that maybe we just kept missing her, it is a nice day, she had an appointment, blah blah.

Early evening comes, still no word.  Finally around 9 pm my sister and I conference.  We're going to go check on her.  I literally dress in clothing I won't mind getting dirty with - body fluids/issuances.  It's summer, I imagine her in the yard, collapsed under the heat, half dead, covered in fire ants and mosquitos...I choose clothing I won't mind getting next to a corpse.

Lovely thoughts.  You have to gird your loins for whatever you might find as you take the looooooooooog drive over, just to find out - happily for all, but unhappily for your blood pressure - that you  have just been missing her all day.  I've had to sit down and calm myself after such episodes.

 :P

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2007, 08:50:05 pm »
Sorry, off topic, I know, but ugh, fire ants.  We had those when I lived in Mississippi.  Unbelievably painful.

Offline David In Indy

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2007, 08:55:08 pm »
Sorry, off topic, I know, but ugh, fire ants.  We had those when I lived in Mississippi.  Unbelievably painful.

 ???  ???

 :-\


They are painful, Clarissa. I dealt with them when I lived in Florida.
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Offline dot-matrix

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2007, 12:34:02 pm »
I lost my Mom a long time ago now, almost 10 years, and I still miss her so bad sometimes I can’t stand it.  Sometimes the hurt inside continues to burn like fire. I want to talk to her, see her, laugh with her, share my day with her. I want to hug her. I miss my mom so bad.  My mother was everything to me she was such a special Mom & person.  She is still part of WHO I AM and so is her memory and so is the pain of losing her. You never lose that because it becomes PART OF YOU and WHO YOU ARE.  I thank God everyday for helping me to make the decision to go home and care for her in her last days.  It was not easy, at times unbearably frustrating, but I am so glad I did it and being there at the end, holding her was a blessing for us both.
 

Your Dad sounds like mine David.  I too think he takes too many pills and wonder about the interaction and side effects of all these drugs but he is adamant about his “medicine”.  I had been thinking about taking a few days and running up to Montana while Bob stays here and digs….before we head home again on the 4th.  But Bob says we have nothing but time and he wants to go with, so I think we are going to leave here a few days earlier than planned and head north for a few days with Daddy.

My Dad is 79 and has Atrial flutter that has been resistant to cardioversion.  He also has hypertension and emphysema from years of cigarette smoking.  Lately I have begun to notice some senile dementia and I know the day is going to come when we have to force him to leave his beloved ranch and come live with Bob and me.  We have already begun reinforcing the idea by inviting him every time we talk.  Right now he has a housekeeper and a ranch hand.  The housekeeper does not live in but the ranch hand does so he is never alone and they know how to contact me always.  Both have been with him for years and I trust them completely but I live in fear of those calls….and I know it’s going to be one of the hardest things he has ever done to admit he can no longer be totally independent….I already KNOW it is one of the hardest for me to see and accept my big strong Daddy, my hero, felled by old age and disease.   
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mvansand76

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2007, 03:16:16 pm »
My mother passed away from leukemia in 2003, but my dad is still alive.

Dad is suffering from parkinson's disease. But I can't believe all the medications they are giving him. He keeps all his medicine on a small 2 foot shelf in the kitchen and it is totally stuffed with medicine bottles. He is taking blood pressure medicine, diabetes medicine, 2 or 3 different medicines for his parkinson's disease, 3 different pain medicines (2 of which are narcotic), anti depressants, nerve pills, heart medicine.... the list goes on and on. I don't think it's a very good idea for him to be putting all these different medications in his system. Dad is very stubborn though, and he will NOT listen to me. I think he finds some security and comfort in all these different pills.

He sometimes drives me nuts too. I live on the other side of the city from him. A couple of months ago he left a message on my cell phone saying he needed me to come over. When I tried to call him back he failed to answer the phone. Thinking the worst, I jumped in my car and sped across town to his house. When I arrived, he was outside riding around the front yard on his lawn mower! GEEZ!!!  >:(

But he's starting to "go around the bend" as we say in Indiana. His mind is going I think. He is becoming very forgetful and more "childlike" in what he says and does. This often happens with older people but it's very sad when it happens to someone close to you. I suppose the day is coming when I will either need to move into his house, or move him into mine. I've already asked him about hiring a part time nurse and he's declined the offer. He's not comfortable with a stranger in his house taking care of him.



I remember you telling me about that incident! Do you think it's part of him "going around the bend"? It must be terrible to see that happen, how do you deal with it?

How are you going to deal with taking care of him when he needs to move in with you or you move in with him?

mvansand76

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2007, 03:21:19 pm »
I lost my Mom a long time ago now, almost 10 years, and I still miss her so bad sometimes I can’t stand it.  Sometimes the hurt inside continues to burn like fire. I want to talk to her, see her, laugh with her, share my day with her. I want to hug her. I miss my mom so bad.  My mother was everything to me she was such a special Mom & person.  She is still part of WHO I AM and so is her memory and so is the pain of losing her. You never lose that because it becomes PART OF YOU and WHO YOU ARE.  I thank God everyday for helping me to make the decision to go home and care for her in her last days.  It was not easy, at times unbearably frustrating, but I am so glad I did it and being there at the end, holding her was a blessing for us both.
 

Thanks for sharing this, Dot... the way you describe it is beautiful, it sounds like you love(d) her very much...

Offline David In Indy

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2007, 03:34:15 pm »
I remember you telling me about that incident! Do you think it's part of him "going around the bend"? It must be terrible to see that happen, how do you deal with it?

How are you going to deal with taking care of him when he needs to move in with you or you move in with him?

I don't know. I'm trying not to think about it right now. The time is coming though. I'll have to deal with it sooner or later. I don't want to take away his sense of freedom and independence. Now that I work part time on the east side of town, it's a little better, because I can stop by his house on my way home from work and visit with him. But sometimes he doesn't want me to leave, which is bad because I have to get home to take care of things over there.

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Offline shortfiction

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2007, 11:06:56 pm »
crayons, my dad had ALZ as well.  Actually, it was the cascase of physical problems and, eventually, an anaphylactic reaction to an antibiotic that caused his death a year ago, but the ALZ was the underlying culprit.  Anyway....Yes, it's hard to deal with someone who forgets what you say right after you've said it.  After a while, you just learn to tell yourself that it's an illness, it's nothing personal, don't take it to heart.  I know--that's easier said than done.  My dad sort of recognized me as a relative but did not know my name. That was really hard. 
    In a way, it was sort of good that he didn't really know he was in a SNF.  He thought he was at home.  He'd point to the corner and tell me to lock up the car, take care of the house, pay the bills, etc.  I'd say I would, and then he'd be happy.  The nursing staff said it was just fine to let him have his happy delusion and go along with it. 
   My mom and I had looked after him at home as long as we could, but I gotta tell you folks:  you can't do that 24/7.  No one can-- unless they don't work, have no other obligations, and can afford to hire private nurses around the clock.  Actually, it was the illnesses that put him in the hospital and then the SNF, so the decision was sort of made for us.
     I recommend the book How to care for aging parents .  I found it quite valuable as a source of comfort and info and resources.

Mom, on the other hand, is 81, in pretty good health, very sharp, and says she wants to go another 80 years.  What a youngster.  She regularly does crosswords, reads voraciously, does email and computer games, and goes on bus trips here and there, usually with her Red Hat pals.   
   
 





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