Author Topic: Dealing With Aging Parents  (Read 32445 times)

Offline Katie77

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #90 on: March 15, 2008, 02:26:46 am »
Hi everyone......I often come into this thread to read the posts, but have never contributed before. My mum is 81, and I have experienced some of the things mentioned here, and I sympathise and understand what some of you are going through. Most of you are in worse situations that I am, and I admire the strength that you have found to deal with some tragic and very sad circumstances.

I also understand, when some of you write in here, and then feel guilty about what you have said, and I guess that is why I have not added my grievances, because I feel guilty just thinking about them, let alone writing them down.

My mum, is 81 and although riddled with a lot of arthritis is still considerably active for her age. Her story is quite sweet...when we moved to this town 5 years ago, she moved into a retirement village, where she had her own self contained unit....there she became friendly with a lovely man and they enjoyed going out to dinner together, and watching TV together. They eventually wanted to move out of the retirement village, so we offered them a unit (apartment) which we have, and the two of them have been living there together  now for over 12 months. They are fairly independent, do their own shopping, cook their own meals and unless they are seriously ill, even get themselves to the doctor....oh by the way, my mums partner is 91 and is a lovely gentle man. His family of two sons and a daughter do not live in this town, the closest, his daughter, lives about 3 hours from here. I am my mum's only child.

There have been times, when mum has had a fall, or is very sick and they call me and I organise medical attention or get her to the hospital and tend to her needs until she is well again, but considering her age, I am very fortunate that she does not need my attention around the clock, most of the time. I visit them every couple of days, and make sure they are OK, and have everything that they need.

Now, the problem I have, and find frustrating and upsetting, is that my mum is nearly deaf. She has been using hearing aids for five years. She is entitled to excellent medical facilities and has always been supplied with the most modern hearing aids available.....but she hardly ever wears them. Sometimes I have visited her, and so many times, I am having a conversation with her, and I realize that she is just nodding her head, and not hearing a word I am saying. I have asked her,  use her hearing aid, and she always has an excuse not to wear them.....I got that way, that I just stopped talking to her. I felt guilty, but I couldn't see the point, if she only picked up a few words here and there. Consequently, when I callled in to see her, my visits were short with very little conversation.

I took her to the doctor  last week, and she did not have her hearng aid in, and if I had not been with her, she would not have had a clue what the doctor was asking her or telling her.

Today, I called in to see her, and I totally lost it. I asked her something, and she replied with an answer that had nothing whatsoever to do with what I had said to her. Then I started telling her something about one of the kids or something,  and she just cut in on what I was saying, and started talking about something else, and I just stopped talking and looked at her. Her partner who was sitting next to her, and was listening, told her that I was talking to her, and chastised  her for butting in on me. I just said, "dont worry about it, I'm going" and I left....her partner followed me out, and put his arm around me, and told me not to be upset, and I told him, I just cant have a conversation with her anymore, if she cant have the curtesy of wearing her hearing aids, then I will take it that she is not interested in hearing anything I have to say. I was angry, but I was more upset, and as I drove away, I cried at the thought that the days of me having a conversation with my mother, are over, and I feel so sad about that.

I have never worn a hearing aid, so dont know whether they are uncomfortable to wear or not. My mum voluntarily sought help for her hearing over five years ago, she had the best medical attention available and has been supplied with excellent equipment to assist her with her hearing. She is informed if a newer more suitable hearing aid comes on the market, and is once again supplied with them.....and then she leaves them in a box on her dressing table. She has the ability to have a better quality of life and she choses not to use it.

Maybe I am being too hard on her, and I dont mean to be, and now I am feeling guilty about whinging about it, but if I feel like this, then others must feel like it too, and eventually she will not have anyone who will call in to "talk" to her.  She was expecting a friend, for a visit, when I was there today, and I suspect, that visitor too, was not going to hold any type of conversation with her.  My mum has her full mental facilities, she is alert and intelligent but when she butts in on what you are saying, or talks about something completely off subject, she gives the impression that she is suffering from dementia, even seems a bit "ditzy".

Oh dear......I know there are many of you here, that have far far worse things to deal with. I'm just feeling very sad, thats all.....I dont know how long I will have her, and I love her dearly, and it would be so nice to be able to sit down and talk with her again.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #91 on: March 21, 2008, 10:50:12 pm »
Sue, I think these situations are just hard no matter what. Don't feel guilty whinging. That's what this thread is here for. I sought it out myself just now to talk about what's going on with my mom.

She has Alzheimer's. She's been declining for -- well, depending on when you start counting, maybe up to 12 years or so. It's been really hard to watch her get worse and worse. She's now in a nursing home.

Today, though, the nurse from the nursing home called to say she was in bad shape. She might have one day left, she might have six months -- there's no way to tell. So I'm flying out to see her in a week, and hopefully she'll still be around then.

But here's the problem. I have such strange mixed feelings about her dying. On the one hand, I feel really sad about the loss of my mom of, say, 15 years ago. We were never super-close, but we got along well. We'd go to movies and dinner together and stay up late talking about politics and current events and fashion and literature and movies (that is, not really personal things, but interesting things) and have fun. She was a good mom and always really kind to me. She helped me out in a lot of ways.

But the person she's been in the past few years has nothing to do with that. When I saw her at Christmas, she was able to hold a lively conversation -- except that nothing she said had any connection to reality. Or even to whatever the other person had just said. She'd talk about imaginary people and events ... I think she recognized me, at least as someone who was close, but that was about it. Conversation was really hard.

So although I feel sad that she'll be gone, it's not like the person who's dying is the same person as the one I really miss. That person has been gone for years and years, but I was never able to fully mourn her. So I feel really strange and ambivalent. Sad, but maybe not as sad as I "should" be, but guilty for not feeling more sad ...

Does that make any sense?


Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #92 on: March 22, 2008, 12:00:41 am »
{{{Katherine}}}

I'm so sorry to hear the news about your mother.  And, I can hardly imagine how difficult it must have been these past 12 years or so.  That seems like a really long time to endure watching such a scary and sad disease impact your mother.  As Jack would say, that's truly hard Bud.

This is one of those situations where it's hard to know what to say. 

But, what you just posted certainly makes sense and I don't think you should feel guilty or beat yourself up about your feelings and reactions about this.

I hope, at least, that writing about this a little bit here helps you work through some of your feelings about this.



 
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Offline Katie77

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #93 on: March 22, 2008, 12:32:22 am »
Oh dear......my heart goes out to you Katherine.

Dont know what else to say, except dont feel guilty. I have a friend who lost her mum, after years of alzeheimers, and she felt the same way as you. I think it is understandable, and a normal feeling, that you feel like you lost your mother many many years ago.

What a terrible affliction alzheimers is, not only to the person who gets it, but to all those who have to watch it take someone they love.....its a very cruel situation.

Take care, Katherine, my thoughts are with you.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #94 on: March 22, 2008, 12:48:40 am »
Thanks, you guys, so much. I have to say that it is really nice to be able to come here and talk about this. It's actually something that's hard to discuss even with people I know really well. Once again, it's this weird factor of the internet -- both the closeness and the distance, I guess -- that somehow opens lines of communication.

In person, it's different, in a way I can't describe very well. I guess I don't like being an "object of pity." I know that sounds silly, but that somehow describes my feelings, which causes me to downplay problems within my family. This happens even with people who would ordinarily be my support system. I resist being the object of sympathy, so I either don't talk about things, or I make them seem less of a big deal than they are.

Anyway, back to this situation. Sometimes I wonder when I write "my thoughts are with you" to someone I know here who's going through hard time, whether that really makes a difference. Now I know. It really does.

So thanks so much for being here, {{{Amanda and Sue}}}.

 :)

Katherine


Offline serious crayons

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #95 on: March 22, 2008, 09:58:34 am »
Thanks, Susie. And that does help!

BTW, I like your new avatar.


Offline Kelda

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #96 on: March 22, 2008, 12:36:04 pm »
(((Katherine))))

Yes, like everyone says here - it makes perfect sense - you lost your Mom 12 years ago really..

Not sure I can say anything else to make you feel better but  :-*

9On a slight side note, I saw for the first time last night 'The Notebook' - oh i cried like a baby at that - have you seen that? Its very well dne.

I don't want to talk too much about it for those of you who haven't seen it but its story fits well here.

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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #97 on: March 25, 2008, 01:03:48 am »
On a slight side note, I saw for the first time last night 'The Notebook' - oh i cried like a baby at that - have you seen that? Its very well dne.

I don't want to talk too much about it for those of you who haven't seen it but its story fits well here.

Thanks, Kelda.

And I know what you're saying about "The Notebook." I haven't seen it, but I heard enough about it to figure out what the deal is. I should watch it sometime, because I love Ryan Gosling. But as for the other aspect, the part with -- is it Gena Rowlands and James Garner? -- I'm a bit scared to see.

When you have a parent with Alzheimer's you can't help wondering about whether it is in your own future.




Offline Kelda

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #98 on: March 25, 2008, 01:52:50 pm »
It's Gena Rowland....

You should watch it thought it is a kind of happy sad...
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Offline Artiste

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #99 on: April 01, 2008, 06:41:17 pm »
It puzzles me since this does not seem to be a daily subject for many !!

  Dealing With Aging Parents ... surely is important?

Hugs!