Author Topic: On Caregiving  (Read 65872 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #70 on: February 06, 2016, 11:34:41 am »
An interesting thing happened tonight. My brother and his wife are in town to celebrate my mom's 89th birthday. Unfortunately, most times when they visit everything turns upside down in a way. It's the first day of their visit but things have started going south already. I invited Mom and them to dinner at my house and everything was going well until at 7:30-ish, I advised them to start heading out because "in an hour or two, it's going to start freezing and will get icy." Maybe I should have drawn them away from Mom's hearing before I said that. Everyone bundled up and started up the stairs. There are about eight steps up from my house to street level. My brother held Mom's arm and she had her cane. I went behind them but shone the flashlight on the ground in front of them. My brother's wife went ahead. At the top of the steps, she said, "Okay, this is completely iced over." We came on and there was no ice, but my mom stiffened up and had to be coaxed up the last few steps. When she got into the car, she said, "This is horrible." It completely negated the whole day for me, although I realize that just isn't fair.

Forgive me for having to ask, but I'm not sure I understand your reaction. Was the whole day negated because you were upset that your mom seemed out of touch with how much ice there actually was?  ???

Maybe it's common for older people to become deathly afraid of falling on ice. My mom used to literally drive the car to the end of the driveway to get the mail from the mailbox in the winter. It was just an average-length driveway, maybe 40 feet or so at most. At the time I thought that was very weird, but now I kind of understand it. Her mobility was poor--she didn't use any walking implements but she walked very slowly and stiffly due to arthritis. And for an older person, a broken hip can lead to a nursing home or even death. Eventually she did break her hip (indoors) and did wind up in a nursing home, never to emerge.

On the other hand, my aunt broke her hip indoors, too, and it wound up being good for her, paradoxically. She went to a nursing home and was in some kind of twilight state of consciousness for six months. She says she even "missed" her birthday. But when she came to, she had lost her taste for hard liquor. Which was good, because she had been drinking too much for years, especially after she lost her partner--they used to have martinis every night at 5, but my aunt was taking that tradition and extending it to an unhealthy amount. Anyway, she continued to live in the nursing home for a while, so although she would still have some beer or wine when she went out for dinner, the environment didn't really allow for drinking on a daily basis. Now she's in assisted living, and last I heard she's doing fine.






Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #71 on: February 06, 2016, 12:51:00 pm »
Well, maybe I did exaggerate a little...it didn't ruin the entire day, but it was very discouraging. You are completely right, old people are terrified of ice, etc. What really got to me was my brother and his wife's insensitivity. She said, in what I imagined was an accusing voice, "Okay, this part's completely iced over" right before my mom was going to step on it. But when I shined my flashlight on that area, it was just wet, no ice. Maybe because she lives in LA, she doesn't even know how to recognize ice. Nevertheless, I'm not going to invite them to my house anymore until spring, so there!
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #72 on: February 06, 2016, 01:03:00 pm »
I'm sorry to hear your mother's birthday dinner ended on such a sour note.  :(
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #73 on: February 06, 2016, 05:57:03 pm »
Well, maybe I did exaggerate a little...it didn't ruin the entire day, but it was very discouraging. You are completely right, old people are terrified of ice, etc. What really got to me was my brother and his wife's insensitivity. She said, in what I imagined was an accusing voice, "Okay, this part's completely iced over" right before my mom was going to step on it. But when I shined my flashlight on that area, it was just wet, no ice. Maybe because she lives in LA, she doesn't even know how to recognize ice. Nevertheless, I'm not going to invite them to my house anymore until spring, so there!

Ohhhhhh, OK. I thought it was your mother who said the area was completely iced over -- I missed that it was actually your SIL. Well, maybe she meant no harm, or really did think it was icy. But if it discouraged you that much I'd say you're well within your rights to take a long break between invitations!  :)



Offline CellarDweller

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #74 on: February 08, 2016, 10:12:54 am »
I'd wait until Spring as well!


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #75 on: February 08, 2016, 04:33:39 pm »
This topic can be helpful as a place for us to commiserate with each other, but the main purpose of it is to share ideas and resources. I would do well to keep this in mind!

That said, I need to pass along another anecdote from this past weekend's visit from well-meaning siblings. Unfortunately, the same day my brother and his wife came to town, my mother came down with a cold. It was very unfortunate because she had been very jazzed up and with-it while getting ready for his visit, but then turned into a practically helpless person who couldn't even put a complete sentence together once they arrived. Obviously the cold and subsequent lack of a proper night's sleep affected her physically and mentally. She complained of a terrible cough also but I only heard her cough a couple of times during the 4 days they were visiting.

Just before they left, my brother and his wife mentioned that when they had arrived at Mom's apartment, she was coughing really bad. So, they said that they had gone out and bought her a selection of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines and left them in her room. They admitted that they knew that such things were not allowed in assisted living facilities. Mom must have a doctor's orders or prescription for anything she takes, even mouthwash and vitamins. Her medicines and supplements are dispensed by a nurse from a locked room in the main office. So, I rushed over to her place and confiscated the antihistamine tablets and the cough suppressant liquid. It looks like she took one dose of the Delsym 12-hour cough liquid plus one of the prescription strength antihistamine 10 mg tablets, probably together. I left her the cough drops although I have my doubts about them too. I'm a person who doesn't even take aspirin very often, so this rattled me to the core.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #76 on: February 09, 2016, 09:26:59 am »
It makes no sense that your family would give her those drugs.   They need to learn to be better caregivers.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #77 on: February 09, 2016, 10:24:08 am »
Odd that residents-guests-patients-whatever they call them aren't even allowed mouthwash, but I'm sure some of them are so out-of-it that they would drink the mouthwash, which would not be a good thing.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #78 on: February 09, 2016, 01:26:43 pm »
Sad story! It's too bad it impaired your mom's enjoyment of their visit. The cough would have been a problem, too, but obviously something the staff should have been assigned to manage.

You created this thread and so are entitled to define its purpose and content, but I think it's a great place for commiseration, which caregivers can always use. Ideas and resources are helpful but since we all have quite different caregiving experiences and/or duties as well as different geographical locations, our needs and resources may not often overlap.

So I'd encourage you to come here for commiseration whenever the need arises!  :)


 

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #79 on: February 09, 2016, 10:37:09 pm »
Odd that residents-guests-patients-whatever they call them aren't even allowed mouthwash, but I'm sure some of them are so out-of-it that they would drink the mouthwash, which would not be a good thing.

Yes, I'm afraid you're right, plus they might over-use the mouthwash or just dump it down the drain because they don't like the taste. I have been through this...found a whole tube of toothpaste in the trash because the taste wasn't to Mom's liking!  >:(
May 2019 be better for us all.