"Parenting Our Parents" Tribe: Important Winter + Elderly Concerns Alert! Please read POST 25 (page 2) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 57 Old 11-04-2008, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!

Anyone else interested in a Tribe of caregivers for our parents??

I am the primary caregiver to both my parents, each is 88. Mom is in assisted living, just 8 minutes from our home. Dad still lives in their house, about 90 miles away.

Mom is doing pretty good, but Dad is going downhill pretty fast.

I also help with my fil (also just minutes away). My darling mil died several years ago.

Thought it would be nice to have a place to share thoughts, concerns, advice and information with others that understand these difficulties.

I have recently asked my Dad to give up driving and it worked easily, kindly and successfully. I also know of some good resources for eldercare products.

I know there are others here going through these times. Let's help each other!!
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#2 of 57 Old 11-05-2008, 04:33 AM
 
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Your sig line cracks me up!

I started a thread like this awhile back, but no replies. Maybe most of us in this position are so busy we don't check the FYT threads too often? Splendid idea though, let's keep it going. I know there have to be others...

I'm Keri, I have three kids and an 84 year old dad who lives in a retirement community about 10 miles from me. My sister lives about 30 miles away and has a very demanding work schedule, so TAG, I'm it!

Dad is still self-sufficient for the most part, but I see him declining. He has strange episodes for which we still have no diagnosis. It's like an anxiety attack and is accompanied by memory loss and incoherent speech. Unfortunately, they are becoming more frequent. We have ruled out so many things, he's had every test they can throw at him, but none of the docs can explain it. So we just deal with it. I hate it when he has one and I'm not there to help him get through it. I've thought about asking him to come live with us but I know he would refuse. Our house is chaotic - I don't want to live here sometimes.

Right now I'm afraid we might not be too far from having to have the "you shouldn't be driving anymore" talk. Fortunately, if he has to go any long distance he is good about letting me chauffeur him. I'm glad your dad was receptive and didn't resist giving up driving, that can be a tough one.

I take my dad to the VA hospital for everything, he's a WWII vet. The hospital is about an hour away so when he has an emergency or needs to go in for something, there goes my day. I, of course, don't begrudge the time spent, but it's hard. One of me, 3 kids, and an aging parent who is requiring more attention all of the time... Doesn't exactly balance.

Thanks for starting this thread.
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#3 of 57 Old 11-05-2008, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Your sig line cracks me up!

I started a thread like this awhile back, but no replies. Maybe most of us in this position are so busy we don't check the FYT threads too often? Splendid idea though, let's keep it going. I know there have to be others...
Glad you like the quote! Sorry, I never saw that thread or I would have replied. Like you said, this isn't a forum I visit much.

Quote:
I'm Keri, I have three kids and an 84 year old dad who lives in a retirement community about 10 miles from me. My sister lives about 30 miles away and has a very demanding work schedule, so TAG, I'm it!
Does your sister help at all?? My siblings are of no use when it comes to Mom & Dad. I've spoken to my sister "J" just twice in the last year and my oldest brother "C" emails sporadically. The other brother "R" (who actually lives just a few miles from Dad) has been estranged from the family for almost 20 years.

J & C say they talk to Mom and Dad, but are miffed that Mom and Dad don't seem to remember them. I have no way to even know if they do call, as Mom and Dad both do have memory problems. All I know is that J & C never call here and ask about our parents. Which, if the roles were reversed and I was far away and they were caregiving, I would be calling both my parents and my siblings to see what was up.

I don't bother to try asking them to maintain better contact with Mom & Dad. When our parents are gone, I will be the one without any guilt and, though missing my parents immensely, I will sleep well and without any "I should have, could have, would haves", kwim?

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Dad is still self-sufficient for the most part, but I see him declining. He has strange episodes for which we still have no diagnosis. It's like an anxiety attack and is accompanied by memory loss and incoherent speech. Unfortunately, they are becoming more frequent. We have ruled out so many things, he's had every test they can throw at him, but none of the docs can explain it. So we just deal with it. I hate it when he has one and I'm not there to help him get through it. I've thought about asking him to come live with us but I know he would refuse. Our house is chaotic - I don't want to live here sometimes.
Sound like your Dad is having mini strokes. They don't necessarily show up on the CAT scan or MRI unless you have those done immediately. Mom had an MRI just the day after her bad stroke and it showed a bleed the size of a lime in her brain. Two weeks later, it was just a hazy area that the doctors told me they could attribute to brain aging. So, it is important to force those tests!!

Quote:
Right now I'm afraid we might not be too far from having to have the "you shouldn't be driving anymore" talk. Fortunately, if he has to go any long distance he is good about letting me chauffeur him. I'm glad your dad was receptive and didn't resist giving up driving, that can be a tough one.
I, too, was waiting to have that talk with Dad. I should have done it a year ago (probably more). I was a chicken and didn't want to face the FACT that he was a danger to himself and to others on the road. If your Dad has these attacks with the accomapnying "memory loss and incoherent speech", he should be driving at all. I am sure you realize this (not trying to talk down to you!!). My Dad has his accident in the parking lot of the golf course less than a mile from his house. He backed into another vehicle 3 times. He doesn't remember doing it or anything about that day. Time to hang-up the keys. I would be happy to tell you how I handled "the talk" and what I said and solutions/options I offered him. It made all the difference, let me tell you!

Quote:
I take my dad to the VA hospital for everything, he's a WWII vet. The hospital is about an hour away so when he has an emergency or needs to go in for something, there goes my day. I, of course, don't begrudge the time spent, but it's hard. One of me, 3 kids, and an aging parent who is requiring more attention all of the time... Doesn't exactly balance.
Another WWII vet with my Dad!! Unlike your Dad, mine refuses to ever see a doctor (he'd need to be spurting arterial blood for that to happen...). Is there not an ER closer to you to use for emergencies??

I know how hard it is and I have only one child! Does your husband give you lots of support? I am fortunate in that my dh is a dream and has done more than anyone could ask for regarding both my parents and his own (well, his Dad, his Mom died several years ago ).

Does your Dad still handle all his finances? I took over all my parents' financial business in April. I handle their taxes (well, H&R Block does that!) and am their legal representative for everything regarding Social Security and I am their power of attorney, too. I pay all the bills (I am listed on all their bank accounts), which is good as Dad stopped paying all of his bills last January (which is why I took over in April, after I discovered this difficulty of his).

I wish you all the best and hope this thread will offer some support for those of us dealing with eldercare issues.

Leslie
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#4 of 57 Old 11-14-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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Hi all! I wanted to start a new Parent our Parents thread as the old one got archived.

The purpose of this thread is just to provide support for those of us who are caring for our parents, or elderly relatives.

Thanks, and I'm looking forward to hearing from ya'll!

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#5 of 57 Old 11-14-2008, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I started a tribe like this just a short time ago:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=993887

I have just one parent now. My Dad died last week on Friday, his 88th birthday. You can read my thread on it here:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...=996488&page=4

I am feeling kind of numb right now. I've had to be the one to handle everything dealing with my parents for several years. I have three siblings, none of them are in the picture. Or, rather, they are just too busy, according to their schedules...............

We buried Dad this morning. Mom & I were the only ones there. Dad hated funerals (I hate 'em, too), so we respected his wishes.

I have been calling all the agencies that need to be contacted. Everyone has been really nice.

Friends and neighbors have called and offered help and tell me I've done so much good and my parents' are lucky to have me, etc.

It's nice to hear and they are sweet to offer help.

But, you know, it royally pisses me off that my own siblings don't offer squat. When I told my sister (she is back East) I was calling Social Security and the Defense Department etc, she interrupted and said, "Oh, yeah, we've been there, done that, know how you feel." But, the thing is, SHE hasn't done this for HER parent. She may have helped when her mil died, but it isn't the same as when it is your own parent (no matter how much you may love your in-laws). I know, because I had to do most everything when MY mil died, and I feel entirely different doing the same for my Dad.

My brother simply said, "God bless you" and let it go at that. True words of comfort for an atheist (which he knows I am : ). He wanted to know if I found a couple of items belonging to Dad that he wants. It was like listening to a vulture hovering.

When I called him today to tell him that Dad had been buried, he sort-of snorted and said, "Hold on, I'm in a meeting....Yes, I got your earlier message. God bless you, I'll talk to you later," and hung-up. Oh, sorry to interrupt your meeting to remind you Dad was planted today......... :

Sigh, sorry to rant, I just need to blow off some of this steam building up.
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#6 of 57 Old 11-14-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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grahamsmom98, I'm so so sorry for your loss.

When FIL died a couple years back, I helped with calling around, ect. I can tell you that it was no where near what it would be like if it was my own parent. I can't imagine what you are going through.

And oh god, what your brother said was just awful. Is he younger than you? I'm the oldest in my family, and the only one who lives close to home, so I get that most of the responsibility will fall on my shoulders. But STILL. That doesnt mean that your siblings can be heartless.

I will write more later, but just couldnt read without responding.

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#7 of 57 Old 11-14-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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Also, I feel like such an jerk for starting a new thread.

I had done a search a while back, someone had asked about one in a QandS thread, and I had made a note to start one, and just didn't get around to it fast enough.

If it's ok with you, I can ask a mod to merge these.

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#8 of 57 Old 11-14-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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I'm helping "parent" my grandparents. We had to put my grandma in a nursing home last weekend. She really only trusts me, so she wouldn't go anywhere until I got there. (San Fran to San Diego) She always said that she'd rather die than be put in a home, but once she was there, she was better with the situation. She has lung and bone cancer, severe diabetes, weighs 285 and can't walk anymore. Her bone cancer has moved to her hip and femur, so she's bed-ridden now. My grandpa is a frail man and can't help her anymore.

She always took care of the bills and now he's pretty lost about how to do it. We made me Power of Attorney and did his will, and everything else last weekend. I filled out all the checks for his bills and all he had to do was sign them. When I visit next month, if there are past due bills or anything he hasn't paid, I will then become a signer on his bank account and start paying all his bills online from San Fran.

It's so tough. I wish I could be in San Diego taking care of them.

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#9 of 57 Old 11-14-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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So, I'm not sure which thread is going to be "the" thread, so I'll repost what I said in the other one.

I'm helping "parent" my grandparents. We had to put my grandma in a nursing home last weekend. She really only trusts me, so she wouldn't go anywhere until I got there. (San Fran to San Diego) She always said that she'd rather die than be put in a home, but once she was there, she was better with the situation. She has lung and bone cancer, severe diabetes, weighs 285 and can't walk anymore. Her bone cancer has moved to her hip and femur, so she's bed-ridden now. My grandpa is a frail man and can't help her anymore.

She always took care of the bills and now he's pretty lost about how to do it. We made me Power of Attorney and did his will, and everything else last weekend. I filled out all the checks for his bills and all he had to do was sign them. When I visit next month, if there are past due bills or anything he hasn't paid, I will then become a signer on his bank account and start paying all his bills online from San Fran.

It's so tough. I wish I could be in San Diego taking care of them.

grahamsmom98 I'm so sorry

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#10 of 57 Old 11-15-2008, 12:42 AM
 
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I'll go ahead and merge the two

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#11 of 57 Old 11-17-2008, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I visit next month, if there are past due bills or anything he hasn't paid, I will then become a signer on his bank account and start paying all his bills online from San Fran.
Monarchgrrl, sorry you, too, are going through this.

I took over all my parent's financial business last March. My Dad had stopped paying all his bills in January. We feel he had probably begun having mini-strokes. The TV and phone were disconnected by the companies and the power was just a few days from being cut-off. Dad had never said a word about anything. I asked how things were going (we talked several times a week) and he always said fine. Once I realized what was happening (I couldn't get a hold of him by phone), I took over.

My Dad gave up driving just weeks ago, at my request. I was worried about his driving and we had a wonderful talk. If you have any concerns about this, please, pm me, and I can offer advice ad links to information about this important and life-saving decision.

I have a file cabinet filled with just paperwork for Mom & Dad. I am keeping really tight records so there are no questions as to where their money is going each month.

My attorney told me that, as POA, I can sign my parent's names on their checks without being on the account. So, say it is a check to pay the water bill, it would be made out to the company and I would sign it like this:

"Dad's Name" by "My Name" as POA" Ex: John Doe by Jane Smith as POA ALL that info must be written on that tiny signature line!

You don't need to be on the account as you are the POA and have the legal right to sign for them. Maybe it's different in another state (I'm in Washington state). I'd ask your attorney to be on the safe side.

By not being on their account, it makes things way easier when their time comes and they die. It keeps things separate, you know? It's their money, not your's (you are signing for their bills, not for your own use). If you have siblings, especially, that stand to inherit anything, it can get nasty because you are on the account and it then becomes your money (as a joint account owner) and can cause all kinds of legal hassles.

Keep your name off the accounts and explain things to the bank, they'll be helpful (talk to a bank official, not a teller).

Make sure you have plenty of copies of the POA to give to various businesses so that you can ahndle all of their financial and business issues. I had to give the POA documants (copies) to the following in order to gain access to account information: banks, insurance companies, garbage company, telephone company, water company, county utilities, cable TV company, lawn care company, power company, military/government (my Dad was retired Air Force) and a few others that slip my mind at the moment!

For Social Security, the POA is not an authorized documents for their needs. You must go to the SS office and apply to be their payee representative. You will then keep records as to what their SS money was used for each month. This record is submitted once a year to SS. This must be done in person and your grandparents will need to be sworn and sign their approval for this. Not sure how it works for people that cannot travel (it sounds like this would be difficult for your grandmother). Call your local SS office and ask them. They have been very nice each time I have had to speak with them.

Were the POA and will(s) notarized?? It is important, especially if they are elderly (and, possibly on medications that could affect their decision-making capabilities?). It shows that they were/are of sound mind when they signed the documents and were not being forced. We also had witnesses sign an affidavit, which adds some weight to the documents, too.

On their wills (I assume these were drawn-up for both your grandparents?), were you listed as the executor of their estates? This is important. If your grandfather were to die, is your grandmother able to take care of what needs to be done?

Don't forget a Community Property Agreement. Are you also their POA for Health Care decisions? Another important document!!! Check with your attorney about what California requires to avoid probate and other lengthy legal hassles.

All of these things are so important. I am really glad that we did all this a year ago with my folks. It has made things so much easier. When Dad died (how strange it is to write that), I knew exactly who I needed to call (legal and important stuff, beyond the relatives and friends) and what to do. I knew about insurance policies and what monies were/are available for the survivor, my Mom. As they had a Community Property Agreement, everything simply rolls-over to Mom. No probate, no hassles.

Again, I am sorry you are dealing with this. If I can help with my "been there, done that" experience, please contact me.
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#12 of 57 Old 11-17-2008, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Argh! Can I vent for a moment?

As you know, Dad died a week+ ago. Our attorney needs the addresses of my siblings as a legal matter to settle Dad's estate. I called my brother in California to see if he has the address of the one estranged sibling in our family (it may be more by the time I'm done with all this! : ).

I left a message on his home phone and cell phone on Friday. I called, again, yesterday (Sunday afternoon) and my sil answered. She said they'd been out of town for the weekend. She gave me the silbilng's address and then went on to say how hard this has been on my brother. She said he's talked about Dad's death quite a bit this week.

I sat there with my mouth doing this > . Hard on him? Hard on HIM??? SHIT! I'm the one dealing with the medical examiner. I'm the one calling the insurance companies and other businesses and having to tell them that Dad died, over and over and over. I'm the one dealing with Mom and her broken foot-and-living-with-us-until-it-has-healed. I'm the one having to explain it to her many times over as she is stroke-impaired and it hit her memory. I'm the one that wrote the obituary. I'm the one that had to choose a casket and make all the arrangements (even if they weren't complicated). I'm the one that stood there with Mom as Dad was buried. I'm the one that has lied to friends and family about the where Dad died, telling them he died in his new recliner in front of the TV to spare them pain, instead of telling them the truth: He died on the floor of the garage, from hypothermia and a fractured pelvis from a fall. The toxicology reports will be in in 8-10 weeks which may show he had been drinking. But, it doesn't really matter because he's still dead. I'm the one that will have to clean his house and arrange the repairs that will be neccessary to make it available for sale this Spring or Summer.

He's had to do NOTHING with all this. He's said, for over a year, he would be coming to visit our parents (I've kept him apprised on how they have been doing). Each month comes and goes with an excuse about the job or money being tight. Yet, he went fishing down in Baja a few weeks ago. Guess that was free?? Doubt it. Within 5 minutes of my telling him Dad had died (and, two days later because we couldn't get hold of him ), he was asking about some things of Dads that he wanted. Talk about vultures circling.....

Yeah, I'm sure it has been hard on him................

Dh says he's sure my brother is feeling some guilt about not visiting. Well, you know what? GOOD!!! I hope it keeps him awake at nights.

Okay, I'm still pissed, but I feel better for having written all that out!
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#13 of 57 Old 11-17-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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grahamsmom,

Wow, I'm so sorry. I bet it is the guilt that would make him say that.

Thank you SO MUCH for all that info. I had no idea about the POA for signing checks and not being on the account. That makes so much sense. I'll make sure to keep it all separate like you said.

My head is swimming with all of this info! It's so much to think about and handle from hundreds of miles away.

So far, this is all I have:

multiple notarized copies of the financial and healthcare POA
I am the executor of their estate/wills

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#14 of 57 Old 11-17-2008, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's what I have (as POA & Executor):

Last Will & Testament
POA
POA For Health Care Decisions (regards what they desire to have done in the event of their not being able to make health care decisions)
Community Property Agreement

The original of all these are in the safe deposit box. These were all witnessed and notarized and drawn-up by our attorney.

I have copies of all the above in my file cabinet. The various businesses/banks/insurance companies do not need originals, just copies. When the person dies, the original of these documents go to the attorney. So, they need to be in a safe place, but one where you can get them fairly easily and in a timely manner.

All the original insurance papers, deeds, etc are in the safe deposit box, too. I made copies of these to keep at home, as well.

When the time comes, you will need multiple certified copies of the death certificate. I ordered 5 (at $20 each). Most places will simply copy them and hand them back. But, some will keep them. It is easy to get additional copies. The funeral home will help order them for you.

Plan on doing a lot of mailing. Most places will not accept faxed death-related paperwork.

Here, the funeral home contacted Social Security and Medicare regarding Dad's death. But, I did so, as well. Better too many contacting them rather than nobody doing it!

Things may be different in California, best to check with your attorney to make sure all is tied-up legally. It's sure easier to do before, than after.

Plus, make sure you keep excellent records!

I'm happy to help in any way I can!

Leslie
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#15 of 57 Old 11-17-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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Ah, grahamsmom98 I am so sorry! I know exactly what you are going through. I had to do this with both of my grandmothers two years ago this past October. My one sister is much like your brother. I just wrote her off, but she sure was there when it came time for a check! .
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#16 of 57 Old 11-17-2008, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My one sister is much like your brother. I just wrote her off, but she sure was there when it came time for a check! .
Sorry, mirlee,

Yeah, well that will sure be a surprise to me three siblings. My parents changed their will last year. Prior to the change, their estate was to be split into 4 equal parts between the four kids.

Then, over the last few years, they decided that I was the one doing everything for them and their other 3 kids weren't doing squat. They know that I don't need the money (dh and I are quite well-off), that I do what I do because I love them, not for what it will get me!

But, since the change, each of my siblings will get one set amount and no more. My Mom's neice will get a larger amount than my siblings. The rest of the estate goes to me. It will be large and they will be mad (not the neice, my cousin, she's a sweetie and I'm glad to write her a check!).

They haven't a clue about the changes ot the will. Should make the reading verrrrrrrrrrrrrry interesting!

There will, no doubt, be grumbling. But, they'll take the check and that will be the end of it.
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#17 of 57 Old 11-18-2008, 01:36 AM
 
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s. I'm sorry you all are dealing with this. I also have 3 brothers and sisters, and I can just imagine how something like this would tear a family apart. I hope some of your siblings come to there senses.

DH was an only child, so we didn't go through any of this when is father died. I'm so, so sorry.

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#18 of 57 Old 11-20-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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I'll join. We live in the same town as my MIL. My husband is an only child and works all the time so I do a lot for MIL. FIL died five years ago. I found this thread searching for 'power of attorney' and thought I should post.

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#19 of 57 Old 11-22-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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welcome amis2girls! My husband is an only child as well. MIL lives with us as FIL died 2 years ago. It's been really difficult . DH does quite a bit of caring for MIL, but having her around 24/7 has taken a huge toll on our marriage and me.

as for power of attorney, we had two made up after FIL died. We just printed them up and had them noterized with her and dh's signatures.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#20 of 57 Old 11-24-2008, 09:28 AM
 
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I'm here too- well, except I'm actually on a break. FIL is in hospital recovering from having a hip replacement removed due to an MRSA infection. Is it horrible that I'm enjoying the peace and quiet?
NORMALLY there's seven of us around here: me and DH, four kids and my FIL. He had an extension built last year to give him a downstairs bed and bathroom, has several health problems associated with the MRSA and sepsis, arthritis, leg ulcers and on top of this has a bit of a tendency to feel sorry for himself sometimes and to throw his indepedence away. It gets hard going sometimes.

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Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#21 of 57 Old 11-24-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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Oh, flapjack! enjoy your break! MIL's going to be gone over thanksgiving break-- (her religious group has a 'camp' every thanksgiving... and I"m really going to enjoy the time without her! !

I'm sorry to hear about all of FIL's health problems... I know what you mean about them just 'giving up'. It makes things difficult for all involved.

I haven't made much progress on getting quotes for a downstairs apartment. The plummetting economy has me terrified. We just aren't in the same position we were a few months ago, yk? On the other hand, the hubster talked to MIL about taking a backseat when it comes to the kitchen and other housework... so far (2 wks?) things have been much better around here.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#22 of 57 Old 11-24-2008, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't EVER feel guilty for wanting and enjoying a break!!! NOBODY can go 24/7 without wanting to scream sometimes!

I mean, I have been dealing with my elderly parents for 5 years now. First, with Mom having one stroke and them separating because of it (she had to move out of their house and Dad refused to move with her). It wasn't nasty or anything, just weird. Then, Mom had a second, more severe stroke that hit her memory big time.

I had to drive 90 miles and take her to the hospital. SHe was there for a week. Then, she was moved to a rehabilitation facility for a month. Ds and I moved into her apartment so that we could drive to see her twice a day (the rehabilitation clinic was 15 miles away, so x4= 60 miles a day). As it became clear she wouldn't be able to return to her totally independent life, I was told she was a wandering risk and would need a serious facility.

She was released into a dementia unit. It was so sad and I saw Mom going downhill fast, being the only one there that could communicate her needs easily, but giving up because she was losing the desire to care anymore.

After a year+ there, I was able to move her into a wonderful assisted living residence that is just 8 minutes from our front door! I talk to her every day on the phone and we see her, at least, every other day. She can go for independent walks (the staff knows where she goes and keep an eye on her, just in case).

All this time, Dad was getting more and more frail and we felt he wasn't going to see this Christmas (we were right ). I had to take over all the bill-paying and make sure all was as best it could be at his house (90 miles away).

She broke her foot the Nov. 6. Then, Dad died Nov. 7. More arrangements to be made for both. She has been staying with us until she gets the cast off (hopefully, Dec 4) as we fear she'll take a fall at her place and hurt herself more seriously. She doesn't like the walker and forgets about it, as well.

I am awaiting the arrival of the death certificates so that I can handle the insurance claims and all the other paperwork that must be done (I am Mom's POA and the executor of Dad's will). I'll have to write and re-write the details of Dad's death over and over on these papers, a task I am not looking forward to doing. There is Dad's house, as well, that will be empty all Winter and will need to be sold in the Spring-Summer.

My fil had a pacemaker put in in September and we have to dela with his health issues and the fact that he doesn't take care of himself the way he knows he should.

I've been dealing with elderly parents in one way or another for these several years with only the help and support of dh and ds. My two siblings (there are 3, but one is estranged from the family) are a selfish and worthless lot. They have not called me but once since Dad died. They haven't called to check on Mom. They make no mention of visiting. No questions as to what they should get Mom for Christmas. They have conveniently forgotten all that our parents have done for them. Ugh, my Christmas wish for them is a short trip to a very hot place (if you catch my drift ).

So, if I get any breaks, I relish them and feel no guilt at all!!! I was thinking that, for the first time in many years, we don't have to make arrangements to bring my Dad up here for Thanksgiving and then drive him home the next day. Or, that we don't have to worry about his smoking in the house (he got up at 3-4:00 AM and did crossword puzzles and chain-smoked everyday!). I never sleep well when Dad visits because I am waiting to smell those awful fumes and have to go out and ask him not to smoke and then spray toxic air "freshener" all around to mask the smell (it is currently 15 degrees outside, not too energy-effective to just open windows!).

Should I feel guilty that I am relieved that those concerns are a thing of the past?? Most certainly NOT! Do I miss Dad more than I can say? Most certainly YES.

Yesterday, Mom and I "did" her Christmas cards. She couldn't remember several of the people and we had quite a giggle about her signing cards "Love, Joanne" and not having a clue as to who they are! It was a lovely "normal" afternoon and really refreshed my mind.

So, if you get ANY breaks, enjoy them and savor them. Even if it is just leaving your spouse or partner with the parent long enough for you to walk around the block or kill an hour at Wal-Mart, you need it. Take it. ASK FOR IT!

My and to everyone that is involved in doing the very real job of caring for elderly relatives. It isn't easy. It's hard. We doi ti because we love them, even when they do things that make us want to because we're tired. Or, when they do somethng for the millionth time and realize it afterwards. Or, have to say as if they were children. Or, feel like (in our own minds, of course!). Or, because we just can't take it one more minute. Or, : for a little while, just to clear our own heads. Or, resisting the urge to (or, maybe, giving in to it once in awhile). And, in the end because we love them so much and know there IS an end to all this and we will miss them so very much when they are gone.
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#23 of 57 Old 11-26-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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This thread is great.

My dad is 84 (another WWII vet). My mom 76. She has had skin cancer surgery, a lung resection, and acute necrotizing pancreatitis from 2003-2006. She's "OK" now, if Ok means some memory loss, limited mobility and still nails down a pack a day. Inside the house.

Dad was the healthier one, but he took a tumble on the street this summer. While people came to his aid, and his injuries were remarkable minor (dislocated finger, badly cut nose) he was shaken a little bit. He also has glaucoma and it's getting harder for him to see. Luckily we live in a big city and they have lived in the same place for many years - so everyone knows them.

But I can see my responsibilities growing....I have been there for them, but now need to step in a little more. Thanks for merging the 2 threads!
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#24 of 57 Old 11-28-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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I'd definately like to join.

I've just begun to do some formal "care" for my mom who is still independent but needed help with her paperwork, visit her in the hospital, get health aides set up...

It's hard, I've got two young kids... two and four, and i sometimes feel I don't have time for it all.

like now... i've got two crying kids right next to me and would really like to post more...


Anyway,

will talk more later
thanks

Liz

Kids. I got two of 'em.
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#25 of 57 Old 12-10-2008, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please read my post over in Health & Healing. It deals with hypothermia warning signs. As my Dad died of hypothermia, I am passing this information to everyone.

It is really important, especially for those of us that are caregivers or keeping closer tabs on our elderly parents or other relatives!

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...9#post12774539
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#26 of 57 Old 12-11-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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thank you so much for the link.........

I read your dad's story, I am sorry ... that must have been hard on you. I guess losing people is always hard. But it is also hard when someone suddenly goes. That's how my dad went.

anyway, thanks again for the awesome link

Kids. I got two of 'em.
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#27 of 57 Old 12-13-2008, 06:36 AM
 
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Wow, this is a thread I've been looking for (& didn't know it existed).

We moved in with DH's parents a little over a year ago, when we lost our home in a natural disaster (wildfire). DH had been going over most weekends (they lived 50 min drive from where we were) & doing a lot of cooking, cleaning, repairs, yardwork, etc, & his folks were just barely managing, but probably were needing more help even then - shortly after we moved here, his mom got a lot worse (she's 83, FIL is 80) - her Alzheimer's really kicked in, she can barely walk, & she's pretty much incontinent - plus FIL had a small stroke & was disabled to begin with - uses a walker, mostly. One of DH's sisters is out of state, but the other lives a couple of blocks away; has 4 adult kids; hardly ever visits, does very little in the way of help (has driven FIL to a few Dr's appts) :

I've got 2 toddlers (2 1/2 years, & 16 months), & am basically just taking care of them & the in-laws. We're all together in a 1200 sq ft 1950's house - cheap rent, but we did pay to renovate both bathrooms (one literally had an open hole rotted through the floor, both were in bad shape), & we hired a care lady to come in 2x/week to give MIL showers & do some light cleaning in their bathroom & bedroom.

Even if the financial climate was better right now, what would the IL's do if we moved out?

: : SAHM to : (5/06), : (7/07) Plus : & a few
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#28 of 57 Old 12-15-2008, 04:19 AM
 
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Can i join

MY Parents live 5 minutes away from us and they are both 78 years old.
My father was diagnosed with terminal cancer 8 weeks ago ..... he is still at home and on Morphine but he is terribly ill!!

My Mother - I think may have the beginning stages of Alzheimers.

My dad has just finished several weeks of daily radiation. We have had to do the driving and its 1.5 hours round trip plus the treatments. we are all exhausted

I know this is his last christmas with us -- and I dont think he is even going to join us on Christmas day as he is just too ill.

I just feel overwhelmed tonight and need a hug
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#29 of 57 Old 12-15-2008, 08:26 AM
 
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Subbing and lurking. MIL, 85 with dementia, is living with us and making life difficult.
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#30 of 57 Old 12-15-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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My grandmother died yesterday.

We still have my grandfather to take care of though. This week is going to suck.

RIP Grandma

Beth- WOHM slinggirl.gif  -Madly in love with my Wife- SAHMhola.gifandbabyf.gifSophia, born 11/2/10, at home! homebirth.jpgExpressing love, one ounce at a time!  1pump.gif

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