our aging parents....
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  1. #1
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    Default our aging parents....

    Surely there are others here, who are like me, who have parents who need taken care of or have made the BIG decision to move to a nursing home.....
    My mother died 2 years ago, this coming summer of ALZ. I was with her till her last breath. She was able to stay @ home. But dad is another story. 87 yrs, weak, COPD, CHF, refuses to live with me or my sister. So, he's in a nursing home, wanting to be home. Not a happy situation. So what's your story, share with us, we'll worry & silently whimper together. Let's lean on each other for support.

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ali Lee View Post
    But dad is another story. 87 yrs, weak, COPD, CHF, refuses to live with me or my sister. So, he's in a nursing home, wanting to be home. Not a happy situation. So what's your story, share with us, we'll worry & silently whimper together. Let's lean on each other for support.
    None of it is pleasant AL, but it comes down to a 'fact of life'....I can relate to what you said about your dad.

    My dad has Alz. so by the time we got him into a nursing home it was a relief. He was getting so unpredictable and mean that we weren't sure what was going to happen. I would rather have him in a nursing home, with people who know the disease and can take care of him, than running away and freezing to death in some snow bank, and that is what almost happened. Or worse yet - out on the road driving with the potential of killing someone else! And he had his driver's license right up to the day he was admitted!! (thanks to our system!!) The COPS had stopped him three times.....and they could not take it away - not that even that would have kept him off the roads.

    We - that know what is going on - feel that it is sad but dad is so far gone now he thinks that all these people are just there to 'cater to him'.......and that is a good thing!! He is thinking he is just pretty 'special' and to us.......he is!

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    Hubby and I had 3 parents die in 18-months time (9 years ago) and I was primary care-giver for them for 10-years before they died. My parents lived next door to my brother and his family, and you'd have thought they lived 3,000 miles away, they were absolutely NO help to our parents.

    None of our parents lived in the same town as us (until the last couple years of their lives), so there were countless hours on-the-road. Because I have a personality that "does the right thing" even if it kills me, can say it almost killed me! So everyone, please, don't forget to take care of yourself when you are taking care of aging parents.

    I'll never be the same after those horrible years, mostly because it was doing the impossible for the ungrateful. I retired after our parents died so I could "recover". I gave the first 50-years of my life for our family, so I was going to take it easy the last 50.

    My father was in the nursing home two different times and both times it was a blessing.

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    Registered User Pemberleyan's Avatar
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    Grainlady, whew! What an extended difficult time – you have really been through it.

    Well, I'm not quite there yet, but we're about to have a family meeting about my DH's dad, whose driving has been dangerous for years, has now been diagnosed with Alzheimers, and recently had a bad fall. He is just so unstable on his feet and rather difficult for my MIL to deal with. I can't imagine him being agreeable to moving, which I assume will be part of the subject matter.

    Also, we have a great aunt who lives several hundred miles away with no children. She's 105 or 106. The thing is she says she'd like to come live with one of my siblings or myself, but we know none of us could handle her 24-hour care, and she has become rather demanding and unpleasant, I've been told. I feel tremendous guilt about not taking her, but I know I could not cope physically or otherwise for a long period of time.

    My mother lives about a 35-minute drive away and she can no longer safely drive, so my sister and I take turns taking her shopping and to doctor's appointments, etc. I hope she never has to go to a nursing home because she'd hate it.

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    Sure not easy being the "parents" over your parents. I lived with my dad most of 2009, but, finally in Aug..I told him I couldn't do it any longer. I lived 2hrs away from dad, came home, washed my & hubby's clothes, cooked a weeks worth of meals for hubby & off I went again. I marked my calendar--the month of May, I stayed with dad 22 days. Last year he was in the hosp, 7x's. He's been in the nursing home about 3 weeks. At least, tonite, when it dips to -2, I know he's safe & warm...

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    A good book to read with a parent with ALZ is "The 36 Hour Day".....gives you a good idea of what will take place.

    I went to a some classes on it too. Check with your nursing homes for them. They are VERY informational and helps you with dealing with THEIR WORLD once they can no longer handle your world.

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    Dh and I have also lost 3 parents over the last 14 years, it is just my Mom left now. She will be 82 in March and lives 300 plus miles away. Her mind and spirit are still very young but her body is really starting to show the signs of her age and she is very frustrated by it. She has always been very active and now it takes her much longer and those little aches and pains aren't so little anymore. She is struggling with walking because of a bad knee but she refuses to use a cane or consider a scooter to help her get around. I worry like crazy about her. I call her every morning to check on her. She still lives in her own home with my older sister who isn't married and has no children. My younger sister and her family are close by and she has great neighbors who keep an eye on her as well.

    My Dad and MIL went very quickly and very unexpectedly but my FIL suffered for 2 years and it was heartbreaking to watch. We did everything we could to keep him in his home but the last 2 months he did go back and forth between the hospital and a nursing home, there was nothing we could do.

    Honestly, I know there will come a time when we might have to make some hard choices as far as my Mom is concerned and I'm really not looking forward to that.

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    Registered User savvy_sniper's Avatar
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    Hubby and I lived with my mom so I could care for her for 5+ years. She had MANY medical problems and Alzheimer's. The 36 Hour Day is a good book. I also joined an Alzheimer's support group that met once a month.

    I had to jump through hoops to get everything in order so hubby could watch her so I could attend, but it was worth it. Having the support group and the support of my husband made it possible for me to care for my mother until the end. Towards the end, I would cry every night, tell my husband I couldn't do it anymore, and get up the next morning and say I could do it for ONE more day.

    Mom died in April 2007 and I am the trustee of her estate. We finally crossed the last BIG hurdle and closed on the sale of her house last week, cancelled the homeowners insurance, deposited the money in the trust account and distributed it amongst myself and my three brothers.

    Anyone caring for a loved one long term is in my thoughts and prayers. I know from personal experience how hard it is. But I would do it all over again, because it was my mom and I promised her I would keep her at home if at all possible.

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    Registered User cab54's Avatar
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    My Dad and Mom divorced when I was 12. I'm the oldest of 5.

    So now that they are older, they live in different homes. Mom is remarried. She and step-dad are fairly OK, physically and mentally, at age 74.

    My Dad is another story. He is alone, and is not able to get around well. He has a 'cart' style wheelchair for going outside of the home, but shuffles around indoors. He can't stand long, and has fallen a few times. I don't think he's long from being in a nursing home.

    He chain smokes cigars, and worries us sick because he is dangerous with them. He lives in an apt. house, where he could hurt others with fire, as well as himself. His carpet has a million burn holes. That's why no one wants him in their home. That and the fact that he was a VERY abusive father when we were kids, and an alcoholic by the time I was about 10. It's hard to take care of him and his needs, because of our past with him and resentments we have. But we do. We feel that it's better to 'do the right thing' than not. We need to be good 'children', even if he wasn't the greatest father, we feel. But it's tough, especially when he's cantankerous and stubborn. Or when he's especially needy-acting, and we remember when he abandoned us when we were just children.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    My dad had a brain stem stroke (one of the least desirable types). We kept him at home for 19 years, before HE decided we needed to put him in a nursing home. . . the toll it was taking on my mom, me, my kids was too much. . . . so he went to a nursing home where my sister, my daughter and my DIL work. there was one day, every 2 weeks where no one was there with him. . . and we brought him home EVERY day I had off work, or my sister had off work. . . . for 2 years we did that - then he died of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (one of the most aggressive forms of cancer - 7 days from diagnosis to death). . . . that was Thanksgiving 2008.

    April 2009, my mom had triple bypass surgery - and if it could go wrong, it did. . . 2 months in ICU on ventilators, continuous dialysis , medications to maintain her BP, etc. . . total days in the hospital 100+. . . then to a nursing home for rehab - 100+, then home for 1 week, and back in the hospital with sepsis, resp failure, etc. . . never to go home again, they say - so she's at a nursing home where my sister and niece work (not where my dad died). . . .and I bring her home, every day I have off work. . . .

    In between I take care of my husband that has ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). . .

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    SS, yes, I joined an Alz. support group too.

    It really helped just to know that many others were going through the same thing. They had good advice for some but none of it helped us as it was 'the system' that we were fighting - not any regulations for homes or etc.

    I think the classes and the book helped me 'understand' and the group helped me 'cope'......the rest was just taking care of myself and getting proper rest and trying to eat right. Also---keeping a SENSE OF HUMOR......even if warped at times...I had to be able to laugh!

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    Registered User Lora88's Avatar
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    My dad started to decline at 87 he and my mother lived out of state I attempted to get them to move near me many times but my mother always thwarted my attempts she is an alcoholic and horrible to deal with. Dad fell at 89 and that really stated his downward spirial . He was finally put into a nursing home when his dementia got bad he was incontinent and could no longer walk. It broke my heart. I was able to visit 3x times a week and I have to admit they took really good care of him and he was happy there. He died 6/09 I moved my mom out here in feb of 2009 she got very abusive and drank fell and ended up in the same nursing home as my Dad she is 92 mean and abusive as ever but probably healthier than me . To be perfectly honest I thank God for this nursing home or I would still be dealing with her on the daily. now I go visit and leave and she can no longer ruin my life It is worth every dollar of the inhertiance that I am losing to keep her there

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    Registered User jamie79's Avatar
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    My mother was our last parent alive for over 20 yrs. Dh lost both his parents when he was a teen. My mom dies 3 and a half yrs ago. She lived on her own until the last 6 weeks of her life which my sister and I left our own lives to go live and care for her those last weeks.

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    ........(((((group hug)))))......... I don't have the poem "Footprints" written any where...but sure would be appropiate about right now......

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    My parents only live about 5 or 10 min away so caring will be easier in that sense. I'm not looking forward to it, they are already letting themselves go at 65+/- What the heck? I have met so many lively and spry people in their 70 and 80's why are mine giving up? I'm seriously hoping its a phase. Talks of dying, aging, etc are getting very boring when its every conversation. Talks of how they skip meals, don't exercise, don't have hobbies, don't want hobbies don't want to socialize, etc. grrrr.

    They need to LIVE while they are still here!! While they still can!!

    Had to vent, thank you for listening.

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