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#1911873 - 04/04/14 05:32 PM Caring for our parents
Truffle Royale Offline

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Issues regarding the care of our parents have come up in a couple of threads lately. So this thread is created for discussing, sharing of information and advice, venting, and generally shoring each other up as we deal with our aging parents.

BB1 offered what to me seems to be the tag line for this thread. Remember all that your parents have done for you. It will help get you through whatever they do.

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#1911876 - 04/04/14 05:35 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Definitely good advice. It's so easy to get frustrated with them - and the older they get the worse it is.
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#1911889 - 04/04/14 05:44 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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I wonder if it really gets worse or if role reversal of caring for our parents and facing our own immortality is what makes it harder.

It's hit home with me lately that my mom is 87 and fully functional and vital and healthy and I am freakin' lucky that she is. People always comment on what a wonderful person she is. I need to see that about her too and show more patience with the little things that are failing her, like her hearing.

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#1911890 - 04/04/14 05:46 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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HOney, if all you have to deal with is failing hearing, you are blessed beyond your wildest imagination.
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#1911891 - 04/04/14 05:46 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Truff - I don't know if it will work in your case - but sometimes if my mom can't understand me over the phone with a word she'll have me spell it - and then it clicks with her.
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#1911902 - 04/04/14 06:02 PM Re: Caring for our parents RR Joker
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Originally Posted By: RR Joker
HOney, if all you have to deal with is failing hearing, you are blessed beyond your wildest imagination.
I know, right?! There are other issues but they are thankfully minor compared to what some of the rest here are dealing with.

Actually, Skittles, if I need her to really hear something, I call her using the intercom on our landline. It allows her to focus on the sound coming into her good ear. When I talk face to face to her, background noise and whether or not she has her hearing aide in come into play.

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#1911912 - 04/04/14 06:12 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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The Sovereign State Of Oklahom...
It is all realative (no pun intended) to what you are use to I suppose. I never really considered having to bathe my mom or help her with toilet chores. But here it is and it needs to be done so you do it.
You also have to prepare yourself fo rbeing ready to deal with a parent that is taking care of your other parent. Their life changes dramamtically and that presents its own issues too.
You have to remember that your perspective is not the same as theirs and this requires a whole new type of patince.
So I have been dealing with helping dad, whose mind is fully intact but he is short on patience and dealing with mom who is still fairly mobile but whose mind has changed dramatically.
I suppose the real trick for all of us to keep our lives and our roles in perspective. Its challenging, but I also remember that whatever I percieve as my "issues", it couls all be so much worse than it is. smile
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#1911916 - 04/04/14 06:18 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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My mother-in-law is going to be 98 later this month. Hearing is one problem. She also is too weak to walk and is wheelchair bound. Some days she's fairly sharp mentally, and some days she confused. She doesn't have much appetite, and is slowly losing weight. We always grateful for the occasional moment where she'll interject some humorous remark that cracks us up and reminds us of the old days.

We're beyond this with my mom and dad. Dad passed away in 2000, and mom immediately began the slide into dementia that ended in 2006. I can't believe how frequently I dream about them.

My wife has a hard time watching her mom whither away in a nursing home. She swears she will never spend a day in a nursing home.
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#1911919 - 04/04/14 06:20 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Mom's had knee replacement so she tires quickly and gets frustrated for slowing everybody down. But then she gets depressed and ornry when she can't get out to do some shopping or whatever. So I did some research and picked up a transport chair for $150 with free delivery. It folds small and weighs only 20 lbs. I got the one with the solid rear tires so I don't have to worry about flats somewhere. I won't have to worry about finding a place to rent a wheelchair for her when we travel anymore either.

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#1911926 - 04/04/14 06:25 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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The mother in law may have just been diagnosed with Alzheimers today. I'm not completely in the know, because I'm hearing things 3rdhand, but my wife is kind of freaking out about the idea that she may lose her mother. She knows her dad won't survive without her mom.

Prayers for Pat are welcome!

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#1911932 - 04/04/14 06:33 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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You got it!

As for not surviving without a spouse, I've been amazed more than once on what humans can do when they have to. In my experience, the best thing to do is not have expectations any particular way but to deal with things as they come up.

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#1911945 - 04/04/14 06:55 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Want to hear/read something funny? My 89 year old mother is afraid that if she goes first then my 92 year old father will get a girlfriend and she'll go through all of their money so there won't be anything left for us kids. My mother worries about absolutely EVERYTHING!
Last edited by Skittles; 04/04/14 07:13 PM.
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#1911953 - 04/04/14 07:05 PM Re: Caring for our parents Skittles
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Wow Skittles, you have your hands full there.

My dad used to worry that his social security benefit was going to go away and then how would he live? After a couple of years of trying to reassure him that social security wouldn't stop in his lifetime and he would be fine I finally said to him that he must not think much of his daughters if he thought we would just let him live on the streets. It was a very real fear for him.
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#1911966 - 04/04/14 07:13 PM Re: Caring for our parents Bankbb1, PITA
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Originally Posted By: Bankbb1, PITA

You have to remember that your perspective is not the same as theirs and this requires a whole new type of patince.
So I have been dealing with helping dad, whose mind is fully intact but he is short on patience and dealing with mom who is still fairly mobile but whose mind has changed dramatically.
I suppose the real trick for all of us to keep our lives and our roles in perspective. Its challenging, but I also remember that whatever I percieve as my "issues", it couls all be so much worse than it is. smile


When my grams (I know not a "parent" but I did live with her in my early years, so parental) was in her final years of Alzheimer's, changing my perspective kept me sane.

When she thought that she was six and waiting for the bus and couldn't find her brother Donald (who had just passed away weeks prior) and he was going to miss the school bus, I climbed up into her nursing home bed with her and we talked about the places that Don could be. We talked about the clothes that her and Don were wearing.It calmed her. And me.

When she wanted to sit on the "davenport" (couch) and wait for my grandpa to come in from the field, we sat on a couch in the hall at the nursing home and pretended. My grandpa couldn't do it in the beginning. He couldn't take on that new role for the longest time.

She is no longer with us. In the beginning, she kept running away, which is why we ended up needing to put her in a secure wing of the nursing home. I was blessed that my dad was able to make this decision for us. He was the one to get the late night phone calls when grandma tried to stage a break-out (no kidding) with the other residents. He was the one that got the phone calls when she would fall and he was the one that set up hospice. For all of you children that are doing this, on behalf of the siblings, and the grandkids, I thank you. I know it is thankless work, but thank you anyway for doing it.

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#1911967 - 04/04/14 07:14 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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My Aunt was like that, Sarah. She got caught up in all kinds of scams trying to 'win a lottery' and stuff, she lots $1000's before I realized what was happening.

My mom, rest her soul...decided she re-married (long after my Dad was gone) but it was to one of my Dad's FRIENDS! eek

She went on an elaborate honey moon and everything! grin
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#1911969 - 04/04/14 07:15 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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It was heck, but I wish they were still here to take care of....
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#1912065 - 04/04/14 09:43 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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I honestly would rather my mother didn't have anything left to leave. Because she lives with me, I'm her executor...and POA. She wants me to have everything because she's lived with me for 17 years now and I've 'earned it'. But because she lives with me, you KNOW there'll be trouble if she does leave whatever's left to me. Seems no matter how grateful everyone is while you're the one doing the caring, they all think they're entitled when the person is no longer around to be cared for.

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#1912066 - 04/04/14 09:44 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Yeah, we have put all the phones on shelves where mom can't reach them. She has already agreed to a few things I had to take care of and we found one phone in the freezer along with some cash. She's only 4'10" so its pretty easy to find a place to put them that are out of her reach. But I had to keep them in reach of dad (5'5"). Don't have to worry about the cell phones. She lost those long ago.

One other thing to mention for those that may just be getting into this, be aware that their filter on what not to say stops funtioning. Mom has told more than one large person that they have a fat arse. Just random people out in public. Also told some poor guy that was talking a little louder than others in a restaurant that he could kiss her backside (not how she said it).
If you figure out their triggers and patterns, you can steer them away from such things though.

BTW, if yo are laughing, its ok. Laughter is part of what gets you through this stuff. smile
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#1912067 - 04/04/14 09:46 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Originally Posted By: Truffle Royale
I honestly would rather my mother didn't have anything left to leave. Because she lives with me, I'm her executor...and POA. She wants me to have everything because she's lived with me for 17 years now and I've 'earned it'. But because she lives with me, you KNOW there'll be trouble if she does leave whatever's left to me. Seems no matter how grateful everyone is while you're the one doing the caring, they all think they're entitled when the person is no longer around to be cared for.


Truff, I got dad to put everything into a trust and create a very detailed will, just to avoid all that. there is only my sister and I, amd I dont think we would disagree about any of it, but this eliminates (or reduces) the possiblity. smile
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#1912084 - 04/04/14 10:13 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Mom is 85 and doing OK for someone with congestive heart failure. She lives alone (next door to me) and no longer drives. Shopping is a huge drain, so she is getting out less and less. The best thing I've done is to hire (private pay) home health twice a week for recording vitals and personal care. They do other things like changing the sheets and a load of laundry. Having home health just for those two hours a week has been a huge relief for me and at $25/hr a real bargain. Every three months an RN drops in for an assessment. These don't take the place of doctor visits, but it is someone else's eyes on her besides mine.

The other thing was the life alert button. (different brand though). That gives her confidence that she can push the button and get help.

Make sure you have Advance Directives done and go ahead and have the "talk" about final wishes. It's hard, but it really does give them peace of mind.

We've now added my husband's brother to our caretaking. He has lived with us for 11 years and is now having health problems. Very hard on my husband, both mentally and physically.

He will eventually not live with us ..... that is going to be the tough day.

To the person who doesn't want to be in a nursing home. There are good ones and we are fortunate to live in a community with several excellent ones. It is not the worst situation to be in. There is a sense of community and the residents care for one another to the extent that they can.

Bless all who post here, not everyone has the same experience but by sharing what we do, perhaps someone can find peace and guidance ...... and yes, laughter makes it easier.
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#1912124 - 04/07/14 12:06 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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The filter definitely stops working. When my father came home from the hospital in January after 11 days they had physical therapists and home health care workers in and out for several weeks. Apparently mom was pointing out their antiques and telling these indivuals how old they were, etc. My parents still live alone and have a security system, but you shouldn't point out your valuables to strangers who know how frail you are.
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#1912142 - 04/07/14 01:21 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Had a very nice meal with Mom and Dad this weekend for my youngest daughter's birthday. We went to my daughter's favorite restaurant (Cheever's) for her favorite cheat meal (Jalepeno chicken fried steak) . Mom did amazingly well. She new who everybody was and was courteous to all the staff. She only called dad a jacka$$ once. Thats actually better than before she had dementia. smile
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#1912144 - 04/07/14 01:24 PM Re: Caring for our parents Bankbb1, PITA
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laugh
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#1912254 - 04/07/14 04:06 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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My dear old mother reverted to cussing everyone out in German and Yiddish in her last few years. It was blush and laugh at the same time.
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#1912262 - 04/07/14 04:18 PM Re: Caring for our parents Pale Rider
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My mom was on morphine for her last two-three weeks. We had some interesting conversations. smile It was difficult at first because I tried to disprove her hallucinations. But once I realized they were just that, hallucinations, I rolled with it.
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