Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 91

Thread: The NEVERENDING aging parents caretaking thread

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,912

    The NEVERENDING aging parents caretaking thread

    Fasten your seatbelts. My sister the doctor and namesake niece went to visit dear ol' dad on Tuesday; he'd had a couple of falling incidents. She called me to discuss Possible Next Steps.

    And on Weds morning Life Alert called to advise me that he's activated it. (This is the "fallen and I can't get up" pushbutton device.) After coming over twice late Tuesday night (he was calling 911 at that time), the cops got him taken to the ER. He's being fed and monitored and there's a movement alert on the bed.

    In his absence, we are making some housekeeping and maintenance improvements to the house. Whether or not he returns to continue aging in place, the roof leaks, plumbing leaks, and broken appliances have to be fixed. As of late yesterday, the front room no longer has a large foot-catching cat-smelling throw rug and padding stuck to it.

    From my two-hour distance, I get to post lost pet ads for his baby, an opportunist who likely snuck out during the commotion.


    (this is not the culprit who ruined the rug)

    I did not know that the small village PD has an adopt-a-senior program; they'll stop in almost daily. Also, meals on wheels is not income-based (sis believed that it was). It has not been easy to hire services, as he's dismissed everyone I've previously sent over.

    As I explained to niece, this could be a short straight shot, or yet another curve in a long and winding road. And we have to laugh when we can; we ran through some abbreviations like FTD (Fixin' To Die) and MFC (Measure For Coffin).

    Good thoughts appreciated. I am grateful for being the "designated daughter" during mama's cancer journey (ended '99), living in this area (visiting the D metro reinforces that), and for my current unemployment.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    10,239
    Blog entries
    5
    My beloved mother was no longer able to work due to a myriad of health issues and effects of a previous traumatic work injury/slash injury when she was 59. She had already experienced a few TIAs which are often precursors to strokes and my ex and I could see that it was a struggle for her to keep working. As we were considering moving from our apartment at this time we decided to broach the subject of letting her retire and file for disability while we moved into her house and she could help with my daughter. She reluctantly agreed and we assumed full financial responsibility for everything and helped her apply for disability and get her much needed health care services and coordinate her care.

    It was an interesting experience to say the very least and I felt sandwiched between taking care of her which was somewhat akin to dealing with a petulant teenager and my husband and daughter. I know that it was hard for her to give up her independence, financial and otherwise, and she was often resentful but there was simply no other option. About two years into the arrangement she decided she wanted to move out into a senior apartment complex because she was tired of living with us. We pointed out she wouldn't have the kind of space she had, it was far from the places she liked to go, and we could only visit her on weekends due to its location. She insisted so we moved her there and she was miserable there for all the aforementioned reasons and that it was full of old people. She was unwilling to move back in with us and could not afford to live anywhere else on her retirement income.

    I had a good opportunity to transfer to South Carolina with my company at that time and they were offering a huge incentive with all taxes paid to do so. I figured that would at least buy a couple of years time to supplement her income enough to allow her to move back to her house which we were living in. She agreed and off to SC we went. About six month after we moved she suffered an aortic aneurysm and was rushed into surgery. I as advised she would be in the hospital for some time so to delay flying back until closer to her release date since she would require a lot of help. When I did fly back I was advised to put her in a rehab center until she healed up enough to be on her own again. I seriously considered it but she begged me not to do that to her so I took her home and cared for her myself until my leave ran out, hired a caregiver to spend part of the day with her, and arranged for the Meals on Wheels thing and a housecleaner. Her neighbors checked in on her daily. About six weeks home she passed away. Although it was extraordinarily difficult to be sandwiched between generations, put a lot of stress on my marriage, and was financially burdensome at least I am at peace knowing that she got to pass on in her own surroundings.

    There's no right answer to dealing with an aging parent. Sometimes you have to make decisions that they will be angry about (I took the car keys/license away from mine) and often times it's rooted in fear and loss of independence. You have to find the best medium for you, your family, and your father when it comes to his care to make sure he is not a danger to himself and his needs are being met.

    Hang in there.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    6,244
    I hope everything works out with your father.

    On a slightly lighter note, if your dad lives in the local small village that I think he does, which is one that I run through quite a bit on my morning and evening jogs, I will definitely keep an eye out for a black and white cat running free.

    Does it have a collar?
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    19,348
    I can appreciate what you are going through because in a few yrs I will sooner or later have to deal with that situation long distance with my Mom who is 79.
    Thank goodness my sister lives nearby.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,912
    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    I hope everything works out with your father.

    On a slightly lighter note, if your dad lives in the local small village that I think he does, which is one that I run through quite a bit on my morning and evening jogs, I will definitely keep an eye out for a black and white cat running free.

    Does it have a collar?
    Super Cat might have a flea collar. Extremely friendly, probably scared s#!tless. I will send you a link with an area and my phone no, more ID photos. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,951
    Sorry to hear about all of that Veloise! I have been down that road with my mother and both of my wife's parents (who came to Albuquerque to convalesce and eventually died here).

    Now my father has Alzheimer's and we had to move him out of his wife's house and up to Seattle where he has been for 2 years. He bounced around to a couple of different facilities and is now in an Adult Family Home (or AFH since we're working with acronyms and abbreviations here). Its really a fantastic model as there are only 5 residents and a small, consistent group of caregivers. They are much better able to detect when things are wrong (infections, etc.) and treat them ASAP before they get too bad. At the last home, he went to the hospital 3 times in two months mainly because the workers did not catch the issues fast enough.

    The one major piece of advice I would give is to find some kind of case worker person to help you negotiate this journey. As you and others have noted, there are a ton of services, opportunities, and other things that can really make your life and your parent's much more fulfilling. Not to mention paperwork, advanced directives, living wills, estate planning, etc. But figuring that all out on your own is very time consuming and complex. Sometimes case workers are assigned or you can hire folks outright and depending on the nature of health coverage, some or all of this may be covered (though probably not all - largely it depends on what they are assisting with - doctors visits, probably. keeping someone company and taking them on walks - probably not). Case worker-type folks not only help the families find solutions to issues, but also serve as an advocate for the patient. For my father, we hired a person to stop in to visit, take him to appointments my brother could not and, most importantly, have a running list of stuff the facility was supposed to be taking care of which they would then check and talk to the administration about if it was not being done. They also provided their own feedback on his needs, ways we may address things, etc. All decisions are ours, but they help steward the process along, offer advice based on past experience, etc. It was/is immensely helpful.

    Good luck with everything. Its a hard journey and you will also have to look out for yourself. Or hire an advocate to do it. Which, now that I think about it, isn't a bad idea - my own personal case worker. Maybe someone to make me get into bed at a reasonable hour instead of staying up too late....
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    10,239
    Blog entries
    5
    ^^ One of the best resources I tapped into for my mother was the county senior services division. They were a one stop shop for all social services that she qualified for and full of useful information.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,912

    Super Cat returned

    Good news there. He will be joining the menagerie at sis-the-doc's house, where there are four laps to sit on and four critters to play or fight with.

    A bit of full disclosure: in the book Annie's Ghosts, the author talked to a retired shrink who had worked at the state mental hospital where his aunt had lived. That's my dad. They've become friends, and I notified him just in case there's any more glimmer of recollection that he can extract.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,837
    My mom just passed in Oct at 93 at her retirement facility of choice. Problem is, she had planned to move to this place for years, but kept putting it off (because the kid and I were around the corner). By the time she would move, dementia had set it and she had NO qualiy of life there. Her life-long "Friends" blew her off, she couldn't go on the bus trips to shows, etc. She was miserable, alone all day, lasted less than a year in her apartment and then had to go to the nursing home.

    I know they may not want to, but parents need to move early, if theyplant to relocate, and make friends/contacts/get involved. If possible. Those seem to be the people who live years longer.

    This is so tough.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    10,239
    Blog entries
    5
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    My mom just passed in Oct at 93 at her retirement facility of choice. Problem is, she had planned to move to this place for years, but kept putting it off (because the kid and I were around the corner). By the time she would move, dementia had set it and she had NO qualiy of life there. Her life-long "Friends" blew her off, she couldn't go on the bus trips to shows, etc. She was miserable, alone all day, lasted less than a year in her apartment and then had to go to the nursing home.

    I know they may not want to, but parents need to move early, if theyplant to relocate, and make friends/contacts/get involved. If possible. Those seem to be the people who live years longer.

    This is so tough.
    I think you are right. My grandmother lived in an apartment for seniors for as long as I could remember and she had a very active social life. We moved her into a nursing home when she was 90 after she fell and broke her hip. She healed up fine and lived til she was 92 when she went in her sleep. She was happy at the nursing home since she knew a few people there already, there was a bridge group she played with often, and she got visits from us three days per week.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,912
    As of tomorrow he'll have been in the hospital (one with fancy billboards all over metro Detroit) for a full week, and we still don't have a diagnosis. They don't perform procedures on weekends.

    Sis has described some of the very non-customer-service behavior exhibited by some of the staff. (She was changing him, the orderly walked in, made a comment about how she seemed to not need help, and walked out.) Tonight she mentioned that she'd had to open the food containers, when she arrived mid-afternoon, because he couldn't do it to eat lunch. I said he'd be better off at a hotel with room service.

    She said she could thaw some of the frozen meals she's made him and run them over to feed him. I said that's silly, why can't the staff be notified that they need to take the tops off the food, and you shouldn't have to drive an hour and then prepare meals at his house with broken appliances and questionable refrigeration. Then she started describing her hospital, room service menus on call, beautiful rooms. Mentioned that she doesn't know where in the medical school class the attending doc graduated. I said does it matter? Someone at your place can read a chart. She allowed as how he would get much better care at her place (they have the same distinctive last name).

    And the two driving-age nieces are right there; they could bring over laptops and spend time with their remaining grandparent. I said he's not FTD and he'd survive an hour drive to the new hospital. Then he can go to rehab in that city and not return home. Many problems solved. I expect we'll move him by the end of the week.

    It is really challenging to select a suitable Father's Day card for someone who will not be "having the best day ever!"

  12. #12
    I would always seek to know and develop a relationship with the charge nurse when a parent (or any loved one) is in hospital, whether short- or long-term. While the Doctor is running the big picture, the charge nurse is making the critical decisions. He/she will take the family's questions/concerns/comments seriously and factor them into the big picture. If you don't understand what they are talking about, make them take the time to bring it to a level you understand.

    Good luck -- it's a hard place to be.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,912

    Sad news from M'skis

    We are friends on Facebook. His mother has been terminally ill, and her journey ended early this morning.

    He's on hiatus from Cyburbia so he won't see comments. Dunno if he set up private messages to appear in his e-mail; possibly worth a try.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off-Center
    Posts
    8,261
    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    We are friends on Facebook. His mother has been terminally ill, and her journey ended early this morning.

    He's on hiatus from Cyburbia so he won't see comments. Dunno if he set up private messages to appear in his e-mail; possibly worth a try.
    Please give him our collective condolences.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,912

    Three weeks...

    My brother came up from Texas. Yesterday sis-the-doc was in his room when I arrived. He looks like he's already dead, and sis says she doesn't expect him to last the weekend.

    Amazing thing is: he's still lucid, verbal, user of big words (he describes where it hurts in Medicalese), and even slightly good-humored. I fire up the laptop and read him his e-mail and one came in from a distant cousin. He said he was proud of her for taking care of her sick mother for many years, and at one point strapped mom to a chair.
    I said, "there's a thought."
    He said, "watch it!"

    Just in case any metro Detroiters hadn't noticed this: I am absolutely disgusted with the nursing staff. He pushes the call bell, nothing happens. He asks for pain meds. Nope. I walk out to the station and pleasant as can be request pain meds. Nothing. He's not eating (they still bring in trays of solid food and leave him). Tonight I fed him (FED HIM!) several teaspoons of orange Jello, and about half the cup of frozen ice cream-like Ensure.

    He was supposed to have been moved to the Hospice area where he'd get full-time nursing care, but the paliative specialist says, "I have 24 hours to respond to a request." Hooo-kay.
    We ordered in a private duty nurse to stay the night, and that will likely continue until we get some changes tomorrow.

    Friend me on Facebook if you want. Great supportive community and I am grateful for it.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    9,327
    Back in 1988 by Dad left his home to go to the store. He returned about 30 minutes later to find my Mom on the floor, gone. During her senior years she never spent a day in the hospital or.....even worse.....a rest home/retirement community. When you "go" her way is, IMHO, the best.

    Dad moved into a Lucas County senior citizens complex. His apartment had a small patio and he always had a nice little garden. He enjoyed his life, he was active, still drove junker cars , still chased young women. He tended bar at a few local joints a few hours a week.....spending money, you know.

    In 1998 he fell at his apartment and couldn't get up. He crawled to the phone and called me. Because I was in outlying bedroom suburb Swanton I called Toledo authorities to respond. He was in the hospital for a short time and then had to be transfered to a medium-care facility. After a short time he was moved to a long-term facility. When I visited him during his final days the light was gone from his eyes. He knew he was dying. Dad did not want to finish his life sitting in a wheelchair in a big room filled with people he didn't know. When his eyes stopped showing joy his heart soon followed. Within a few weeks of stay at that facility he was gone.

    This Bear wants to remember my Dad for all the positive and great memories that he gave me. Now mixed with those fine memories is my memory of his lost eyes, staring out a streaked window.
    _____

    Caring for loved ones is tough.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,912
    Rather than post here regularly, here's my dad's Caring Bridge site, for those who are interested.
    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/edwardmissavagejrmd

    The private duty nursing did the trick, and he bounced back from the edge. On Saturday sis-the-doc psrung him from the hospital and transported him to a nursing care facility a mile from her house (and only an hour from me).

    The hospital nursing staff decided that, since we'd hired adequate help, they didn't need to provide further care. After multiple requests over 30 minutes, I finally called the hospital operator to get his bed changed. But then, when we wanted him released, it had to be Against Medical Advice (AMA) because of their bureaucracy.

    Anyway, he's on about the second day of getting to sleep as much as he wants.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,912

  19. #19
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    6,244
    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    I haven't read the book but I know a lot of the story - and it is a very interesting one indeed. They had that author on Diane Rehm a few months ago, and while I usually find her show pretty boring, that one definitely held my attention. http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/20...hosts-hyperion

    I hope your father starts feeling a bit better soon Veloise.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,912

    It's over

    About 1 pm this afternoon. Sister-the-doctor was with him.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,349
    {{Veloise}} My thoughts are with you.

  22. #22
    My condolences on your loss, Veloise.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    19,348
    Sorry for your loss.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  24. #24
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off-Center
    Posts
    8,261
    Belated condolences. I've been without my laptop since last Friday. I actually saw the pet thread first and it sounds like it was just time for both.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  25. #25
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,951
    My condolences, Veloise. Losing a parent blows, no matter how you slice it. Its nice your sister was there though. My best to you and your family!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 ... LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. The NEVERENDING Joy Thread
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 17
    Last post: 01 May 2013, 9:39 AM
  2. The NEVERENDING FML thread
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 44
    Last post: 21 Apr 2013, 8:40 PM
  3. The NEVERENDING Car Thread.
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 07 Jun 2009, 11:04 PM
  4. The NEVERENDING TV thread
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 30 Mar 2008, 7:30 PM
  5. Replies: 5
    Last post: 15 Nov 2005, 11:38 PM