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 AUTHOR
 Just JJ2
Joined: 10/15/2007
Msg: 76
Caring for our parents......Page 4 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Hi all thanks for the posts... I love them.

Well.. dad did it again.... took mom home. Now they are waiting to hear from the agressive therapy facility......

Shrugs... I hope they know what they're doing.

Keep the posts coming.... seems we are all in the same boat.

Hugs

Janice
 JJ IS BACK
Joined: 12/8/2008
Msg: 77
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/28/2009 4:49:12 AM
2 years later I find it's only appropriate that I come back and give all the posters a very sad update...

My mom passed away yesterday,1.27.09 @ 3:30 pm.

I went back and read all the posts, and realized what an important thread this was for all of us "kids" who have to watch our parents age, deteriorate and deal with heart break.

Im not sure the reality has set in yet that I wont see my mom again, or hear her voice, lol and even hear her nagging me.... but what I DO know is that she isn't suffering anymore. There will be no more needles, doctors, hospitals, therapy, medications.

I believe that she is with her 7 brothers and sisters, her parents, and all her friends looking down and watching after us.

My concerns now turn to my dad, for those who have read the thread, was in LOVE with this woman, my mom, for 58 years. I am now afraid for him.

Anyway, as I said I wanted to come back and vent a bit.... now Im off to the funeral home to make the arrangments.

It truly is the most sad day of my life.....

Janice
MOM
 rosebuds57
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 78
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/28/2009 5:08:57 AM
Janice....my heart goes out to you and your family for your loss of your mother. One positive thought that you have already expressed: you know your mom is not suffering anymore.

Peace to you and your family.
 Moonchild51
Joined: 3/11/2007
Msg: 79
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Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/28/2009 5:11:56 AM
Janice, I too echo Miss Rosebud! My condolenses to you and your family now. Your Daddy is most fortunate to have you with him at this time. I lost my brother a couple of months ago and relied heavily on my siblings to get through. It wasn't easy as it never is when you lose someone you love dearly. You are a strong lady though and will heal in time. All the best to you.
 Malley
Joined: 5/12/2007
Msg: 80
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/28/2009 6:17:56 AM
Oh Janice, I too am truly sorry for your loss. I know how difficult a time this is for you. She has indeed been reunited with her loved ones, and they're conceivably all enjoying a big old family reunion.
Rest assured, she hasn't ventured far. She will always remain with you.

It is very difficult for us 'kids' to witness our parents inevitable decline. As much as we're aware the inescapable looms on the horizon, it's still the most painful journey to travel with them. Take pride in the fact you were able to accompany her down this road. She may have fought you at times, but acknowledge the undeniable, she appreciated all you did. Take comfort in that.

I realize your father is frail and will require a good deal of your focus from this point forward, but please Janice, don't neglect yourself !!! You need to grieve and replenish you own energy stores in order to keep on providing support. You're not indestructible. Be sure to treat yourself with the same kindness and tenderness you've afforded others. When it's all said and done, who will care for the caregiver ???

Thank you for updating us.
You're never alone. You have all of us and we're here to support you. If you ever feel the need to talk or rant ... you know where I am.

Again, you have my sincerest sympathy.
You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
 Beemerbabe62
Joined: 11/13/2007
Msg: 81
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Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/28/2009 7:39:07 AM
Dear Janice, I am so sad to hear that your mom passed away. My deepest condolences are with you and your family. Yes, your dad will certainly need you and just being with him will bring comfort knowing he isn’t alone. Being together for 58 years is certainly an accomplishment for your parents. Remember that love never ceases.

May you look to God for comfort during this difficult time and take the time to grieve. I will be praying for you all.
 friendlyldy
Joined: 6/9/2007
Msg: 82
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Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/28/2009 12:03:34 PM
Dear Janice, my prayers are with you and your family ......... I lost my mother 23 years ago. She was only 58 years old and I still miss her today. What brought me comfort was a poem from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet..........how only the things that bring you joy are capable of bringing you sorrow when you lose them. So when you feel that sorrow, be glad for the joy that was also given to you........ Today I am so grateful that I had so many years of joy with her because I know there are people who never have that love in their lives. Even though I wished it had been longer, at least I had her for many years and we had a ball together! My ex used to say that he loved my Mom more then he loved his own mom..........

As for your father, my father in law was devoted to his wife for over 50 years and he finally lost her five years ago ......... We worried about him, too. He had taken care of her through ten years of Alzheimer's and she was his whole life but he managed to make the adjustments..........just encourage your father ........... and hopefully he will, too..........
 JJ IS BACK
Joined: 12/8/2008
Msg: 83
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/28/2009 9:31:32 PM
I cannot thank all of you enough for all of your kind words!!

Although most of us don't know each other.. it's times and threads like these that make you realize how close we actually all are when it comes to emotions and common troubles.

Today was a very surreal day to say the least. Like floating in a bubble... going through the motions of picking out all the things you need to do for the "arrangements", yet not quite letting it set in that all these "arrangements" are for your own mother..

One moment you are thinking clearly, distracted, being very efficient... and then out of no where something triggers the wave of uncontrollable sadness.

I am thankful for reading your posts and to know that some of you have experienced this same thing that I am going through for the first time.... and that its OK to lose it now and then.

Tomorrow is the wake.... Tomorrow is also my birthday. ( Actually today is, as it is now 12:29 am). I'm tired yet cannot sleep.

Thank you all once again!! You have no idea how comforting you have been!!!!

Respectfully,

Janice
(mom )
 Ismene1
Joined: 7/25/2008
Msg: 84
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/28/2009 9:38:07 PM
OP: I did this, care for ailing parents, when there was no money at all. I would have loved to be able to say there was 'plenty of money.'

You need to get a full time care giver. Talk them around to it, that's all. They are resisting it because they don't know what it will be like, they don't know the person, etc. Find someone good, allow them to get to know the person before that person moves in, to build trust and friendship. Once they have someone around helping them out, someone good, they will love it. I only wish I had had such an option!! You cannot hire just anyone and put that person in their house immediately and expect it to be fine...step by step, as I have outlined.
 patty13
Joined: 1/4/2009
Msg: 85
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/28/2009 11:28:57 PM
Speaking from the perspective of someone who spent 13 years caring for elderly parents; don't. I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do. In retrospect, it probably wasn't. I almost killed myself trying to work full time and care for my parents full time. It contributed to the ruination of my marriage too. I worked nights and did doctor appointments/care all day. It was miserable and by the time my father died, I felt nothing but relief.

I don't think it was fair to my parents either. They were socially isolated and had no interaction with others. It wasn't a good arrangement for any of us.
 Malley
Joined: 5/12/2007
Msg: 86
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/29/2009 6:26:02 AM
One moment you are thinking clearly, distracted, being very efficient... and then out of no where something triggers the wave of uncontrollable sadness.

Janice, honey, you have to realize that you're likely exhausted and presently running on adrenaline. You're able to go through the essential motions because somebody has to. You've taken on the advocator role and handling unpleasant circumstances and providing necessities for your family has become second nature to you.

You've also started to grieve. You've described it perfectly as it does come in waves, Don't fight it. Don't be the strong one for once. It's ok to be upset, to be angry or to cry, alone or with your dad. His mind is occupied with his own grief and doesn't see how anyone will possibly miss her as much as he does. It'd do him good to realize how much you and others do and will as well. It has a way of relieving the loneliness and isolation one feels after a loss.

I asked my mother why she was so upset, as she'd only known my father for part of her life whereas I'd known him for all of mine. Then again, I do have a dark sense of humour at times.

As odd as this sounds, try to enjoy the wake. It's an opportunity to listen to others speak of your mother and relate stories of how she touched their lives. There was a side to her that you never knew. Sometimes we forget there was more to our parents lives than us. She was also a sister, friend, confidant, cousin, aunt, grandmother, neighbour etc. This is an opportunity to get a small glimpse into your mom's past. It's also a part of your history too .. a portion of the legacy she leaves behind. Treasure it.

I hope the next couple of days go smoothly for you. It's not easy to say our final good-byes to those we love. As sick as someone can be and as much as we try to be and think we're ready, no one is ever fully prepared to do this.

We all grive in our own time and in our own way. There's no right or wrong method. There's no way around it, you have to pass through it. You can't rush the process as it has it's own timetable. The important thing is that you allow it to happen. It's only then that you'll be able to move forward in a positive productive way.

This is your first time. Focus on how fortunate you are to have had her for so long.
 WindRoper
Joined: 7/24/2007
Msg: 87
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/29/2009 6:53:30 AM
I'm so sorry for your family's loss.
 christianbuddy
Joined: 9/29/2005
Msg: 88
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Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/29/2009 8:45:46 AM
Hi JJ. What a great thread, and so timely for so many PoFers. I'm an LPN with over 17 years experience in geriatric nursing, not including the last 4 1/2 years caring for my parents (91, 90) in my home. I'm divorced with no kids, and my parents are relatively physically independent, with minds intact; these things make it possible for me to manage to help them stay healthy. I have to assist with baths, making beds, making doc appts, transporting them there, and ordering and setting up meds. Otherwise, they do their own daily care, transfer to and from beds and toilet prepare their own meals except for what I volunteer to cook.

I assess continually in order to recognize a decline in their ability to stay healthy without 24 hour care, and meanwhile, to prepare myself for that day of decision. The whole proposition is much easier for me with my experience in the field than for most children with elderly parents. But for all of us, there's a key idea to remember. It's the word Transition.

All elderly people reach a point in their personal transition, from one level of independence to the next lower level, during which they resist change, resist losing that higher level. After the inevitable, they are able to move emotionally from fear of the unknown to acceptance.

JJ, your Mom's transition is at a lower level than your Dad's. She may not fear life for herself as much as your Dad fears it for her. And he wants to stay as independent himself as he can. You can't prevent the inevitable for them any more than they can prevent it for themselves. But you can encourage them to prepare for it.

Try to believe that you aren't guilty, that such thoughts are lies. It sounds to me like the idea of living with them is unrealistic and inappropriate. Look into options, starting with homecare (I work for Maxim Healthcare Services. It's a good company with national offices), continue to assess your parents, and share with them what you find.

They are afraid, afraid of transition. When we are afraid, it's good to have a loved one to talk to.
 kbodley
Joined: 11/26/2008
Msg: 89
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Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/29/2009 11:19:14 PM
As someone who is also in somewhat the same situation, I can only offer these suggestions:

First, I have found that there are times when my parents offer resistance to something that is obviously in their best interests - and yet when I have taken a strong stand, they eventually give in and in the long run they will admit that I was right. I think this is the point your father is in. You realize that he needs help - so stand tough and make the right decision. In the long run, you both know it is the right thing to do.

Second (and of course I realize that I'm about to contradict myself), there are some times when you will suddenly remember that they are adults - so while we may not agree with their decisions, they are adults and can make their own decisions.

Finally, you need to find someone that is not your SO, or a family relative, or anyone involved in the situation that you can talk to.

Good luck! This is a really hard part of life!
 joanne1357
Joined: 9/20/2008
Msg: 90
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/30/2009 3:13:26 AM
["assisted living" facility either in your area or close to where they live and make arrangements to visit one. ]

assisted living environments just mean someone checks on you; you need to be ambulatory & independant , otherwise would need a higher level of care(nursing home). Someone may be able to check your medications, but you need to be able to walk or wheel to the dining room for meals, they provide housekeeping service for a fee; I believe you need to be able to dress & bathe yourself.. sometimes you are better off in your own house or apt as you can hire help for the same things + a little more.

It is very difficult to care for elderly parents esp if you have kids or grandkids you also care for...& if you dont care for yourself, you are no good to anyone. Dont give up your entire life.
And to the people who's folks want them to move back home (one man said he was 2000 mi away) in this economy... if you have a good job/or a job at all..... dont do it! Unless you can find something comparable "back home". Many in the 40-50+ age bracket are being laid off & cant find anything. So how would you live if you gave up everything to take care of the parents & then could not find a job in the area they lived.

If your parents are competent, there is not much you can do to change their mind. It took 5 yrs to get my father to sell the house & move near my sister, mom has dementia. But he insists on doing many things his way, not necessarily what we kids think would be best even if it would make it easier on him. He just thinks his way is the right way.

Good luck!
 Glossary
Joined: 7/2/2007
Msg: 91
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Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/30/2009 4:26:58 AM
I’m in this boat too. Tomorrow I’ll do a 5 hour trip to see my mother as I do every second weekend . My father died 7 years ago .. my mother, now 80 , stayed on the family farm ( paddocks are adjusted)

There is so much courage involved in aging. My parents stuck doggedly to the known and expected us, the children, to support them in their decision. We did – to the detriment of our own lives. I don’t think my generation can do differently … I still support my mother even though her decisions are ridiculous, selfish and basically insupportable., But I am wracked with generational guilt.

My gift to my own children is that I have brought them up to be free of that guilt. I have no doubt at all that they wont have the courage to move me to a home or whatever.

My heart goes out to each and every one of you with aging parents, treasures though they are and grateful though I am for a chance to tilt at life’s windmill.
 uncace
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 92
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/30/2009 4:50:20 AM
I can relate I also take care of my 82 year old father who has PTSD from WII and Moderate Dementia. I guess I'm lucky in some ways that the VA does take of him for medications and medical. I did get is POA and will done before he was not capable of making a deicsion, as well as living will and health care agent. Been doing this for 8 years now and the last 4 by myself I see his short term memory has slipped down more. He does get 2 days at a adult day care which the VA pays for. I can not think about placing him into the system unless his medical needs get worst. I feel for people who care for their parents. There is a 90 yr old lady close by which I adopted through the volunteer group which helps senior's in home repairs and she is so independent and in a wheel chair I ask her why is does not go into a senior housing unit so she can have less worries ie: heating oil and gas and more, but she wants to be on her own so I just continue to check on her. Her family is very nice but they live about an hour away an I'm just a block away. Thank you for posting this thread. chris
 JJ IS BACK
Joined: 12/8/2008
Msg: 93
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/30/2009 12:10:35 PM
Once again I want to thank each and everyone of you for ALL your emails, posts, kind words and gestures that you have shown me during this time.

Some of you may have missed the update above, being mom passed away Tuesday 1/27/09, and the funeral was today. She chose to be cremated. I can assure you this will be a birthday (mine was yesterday), that I will never forget.

I cannot believe this thread is as strong today as it was 2 years ago. I am glad I created it. I see there is such a need to share info, share stories, suggest ideas and basically just let all of the "sandwhich" generation know that we aren't alone!!

Malley, Diane.. and the rest thank you once more!!!!

You are all very special people!!

Hugs
Janice

mom
 WindRoper
Joined: 7/24/2007
Msg: 94
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/30/2009 12:37:03 PM
kbodley, another thing I've noticed is that when one does not have a vested interest (it ain't your parent) it's easy to tell a fellow sandwich generationer not to argue with the parent when they start telling about an event or person in the past and it ain't quite the way YOU remember it. But when it is our own parent doing the talking our sage advice flies right out the window.
 scottoliver
Joined: 3/27/2008
Msg: 95
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Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/30/2009 1:09:13 PM
Sorry to hear about your delima with your parents.

To interfere with you dad caring for you mom when they've been together for possibly many years could leave him heart broken and in the end die of heart break if and when something happens to her.

I would say if your dad is in his right mind let him continue doing for your mom as long as it is safe for both. Most relize when they need help. That will be when you should step in. He'll probably fight for her far longer than he should but then he's truly in love with her and wants the best.
 joanne1357
Joined: 9/20/2008
Msg: 96
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/30/2009 1:33:48 PM
Janice:
am so sorry for the loss of your mom- it is very hard, know you did the best you could.

And NONE of you caring for aging parents should feel any guilt, you are doing the best you can

J0anne
 scottoliver
Joined: 3/27/2008
Msg: 97
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Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/30/2009 1:54:35 PM
Someone sent me a message of your mother's passing. Sorry for your loss Joanne1357
 JJ IS BACK
Joined: 12/8/2008
Msg: 98
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/30/2009 6:15:08 PM
thank you so much Joanne.

And although my situation has changed a bit.... now that mom is gone. I need to care for him, try to convince him to come back to Staten Island and live out the rest of his days here with his family.

Please lets keep this thread going for everyone else!

Janice
 joanne1357
Joined: 9/20/2008
Msg: 99
Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/31/2009 3:58:28 AM
no Scott.. not me, its Janice
 scottoliver
Joined: 3/27/2008
Msg: 100
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Caring for our parents......
Posted: 1/31/2009 7:48:40 AM
Sometimes it's hard to keep up with whom is saying what Thanks for correcting me!!
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