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  • Robin, I really feel for you. My mom died this past April after having been diagnosed with Alzheimer's nine years ago. It was very, very difficult for her to give up her independence; luckily, my dad is very healthy and was incredibly supportive of her the entire time. I'm sure that the changes you've helped your dad make have prevented his problems from being any worse, and hopefully he has a good doctor who can support you in your efforts.

    It's heart wrenching to see our parents decline. My sympathies.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by zoebird View Post
      I love driving a prius. Our car didn't start today, and I just thought to myself -- if only I had $18k to buy the used prius that I want. LOL instead, I took a cab to work last-minute and it was sucky. But, I made money so it balances out.

      it's good that Dad is capable of making good decisions, no matter how difficult. I think giving up that level of independence is really tough, but it sounds to me like he's handling things with a lot of grace and dignity, and that you are mindful of that for him. Those are good things for you both.

      I would -- because it's how I work -- tell him how proud of him I am. I know that it's hard to make these kinds of decisions, and the same courage he has shown in many situations in his life is showing up now. Just because it seems like a little thing, doesn't mean it is, and even so, at the end of the day, being an elder isn't an easy go. Things happen that you don't expect and that, honestly, youth can never really comprehend. Heck, I don't comprehend it -- I can only hint at the reality of it becuase I can imagine, but I don't really understand.

      So that is something for him to be proud of too -- that he's teaching us all about dignity and grace, and showing us what it is to really do this . . .well rather trying . . . stage of life right.
      Dad is going with me today to the Toyota dealership to "try on " the new Prius. I want him to feel involved in this change.
      With the occasional grumpiness that is totally understandable aside, Dad is handling the changing stages in his life with a lot of dignity and grace. I hope that I can remember this when my time comes and do it as well. He is still my hero even if he can't leap tall buildings any more.

      Originally posted by NourishedEm View Post
      As I often say to my patients at work - getting old isn't for wimps.

      I hope your sister can be somewhat reasonable, no doubt her desire to "take over" is in some way a manifestation of the guilt that she feels knowing that she does nothing for your Dad and you're there at the coal face everyday taking care of things. I hope you can both navigate your way through this with your relationship intact at the end (whatever there is of it anyway).
      There may be some guilt involved. She also, in our family, is known as The Stage Manager. She has always come in and decided what other people should or shouldn't do in their lives. She is also a serious neat freak so I'm sure she is going to give Dad's house a thorough cleaning which it really needs. When my sister gets out the swiffers and pine sol, just get out of her way and enjoy the free cleaning.

      Originally posted by Betorq View Post
      It's never easy seeing our parents grow old, get sick(er) & even the initial signs of infirmity begin or increase. It's been gratifying & frustrating as all hell to be living with my mom for the 1st time since I left for college 29 years ago! She is happy that I do so much for her, that she has lost nearly 30 lbs in 12 weeks while building muscle. But she also resents the level of control I have assumed & asserted in her life. And she has a perfectly valid point. I'm looking forward to just taking care of myself again, seeing my son in San Francisco in late October, & interacting with, hanging out & caring for & feeding him again. He's 6.

      PB, I'm glad your sister is coming soon. Perfect timing for her to come & hopefully help w/ your dad (& give you some time off). A less than perfect set of circumstances for your family get-together since your dad's recent health decline.

      But life often throws us curve balls more than center pitches. All we can do is modify our swings...
      Hopefully some of the things you have taught your Mom about nutrition will stick with her once you head home. It sounds like she has made some great progress.

      My Dad's cardiologist is using the term Congestive Heart Failure which sounds scary as all hell but my sister actually has some experience in dealing with this since she took care of our Aunt who had the same thing and lived with it for years without problems as long as she took hers meds on time. Hopefully my sister talking to Dad about this experience will help to make it less scary for him.

      Originally posted by zoebird View Post
      could also be just a way to attempt to abate any anxiety that she has about not being in control of life in general, or these things. that's how my MIL is. it's not guilt. She's completely freaked out that things are not in her control.
      This nails it. She likes control and freaks out when she doesn't have it. Mortality is the ultimate in "out of one's control".

      Originally posted by Goldie View Post
      Robin, I really feel for you. My mom died this past April after having been diagnosed with Alzheimer's nine years ago. It was very, very difficult for her to give up her independence; luckily, my dad is very healthy and was incredibly supportive of her the entire time. I'm sure that the changes you've helped your dad make have prevented his problems from being any worse, and hopefully he has a good doctor who can support you in your efforts.

      It's heart wrenching to see our parents decline. My sympathies.
      I'm so sorry for your loss, Goldie. As you said your Mom had Dad and you there for her. That's how it was with my Mom. Dad and I took turns and gave each other some time off. This time around it is just me.

      He does have really good doctors who are really supportive of PB eating and only resort to meds when really necessary.

      Alzheimer's must be really rough. The mental losses my Dad is going through now are pretty scary.
      Last edited by Paleobird; 09-20-2012, 11:11 AM.

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      • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
        Alzheimer's must be really rough. The mental losses my Dad is going through now are pretty scary.
        Grandma insisted that her kids "stole" her car. She's convinced she's living in a hellhole so her kids can take her money. I'm guessing they didn't look at any Medicare nursing homes if she thinks hers is a hellhole. She told Mom, after Mom had spent several months there with my aunt who was dying of cancer, that she was worthless and was never there when Grandma needed her. Alzheimer's is apparently hell.
        Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

        If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

        Twibble's Twibbly Wibbly

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        • I remember how hard it was for my mother to give up driving and eventually to give up going anywhere on her own because she would get lost and was also worried that her problems with cognitive processing and sequences would lead her to forget to look before she walked out into the street. Being conscious of one's decline must be hard, even when the person handles it with dignity and grace. Your dad is very fortunate to have you being so sportive, and I'm sure it makes it easier for him to make those choices knowing you are there for him.

          Oh, sisters. I don't have any, but I try not to be that sister to my brothers. As the oldest, it's too easy to sweep on in and try to fix it all, especially now that our mother is gone. I have to remind myself that they are grown men with their own lives and that meddling doesn't help any of us. It's a tough balance sometimes to support them in their young adulthood (they are much younger) without being overbearing.
          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

          Owly's Journal

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          • Supportive, not sportive. Stupid phone.
            “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

            Owly's Journal

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Owly View Post
              Supportive, not sportive. Stupid phone.
              lol ain't it the truth.. Sometimes I look at what my iPad has changed words to and freak, of course, other times it corrects.

              PB, I'm just thrilled that he is dealing with life fairly well and that he has wonderful doctors. For him to realize he doesn't need to drive anymore is major, please give him a hug from me and take him anywhere he wants to go

              Comment


              • My FIL is just facing this (or will do in the next year). He really shouldn't be driving now with his vision.
                Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                Griff's cholesterol primer
                5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                bloodorchid is always right

                Comment


                • My grandfather, who has been gone for many years now, had a car accident in his last years. Not a major one - he backed into a lady's car. He was outraged though, and told us that she should have gotten out of the way since he couldn't turn his head to check - therefore it was all her fault.

                  PB, your Dad's decision-making is awesome. Dignity and grace indeed. He's entitled to be a bit grumpy about it at times, as you have said. The memory problems are pretty horrible, though - they must be scary for both of you. (((hugs))).

                  I've just been to visit my Mum. She's only 67, but has huge inflammation and pain issues so is becoming more overweight and less mobile. She informed me that since she'll 'never' be able to afford moving to a retirement village, her plan is to buy a caravan and live at the beach. This from the woman who can't bear to think of a less than 3 bedroom house so she's got room for her craft stuff . I've talked to her about moving in with us, or about at least moving closer and where the real estate is cheaper, but she won't. Now she's planning to move to the other side of the island to a camping ground! I alternate between laughing and hugging her, and quietly gritting my teeth. I worry more about her than I do about my teenagers!
                  Started Feb 18 2011

                  Tried basic primal and almost everything else in pursuit of IBS control, mood stability, and weight loss.

                  Journalling here

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                  • Forget the phone. I'm often shocked at what my fingers have typed.
                    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Twibble View Post
                      Grandma insisted that her kids "stole" her car. She's convinced she's living in a hellhole so her kids can take her money. I'm guessing they didn't look at any Medicare nursing homes if she thinks hers is a hellhole. She told Mom, after Mom had spent several months there with my aunt who was dying of cancer, that she was worthless and was never there when Grandma needed her. Alzheimer's is apparently hell.
                      That's scary. Imagine if your loved one didn't even recognize you any more. The idea of physical decline is sucky of course but the idea of mental decline is terrifying to me.

                      Originally posted by Owly View Post
                      I remember how hard it was for my mother to give up driving and eventually to give up going anywhere on her own because she would get lost and was also worried that her problems with cognitive processing and sequences would lead her to forget to look before she walked out into the street. Being conscious of one's decline must be hard, even when the person handles it with dignity and grace. Your dad is very fortunate to have you being so sportive, and I'm sure it makes it easier for him to make those choices knowing you are there for him.

                      Oh, sisters. I don't have any, but I try not to be that sister to my brothers. As the oldest, it's too easy to sweep on in and try to fix it all, especially now that our mother is gone. I have to remind myself that they are grown men with their own lives and that meddling doesn't help any of us. It's a tough balance sometimes to support them in their young adulthood (they are much younger) without being overbearing.
                      Cognitive processing. Sequences. These are exactly what is wrong with Dad. I think a lot of why he was not eating properly before I stepped in and started cooking was because it was just to much to process mentally. Let's see, the coffee filter goes there, then you put the coffee in, and it helps if you start the water boiling first. Put butter in pan, then crack eggs. It all just got to be too complicated and so he would eat a banana or two, or three.

                      Originally posted by Owly View Post
                      Supportive, not sportive. Stupid phone.
                      Hah!

                      Originally posted by JudyCr View Post
                      lol ain't it the truth.. Sometimes I look at what my iPad has changed words to and freak, of course, other times it corrects.

                      PB, I'm just thrilled that he is dealing with life fairly well and that he has wonderful doctors. For him to realize he doesn't need to drive anymore is major, please give him a hug from me and take him anywhere he wants to go
                      Yeah, that can't be easy for him but he's managing well.

                      Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
                      My FIL is just facing this (or will do in the next year). He really shouldn't be driving now with his vision.
                      There are so many elderly people on the road who really shouldn't be. It really is a menace.

                      Originally posted by Jac View Post
                      My grandfather, who has been gone for many years now, had a car accident in his last years. Not a major one - he backed into a lady's car. He was outraged though, and told us that she should have gotten out of the way since he couldn't turn his head to check - therefore it was all her fault.

                      PB, your Dad's decision-making is awesome. Dignity and grace indeed. He's entitled to be a bit grumpy about it at times, as you have said. The memory problems are pretty horrible, though - they must be scary for both of you. (((hugs))).

                      I've just been to visit my Mum. She's only 67, but has huge inflammation and pain issues so is becoming more overweight and less mobile. She informed me that since she'll 'never' be able to afford moving to a retirement village, her plan is to buy a caravan and live at the beach. This from the woman who can't bear to think of a less than 3 bedroom house so she's got room for her craft stuff . I've talked to her about moving in with us, or about at least moving closer and where the real estate is cheaper, but she won't. Now she's planning to move to the other side of the island to a camping ground! I alternate between laughing and hugging her, and quietly gritting my teeth. I worry more about her than I do about my teenagers!
                      Yep, you become the parent to your parents.

                      Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                      Forget the phone. I'm often shocked at what my fingers have typed.



                      Well, today I went and bought the new Prius plug in car. It has both the hybrid engine and a purely electric plug in charged one. So, if you are just doing short trips like the market or MD's office you are not using gas at all but the hybrid (with 55mpg) kicks in after that charge runs out so you can use it for long haul road trips. I think eventually the world will be heading toward all electric vehicles. (I really really want a Tesla) But right now, it is just not ready yet. Charging stations are starting to pop up here and there but for a long road trip, you could really get stuck.

                      The Prius is great for Dad because it has a much more comfy seat and ride than my Rav 4 did and it is not such a high ground clearance so it is easier to get in and out for him. I traded in both the Rav and the Tacoma truck and got the Prius down to a reasonable amount.

                      Not only that. It's purty. Kind of a sea foam green shade. I think they call it "sea glass".

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                      • My FIL has been driving his for a couple of years now and loves it. I think you will like yours - at least I sincerely hope so. Glad you both are managing.
                        I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                        • Originally posted by Crabbcakes View Post
                          My FIL has been driving his for a couple of years now and loves it. I think you will like yours - at least I sincerely hope so. Glad you both are managing.
                          Thanks, Crabbcakes. It's going to take me a while just to figure out all the electronics involved.

                          I think of my relationship with my Dad as going through stages or phases. I'm glad I did the globe trotting that I did when I did it. Back then Dad could take care of two houses plus both of our cats and a dog. Now I need to stay home but that's OK with me. I know I will have plenty of time to see the rest of the world. Right now there is nothing more important in my world that making sure Dad's last time (however long that might be) is as easy and pleasant as possible.

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                          • I think the ONE thing we miss that we left behind in the states was our Pruis. These days, I wish we'd just had it brought over. LOL Would have cost us a fortune, but still. Probably less than what it would cost us to buy a new prius (which comes in at $40k+ here).

                            Congrats on your new car. The prius is cool.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                              I think of my relationship with my Dad as going through stages or phases. I'm glad I did the globe trotting that I did when I did it. Back then Dad could take care of two houses plus both of our cats and a dog. Now I need to stay home but that's OK with me. I know I will have plenty of time to see the rest of the world. Right now there is nothing more important in my world that making sure Dad's last time (however long that might be) is as easy and pleasant as possible.
                              I like reading your journal about life with Dad. You know my experiences with mine have been, erm, "difficult", and I like seeing that it is real-life possible to have a wonderful reciprocal relationship (not just a "dutiful" one like many have), like you have with yours. I already know that Hubby and I are doing it a thousand times better with our Crabblets, but I really work all the time to have a right relationship with ours so that they will WANT to know us and be with us when we get up there in the decade count. Back when I was a practicing Mormon, here is what we were quoted often: "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." (David O. McKay - former President of the Church who died in 1970), and the longer I live, the more I believe it.

                              Whatever is in store for you and Dad, you will be at peace knowing you both did it well and truly right.
                              I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                              • I built a website for some grad students who did research on what cars are both economically and environmentally friendly. The Tesla was the most environmentally friendly overall but never the most economical (<-- understatement of the year). Small ordinary gas cars often won both categories, cars like the Focus or Civic. So if anybody has a car like that, you can feel proud.

                                Years ago I was hiking with the Sierra Club and Ronald Reagan's nurse was on the hike. She told us about how he was doing. I can't imagine anything more awful than having been the President of the United States and having done so many interesting things in life all to end life not remembering any of it.
                                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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