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Thread: Paleobird's Next Big Adventure page 134

  1. #1331
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    Aww, that's the sweetest thing ever. Dads are so awesome.

    All this really got me thinking about all of our seniors in our family, and so I've upped a little more connection. I email my grandmother (including my mom and aunt) images of our family and life. I don't know if she knows how to access them, but my aunt and uncle tend to help her from what I understand. DH's grandmother has basically no real sense of anything, but my MIL takes her notes that we send to her via email. She had her 96th birthday last weekend! She remembers her own name, but that's just about all, really. She's sweet though, not aggressive about all of it like some people with dementia can be (in fact, my grandmother can get really mean and nasty with her dementia).

    I've also made some good progress with my ILs. It's hard because we are so different, but at the end of the day, they are part of the family. And then, with my own parents, things are going really well. They are happy with their new yoga routines, and dad's noticing a lot of benefits. They are looking forward to coming back again in a year or two, and just staying around wellington and doing some fun things with DS. So, it's good on that end.

    My aunt has had a really rough go because she fell and hurt her wrist. It's devastating for her, becuase her physical therapist won't let her do anything but *walk* on a flat area for only about 30 minutes at a time. They're afraid of her getting too tired and falling and injuring the wrist. It's such a mess! I feel so sorry for her. So, I'm trying to contact her to create a yoga routine just for her that wouldn't involve her wrist but would let her get some movement is at least a bit more than what she's been given the go-ahead to do (she can do yoga, but not classes in her area because the PT doesn't know what they do and whether or not they would hurt her wrist, but I figure if I make a video, her PT can have a look at it and see if it fits the bill or not).

    I'm really thankful for skype.
    Last edited by zoebird; 09-22-2012 at 11:40 PM.

  2. #1332
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    The gift in this situation is the time we get to spend together and the closeness. Dad has never been particularly good at expressing feeling so he really took me by surprise tonight by saying, "I want you to know that I really appreciate all the tender loving care you have been giving me." I just about cried.
    ^This made me cry!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you find your way through this next stage of life. It's a hard thing with new ground to navigate. It sounds like you'll do it well though. Hugs from Vienna!

    And congrats on the new car! Sea foam green sounds lovely. Kinda beachy.

  3. #1333
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    Aww, that's the sweetest thing ever. Dads are so awesome.

    All this really got me thinking about all of our seniors in our family, and so I've upped a little more connection. I email my grandmother (including my mom and aunt) images of our family and life. I don't know if she knows how to access them, but my aunt and uncle tend to help her from what I understand. DH's grandmother has basically no real sense of anything, but my MIL takes her notes that we send to her via email. She had her 96th birthday last weekend! She remembers her own name, but that's just about all, really. She's sweet though, not aggressive about all of it like some people with dementia can be (in fact, my grandmother can get really mean and nasty with her dementia).

    I've also made some good progress with my ILs. It's hard because we are so different, but at the end of the day, they are part of the family. And then, with my own parents, things are going really well. They are happy with their new yoga routines, and dad's noticing a lot of benefits. They are looking forward to coming back again in a year or two, and just staying around wellington and doing some fun things with DS. So, it's good on that end.

    My aunt has had a really rough go because she fell and hurt her wrist. It's devastating for her, becuase her physical therapist won't let her do anything but *walk* on a flat area for only about 30 minutes at a time. They're afraid of her getting too tired and falling and injuring the wrist. It's such a mess! I feel so sorry for her. So, I'm trying to contact her to create a yoga routine just for her that wouldn't involve her wrist but would let her get some movement is at least a bit more than what she's been given the go-ahead to do (she can do yoga, but not classes in her area because the PT doesn't know what they do and whether or not they would hurt her wrist, but I figure if I make a video, her PT can have a look at it and see if it fits the bill or not).

    I'm really thankful for skype.
    I think that's great that you can help them. I wonder if some gentle yoga could help my Dad with his balance issues. Hmm. Must research.
    Last edited by Paleobird; 09-23-2012 at 12:46 PM.

  4. #1334
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    Quote Originally Posted by lissee View Post
    ^This made me cry!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you find your way through this next stage of life. It's a hard thing with new ground to navigate. It sounds like you'll do it well though. Hugs from Vienna!

    And congrats on the new car! Sea foam green sounds lovely. Kinda beachy.
    Thanks you, lissee. Yes, I think the official Toyota name for the color is "Seaglass".

    Have you ever heard the Billy Joel song, "Vienna Waits For You"? Way before your time but well worth a google.

  5. #1335
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    Your journal has prompted me to really talk seriously to my mother about what's going to happen for her in the future when she needs to move out of her house (she has steps to every door, some of them quite steep). She's been very unrealistic about what she could get for the house when she sells, and then miserable at the prospect of what kind of place she could afford to live in. We've kind of left those conversations, because although she's thinking and worrying about it a lot, she's still only 67, working and very independent if not as healthy as she could be. So after some serious conversations with my lovely husband about what our responsibilities are (that sounds so harsh - it was really about what we want to do, need to do, and can manage to do), I called her. I was able to tell her that the moment she decides she doesn't want to work any more, she can move in here. Not ideal, we both agreed, but this is the ultimate backstop and she can use it any time and for any reason. She's not trapped any more by having no option but to work. The best thing, though, was telling her that we will pay her mortgage so she can afford to live in the place she wants to live - a 3 bedroom villa in a retirement village near to her friends. It's the first time in my whole life that I've ever been able to be heard by her. She went quiet, then said thank you.

    I hope it won't happen for a few years yet, so that she stays healthy enough to work things through at her own pace. But we have a plan that will work for us all.

    I feel tearful as I write this - it's been a big weekend for us all. Thanks for the level of sharing you do here, PB; you're helping me to be a better version of me.
    Started Feb 18 2011

    Journalling here

    "There's a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path" - Morpheus

  6. #1336
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    I can do a simple thing for him if you would like. Or we can talk about it anyway. You know how to find me. I have worked with a lot of post-stroke seniors (and for that matter, non-seniors).

  7. #1337
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jac View Post
    Your journal has prompted me to really talk seriously to my mother about what's going to happen for her in the future when she needs to move out of her house (she has steps to every door, some of them quite steep). She's been very unrealistic about what she could get for the house when she sells, and then miserable at the prospect of what kind of place she could afford to live in. We've kind of left those conversations, because although she's thinking and worrying about it a lot, she's still only 67, working and very independent if not as healthy as she could be. So after some serious conversations with my lovely husband about what our responsibilities are (that sounds so harsh - it was really about what we want to do, need to do, and can manage to do), I called her. I was able to tell her that the moment she decides she doesn't want to work any more, she can move in here. Not ideal, we both agreed, but this is the ultimate backstop and she can use it any time and for any reason. She's not trapped any more by having no option but to work. The best thing, though, was telling her that we will pay her mortgage so she can afford to live in the place she wants to live - a 3 bedroom villa in a retirement village near to her friends. It's the first time in my whole life that I've ever been able to be heard by her. She went quiet, then said thank you.

    I hope it won't happen for a few years yet, so that she stays healthy enough to work things through at her own pace. But we have a plan that will work for us all.

    I feel tearful as I write this - it's been a big weekend for us all. Thanks for the level of sharing you do here, PB; you're helping me to be a better version of me.
    This is great. Yes, we need to have these talks with our loved ones sooner rather than later. Even though these are not comfortable discussions to have and they are very easy to put off, it needs to be talked about while everyone is still capable of making good decisions and expressing themselves clearly. You never know when something like a stroke could leave someone incapacitated. You need to get things like a medical power of attorney signed so that a loved one would not be tortured by endless invasive medical procedures. Getting a living trust set up is also a good idea and a clear last will and testament.

    Getting everything out on the table about an elderly person's wishes is important. I asked my Dad a few years back if, when the time came, he would rather go to a retirement home or have help brought in here and he emphatically said he wants to stay here if at all possible. But that might not be the case for someone else. A friend of mine's mom went to a nursing home and got so much happier and healthier just because she had things to do and people to socialize with. My Dad is not really very outgoing socially and a lot of his identity is wrapped up in the house he and my Mom built 60 years ago.

    My Dad and I took care of my Mom here until her death. And then a few years later did the same with my grandmother. Dad's house lends itself well to being used as a care facility. It is all on one level with a really open floor plan. We had grab bars installed in the shower for Mom that are still there and coming in handy again. And we have a good steady shower chair which is also now getting another use.

    I suspect one of the worst things about getting old is the feeling of losing control of your own life. Having those kind of frank talks and knowing that you are really heard and that your wished will be respected can do a lot to put everyone's minds at ease. Getting that logistical stuff out of the way and settled can allow you to focus on the personal caring part of the process.
    Last edited by Paleobird; 09-23-2012 at 08:48 PM.

  8. #1338
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    I can do a simple thing for him if you would like. Or we can talk about it anyway. You know how to find me. I have worked with a lot of post-stroke seniors (and for that matter, non-seniors).
    Thank you, Zoe. That's really sweet of you to offer. I will talk with him about it and see if he is open to the idea.

  9. #1339
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    I didn't know this song, but I think it's going to be a new favorite. I love Billy Joel!

    Just such a great vibe to his singing.

  10. #1340
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    I've had that Billy Joel song running in my head since yesterday. Some good advice in those lyrics.

    There is something so timeless about Vienna. It is the perfect metaphor. It will still be there, just as grand and elegant, when I get around to visiting it again. I'm not missing anything by taking the time to do what I'm doing now.

    This has been helping with the feeling of being a bit overwhelmed with all the "stuff" that needs doing. "You got so much to do and only so many hours in a day". There is a lot of "stuff" that needs to be done just to keep the wheels on and the cogs turning in the life of one adult human head of a household. There are bills to pay, doctor's appointments to be made, written down, and kept. There are groceries to be bought and meals prepared, served, and cleaned up after. There are social engagement that would be nice to have. There are clothes that need to be bought and then washed and put away, house cleaning. Medications need to be put out in pill containers and taken on time, and prescriptions refilled and picked up on time. There are subscriptions to renew and checkbooks to balance. Insurance policies...... The list goes on forever. And getting some sleep in between would be nice too.

    I am essentially handling the majority of all this "stuff" for two adult humans right now. Like today we had an MD appt. for Dad and later today I have to go to the dentist for take two on getting my new crown on. I am gaining an appreciation for what people with children do, the number of juggling balls one has to keep up in the air at any one moment. I don't know how anyone manages to raise kids without a partner. Dad is becoming increasingly childlike. He needs to have things explained very simply and multiple times and even then the same question comes up just moments later.

    "Too bad but it's the life you lead. You're so ahead of yourself, that you forgot what you need. Though you can see when you're wrong, you know you can't always see when you're right. You're right." Thanks, Billy. I needed to hear that.

    Dad and I were at the doctor's office again today for a check up with his primary care MD. She did a really good job of explaining in plain English what is going on with his heart. Years of scary high BP have taken their toll in weakening his heart muscles so that they are just not pumping with much oomph. This was made suddenly worse by his recent bout of a-fib 150 bpm heart rate episode that landed us in the ER a few weeks back. This weakness in the pump leaves all the bodily fluids puddling down in his legs.

    She said that the good news about this kind of heart failure, as opposed to the kind caused by blocked arteries, is that there is actually a pretty good prognosis that the heart can heal and regain some of it's function as long as that a-fib fluttery heart rate is kept in check.

    Sometimes I'm right on top of everything, supremely efficient, and then there are some times I just want to sit down and cry.

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