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OT/MISC Frustration of Caring for Elderly Parents
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  1. #1
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    Frustration of Caring for Elderly Parents

    And so it begins.
    After the election, medical care for the elderly will no longer be a key issue. The cost will become the key issue.
    Expect to see much more of these type ads as the push to get rid of medicare strengthens. Eventually with enough PR society will eliminate the guilt many offspring feel if they fail to take care of aging parents.
    After that will come denial of many medical services and procedures except for routine and cheap maintenance care.
    ‘It Is So Incredibly Sad’: Ad Campaign Portrays Frustration of Caring for Elderly Parents
    • Posted on August 15, 2012 at 9:00pm by Liz Klimas
    Screen shot from video, provided by AARP and the Ad Council, is from a new public service announcement illustrating the frustration that family members can feel as they struggle to care for aging loved ones. (Photo: AP/AARP/Ad Council)

    WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — A woman grips her car’s steering wheel and silently lets out a scream as her frail father, on oxygen, coughs beside her and her kids play around in the back seat.
    This how taking care of an elderly parent is portrayed in a new public service announcement. It is a frustration recognizable to millions of Americans who struggle to care for aging loved ones while holding down jobs, raising children and taking care of their own health.
    “I take care of her, but who takes care of me?” says another one of the public service announcements from the nonprofit Ad Council, which is distributing the ads for TV, radio, print and online use. It’s part of a major campaign from AARP and the Ad Council beginning Thursday to raise awareness of the impact of family caregiving as the nation rapidly grays – and to point overwhelmed families toward resources that may ease the strain.
    The campaign, beginning Thursday, is to raise awareness of family caregivers and point them toward resources that may ease the strain. (AP Photo/AARP, Ad Council)

    “Most caregivers don’t know where to turn for help,” said AARP vice president Debra Whitman, whose own family has experienced caregiving twice, for her grandmother and her mother-in-law.

    <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/prnd/prn-theblaze;prntype=web;prngenre=conservative_talk;pr npage=interior;pos=bottom;sz=300x250;u=prntype*web !prngenre*conservative_talk!prnpage*interior!pos*b ottom!sz*300x250;ord=123456789?" target="_blank" ><img src="http://ad.doubleclick.net/ad/prnd/prn-theblaze;prntype=web;prngenre=conservative_talk;pr npage=interior;pos=bottom;sz=300x250;u=prntype*web !prngenre*conservative_talk!prnpage*interior!pos*b ottom!sz*300x250;ord=123456789?" border="0" alt="" /></a>

    Even knowing what to ask can be a hurdle. That’s what Andrea Phillips of Alexandria, Va., discovered when her mother, now 74, visited from Chicago a few years ago and got too sick to go home. She recovered from a heart problem only to be diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s.
    Phillips, a lawyer with 1- and 4-year-old daughters, raced to find nearby senior housing that her mother would accept and could afford. But already she‘s having to cobble together additional care as the Alzheimer’s worsens. She says her mother skips her prepaid meals in favor of a cookie stash, misses medication despite Phillips’ daily take-your-pills phone calls and is embarrassed to find herself struggling to remember and perform personal hygiene – the kind of day-to-day issues that health providers didn’t address.
    “I do constantly feel that I’m playing catch-up,” said Phillips, adding that she feels guilty when she gets frustrated. “I’m trying to find the right resources so Mom and I can continue to have a good relationship.”
    Although they often don’t identify themselves as “caregivers,” more than 42 million Americans perform some form of consistent care for older or impaired adult relatives or friends, according to a 2009 estimate. It can range from paying bills, to driving Mom to doctor appointments, to more hands-on care such as bathing, and even tasks once left to nurses such as the care of open wounds.
    “At first you’re just helping out Mom. Then it can become more than a fulltime job,” said AARP’s Whitman.
    She described the average U.S. caregiver as a 49-year-old woman who on top of her regular job provides nearly 20 hours a week of unpaid care to her mother for nearly five years.
    An AARP report found family members provide a staggering $450 billion worth of unpaid care annually – and other research makes clear that the stress and the time involved can take a toll on the caregivers’ own health and finances as they put off their own doctor visits, dip into their savings and cut back their working hours.
    Adding to the challenge is that more and more people are living well into their 90s, as Census figures show the oldest-old are the fastest growing segment of the population.
    Consider Oona Schmid’s father, who is 96 and has advanced dementia. The Arlington, Va., woman has overseen his care for a decade, since her mother died – and said she could have better planned how to pay for it if only someone had warned her how long people can live with dementia. She said the bill at her father’s assisted-living facility has reached nearly $8,000 a month as he now needs round-the-clock care.
    “I don’t think he knows who I am, but he still smiles when he sees me,” Schmid said. She choked up as she described the pull she feels between her responsibilities to her father and to her 3-year-old son, fretting that there‘s no money left to set aside for her son’s education.
    Schmid, 41, works fulltime, pet-sits for extra cash and is exploring options to save on her father’s care.
    “Maybe this is a terrible thing to say but I‘m terrified of how long he’s going to live and how much it’s going to cost,” she said.
    Like Schmid’s father, very few Americans have purchased private, and pricey, long-term care insurance, and Medicare doesn’t pay for that kind of care. That’s why family members wind up performing so much of it for so long. The Obama administration last fall ended efforts to establish a government-sponsored program to make long-term care insurance more affordable, finding it financially unsustainable.
    A key message of the new campaign is for caregivers not to neglect their own needs.
    The ads direct people to AARP’s website to find information and services from that organization and others, what Whitman describes as a one-stop starting point for resources.
    The site offers Web chats with caregiving experts, online support groups, legal documents and links to such programs as locators for care providers or respite services. A new “Prepare to Care” brochure offers to-do checklists for families new to caregiving, and people not as web-savvy can call a hotline at 877-333-5885.
    Too many caregivers don’t know such services exist, or even that they can ask their loved ones‘ doctors to refer them for help until there’s a crisis, said Dr. Eileen Callahan, a geriatrician at New York‘s Mount Sinai Medical Center who isn’t involved with the AARP campaign.
    The AARP project is broader than another new effort targeting caregivers – a government website that, as part of the National Alzheimer’s Plan, offers families information specific to dementia care at www.alzheimers.gov.
    Mount Sinai’s Callahan said national efforts to educate all caregivers, regardless of the health problem, are long overdue.
    “They should not feel so isolated,” she said. “It is so incredibly sad.”
    AARP’s own employees, Amy Goyer, will appear on NBC’s Nightly News Wednesday night to highlight the issue of family caregiving. She writes in a blog post “We hope that sharing our story with the media will make millions of people who are caregiving, as well as those who can help support them, realize that they are not alone.”
    Last edited by TerryK; 08-16-2012 at 04:29 PM.
    "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." -DH Lawrence
    "We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are." - The Talmud

  2. #2
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    Many DO care for their aged parents at home. My sister and I did it as long as we could. So have several friends of mine. You can't just warehouse the elderly or kill them off, no matter what any "PR" says. There does need to be more coping mechanisms and support for the caregivers, that is for sure. People WANT to do the right things by their elders.
    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  3. #3
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    I was just going through the Census of 1920 for my township. And guess what, no Old Folks Home. Gramp and Grandma were with the kids out on the farm, and also in the local villages. And on at least two occasions just in my family, grand-daughter moved in to take care of Gramdma in her own home.

    That is how it was done in the olde days and how it will be done in the future for the simple reason there is not enough money to do otherwise. People had better start accepting that.
    "The misfortune of many is the consolation of fools" Ancient proverb

  4. #4
    Not enough money now . .

    but this is more about attitude-changing. The ad proclaiming "who will take care of me" is emphasizing "me" (poor little ole' me). What "me" doesn't recognize is this is setting it up for "me" next by eliminating the guilt that "me's" own children will not even have to consider when "me" becomes elderly.. Advancing the end-of-life counseling that will soon be universal?
    Last edited by Seeker; 08-16-2012 at 03:10 PM.
    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles, it takes away today's peace .

  5. #5
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    Why are they putting a dollar amount on what should be personal responsibility? For pete sake they are your parents who sacrificed for you the way you sacrifice for your children. My parents live three hours north of us in a very rural area where services are sometimes hard to comeby. They live there because they won't live anywhere else. My Dad turns 70 in December and neither of my parents are in the best of health. Their AC went out and their health is dependent on it at night. Well guess what, hubby got in his van and drove three hours to replace what turned out to be a $15 contactor and then drove three hours home. We didn't tally up the cost to turn it into a freaking tax deduction or create a balance sheet like it was an accounts payable ... it is what you do, period.

    Some people need a kick in the head by a mule.
    Find my free fiction stories here.

    "Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?” - Kelvin R. Throop III

  6. #6
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    Now hold on one minute , why shouldn't the kids step up and help aging parents, my wife and I do it, my cousins and friends all do it, when did the idea of shipping the elderly off not to be heard or seen become the accepted norm? A great many people in this country need to have their toys taken away and be given a slap upside the head,maybe knock some sense into that big hollow between the ears.

  7. #7
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    I look at the advertisement pic and I think......"gee, granpa that was a great joke....... funniest thing I've heard all day!"
    True North Strong and Free

  8. #8
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    My 78 yr old mother moved in with me last week. She is in poor health. 24/7 oxygen due to end stage COPD, no energy to hardly stand in the kitchen long enough to pick something out of the fridge and microwave it.

    I work fulltime. So she is still home alone all day. But it is all we can do. When it gets to the point that she cannot be alone during the day, she will HAVE to go into a Medicare - then Medicaid facility sharing a room with another person. There is no money for anything else.

    Sometimes, home is NOT the answer, IF there is not anyone there 24/7 to care for the elderly.

  9. #9
    There is a real issues here, yes previous generations often cared for their elderly at home (those who had families) but people did not tend to live nearly as long nor in as disabled a State as they do now. Expectations were also lower and people tended to live in extended families (either actually living together or mostly living near each other in the same area). It was acceptable to assign a young child to watch over gramps or granny to make sure they didn't "wander off," today that would be considered child abuse. There were few, if any, medications to keep an failing elder with advanced dementia alive for more than a few years; now there are tons of them and people can live for decades (a few aways did, but it was very rare).

    The average women who ends up a caregiver is no longer an aging housewife with teenage (or adult children) who can help who either works at home (or in the old days perhaps worked in her husband's business). She (or he, if the man) can't just "turn over" the meat counter to her son-in-law, she still has to go to the office forty hours a week, try to raise her kids and take care of the elderly family member. It is no wonder so many of these women (and not a few men) end up disabled or dead themselves from heart attacks (and then there is no one to take care of anyone).

    I think it is wrong to try to blow people off, who are discussing the problem as complainers who have something "wrong" with them; the degree of care now demanded in some cases (especially the nursing skills) can simply be way beyond what someone in their late 40's or 50's can perform endlessly, especially on top of a full time job and children.

    I agree about the money issues, but again once the families money is gone, then what? Either some State/Federal program takes over or everyone joins granny homeless on a park bench. Perhaps better to figure out a way to keep everyone off the park bench, with families paying a fair share but not totally bankrupted because in the long run that helps no one (not even the tax man).

    Japan is trying to solve this problem with robots and some other countries with legal (and illegal) immigration and cheap labor. Sweden tries to solve it with a combination of high taxes, paid carers and family subsidies; Ireland by paying very tiny salaries to a partner or child who is "The Carer" the problem being that money is being cut for this and it isn't really enough to live on. It should just be a decently paid job, since if the family member can't perform the task (or has to give it up do to not being able to pay basic living expenses) then the tax payer ultimately ends up paying someone else a decent wage to care for the person in a nursing home.

    This is really how the US has coped for years, with medicare and medicade picking up a lot of the tab in homes; and people who don't really need to be in homes ending up there simply because the folks at home can't get any help at all looking after their relative. Eventually it becomes too much and/or the career collapses under the strain; either way the elderly person ends up in nursing home, many of which are happy to take their SS checks each month.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  10. #10
    When it became apparent that my husbands father could no longer live alone we had no reservations at moving him in with us. When it finally came to pass that he could no longer function with both of us at work during the day, we made the decision for me to stay at home and care for him. His Social Security did help but didn't cover what we gave up in my leaving my job. But our parents sacrificed for us when we were growing up and we were happy to make the sacrifice to care for him when he needed us. Dad lived with us until he passed away in his own bed. He was under Hospice care for the last 3 months and even though it was a emotional and financial strain on us, we did not regret for one minute what we gave up to care for him. Unfortunately that attitude is not present in a lot of people today.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mzkitty View Post
    Many DO care for their aged parents at home. My sister and I did it as long as we could. So have several friends of mine. You can't just warehouse the elderly or kill them off, no matter what any "PR" says. There does need to be more coping mechanisms and support for the caregivers, that is for sure. People WANT to do the right things by their elders.
    But what do you do when you are an only child, with no one to share the responsibility with, and have to work to keep your own home afloat?

    My father has Alzheimers and right now I work from home two days a week. This gives my mother the "time off" so that she can go out with friends and have some time for herself. While Dad doesn't need constant care yet, he does need someone to monitor him (make sure he doesnt wander), make his lunch and just help him function for the day.

    My son brings him out for breakfast or lunch on Saturdays, but he goes off to college in a few weeks.

    The time is coming when Mom wont be able to care for him on her own and I won't be able to quit my job to help her together. There are no siblings to call on.

    Not sure what we are going to do.

    Liz Metcalf - Ind. Avon Representative
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauri60 View Post
    When it became apparent that my husbands father could no longer live alone we had no reservations at moving him in with us. When it finally came to pass that he could no longer function with both of us at work during the day, we made the decision for me to stay at home and care for him. His Social Security did help but didn't cover what we gave up in my leaving my job. But our parents sacrificed for us when we were growing up and we were happy to make the sacrifice to care for him when he needed us. Dad lived with us until he passed away in his own bed. He was under Hospice care for the last 3 months and even though it was a emotional and financial strain on us, we did not regret for one minute what we gave up to care for him. Unfortunately that attitude is not present in a lot of people today.
    Our family has already been hit by the 2008 layoff, and hubby is only on contract job now, making less than what he made in 2008, AND we are cosigners on mega student loans, which, once again, has been affected with this economy and Son not being able to afford the loans cause he can't get a job using his degree. IOW, we are so far underwater and not making enough to pay peter and paul already... quiting my decent paying job is not an option as it must have been for you... and I am sure is NOT an option for countless others.

    It has nothing to do with attitude.

  13. #13
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    Aw come on ... there are other options unless it is a medical situation or violent dementia of some type. I worked with the elderly in a mental health facility ... assuming you want to call elderly aged 55 and older.

    Before the government started mucking things up there were day facilities where seniors could go for the day while family was at work. While there they worked on daily living skills, muscle tone, memory skills, had large group sessions where they could talk and gripe about how their lives had changed, etc.

    There used to be programs where instead of warehousing folks you could have a "day sitter" come in and keep an unobtrusive eye on things while the primary caregivers either worked or shopped or just took their own mental health day.

    Are we going to go back to the days of Bedlam where families sent their crazy or demented family members because they were making too much noise up in the locked attic? Or where special needs children are put into metal boxed up cribs and stored in state hospitals because they are too much trouble or too expensive?

    It isn't an either/or folks. There are options if you work creatively and stop allowing the freaking government and their minions like AARP to dictate your family life.
    Find my free fiction stories here.

    "Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?” - Kelvin R. Throop III

  14. #14
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    I took care of my father for ten years. This man was a controlling self center man. My mom was under his thumb and she did as she was told by him. She died young. I took my dad in and If I had it to do over he would never have set foot into my home. He almost broke up my marriage, He would not take a shower, and if I said anything he screamed and yelled at me. My husband had to try and get him to take a bath once in a while. finially out of desperation went back to work and payed someone to clean my house and cook. I would come home and eat my dinner and go to the Bedroom to get away.
    I broke down and finially he was taken from my home and put in a nice hotel for the elderly with meals served and everything he could want. But guess what he acted like a ass and they booted him out. He wound up in a sleezy hotel room on skid row. Died there. I am sure my mom was turning over in her grave, but I gave it my best shot. So sometimes its not possible for children to care for parents if they are controlling.

  15. #15
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    I have already told my children NOT to take care of me or their Dad. I did it with my mother and my step-father even tho' they disowned me. I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn't care for them to the best of my ability. I left my job (with an ok from my boss for the duration). It was one of the most difficult things I have done each time. Mostly because of the hatred in words that they would constantly say to me. And because I was so tired without any help from anyone else in the family. They refused to even come for a couple of hours so I could sleep. But I always kept these words from JESUS in my mind. "What you do for/to one another, you do to/for me". It got me through some very difficult days and nights. I am glad that I took care of both of them and I loved them and had a nurse come in to oversee what I was doing and to help if I got stuck with the catheter etc. I had great help with her if I called. But, it is VERY difficult without any assistance from an outside help source or from other family so that you can at least sleep a bit. Good luck to all. I send you prayers for your loving care.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bethshaya View Post
    But what do you do when you are an only child, with no one to share the responsibility with, and have to work to keep your own home afloat?

    My father has Alzheimers and right now I work from home two days a week. This gives my mother the "time off" so that she can go out with friends and have some time for herself. While Dad doesn't need constant care yet, he does need someone to monitor him (make sure he doesnt wander), make his lunch and just help him function for the day.

    My son brings him out for breakfast or lunch on Saturdays, but he goes off to college in a few weeks.

    The time is coming when Mom wont be able to care for him on her own and I won't be able to quit my job to help her together. There are no siblings to call on.

    Not sure what we are going to do.
    One of my friends at my last job had the same problem. She was divorced, kids all grown and moved away. Her sister volunteered to come live with them, and they both took care of Mom for several years until the ALZ got to the point where she didn't really know who her own daughters were anymore, and the strain on both girls was just too much because Mom kept slipping off her chair or something. Anyway, my friend started investigating nursing homes, and ended up choosing the state-run "community hospital," which has a whole wing just for ALZ patients. You should start looking at where you will want him placed soon, Bethshaya. It doesn't take long before ALZ people don't know you anymore, so you have to be realistic. My friend is happy with where her mom is at. Last I knew anyway; I haven't talked to her in a year or so. Some places are better than others; you know that.
    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  17. #17
    My mother had what is termed Aggresive Alzheimers. Would fight anyone who tried to get her to do anything (pretty much like that in earlier life too, but not as bad). She woke up one night at her home (dad had died some years before) and couldn't remember where she was so rang an ambulance. Althoug she was in good health, they kept her in them hospital while they assessed her (aged care assessment team) and ultimately decided that she could no longer live alone. Neither of my brothers did anything to help and I was on my own. I couldn't live with her for several reasons, the main one being she would wander off during the day. I helped her as much as I could under the circumstances, and after trying 5 nursing homes (yes 5!), I eventaully found one suitable. She was put in the security section for obvious reason, and every time I visited her she would look me in the eye and say "I know how to get out of here you know".
    One night I couldn't sleep thinking that I should bring her home and try looking after her. Next day, I hotfooted it down to the nursing home, bailed up the sister in charge, opened my mouth to speak, and she said "I know what you're going to say and the answer is NO! If you took your mother home to live with you, you would end up in this nursing home yourself in no time". I went home thinking...she's right! I'm already right on the edge, all I'd need is a puff of wind and I'd go over, after having dragged my mother through 4 nursing homes. I'm normally a very strong person and can deal with most situations but this one was waaaay out of my league. She lived to age 94 and kept everyone on their toes and some!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mzkitty View Post
    One of my friends at my last job had the same problem. She was divorced, kids all grown and moved away. Her sister volunteered to come live with them, and they both took care of Mom for several years until the ALZ got to the point where she didn't really know who her own daughters were anymore, and the strain on both girls was just too much because Mom kept slipping off her chair or something. Anyway, my friend started investigating nursing homes, and ended up choosing the state-run "community hospital," which has a whole wing just for ALZ patients. You should start looking at where you will want him placed soon, Bethshaya. It doesn't take long before ALZ people don't know you anymore, so you have to be realistic. My friend is happy with where her mom is at. Last I knew anyway; I haven't talked to her in a year or so. Some places are better than others; you know that.
    He was diagnosed 2 years ago and after 52 years of marriage, he already does not know my mother. He calls her "that lady" and thinks she is two people, both named Nancy. Not sure why. He still knows me, my husband and my son. Still calls me "lovergirl" (his nickname for me). We wont look at the home option until it comes to the point where we physically cannot do it. Whether he knows us or not does not matter. We know him. We've discussed us moving home to live with Mom for a while when she needs it. The home next door was for sale and we even talked about buying it so we were close by. But we thank God that he is not combative and is actually a pleasure to have around. He tries to please everyone and just enjoys sitting on the porch people watching. He still remembers his job...48 years as a Firefighter, and those firemen have been awesome. They come by every Monday night and take him out to "men's night" at the bar that all of them gather at. Gives him a chance to talk about the "good ole days" and visit with a lot of the guys he once worked with. A few of the guys go out for breakfast every now and then and always call to ask if they can come pick him up to go out.

    He is not the first AZ patient in the family. We have already cared for my Aunt and my Uncle who both had it. One passed and the other was diagnosed. Dad will always be my hero, but it is so sad to see this once "Man's man" waste away. He was Mr Fix It, built all my furniture, held down three jobs and always was there for us. Now it is time for us to be there for him. Mom has had to learn to do a lot of the things on her own, or call for paid help (fix it guys) for big jobs. But she's doing it.

    I'm now trying to get my Avon business to the point that I can quit my job. Almost there. DH and I are looking to have another baby and have a short window (not getting any younger), so once that happens, I don't want to be working and will be able to help mom more day to day instead of only two days a week.

    Liz Metcalf - Ind. Avon Representative
    www.LipstickLiz.com - Liz@LipstickLiz.com
    You can earn an extra $500, $1,000 or more a month with Avon. No parties, no inventory to purchase, and a trusted and well known brand that has been in business for 127 years. Medical, dental, Rx, plus 401K available to Reps. Just $15 to join. Contact me today!

  19. #19
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    First of all, Mzkitty you are approaching this from the point of the younger caregiver.
    That was fine for you years ago. Now you are on the other end of the situation.
    Have you thought about how you will live as you get older and possibly disabled?

    I agree with Kathy. The government has sucessfully destroyed the type of families that used to exist 50 or 60 years ago. Our society has made it almost mandatory that both husband and wife work outside the home to survive. We actually did this to ourselves after WWII. Women went to work in a big way during the war. When the men came home and went to work, they discovered they could live pretty nice on 2 salaries and a tradition was born. You now had twice as many people chasing about the same amount of money in the economy, therefore both people eventually ended up working to provide a standard of living only slightly better than 1 person working.
    This situation also opened up the floodgates of disposable marriages since both parties had seperate incomes.
    And here we are in a society where familial responsibility is considered a nice thing to have, but not essential. For many people today, a family is a nice concept as long as it doesn't hurt too much, and family members can be discarded with no guilt if they become too much of a hassel.
    The government was an enabler that made alot of the societal shift possible.

    As Kathy said there used to be ways of caring for family members who couldn't care for themselves. Many of those ways don't exist anymore thanks to a changing society and government rules. The fact is that most of those claiming it is simply impossible to provide any care have allowed themselves to be shaped and molded into the situation of helplessness they are in today.
    How much training does it take to admisister an IV or take care of catherization?
    How about a short licensing course for caregivers to provide these kind of services to their own family? How about medicaid giving a small fraction of what they would have to give a long term care home to help the family that wants to care for their own, or to even cover the low cost of an elderly sitter while the primary caregiver works?
    Nope. The government prefers to spend thousands a month to put them in expensive care facilities.
    In addition to government obstacles, many in the younger generation (those in their 40s and younger), never developed a real familial bond while growing up, so they just feel no obligation to help at all. You can blame this on their parents or you can blame it on the way society changed around WWII, but it is still a fact for many.

    Welcome to our Brave New World.

    Before I get all kinds of comments of "not me", remember I sad many or most in my statements.
    "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." -DH Lawrence
    "We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are." - The Talmud

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bethshaya View Post
    He was diagnosed 2 years ago and after 52 years of marriage, he already does not know my mother. He calls her "that lady" and thinks she is two people, both named Nancy. Not sure why. He still knows me, my husband and my son. Still calls me "lovergirl" (his nickname for me). We wont look at the home option until it comes to the point where we physically cannot do it. Whether he knows us or not does not matter. We know him. We've discussed us moving home to live with Mom for a while when she needs it. The home next door was for sale and we even talked about buying it so we were close by. But we thank God that he is not combative and is actually a pleasure to have around. He tries to please everyone and just enjoys sitting on the porch people watching. He still remembers his job...48 years as a Firefighter, and those firemen have been awesome. They come by every Monday night and take him out to "men's night" at the bar that all of them gather at. Gives him a chance to talk about the "good ole days" and visit with a lot of the guys he once worked with. A few of the guys go out for breakfast every now and then and always call to ask if they can come pick him up to go out.

    He is not the first AZ patient in the family. We have already cared for my Aunt and my Uncle who both had it. One passed and the other was diagnosed. Dad will always be my hero, but it is so sad to see this once "Man's man" waste away. He was Mr Fix It, built all my furniture, held down three jobs and always was there for us. Now it is time for us to be there for him. Mom has had to learn to do a lot of the things on her own, or call for paid help (fix it guys) for big jobs. But she's doing it.

    I'm now trying to get my Avon business to the point that I can quit my job. Almost there. DH and I are looking to have another baby and have a short window (not getting any younger), so once that happens, I don't want to be working and will be able to help mom more day to day instead of only two days a week.
    Beth, I'm glad you all can do for him now. As long as he's not combative (like my sister's father-in-law became; tried to hit his wife over the head with a chair; was in the nursing home the very next day); as long as he doesn't fall down or do something else to hurt himself...... judging by what my friend went through, her mom took about 3 years from diagnosis to nursing home. So yes, everybody should still enjoy him and their time with him while they can.
    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by foreverkeeps View Post
    Our family has already been hit by the 2008 layoff, and hubby is only on contract job now, making less than what he made in 2008, AND we are cosigners on mega student loans, which, once again, has been affected with this economy and Son not being able to afford the loans cause he can't get a job using his degree. IOW, we are so far underwater and not making enough to pay peter and paul already... quiting my decent paying job is not an option as it must have been for you... and I am sure is NOT an option for countless others.

    It has nothing to do with attitude.
    Check out what the State of NORTH CAROLINA will pay a family member to care for a mother/father/relative in their home...In Washington it pays about $7.50 an hour. That REALLY helped out when I quit my job to take care of my mom with bone cancer in my home.
    Here is a link: http://www.payingforseniorcare.com/m...ed-adults.html
    North Carolina Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults Waiver (CAP/DA)
    What are Medicaid Waivers?
    Medicaid pays for long term care services in nursing homes. For nursing home qualified persons that choose to live at home or in a residential community, Medicaid will pay for those services if they can be obtained at a lower cost. These are called Home and Community Based Services, Waiver Funded Services, Medicaid Waivers or simply Waivers.
    HERE IS A DECISION THAT COULD LEAVE YOU, AND YOUR LOVED ONES BOTH "Dead" (and) Wrong: IF YOU DECIDE "Better NO treatment, than Colloidal Silver treatment for Ebola!, you are most likely dead."

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by ainitfunny View Post
    Check out what the State of NORTH CAROLINA will pay a family member to care for a mother/father/relative in their home...In Washington it pays about $7.50 an hour. That REALLY helped out when I quit my job to take care of my mom with bone cancer in my home.
    Here is a link: http://www.payingforseniorcare.com/m...ed-adults.html
    Idon't think that GA does, or if they do, my inlaws are unaware of it.
    I learned something recently that I did not know, despite having worked in an insurance office for a LONG time. Long term care insurance is not just for nursing homes, and it does not involve the govt taking everything you have (like Medicaid will for nursing care) It pays for skilled or unskilled care in case of a person being disabled (even temporarily) and can not meet 2 of the 6 markers for being able to care for themselves, in the house or in a home. It will pay for adult day care too. Having been the main caretaker for my mother in her last year of life, and seeing my mil and her siblings do round the clock care for her mother and father, I am a believer in it now. Yes, the children should take care of the parents, no question, but many of the points made in this thread are valid. How many of us have jobs that we HAVE to work in order to live-not fancy, just stuff like food and the light bill etc? How can we pay it if we do what is right to take care of a parent or spouse and have to quit that job. It is hard to take care of a parent who is slipping. They love you, and vice versa, but you are dealing with the equivalent in some cases of a tempermental 2 yr old in an adult body with moments of clarity that thrill you and kill you at the same time because you know it won't last.The caretakers need a break sometimes too, not for a vacation, but to do normal stuff, like grocery shop, go to the doctor themselves, pay bills, etc. Somehow if at all possible, even for young folks, there is a need for an amount of money set back for that., and a meeting between all the family members of how taking care of mama and daddy is going to work.

    My inlaws spent years-from 7/2001 until 2008 with 3 sisters spending 3 night stretches at a time at their parents' house. These ladies worked during the day, but had to pay a woman to come sit with MawMaw and Granddaddy during the day, but my mil still had to take off EVERY Friday to take them to the doctor because Granddaddy would not allow ANYONE else to drive them to town. It took a toll on them. Then my fil got cancer, and my mil took a leave of absence to be home with him since it was not looking good. She was worn out. Now that she is retired, she spends every weekday but Tuesday with her mama, and her sisters take the nights (since she has custody of my bil's boys), and the brothers take the weekends...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ainitfunny View Post
    Check out what the State of NORTH CAROLINA will pay a family member to care for a mother/father/relative in their home...In Washington it pays about $7.50 an hour. That REALLY helped out when I quit my job to take care of my mom with bone cancer in my home.
    Here is a link: http://www.payingforseniorcare.com/m...ed-adults.html
    Interesting, and I will look at the link. Thanks! I make way way over that, and cannot leave my job. I will still invetigate and see if it will allow someone to be hired. but mom isn't qualified for Medicaid due to a small retirement check. If or when she goes into a nursing home, they would take both the retirement and SS and give her a $45 per month stipend.

  24. #24
    Hmm. These decisions are already made by my brothers and myself. Simple things since we know how we get along with our parents. My family has consistently cared for their elderly at home. We leave them in their own home as long as they are able then move them in with a family member. It's not easy. It never has been. But that's what family does.

    Only one relative went into a nursing home and that was because of the level of care she needed. It was at the very end of her life and she needed round the clock nursing and medications. It was her decision. But family was still there whenever it was possible.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

    http://survivingtothrivin.blogspot.com/

  25. #25
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    The last of our parents recently pass in our home and it was a privialge. The last words from my mother n law were " I love you Charles".
    "When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law." ~ Frederic Bastiilt

    "Duty is ours; results are God's."

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerN View Post
    Idon't think that GA does, or if they do, my inlaws are unaware of it.
    I learned something recently that I did not know, despite having worked in an insurance office for a LONG time. Long term care insurance is not just for nursing homes, and it does not involve the govt taking everything you have (like Medicaid will for nursing care) It pays for skilled or unskilled care in case of a person being disabled (even temporarily) and can not meet 2 of the 6 markers for being able to care for themselves, in the house or in a home. It will pay for adult day care too. Having been the main caretaker for my mother in her last year of life, and seeing my mil and her siblings do round the clock care for her mother and father, I am a believer in it now. Yes, the children should take care of the parents, no question, but many of the points made in this thread are valid. How many of us have jobs that we HAVE to work in order to live-not fancy, just stuff like food and the light bill etc? How can we pay it if we do what is right to take care of a parent or spouse and have to quit that job. It is hard to take care of a parent who is slipping. They love you, and vice versa, but you are dealing with the equivalent in some cases of a tempermental 2 yr old in an adult body with moments of clarity that thrill you and kill you at the same time because you know it won't last.The caretakers need a break sometimes too, not for a vacation, but to do normal stuff, like grocery shop, go to the doctor themselves, pay bills, etc. Somehow if at all possible, even for young folks, there is a need for an amount of money set back for that., and a meeting between all the family members of how taking care of mama and daddy is going to work.

    My inlaws spent years-from 7/2001 until 2008 with 3 sisters spending 3 night stretches at a time at their parents' house. These ladies worked during the day, but had to pay a woman to come sit with MawMaw and Granddaddy during the day, but my mil still had to take off EVERY Friday to take them to the doctor because Granddaddy would not allow ANYONE else to drive them to town. It took a toll on them. Then my fil got cancer, and my mil took a leave of absence to be home with him since it was not looking good. She was worn out. Now that she is retired, she spends every weekday but Tuesday with her mama, and her sisters take the nights (since she has custody of my bil's boys), and the brothers take the weekends...
    Yes, Georgia DOES - LINK-http://www.payingforseniorcare.com/medicaid-waivers/ga-community-care-services-program.html
    It is CHEAPER for them to pay YOU to take care of them than to put them in a nursing home.
    HERE IS A DECISION THAT COULD LEAVE YOU, AND YOUR LOVED ONES BOTH "Dead" (and) Wrong: IF YOU DECIDE "Better NO treatment, than Colloidal Silver treatment for Ebola!, you are most likely dead."

  27. #27
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    Aug 2004
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    I have my mother here with me now, she is 93. I have had mama for 3 years now, she is deaf, and going blind, so she needs help. She will never be in a home, for get that crap, not my mom. IF she wants dinner again at 3:30 am, i make it for her. she took care of me for many years, now it is my turn. but I also haven't had much rest in the last 48 hours. and so it goes.
    blessings to all momof23goats

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mzkitty View Post
    One of my friends at my last job had the same problem. She was divorced, kids all grown and moved away. Her sister volunteered to come live with them, and they both took care of Mom for several years until the ALZ got to the point where she didn't really know who her own daughters were anymore, and the strain on both girls was just too much because Mom kept slipping off her chair or something. Anyway, my friend started investigating nursing homes, and ended up choosing the state-run "community hospital," which has a whole wing just for ALZ patients. You should start looking at where you will want him placed soon, Bethshaya. It doesn't take long before ALZ people don't know you anymore, so you have to be realistic. My friend is happy with where her mom is at. Last I knew anyway; I haven't talked to her in a year or so. Some places are better than others; you know that.
    BTDT - we tried caring for my father-in-law for awhile, but with alzheimers he soon became too hard for us, he tried to drive
    so we had to disable his car, then he would wander miles away and we would spend hours looking for him, sometimes he got
    a little too agressive or didn't know us sometimes, so we finally started looking at homes, but knew he wouldn't like them, until we came across a private alzheimers home who only had 4 or 5 patients, and his retirement took care of most of it, he was much happier and so were we as we were free to visit him but didn't have the worry anymore. So sometimes there are
    cases where you just can't do it and have to have help.
    "I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1)

  29. #29
    I am the fifth child of seven, but the oldest daughter. When my Mom's mind started to falter (just a bit) I took her into my home, despite a combative relationship much of my earlier life.

    I had little support from my siblings, despite the fact that they lived close by. I took her out to dinner twice a week, took her to concerts (dancing was her favorite thing ever), bathed and dressed her, etc.

    There were times it wasn't easy, for sure. But, I will never regret it. There was so much healing and laughter. I know, I am one of the lucky ones. But, you know, I didn't figure that would be the case. I never really got along with her in my early years. I count our last year together to be a blessing I never expected. You never know...sometimes God works in mysterious ways.

    PS - when her bone cancer surfaced, we turned to hospice, as I have my own business and needed help - what a wonderful experience! Please don't hesitate to call on them for help - they were wonderful and helped me to understand every stage of the end, without guilt.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathy in FL View Post
    Why are they putting a dollar amount on what should be personal responsibility? For pete sake they are your parents who sacrificed for you the way you sacrifice for your children. My parents live three hours north of us in a very rural area where services are sometimes hard to comeby. They live there because they won't live anywhere else. My Dad turns 70 in December and neither of my parents are in the best of health. Their AC went out and their health is dependent on it at night. Well guess what, hubby got in his van and drove three hours to replace what turned out to be a $15 contactor and then drove three hours home. We didn't tally up the cost to turn it into a freaking tax deduction or create a balance sheet like it was an accounts payable ... it is what you do, period.

    Some people need a kick in the head by a mule.
    That is the way it is in my family too... I just drove 400 miles round trip... Took my Uncle to two Doc appts then took him home and got him settled first... I sat down just 15 min ago to look at the news... Will be back up and down at his house by 9:30 tomorrow morning and while my sister makes his breakfast I will do his dressing changes...

    Such is life and I am proud to do it.. I am glad he is only 3 houses away and that makes it easier to care for him... His daughter is 300 miles away and if we can't step up to do something she is on her way to help... No complaints from her either and she is proud to help too.. Family is family and you do what needs to be done...

    I admit we are talking about the day when/if he can no longer be home alone... We even argue about who he will live with when that happens... At least all of us want him.. So far I am winning

  31. #31
    The Wooden Bowl

    I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now,
    a year from now.

    A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson.
    The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered

    The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and
    failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.
    When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

    The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
    'We must do something about father,' said the son.
    'I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.'

    So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.
    There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.
    Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

    When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.
    Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

    The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

    One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor.
    He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?' Just as sweetly, the boy responded,
    'Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.
    ' The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

    The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

    That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.
    For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason,
    neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

  32. #32
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    "The government has sucessfully destroyed the type of families that used to exist 50 or 60 years ago. Our society has made it almost mandatory that both husband and wife work outside the home to survive. We actually did this to ourselves after WWII. Women went to work in a big way during the war. When the men came home and went to work, they discovered they could live pretty nice on 2 salaries and a tradition was born. You now had twice as many people chasing about the same amount of money in the economy, therefore both people eventually ended up working to provide a standard of living only slightly better than 1 person working.
    This situation also opened up the floodgates of disposable marriages since both parties had seperate incomes.
    And here we are in a society where familial responsibility is considered a nice thing to have, but not essential. For many people today, a family is a nice concept as long as it doesn't hurt too much, and family members can be discarded with no guilt if they become too much of a hassel.
    The government was an enabler that made alot of the societal shift possible."

    A lot of truth in this.

    What I thought with the OP was that we are going to see increasing propaganda (that's what it is) to foster the idea that elder care is just too hard and too expensive and too "disruptive" ---it will start (always does) with the extreme cases, but the appeal is to the "me, me, me" attitude of the younger generations. This happened in Germany in the '30's with the posters and films pushing euthanasia for the mentally and physically disabled, and was very effective. People here aren't better. Why do you think there's so much made of how "selfish" old people are and how much care for them is "wasted"?
    Last edited by FREEBIRD; 08-18-2012 at 07:26 PM.
    "You're not living in the story the world tells you you're living in. The story is not about the Clash of Civilizations, the March of Progress, the American Dream, the Rise of Civilization or the Struggle of Race, Class, and Gender. It's about the triumph of Jesus Christ in rescuing us from this passing world and bringing us into eternal ecstasy and perfection."---Mark Shea

  33. #33
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    My Aunt had ALZ and was managing at home for a number of years. When her baby sister died, she really lost it. She went to live with a cousin and her older sister but 3 months later developed Sundowners. Even with the doors locked and alarmed she became violent and escaped breaking a window. We had to put her in a nursing home where she lived for 11 years not knowing anyone and not able to talk. But she did cry when I visited. What an awful way to live.

  34. #34
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    BTDT! My mother lived with us for a while. I was working outages on the road and SWMBO worked. We had neighbors watching for her, too. It got so nobody in the house could sleep wondering what she was doing in her apartment downstairs. I killed the breakers to the stove and anything else that could be dangerous.
    When my sisters would visit we'd try to prepare them - then my mother would act perfectly normal! Made us look like idiots and they thought we just wanted to "get rid" of her! We had to go out of town one week and my younger sister stayed with her. Before we got back Sunday afternoon, the nursing home had been lined up!
    It's real easy for family, etc to decide what you should do - the situation seems to change when they're confronted with what you've been dealing with 24/7. She became the proverbial "social butterfly" at the nursing home and seemed to really enjoy having friends with common memories until she finally slipped too fat to even remember us.
    She was with the first group of non-combatants to enter Auschwitz at the end of WWII.
    “Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” Sgt Stryker in "Sands of Iwo Jima" (John Wayne) ; "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig." (Robert Heinlein) ; "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." (Will Rogers) ; "There's only two ways to get along with a woman....too bad nobody knows either of them!" (HBN)

  35. #35
    After taking care of mom and dad about 8 years and mom passed at home with wonderful hospice support, it became necessary to move dad to the nursing home. It took me a LONG time to find peace with it. He was a difficult man who slept all day and couldn't be told what to do; I think he went a year without a shower. He still sleeps all day at the nursing home and only sometimes knows who I am at my weekly visit. I am still working full time and my siblings are not in the area. Difficult choice.
    God's idea of grace is far bigger than your idea of karma-Alan Cohen

  36. #36
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    Question about Alzheimer's for you folks who have first-hand experience with it. I get the impression from this and similar threads that those coming down with Alzheimer's are unaware of the progressing affliction.

    Does anyone progressing into this state ever show an awareness of their devolving faculties, to the point of being able to adjust their behaviors to compensate for the difficulties they present to the caregivers? Or are they just off in la-la land most or all of the time, right from the get-go?

  37. #37
    Been there done that, didn't get a T-shirt. What I got was stress like illustrated and then more stress at work because I was taking time off and why weren't projects (that where not part of my job) not getting completed to the point I had to leave or it would destroy me, it nearly did. Maybe that's why I'm still so quick to anger.

    There is always one family member who steps up to do the job and the rest of the siblings breathe a tremendous sigh of relief it's not them.
    Last edited by Double_A; 08-18-2012 at 12:36 PM.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by nharrold View Post
    Question about Alzheimer's for you folks who have first-hand experience with it. I get the impression from this and similar threads that those coming down with Alzheimer's are unaware of the progressing affliction.

    Does anyone progressing into this state ever show an awareness of their devolving faculties, to the point of being able to adjust their behaviors to compensate for the difficulties they present to the caregivers? Or are they just off in la-la land most or all of the time, right from the get-go?
    With my dad it was a slow progression that something just wasn't right until it occurred to us. There were points at which it became self evident to my dad that he was losing it but like hang on the a greasy rope you just keep slipping away inch by inch. Once I went to see my dad New Year's eve. Told him I was going to the city. That day was good, turned out be be his last good day he was cognizant that the holiday & driving was dangerous he told me "be safe" that was a year before he passed and about four years after it was diagnosed.

    When you ask a caregiver how is it going, they will most likely answer in this manner "Today was a good (or rough) day" really that's all you can say.

    Alzheimer is 100% fatal

    Go rent the 2004 movie "The Notebook"

  39. #39
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    Based on very little personal observation of people I knew or were related to my DW, (nobody in my family has ever had it, even though a few have gone over 100 yrs) some seem to realize it and admit it, others refuse even though any observer would note they have a problem. (Go out for a walk and can't find their way home. Neighborhood knows about it and watches out for the person-small town.)

    Depends on the person.
    "The misfortune of many is the consolation of fools" Ancient proverb

  40. #40
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    nharrold... in my limited experience, once they get to the point of their "behaviors" being disruptive or problematic, they don't have any real control over those behaviors.

    My Dad died 2 years ago after a LONG battle with what may not have been Alzheimers- not to drift this too far, but I strongly suspect many cases of "Alzheimers" are misdiagnosed, as it is true that "Alzheimers is 100% fatal"... and many patients, like my Dad, are living for decades after diagnosis, without ever progressing to the point of losing all physical abilities, which supposedly does happen in Alzheimers.

    Looking back, we now realize he was showing some signs of the problem as early as his mid 60's. Just one example- he had been a master electrician all his life, although mostly as a hobby as he worked as a high level executive for the telephone company as his "day job". He'd wired several houses, as well as done dozens- if not hundreds- of smaller jobs over the decades. It was second nature to him, and he was a careful perfectionist. In 1980 (he was 55 at the time) our house burned- he wired the water pump for us so we could have water, but wired it to 220, not 110. Burned it up and we had to buy a new one. At the time, we just brushed it off as fatigue and stress. Later, we added that small incident to many, many others, and realized that he was already beginning the very slow slide into dementia.

    (also, he retired from his phone company job at 53; he and my mom told us that it was because the stress was getting to him, and that was certainly true. It wasn't until MANY years later that mom told me he had gone to a conference in NY city and essentially had a nervous breakdown- forgot what he was supposed to be doing, why he was there, couldn't give the speech he was scheduled for. That was VERY unlike him- he was an easy going, gregarious, very bright man who had no problems with public speaking, etc.)

    And for the first 10 years (if you figured 1980 as the beginning) he essentially functioned very well- he helped us rebuild our house, took our children on multiple vacations across the US in their motor home, etc. But it took more and more of his energy to stay "normal" and function. The vacations came to an end when he sideswiped a luxury car with the 27 foot motorhome, and didn't even realize he'd hit something until the police pulled him over! Our second son was 16 and had his learners permit. They were 1100 miles from home. The kid drove that huge motorhome all the way home for them, without a single problem (Thank God for farm raised kids! LOL!)

    But Alzheimers especially causes actual, physical brain damage, and as more and more brain cells and connections are lost, they lose not only cognitive abilities, but self control.

    And although my Mom promised Dad (a very ill advised promise that caused her a lot of undue anguish because she couldn't keep it in the end) that she'd NEVER put him into a nursing home, she had to eventually. He almost broke her wrist once, fighting taking a shower, and badly sprained her back when she was trying to get him dressed. It was very much like dealing with an angry toddler- except this "toddler" was 6 feet tall and weighed 180#, and was still very strong.

    Tragically, she couldn't get ANY help from agencies, etc- if she could have gotten someone to come in a couple times a week to bathe him and handle some of the other problems, he could have probably stayed home longer. However, she was honest about his "temper tantrums" (and he was NEVER physically violent, in terms of attacking her- he just was trying to NOT take a shower or whatever) and the agencies simply said they couldn't "endanger" any of their employees.

    As hard as this is to say, I'll admit that he probably would still be alive if we hadn't adamantly insisted that his "living will" be followed, and refused to allow them to install a feeding tube. He died of what was probably an easily treated intestinal bug, but he was getting very close to the point where he wasn't going to be able to swallow any more, and then we would have had to allow him to starve (or put the feeding tube in, and then watch him follow the same path as his mother, who lived her last 8 years (dying in her late 90's) handcuffed to her bed, screaming for them to "let her go", because she would pull the feeding tube out if her hands were free. So when he got sick, we insisted on comfort care only and let him go Home. It was what HE wanted... hell, he wouldn't have wanted to live his last 10 years if he'd have had a choice. But it sure wasn't easy.

    Summerthyme

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