I am completely overwhelmed, actually feeling depressed! I am feeling blue….challenged by the vastness of dealing with my aging parents. My mom is 84 yo & my step-dad is 91 years old. I keep walking around scratching my head and asking myself, “where are the directions?” How did I get here……and where is the “how to” manual (WITH a Table of Contents) about what to do? I think that what I am particularly struck by is how unprepared I feel. My emotions seem to run the gamut from doing great, maybe somedays fine to just completely bowled over….this is MIND BOGGLING! Is there anyone else beside me that feels like this?
My parents are in their mid 80′s and live a 2 hour plane ride from me. My sister lives 45 minutes from my parents but I am not sure if that is the blessing or the curse….Since we have different interactions with my parents (hers more often than mine) I tend to question my perception about my parents health & living situation. I believe that my parents are in denial about their health and how long they can stay in their home. They currently have help four days a week to clean the house, food shop, care for their two golden labs & run errands that my parents can no longer manage. I would like to have a open conversation with everyone, my parents, my sister & myself to discuss next steps. I seem to be THE ONLY ONE who feels this would be a good idea. WHAT IS EVERYONE ELSE WAITING FOR? H E L P … anyone out there have any wisdom to share?
News at my end – While my Dad hasn’t improved, we received results today from the MRI he had last Friday. He will be having a steroid shot to the spine tomorrow morning which they hope will give him relief. He has a disc herniation pinching the left side of the nerve root. The injection takes about 3 days to work, so here’s praying that this helps. Alternatives are trying to see if it will heal itself in 4 – 6 weeks (no sign that is happening during the past 3 weeks!) or surgery which they definitely hope to avoid due to his age.
Then three weeks later….I had to drive 3 hrs to see them, as I got a call from my brother that my mom was in the emergency room. She had dislocated a rib. Got here at 7 pm and IT WAS A MESS! I will be was there for three full days getting more care set up.
OH AND ALSO, my parents came to the conclusion that they need to go into assisted living. Unfortunately they have no idea about their insurance coverage. Neither of them are familiar with the details of their health care policy. Guess who needs to take that on before my parents know what their options are? M E !
I have just finished watching the movie, “A Time to Remember”. It is the story of a struggling artist & single mom, Britt Calhoun, (Dana Delany) who returns home for Thanksgiving to face her wealthy mother, Maggie (Doris Roberts) and the troubled history they share. Britt gets more than she bargained for when a dramatic secret comes to light about her mother’s health. This touching movie sensitively explores the power of family ties. Some lines from the movie follow -
Britt: “Mom, I know. Aunt Billy told me. We will get through this”. Aunt Billy: “Britt, you are already helping. You came home!”
Britt: “Mom, I am glad that I came home. I love you & I want to help you. You need to let me help you.” Maggie: “Children aren’t suppose to take care of their parents. I’m afraid! I have no control over this & one of these days I won’t even know who you are.” Britt: |”Just know that I love you.”
Britt gives her Mom a photo album, carefully compiled by her & says, “now you can find the past whenever you need to”.
Maggie says to those gathered at the Thanksgiving dinner table, “with family we have the capacity to forgive & be forgiven as in no other place in life. Time & memory are so fleeting. We must savor every moment because it could slip away without our noticing it. Here’s a toast to my family!”
We are building this blog the old fashioned way – one friend at a time! Please join in the conversation. Contribute a post, sharing the gifts and challenges that concern you most about providing care to aging loved ones. Also, comment on other posts and send another person to our site. (Note: please limit posts to 500 words or less.)