I’m feeling like all the care of Mom and Dad–taking them to doctors (heart doctors, psych doctors, eye doctors, ear specialists, urologists), taking them on outings, conferring with their caregivers about all the details of their needs, buying them clothes, a lift chair, selling their couch and now their buffet, buying and trying to install their air conditioner, paying their bills, staying on top of their investments, sitting beside them at the emergency room (more times than I can count) and much much more–is too much for me alone. I want help. I want at least one thing I don’t have to be responsible for. I’d like one thing I don’t have to do the legwork on. I’d love to hand off some of the other duties, say bill paying and doing background checks on the caregivers, but this one more thing totally overwhelms me.
My younger sister is getting right on the Power of Attorney documents–and & I want her to talk with our parents about their resuscitation wishes.
I’d love for my older brother to take the lead on talking with an accountant and come up with a salary package for our main caregiver and withholding taxes and figuring out vacation or sick benefits.
I don’t know if my siblings have any idea how much time and energy and hours our parents take! Their latest issues are constantly on my mind. Right now it’s Dad’s uncharacteristic change in behavior and Mom’s psych medicine, which I fear, has turned her into a zombie (although the anxiety has lessened).
I’m sorry to dump this all at once, but please, please, I need my siblings to pitch in where you can!
On a recent visit home, my parents – who are in their 80′s – picked me up from the airport in their car. The usual chitchat/catch-up ensued on the drive to their home, mostly between mom and I while Dad concentrated on his driving. We decided to stop at the grocery store near their home, since we were already out and about. A few blocks away, my Dad suddenly said – “how do I get there?” The sudden silence in the car was deafening. For a moment I thought he was joking – we have been there a zillion times over the last 20 years – the car could practically drive itself! My Mom regained her voice first and calmly directed him, never showing any indication of shock or surprise, and we continued on. Later, when I had a moment alone with my mom, I expressed my concern and her reply was that sometimes he had an “off” day and this must be one of them.
Amy Dickinson is a syndicated columnist who has recently responded to a write in question. Amy’s article, “Mom’s Refusal to Cook May Hint of Bigger Issues” immediately caught my attention. I wondered if the person writing in was the caregiver, a sibling or perhaps the adult child? Answer: it was the adult child. The Mom’s refusal to cook had her daughter worried & as I read the article I understood why.
Amy’s response was thoughtful and helpful. Let’s see what you think……
Driving in the car with my grandfather is like playing Russian Roulette with my life. Every time I get into the car I pray that we get to our destination and back unharmed! I love my grandfather but he likes to drive faster than his age, which is 89. I think the scariest part about driving with my grandfather is that he has horrible balance, which in my eyes makes him close to unfit to drive. He drives a Prius, which he speeds in constantly. The reason for his driving above the speed limit is that the engine is so quiet he says he can’t hear it. I think to myself, “what about just looking at the speedometer like normal people do?” I try to suggest that I might drive but he always says girls can’t drive. What do I do?