Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Musings

When in a funk, I am not fun to be around.  I know this.  And my husband is finding it out the hard way.  I've been down since hearing that my parents don't qualify for the retirement place they were all scheduled to move into.  It's a shock.  Everything was moving towards the move.  There was forward momentum, albeit slow.  Then, the doctor for the facility reviewed mom's medical records and said, essentially, that she is too advanced in her declining health to be admitted.  I think the whole process should be reversed, with a medical review FIRST, and then if you pass the review, you start the application and purchase process.  This has been a real let down for the entire family.  It seems, now, their two choices are to have more in home care (dad is burning out quickly) or to place mother in an assisted living facility or skilled nursing.  I doubt she'll be able to live out her life at home.  At some point, her disease will demand even more care, care that can only be done by professionals in a facility that is set up for that.  And that will be a bummer.

I remember well when my ex-wife's grandfather had to go to skilled nursing because grandma could no longer take care of him at home, and they didn't want to bring help into the home.  So, despite his vigorous protestations, into the facility he went.  Every time we visited, he would cry and beg to go home.  It was heartbreaking.  So much so that his wife refused to visit him there, as did his granddaughter.  So he was even more alone than ever.  A vicious and cruel cycle.  We were there with him when he took his last breath, for all the good it did him.  I'm not sure he knew we were there.

He had a roommate who wailed continuously, and the poor gentleman had to sleep on a mattress on the floor because he kept falling out of bed.  It was a pitiful sight to witness.  Luckily, grandpa could turn off his hearing aids.

Why do people object so damned much to have loving care done in their home?  If you have the room for a live in person, I think it's selfish to send your ailing one away to a miserable and lonely room in a facility.  I'd rather make the adjustment to living with a caregiver.  My parents, however, have only very reluctantly let a care giver into their home for 3 days a week.  And then they don't use her to her full capacity.  They keep her at arm's length, she's "the help" and they are Lord and Lady of the Manor.  Frustrating and boring for her.  

This rejection of my parents by the retirement home hits me hard at a very deep level, for all the reasons I stated above.  I'm walking the line of being helpful but keeping my own needs in mind.  I did care giving for mom for 3 years recently, and it was always a struggle to get dad to give up any kind of control in his home.  Maybe he'll just need to come to his wit's end before he cries uncle and let's someone take over.  It also took a very big toll on my health.  I have been very healthy since moving out of their home and not having my life revolve around them.  I want to keep it that way.

This morning, my husband helped me set up Spotify on my cell phone.  It was a challenge for me and I lost my cool.  I took a chill pill, literally.  Then got back to wrestling with forgotten passwords and technical difficulties.  Finally, viola!  I put on a playlist called Happy Hits, plugged in the ol' earbuds and took Lucy for a little walk around the neighborhood.  Pharrell's "Happy" completely changed my mood to one of joy.  Thank you, Pharrell.  Thank you Steve. 


14 comments:

  1. Oh my Gawd....I so relate.............got my peace pills at the ready if necessary. xxxooo :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what if they expire before you do? A back up plan??!? Though morbid, we've got to think of these things.

      Delete
  2. This is a very tough part of life. We are not all fortunate enough to die before we need that level of care. Assisted living places can be nice, like studio apartments, but nursing homes not so much. I hope you can find a facility that will give her the care she needs. It's very tough when the offspring needs to become the parent. My husband and I were lucky in that my parents died before it became an issue for either one. His parents made the choice to move to such a facility on their own. I have friends though that it fit what you are describing for the parent resented them for where they were having to live. Caregivers usually die before the sick one. It's just how it happens all too often. It sounds really wrong for the facility to wait until the last to tell you what they did. :( Good luck with finding the right place. You might talk to those in that region who have had to go through this to see if they have recommendations. I wonder if there are groups out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, I now understand that a quick death, though shocking, is the best way to go. It's over and done with. None of the years long anguish that can destroy families.

      Delete
  3. We've been through this a couple of times, so I know what you're going through. With my mother-in-law, she refused to have anyone help in the house. Finally, we found a young woman, very distantly related to her daughter-in-law, and told her the young woman really needed a place to stay during the week while she worked part time. We sold her on having someone in her house this way--she thought she was doing this interesting young woman, a "member of the family", a favor, when it was the other way around. As for how we got her to stop driving...long story there, but let's just say that car of hers mysteriously developed mechanical difficulties that were impossible to fix! I hope you find a solution, by hook or by crook, and that you find them soon. Peace to you--and Xanax!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what a great solution! Sometimes a little trickery goes a long way. I hope that I am not stubborn this way when I am very old. I hope I can follow my daughter's advice, happily, and know that we are all doing the best we can.

      Delete
  4. Well, you know the route we're taking at this point. My mom is in pretty good health so we're hopeful that things will unfold smoothly. I am so sorry that your mom and dad were turned down by the retirement place. We humans have really made a mess of how to healthfully and happily care for our elderly loved ones. I wish things were easier. The truth about living in larger communities, the way our ancestors did for THOUSANDS of years is that the elderly had a whole village to look out for them. What we've done with the progress of "civilization" is lose the very context of our human-ness. It is extremely hard to paste it back together. And now each and every family has to figure out how to do it on their own. Good luck and I hope your parents find a wonderful, comfortable place. Glad you have chill pills to take.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. when are you bringing in a care giver? it may take a few different folks before you find the right one, but you will.

      Delete
  5. you are welcome babe, it will be ok.

    ReplyDelete
  6. There is a short space between helping and enabling. Glad you seem to have found that space.

    The story you relate is so common and the very reason we already have a down payment and are approved for a full-service retirement community. We'll hopefully begin living there in about 5 years in a three-bedroom home with yard and privacy. Then we can progress to the various levels of care as our health dictates. It's not fair for the care of elderly parents to be on the shoulders of their children. That's why we have made plans to ensure that we make the decisions. That and the fact that we spent five years tending to the needs of my M-I-L.

    Unlike you, the last thing I want to hear when I'm in a funk is happy music or a pep talk. At least not until I have gotten the bad vibes out of my system on my own. Usually a long walk or trip to the lake will do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the trick is moving into these communities before your health declines. If they deem you medically unsound, even after you've put your payment down, you're out of luck. Yes, I'm beginning to think I need to seriously ensure that I am taken care of in my dotage, especially as my husband is 15 older than I am. Don't want to do this to my daughter, who is an only child.

      Delete
  7. I don't think there's any shortcuts to getting through this kind of life experience. I will just wish you continued strength and courage as you navigate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you, Elizabeth. We all have our crosses to bear, and they are not always so heavy. Your navigation of life's ups and downs are a real touch stone for me, so thank you for that.

      Delete