Just when you think you're getting a break.


So, my husband and I spent the better part of a year downsizing, purchasing/closing and selling/closing on two homes, moved our business to our new home, have supported our youngest daughter through a divorce and are now assisting with her new home purchase. During this time in the last six months, we took my 93+ year old mother with dementia back and forth for 9 weeks to have her dentures fully replaced. So, we're just feeling like we're coming to the end of a whirlwind, and I just get a call from the AL that my mother apparently flushed her (new, less than 5 months old) lower dentures down the toilet in the middle of the night. Found myself bursting into frustrated tears, which I admit caught me a bit off guard. Guess I just needed to vent to some folks I know can truly empathize after which, once again, I'll be setting up multiple dental appointments for the lost denture replacement. I know this will all end when she's passed away but this always waiting for the next shoe to drop in the middle of a relatively minor lull is more than exhausting!!!

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Well, off your topic so please forgive my intrusion but I'm just now beginning to see the "Sundown" Syndrome in my wife. It has become so predicable. About 5 PM Houston time each day she begins to ask me when we are "going home". We are from Virginia.
That leads to "are my parents still alive?" "Are yours?"

"Who bought my parents house? Did I get any money from that?"

an aside: Their deaths happened over 40 years ago.

I could go on and on about where this leads each night .... usually in an argument.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Tony in Houston .. from Virginia ..

Oh, thank you everybody, for not only listening to me but both helping to shoulder the burdens and just being there!!! This community is truly a Godsend and the fact that so many of us are both going through many of the same life changes as well as dealing with the day to day "shoe dropping" with our LO's is amazing. Or, maybe it's just amazing that we're still basically standing!! I share the narcissistic parent who really can only focus on her own wants, needs, etc. but, of course, it's now just compounded by the dementia. I went to visit her for awhile this afternoon and right after I got there she launches into how "if they (the aides, of course) like something (in today's case, her 30 year old coasters) they just take it." So, I look in her dresser drawer and....lo and behold....there are said coasters. Uggghhh!!! And, like many of you, although I have two siblings (older brother in Kansas so he gets the geographic pass, of course) and a sister who lives about 45 minutes away (she basically "wants to do more, and really is so very sorry that I/we (hubby and me) have to deal with this alone, and I know it's awful to say but...why can't this all be over, blah, blah, blah......." that I just know the worst thing that could possibly happen would be for something to happen to one of us (me or hubby) first. And, to fully jump all over the map, to those of you in the throes of downsizing, just a couple of suggestions. If you've had a really big place, try not to miniaturize while you downsize. Too many friends/family have done this and are extremely sorry. And, once you get through the worst of it, keep to your resolve and continue to throw out stuff, even if some of it makes its way to your new place. :-) Hugs to everyone and thank you so much again for all of your input - more than valuable!!!


Mom being bedridden, her days are sadly, numbered?

One of my very favorite movies concerning dealing with a declining parent and no-show siblings is Hanging Up with Meg Ryan and Diane Keaton. Throughout the movie whenever Megs phone rings she bursts out "he's dead, he's dead!" The second hardest period of my life has been the last two years and especially the last 12 months when the lulls of non-emergency rapidly decreased and the other shoes were raining down pelting me in the head. I was living in a constant state of anxious anticipation- afraid to leave town for more than two days, afraid to not answer the phone, and afraid to answer it. A yes, every time the phone rang, thinking "she's dead". It can be a miserable existence that we self-impose because we love our parents and we are desperately trying to do the right thing. Obviously there are no easy answers or we wouldn't be here and there'd be no need for this site. So we soilder on - nervous, exhausted wrecks.

Regarding lost items like teeth and hearing aids. My sig other couldn't find his glasses one day, this was back when the style was more the small wire rims. We tore the house apartment looking for them. Where in the world were those eye glasses???

I decided to scoop out the little box, lo and behold I found the eye glasses.... apparently our boy "Charlie" the cat had took them and buried them in the box. We should have looked there first or in his toy box, as he was in the stage of taking things, like credit cards and putting them in his toy box.

For me it's often the hospital issue. Things are proceeding fairly well, then suddenly everything changes and we're back to the hospital, then rehab. It's always an unsettling event as well, especially if there are new issues to be researched, diagnosed by the medical staff, and dealt with going forward. Options and choices narrow down with age, so the decisions are not easy ones.

My mom used to keep 'losing' her dentures. We would find it between the sofa cushion, under the sofa, etc... I hated it because it was like searching everyday for it. She hated it and dad would force her to put it on. I was so relieved when one day it was lost for good. We looked both inside and outside the house, the front and back yard. It was 'lost' for good.

Florida automatically renews your driver's license? That's awful! My dad drove scary. He would cross the lanes despite all three lanes had oncoming cars and a tourist bus - near hits. He would drive straddling 2 lanes, etc... In our island, you have to take the eye test before you can renew your license. Dad failed it and sweet-talked the man to disregard the failed eye test and renew his license. He got it. Then time passed and I never reminded him that his DL was expiring soon. He finally remembered it but it was too late. I lied to him. I told him that since it's been several months past the expiration, he would have to take the written and the road test again. He changed his mind.

Yes, those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end. LOL

When my Mom gave up driving.......her decision, that is when she really started to decline in my opinion. She became a recluse almost. I think most days I was the only person she ever saw. Sad, considering she had 5 other kids. :P

I get so pissed off at my family. I know it's all water under the bridge now but I still can't get over what a bunch of selfish, self-centered ingrates they all are.

My sister e-mailed us all the other day telling us she still wants to do Christmas at her place this year. I don't think any of us want to go there anymore cause she just lords it over everybody. Last year my two brothers-in-law had a big screaming match and it was the first Christmas without Mom. It basically sucked, big time. I feel like telling her to cram it. Take your fancy dancy Christmas tree and shove it where the sun don't shine.

There ............got that out of my system. I feel much better.

Ahh Mina! Just Ahhh! You have been through it, as have FF, IMB1234, and me too!

13 years with that selfish B*****d (my FIL) living in my home, and still when he was told that we too, (just like he did upon retirement) will be selling our home to move to less stressful and physically taxing home ownership due to hubby's bad back issues and my arthritis issues, to move into a Condo and begin enjoying a little living and do some vacationing, while our own health still will allow for some, and all he can think about is himself. Not What we have given up to provide him a worry free place for him to live in, Not the multi thousands of dollars we've saved him from living on his own (even though we in hindsight did both him and us a disservice), all my husband is hearing is "what's to become of ME?", even after several sessions of several hours long discussions my husband has had with him, assuring him that we aren't abandoning him, and that we won't be far away. He will not and cannot conceed to the fact that this is the best thing for all of us, and doesn't understand that We NEED Our Time Now, and He is unable to adjust his thinking that he had 15 great years of stress free and enjoyable retirement, alone with his own wife before she passed away, thanks in part to my husband and myself. And even though, like you IMB1234, the next few months are going to be extremely difficult for me to leave the home that I have Loved for 20+ years, and how unbelievably hard it is to have to go through and downsize and give away so many of my prized possessions, because realistically they all will not fit in a much smaller place as we intend to buy, just for sensibility sake, as like all of you, weve been through the downsizing with both sets of parents before, and do not wish to leave that burden to our own kids. It's not like he has Dementia, well maybe a little, and he Never cared for an elder parent a day in his life, but to have absolutely No appreciation for what we have done for him! It really pisses me off, but this is I suppose, what to expect from a Narcissist.

I know we are in for many more days to come of the "Next Shoe to Drop", and that these next 6 months will be the hardest of our lives, especially getting him accustomed to the idea and then adjusted to living on his own for the first time in his whole life ever(albeit in Assisted living)! I am planning for the best, while preparing for the worst, but this too shall pass, I just wish it were already over, and we were all settled! I too am exhausted just thinking about it!

It never ends does it, not really, not til it is well and truly over, and then I feel bad even thinking like this! Its been a long road, and I am tired!

I do appreciate hearing about your experiences and adjustments made with your LO's. What has workd and what hasn't, and especially the right way to get things done! Great discussion thread, good luck to everyone who going through this!

Ohhh....Imb and FF....I hear ya!....I'll never forget that right after we threw Mom a magnificent 90th B'day Party (she was magnificent, too....danced for hours to the live band), she and I were sorting thru all her piled up mail (yessss.....bills and bank statements mixed in w/junk mail and "charity" requests) I found a letter from DMV, mailed the previous month and unopened, telling Mom her DL would expire on her B'Day (already past now) and had to be renewed and that she had to take a vision test.

Frankly, my sibs, her friends, etc. had been trying to get Mom to give up driving for a few years but when I read the notice to her and asked where her prescription eyeglasses were.....lost....again, of course. Mom picked up a pair of $12 WalMart readers and told me, "No problem, I'll just wear these for the test.".....Hmmmm....NO, Mom....your DL specifies "prescription" corrective lenses!....jeez...

So, I take Mom back to the optometrist, she picks out new frames, we order 2 more new eyeglasses (been ordering multiples for over a year becuz they always "disappear").....before they ever arrive, the great state of FL sends her a new DL.....no vision test having been taken! Not to get on a rant about FL but, seriously, you have a 90 YO who needs to renew their DL and you require NO Driving Test??!!!

Luckily, Mom decided (after I had her Dr. talk to her) to give up driving (we made sure she had plenty of rides in place).....yeah!!...one small step, etc....Funny (not) but my brother took Mom over to her storage place a few weeks later. The guys there all said,"Hey, Mrs. C....remember the last time you were here and we had to help you find where you parked your car....hahaha"......YIKES....

Hearing Aids!!....AND those tiny little batteries that only last 5 days.....ARGHHH....

Well, there won't be a big party or any dancing for Mom's 95th B'Day next month. She's bedridden now but still sweet and smiling. No more eyeglass worries, no more hearing aid worries, no more driving worries.....we'll take that right now.

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