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I have recently seen some things that have disturbed me. I've seen a parent 'asking' an adult child for a 'emergency response device' for a measly $20 bucks a month. The daughters response? No.
That answer may have been a factor in her mother's death! Two weeks later her mom is found dead in their new 'walk-in' bath tub.
When can a person KNOW their aging parents need help? Is it possible to know before tragedy strikes? We question them and get answers we 'want' to hear, and we are satisfied, right? Only to notice that the answer didn't prove to be true...
Parents don't want to be a burden. So they embellish, which is just a nice word for ' lie'. They lie.
Mom or dad may have never lied before, but they get quite proficient, when it comes to protecting their children from the truth of parents capabilities, or as in these cases, inabilities.

How can 'we' as a society, learn things no-one shared with us before? I have never been AS OLD as I am now, no one has explained that I will one day have to make decisions for my mom & dad. Why not? Isn't there a class or something to prepare a person for becoming the 'parent' of their parents?
How can I know my dad has pneumonia if he doesn't complain or call the doctor? How's a person to deal with the guilt of NOT knowing, that mom or dad, was sick, until it was too late?
Mom is gone. She was ALWAYS the strong one... When did she lose her strength? How could I not see this? No one is protected from life and its harsh realities, I know, but couldn't it be easier, in some way? Prepare me? Too much to ask, I suppose.
I guess this is what life is all about, right? Learning to deal with each of life's degrees, if you will, to make good and continue on, for this too, shall pass.

Tomorrow is, in fact, another day! Here's to seeing the 'sunrise'! God bless. C-ya!

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Dear friend, I understand what you are saying and going through. Lord, it is mind bending. How do you come to terms with your parent's decline and realize that it is up to you to now give them the care that they need and deserve, as you do too deserve. I agree with all of the above responses, I had to educate myself to my mother's disease, I had to deal with the pain of the loss of her. You probably are aware of all the stages of grief, it is a process that can not be denied. You want to be able to move through them and survive, you have to be willing to go through each stage and be patient with yourself. You don't want to deny each stage but let it move because you can get stuck in one of the levels, as in the depression of it all. The goal is acceptance, you can change what you can, you must accept what you can't and you ask for the wisdom to know the difference. We here have felt it all, it is never easy, it is mind blowing but you will if you are willing to put in the self work get through it, there is great support here and I wish you peace.
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I totally agree - there needs to be more preparation. Unless you've happened to witness the cycle of aging and caregiving, it really is a bit of a mystery that smacks you upside the head once it is your turn. I'm sure there's a more elegant way to put that, but lately smacked upside the head describes how I feel.

Most of all I wish someone had warned me that people enter a danger zone for their health in their mid-60's. I read that that is the point at which a significant number of people have their first real decline and serious aging related health issues. If they make it past their 60's okay, many do quite well till their 80's. But the 60's "danger zone" was unexpected to me because all of my grandparents except one made it past it, this unfortunately has not been true for the relatives I will be responsible for.
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Snowgray, so sorry but their r no crystal ball out there for all the answers. I was kind of thrown into it with my mom-in-law (mil). I started notice things that were different with her such as: Wearing the same clothing over n over, some looked even dirty, n hiding her own medicine to make us think she was taking it. My husband, his mom was n denial n it took him awhile until I told him that when she use to smoke that she leave them burning all over the place n that the stove was left on too. That she needed to be check for Alzheimers for I knew a little bit due to my grandma had it. All I knew about Alz was memory loss n that was it! I think they notice something is not quite right with them n they still trying to keep their own independence so they ‘lie to us’ yet still n denial of themselves. However, with my mil situation it was too risky to leave her living any longer by herself so we moved her n with us. I did a lot of researching n was luckily to find this forum n the process. Great place to learn, cry, and vent. I also contacted my local Alzheimer’s Association, Alz.org for any help or education advice I could get to better understand. By the way, their will be times where u can read as many books as u can to prepare n wham!, there is always something new with this illness that will happen sooner or later that no book can teach you. Sometimes it like,, “learn as u go.”
Get as much information as you can to educate yourself but also remember to breath for this is a lot to take into for yourself. You cannot learn it all at n one day for everyone’s situation is different n what may work for one may not work for you and your parent.
Getting a POA is a must if you plan on being the sole person taking charge of their health n finances. Their r also other alternatives like Assisting Living places but u need to make sure they have an area for Alzheimer’s as the disease goes into the later stages for he will need more one-on-one care. This forum has tons of information at the top by hovering over the areas that are in blue color boxes n a drop down list will pop up for more detail information. Now, take a deep breath for you r only human n please come back here to let us know how you r doing.
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I am learning from myself as I age many things I had never known before. When to give in and change the way I do things. I am very independent but it is very nice to have doors held open and bags carried out even if I can still do it.
I have and still do collect a lot of "stuff' that may come in handy "one day" but I am quietly reorganizing things so that when and if the time comes I know what to keep and what to let go. I have already lived five years longer than my mother and all her siblings and know things could change at any time but I take care of my health and my weight is the same as it was 50 years ago when I got married.
Everything is more tiring these days so the tasks take longer but I still manage my garden. I worked till I was 68 and could have gone on longer doing a good job but I was feeling the strain I knew my time had come to enjoy retirement. I never wear high heels or what went for high heels for me because I am a fall risk. I don't miss them one little bit so they were all donated. One patient once said to me, " I've only got one pair of feet so why should I have more than one pair of shoes" I have accepted the fact that I may have some incontinence a couple of times a week so I go to bed in Depends every night. My hair is grey but I don't color it I don't see the point. I have managed to keep my own teeth so I take good care of them. I have just brought myself a new car and enjoy that very much as the old one was ten years old. I know it will probably be the last car I buy and am pleased to have other people drive me around. I don't see as well as I would like so the house is dirtier than I would like it to be but if I don't put my glasses on I can't see the dust so I don't care. Like most horse lovers my barn was always cleaner than my house. My horses are all in greener pastures now so I have no excuse but I don't care there are other things I like to do better. since I found this site I spend a lot of time here. There is much I know that can help others and a great deal that I am learning about growing older. I keep my doctor appointments and take all my medications because I know horrible things can and do happen if I don't. I try my best not to visit the local house of horrors that passes for a hospital round here. I don't try to hide things from my kids, they are a great source of strength and I know they will take care of me. My eldest has plans in place. All the legal paperwork is in place and I carry copies plus a list of medications - much easier than trying to memorize things. There are many senior moments when I go to a room and wonder why I came in but if I stand here long enough I do remember. I can't remember telephone numbers but I never could so don't even try. Why waste the frustration I don't remember peoples names but I can recognize the hand writing of everyone I know. Some say that with age comes wisdom, I don't know if that is true but with experience comes understanding. Good night and thank you for reading
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I believe if you live near your parent or elder you are caring for, it's fairly easy to see signs of mental deterioration, even if they make up excuses for their erratic behaviour. This 'covering up" is essntially the lies and excuses you refered to. They can be very convincing. Especially at a doctor's office, they are suddenly in perfect form! This is called 'show-timing' and is miraculously pulled off for the brief half hour with the doctor. This is why it is so important to keep a log or journal describing all the crazy inconsistencies you see happening in your elder's life. It comes in very handy later on, to assist the professionals in diagnosing what they cannot readily see in a short office visit. If you don't live near, perhaps a neighbor or relative could look in on your elder daily and report back to you when things are not looking good.
Other than that, you just have to educate yourself through the internet and selective research. It is also important to have the discussions about Wills, Trusts. POA's etc. as our parents age. - nobody told me any of this, and I never knew what a POA was until my Dad started showing signs of dementia. By the grace of God, Mom's insurance agent referred us to an ElderLaw Attorney and that was the beginning of my education on such matters. Nowadays, it's big business, and there is plenty of hype in the media and on the internet. AARP is probably a first good source of reference, and of course this site dealing with aging and caregiving, insurance agents that deal with Long Term Care insurance, to name a few.
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Mom got a medical alert device, and they are more like $480 a year. She wears it but she would not push the button, even when she fell and her head was bleeding. She just paid for another year, but she said she does not want any 911 calls and refuses oxygen. Nor will she sign a DNR. These fobs are merely a status symbol, she wanted one because her friends had them.
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im thankful for access to the internet. the caregiving and end of life articles are infinate. a parent under hospice care is not going to live for long. the caregiver has to come to that understanding . that reality and educating yourself as to what to expect will relieve guilt and cause you to be more compassionate . my mothers last days / hrs from the loss of appetite to the delirium and terminal agitation to the comfort drugs and cheynne / stokes breathing were all pretty much anticipated. it is a process. you cant change or control it but you can learn about it and try to accept it.
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