Calling parents... How do you DO this??

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So I've recently started taking Dad to a new Adult Day Center near my house once a week, and I have a whole new respect for parents that have to get someone out the door in a timely manner.


I am failing at it miserably (smile). I try to do as much as I can the night before, but so far, two weeks in a row I've been late to work because of the unexpected.


OMG!!! He's SOOOO cranky in the mornings. We struggle with going to the bathroom before we leave... get all the way to the car... and he has to "go". He picks at his breakfast or gets caught up in the TV and doesn't eat. Just the time it takes getting him to the car and in the car...


OY VEY!!! I'm going to push wake up time back even earlier, but there's never a dull moment!


I welcome any pointers on this one!!! Once a man... twice a child!!!

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Tiny, I have three children, less than four years between their birthdays.

School mornings used to be "interesting." The difference is that if you tower over them and adopt a 'let them hate me so long as they fear me' attitude, children are capable of responding - ideally by obeying, though it's never guaranteed unless you've crushed their little spirits entirely.

Whereas, I came to realise that no matter what threats or incentives were on offer (and bearing in mind mother didn't have many electronic games I could confiscate), mother *couldn't* gee herself up.

When you are very old, everything takes a very long time. Start earlier. I know how infuriating that suggestion is on the face of it, but it is truly the only thing that will make you ready on time.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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He has COPD. Eating interferes with breathing so he needs more time for nourrishment. I agree that he should have no distractions like tv. It looks like getting up earlier may be the best. I allow double of my time to take my mom out to appointments. Keep patient.
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Reply to MACinCT
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Oh yes CTTN55, we could probably swap stories all day.
I have to bite my tongue so often that I have scars !!!

~Did "we" put out the garbage today ?

~You forgot a fork ( it's in my hand while serving her dinner in her recliner and I literally just put the plate down)?

~Oh and yes the driving --- macular has taken her eyesight but she says ( from the backseat ) I think you missed the turn ... when I say no I haven't gotten there yet she replies well I can't see you know ... wait what ?!?

On and on ... yet the irony is that if I remind her she hasn't done her PT exercises she snaps that she's not a child. I believe this is the biggest reason I need to change our living situation. I haven't gone into too much detail on the site as I still have yet to line all my ducks up and don't want to waste everyone's time and effort but when she talks about my non caregiving siblings like they are saints on earth I realize my time here needs to come to an end...

I read in a post but I can't find it again that some of us keep doing and doing in hopes that our parent will suddenly notice and appreciate all our sacrifices but logically I know that is like trying to hold back the tide !!
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Reply to Mimi-of-2
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Silentscreaming, is your mother a micromanaging control freak like mine? She can hardly walk, can't hear/process/remember, yet I get a running commentary on how to do things. Bugs me. I felt vindicated when the cashier at the grocery store, upon being ordered to put the cold things in this (reusable with blue ice) bag and put the other things in other bags, muttered under her breath, "Does she think I don't know how to pack groceries?"

Of course I was then instructed to zip up the reusable bag, as if I couldn't figure out to do that on my own.

And my driving! She checks to make sure I'm not going to pull out in front of a car. One time she told me I could turn left because I had the green light, and I had to tell her, "NO, I CAN'T because there is a fire engine coming." Moments later it screamed through the intersection. (My mother has no vision in her left eye and bad hearing.)

And this is why I will not do much of anything for her, other than hauling her around. I do not like the micromanagement and total control.
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Reply to CTTN55
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I'm not so much helping but you made me smile at old memories. I had 4 babies in 5 years ( now they are 25,26,27 and 29) Getting them up and out was a blur of shoes , books , gloves , breakfast ,tears, laughs and sometimes a little yelling --- I would do it all over again rather than trying to get mom anywhere anymore ( up in morning , bed at night, out to blood lab)

True that aging slows them down and I get that and am prepared for that. My issue is instead of focusing on getting ready she is more concerned with checking that I'm not completely inept. She wants to know --- do you have car keys, are you going to lock the door , do you have gas in the car , are we on time....etc etc . We've been doing this dance for 15 years ( last 3 years 24/7 ) and I bite my tongue. I am 54 years old and I know how to leave a house... I know how to turn off a lamp.. Ran a household and raised four successful adults.. I do not need a step by step lesson on how to change a light bulb !!!

Sorry so long .. I think this might have struck a nerve ..lol..
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Reply to Mimi-of-2
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I know I cant go anywhere (this also goes for taking my mom out) without a list.
I guess especially with my mom. because shes going to start repeating things. and mess up what little train of thought I have left.
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Reply to wally003
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Tinyblu, oh my gosh, I know how that was, as I had two 90+ year olds to get to any appointment on time.

My Mom was always good, she'd be sitting in the kitchen chair all ready with her sweater, hat, and purse.

Dad, well he was around the house somewhere. For Dad it was an extra 15-20 minutes to get him ready. One time it took us 15 minutes just looking for his cane. Then look for his wallet, then decide which pair of eyeglasses to wear. Dad would grab a baseball cap, but Mom would veto it because it wasn't clean enough.

By the time we were ready to go out the door, Mom needed a bathroom stop, then Dad decided he would do the same.

Once in the car, neither could get their seat-belts hooked. Now, I was a senior myself, so climbing into the back seat of the car was no easy chore for me.

No wonder I developed panic attacks even though I use to fib about what time their appointment was, always gave myself an extra 30 minutes which quickly got used up before I even backed the car out of the garage :P

Honestly, I don't think there is anything you can do. An elder's world sometimes tends to move in slow motion.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Tinyblu Jul 4, 2018
This made me chuckle Freqflyer!! So glad I'm not the only one. I can't imagine having to get two people ready in the morning... wow.

I'm going to push the routine back another 1/2 hour and see if that helps. This is fresh territory to me, but strangely endearing...
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Tiny, your Dad has no Dementia, correct? He is still at the AL?

I think an earlier start is the only way you can do it. When Mom had an appt, I always gave myself an added half hour, just in case. I would call ahead and ask that Mom be ready. ALs don't allow bibs so once Mom had Food all down her. Change of clothes. Next time the aid had put her down for a nap. She was so disoriented.

Just a question, is Dad on oxygen all night? My Dad had asbestosis, and heart problems. Mom said it took him a half hour to acclimate himself when he first got up in the morning. Maybe this is your Dad too.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Tinyblu Jul 4, 2018
Thanks JoAnn. Dad is still at the AL until my house is complete. When Dad was at the other facility, he was a bit more independent. This place charges for EVERYTHING, so I don't even bother asking them for help, and sadly my experience with this place is that they are very hands off.

Dad is on oxygen all night so that may have something to do with it. Surprisingly, I'm actually not irritated by the situation... I'm just thinking about all the times I probably put Dad through the same thing when I was a little girl.

I HATED turning off Mr. Wizard to eat my cereal when I was a kid. LOL!!
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No TV in the morning. Maybe breakfast to go. I make oatmeal that I can drink if I'm in a rush. I use only milk so I get protein, also almond milk. If it is cold I put a little butter, ya know, that fat keeps you warm, something to do with how we metabolize. I found I don't have to live in a heat box if I feed enough fats to the cold blooded family members.

I would also have him go to the bathroom last thing out the door. Maybe, holler through the door to be sure and get it all done as next bathroom is at the "office". I have a psychological issue about peeing and the car, I can go and then feel like I need to go again as soon as I get in the car. 

Sounds like stall tactics all of it. Maybe he is not crazy about going, do you use the term daycare with him? Maybe, they have some "work" he can do and you can call it a part time job, if money comes up, tell him it's a volunteer position.

Just some thoughts. I hope you find the groove soon.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Tinyblu Jul 4, 2018
HAHA! No, Dad calls Adult Daycare "work"

It's just kinda funny. I never knew parents went through so much. I'm sure we'll find our groove.
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