The other day I told my parents [92 and 96 who still live in their own single family home] that my significant other just received a promotion at work but in order to get that promotion he would need to be transferred across country to another location. Not sure how much my Mom heard due to her difficulty in hearing.
I asked my Dad if my S/O and I both moved across country what would *they* do? Dad said they would manage.
Manage??? Later I thought to myself, then what in the heck have I been doing the past 5 years helping them drive here and there, running them to appointments, getting their groceries, taking them shopping, etc., worrying about them, having sleepless nights, making myself sick, if all the long they could "manage".
Or are they in denial?
I know I have to find the word *no* and put it in my vocabulary.... I know I have spoiled my parents because when Dad first stopped driving I thought he would resume driving at a later date. So, of course, my S/O and I took them where ever they needed to go.
I know Dad was heartbroken he could get back behind the wheel and they couldn't go out on a whim 2 to 3 times day like they did in the past.... Mom would find 3 or 4 items at another grocery store that were on sale so she and Dad would go... then onto a 3rd grocery store, then a 4th. Yikes. I don't shop that way... one store for everything, and if something was on sale, I stocked up like I was going to hunkered down in a blizzard for two months.
All this is such a huge learning curve.
Don't leave bitter.
I am to a point where I hate driving and will make a boatload of excuses why I can't drive my parents to where ever they want to go.... told Dad he needs to do what I am doing now, order on the Internet and have it delivered to the house. If my parents need to go to the doctor, I arrange back to back appointments for them so it is one trip instead of two.
And in the past I use to ignore Dad when he was worried about flooding when it rains [we never ever gets floods] but now I am using THAT as my excuse not to drive them somewhere. OMG, Dad, we might get caught in a flood ;)
For me it's an extra trip, not a good use of my time plus the cost of mileage. When I tell him we'll pay the bill by phone or mail, he looks crestfallen and I feel guilty for depriving him of a social opportunity. But I get soooo tired of driving, especially in this hot weather.
I've gain some new confidence after being on this website. Gained some fears, too, about what will be next coming down the road. I just need to keep putting one step in front of the other.
Could you provide more information on the Medicare mentoring program? How does it work? Anyone else have any experience with this program?
Obviously they don't want to you to put hold on your life.
Do you feel used? You must have seen a need to help them.
Anyone that age needs help.
At age 91 my father was also up on a ladder, in a garage, removing fluorescent fixtures. He had one foot on my car and the other on the very top of the ladder. Given that the fluorescents were being removed, there was no other light. Garage door had to be shut because it was January.
I thought I'd have a "cardiac event" before he finally got down safely.
He repeatedly told me he learned to do tasks like that safely. Standing on the top of the ladder (not the rung, but the ladder itself) is not doing something safely.
My father too exercises, on a limited level, but that doesn't reverse 95 years of life and physical degeneration.
It's taken years for me to control the anxiety he generates.
To his credit, he excersises (more regularly than I), breaks large tasks down, and takes 15 minute rest breaks, but still, there's nothing more "care shaking" than hearing how he was up on a ladder, the roof, a tree...
This is the story of my life. They say they'll manage but they'll really cajole, guilt, and manipulate things to keep you where they want you. And as an only child, I bore the brunt of that.
And yeah, the VA may help but only if the ADLs are not met and they are home bound. As long as they don't need help eating, dressing, bathing/toileting, the VA considers them independent and encourages them to stay "in home."
When my dad turned 90, he told me the best thing about being old is no one could tell you what to do. You could do what you wanted until circumstances put you somewhere else.
And a year and a half later, that's just where my relationship with him is. He lives "independently" until his independence lands him needing skilled care or he can now longer perform ADLs. In my case that may be sooner than later: I run my butt off ('tho literally and sadly it's not getting smaller) handling everything for him, making sure he's healthy and safe, only to get a text finding out he's been 30 feet up on an extension ladder scraping paint off a gutter! Yes, I have someone to paint in the fall, but he "just wanted to do it and didn't have any problems."
It infuriates me to know how much I have sacrificed for my parents the last 10 years, especially the last year and a half with my dad to have him cavalierly make decisions like climbing an extension ladder. Yes, we caregive far too much.