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Coping with my aging dad.

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Wow, ff, this is a huge change. I am so sorry to hear about the fall. It almost seems like I know your mother personally, so a friend has problems. I never thought anything would happen to your parents. I know that was strange thinking on my part, since your mother is rather small and has many problems.
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Katie, I am starting to understand what you are going through as my Mom is back in the hospital after another fall that caused some serious complications. Yesterday I wanted to ask who kidnapped my Mother as this isn't the same person. I would have panic big time if I hadn't been on on Aging Care to learn this is a normal progression.

I believe my Mom [97] will never return home and will be in long term care.... she is like your Dad, she would want her own private room. In a way I can understand wanting ones privacy, but I think it would be great to have a roommate who is compatible with similar interest. Right now my Mom was switched from a private room to one with another elder patient so we shall see how it goes, I am glad the hospital has "sitters" for the older patients who have a mind of their own.

Thank goodness I have a great team of caregivers for my Dad who still lives at home so I don't need to worry about him. He likes having the help [Mom didn't and had asked the caregivers to go home after 3 days].... her house, her rules.
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I love my dad to pieces and am really blessed that he has not only recovered wonderfully from a stroke five years ago, and was able to live on his own for several years after that in an Independent Living facility; but he also recovered from a fall where he hit his head on the top of the toilet and several weeks later, forgot how to use his legs.

Took him to the ER and he had a subdural hematoma which he has recovered from completely also.

Even though he seems fine, I could no longer trust him in an apartment by himself and moved him to care at a Nursing facility. He has a tendency to be incontinent much of the time and there, aids can assist him with that; along with helping him out with any other needs he may have.

I visit him often and really enjoy him. Everyone else at the facility really enjoys him also.

I have family in South Dakota that expect me to take care of all of it. They've come to visit now and then, but never once has my sister ever offered to help out from a distance.

I don't have much of a head for finances and shortly, he will run out of money so I will have to take the HUGE pile of paperwork to our elder atty and have her draw up papers for Medicaid.

And what a pain in the rear it has been keeping all the receipts, bank statements, etc. I have a pile about half a foot thick full of them and am just plain burning out thinking about putting them all together, as the last think I'd like for Dad is to be on Medicaid.

While my dad's last days of Medicare coverage for his stay at the facility was last February, he had enough funds saved to be able to pay out of pocket for many months, but is now coming down to the point that he's starting to run out of money.

In February, I had asked both the Social Worker, along with the owner of the facility (it's privately owned) how much I'd have to pay out of pocket for him to stay in the room he's in; as he refuses to share a room with anyone. They both told me that if I paid three months out of pocket..he'd be guaranteed that room.

Well since then, now that he's running out of cash; I asked again if he'd be able to keep the room he's in since he's paid well over 6 months privately paying for that room. They told me that they couldn't guarantee anything as, if he goes on Medicare, if they got into a pinch, they'd either have to move him to a shared room..or at least one with a shared bathroom; meaning that one room on one side would use the same bathroom as he did. They just had private doors..but a shared bathroom.

Discussed that with my dad and he told me that on no uncertain terms was he going to share a bathroom with ANYONE..as when he had to go, he had to go. Sometimes he gets up on his own to use the bathroom and if he finds someone else using it..well he's going to raise holy heck about it.

I know..I have him very spoiled; and some have told me that maybe once he gets used to it, he'll be okay with it..but not Dad. NOOO WAY!!

He's very set in his ways and he will make that person's life miserable!!

So the facility has been nice enough to work with me and see if they can come up with a payment that will suit what he has to spend with his social security, etc.

Very nice of them and I told them that I didn't want special treatment; but the Social Worker told me that they do it often and most of the time it ends up being more than what Medicaid would pay anyway.

We are paying his copays out of pocket (which we wouldn't be doing if he was on Medicaid); along with his health insurance. I guess I'll have to see what the numbers looks like and take it from there.

It is sooo stressfull!! My dad has done soo much for me through out the years and it's the least I can do to pay for his out of pocket costs for his medications; along with his health insurance, just to keep him happy.

Of course my sister that lives way out in South Dakota knows nothing of this..as if she did, she'd be telling me that Dad just needs to deal with it.

Thing is, I'm the only one that's here and there's nothing that would be worse than if Dad got moved to a room with a shared bathroom (or even worse..a shared room if they don't have the other available); and would make it so difficult for the other person to live with that they'd kick him out of there.

I've seen it happen before and it's the last thing I want to happen to Dad.

He can be the nicest man to deal with and everybody simply loves him there..but if he were made to share a room/or even a bathroom with someone..he'd become the most difficult person to deal with that you could even imagine.

It's tough, as he's not only had a stroke, but again, a subdural hematoma; where they did brain surgery to alleviate the blood on his brain. He's great most days, but then there are other days where he's not so great and is just plain difficult.

This, I'm sure comes from not only his dimentia, but scar tissue from his stroke and the surgery they did on his brain. Things heal, but sometimes with after effects.

Some of them are again..his rants and raves at times; and just recently his wanting to cop a feel on the caretakers.

They called me into the office a few weeks ago and discussed this with me and I told them I would discuss it with him. Being that Dad has ALWAYS been the most polite man on the planet..I'm sure this comes from both his dimentia..along with the scar tissue in certain areas of his brain.

The first discussion with him went well as I caught him reaching out and trying to cop one with one of the MA's. As she backed off, I told had how innappropriate that was. He immediately stopped and apologized to the individual.

The next time didn't go quite as well as the first did as he told me, "I'm a man and I pay good money to stay here..if I wanna cop a feel..it's my right to do so.."

I looked at him with this deer in the headlights looks and he continued, "Don't look at me like I'm strange!! I'm a man and can do what I please!!"

I knew this was coming from a place he wouldn't remember down the road, so I continued the discussion saying, "What if someone did that to ME, Dad..would you think that was appropriate if someone did that to me??"

His reply was, "You're old enough to take care of yourself..you know what to do if someone tries to do that to you..and if I ever heard someone did that to you..I'm 86 years old and I'd hunt him down no matter what it took.."

I replied with, "Well Dad..these girls that take care of you are young enough to be your grandaughters..and it's not very nice that you think you can just reach out and touch them like you do...what if Mom were here and she saw you doing that??"

That's when he got really loud and boisterous and told me, "As long as nobody is doing that to you..your mother is in heaven. I'm a man with needs and if I wanna touch a little..that's my progative as a MAN and I'll do as I please..you don't need to tell me how to act!!"

Of course this wasn't him at all and thankfully he acts this way very little. After speaking to the staff at his latest Care Conference they told me that he has kept his hands to himself and they haven't had any complaints.

It's really hard watching all this..coming from a man that used to be so happy go lucky all the time; was the most considerate man ever..etc.

Then there are days when he's just so damned crabby (but it's getting better); and if I stay long enough, he calms down and we really have a nice two to three hour visit. We are soo unbelievably close and there's nothing that makes me happier than to spend time talking about old times with him..or just laughing about silly things. He loves to laugh..he loves to sing..and being with him just makes my day!!

He loves to go to Golden Corral..a buffet near us; as he can go up in his transport chair and have some sort of independance while choosing his own food. He brightens up the minute I get him into my car.

However..there ARE times he has outbursts, so before I take him out, I need to make sure he's in a stable, good mood or it's a no go. Had him out once and there was a group of women next to us. He kept it at a low tone, but he kept saying he wished they shut the hell up!!

I couldn't wait for him to finish so I could get him the heck out of there!!

Had him out this past week for a nice visit to Golden Corral and all it took was for me to simply move his coffee away from the edge of the table so he wouldn't spill it on himself and he went off again. He didn't holler..but he was loud enough for others to turn around and look.

It's hard. It's so very hard to watch your loved ones get like this.

Thanks for letting me vent. I would love to hear other's stories about what they're going through regarding things like this. Would make me feel not so alone...
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Sorry but I didn't find it easier as time went on. There's different ways of handling aging parents but the family environment plays a big role in coping. It does help to have a regular routine in place.
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