Hello, I'm a newbie here and to taking care of my dad

mikeandbarbMarch 27, 2006

I guess it might help to have a little back ground here. My grandparents had a house and had purchased the lot next to it, when my father married in 1952 they gave him the lot and he built a home on that lot so I grew up next door to my grandparents. In the 70's my uncle came to live with my grandparents and ended up living there till he past away last Jan.

Being that he lived next door he and my dad looked out and took care of each other, this was great and worked out so wonderful leaving me free to take care of my own life.

Now that my uncle has past I am now having to take full care of my dad whom is not able to do thing's for himself due to an injury that left him unable to do the smallest of task around the house, like make up his bed, take off a lid to a jar, Lift anything that weights more then a pound, thing's of this nature.

Sometimes I'm scare with him living alone, sometimes he looks at me when it's time to leave with sad eye's like do I really have to go. I am married so I have a husband to think of too.

I have a question able my dad's condition ....He has some problems making a decision and he is unsure of making a decision at times. He has high blood pressure and on medication, he takes 20 mg of potassium and when it has been low he has had problems with decision making and memory problems. Is this just from his potassium being low or could something else be going on too?

I've tried to get him to move in with my husband and I but he doesn't want to leave the two homes till everything is settled which it is just now being set up for probate on his parents home. I know forcing him would not be good on him and it would not make things any easier for myself. BTW..I am disabled and I'm not able to do much myself in caring for him...if he fell and couldn't get up I would not be able to help him get up, If he gets down I could not take full care of him like giving him a bath or helping him on a port a pot thing. The thing's I do for him are take him breakfast in the morning, make doctor appointments, keep up with his medications, take him shopping, thing's of this nature. We sit and talk a lot he has so many stories to tell and loves telling them and I enjoy listening.

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Hi! since it doesn't seem like the regular nice folks have been here for awhile as you can see by some of the dates things have been posted, i would like to welcome you to our family of the most nicest people you could meet, they have all gotten me through pretty rough times in the past while! although i care for Al and i am able to do everything for him, but i remember when he fell out of his wheelchair, i couldn't help him up at all hwe had to wait for the ambulance to come! i think just being there like you have done, Al just likes me being there in the same room, i don't know what it's like to get a homemaker come in for a few hours a week if financially possible since i live in canada and things are different, as they probably vary from state to state. one interesting thing you did say was stories he tells you, an elderly couple lived 2 doors away from us and used to tell us stories too, they were wonderful --like our neihbourhood being bush, the creek that ran though the part(the creek has been gone for 50 years) and how they would water the horses. well after they told these stories i would go home and write them down. when i tell new neighbours some of the stories they think its so great. maybe keeping a journal would be fun and it's something that could be passed down, just a thought. in case you noticed i love to chat on and on, i too love estate sales and garage sales and thrift stores, welcome! debbie

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 12:47PM
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Hello and welcome!!
I also took care of my DM she has AD, my DD passed away 3 yrs ago from cancer. I moved in and took care of DD and then my mom till the drs forced me into putting her into a nh. I would bring her home and take cre of her now if I was able, but have had several strokes and am just now able to stay by myself. IF only I had her with me, I miss her so.

There are a lot of helpful people on here, they got me through some very rough times. I don't post often, but I check in a couple of times every week. They were lifesavers to me. Everyone has such good advice and you don't feel so alone. Patty

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 5:54PM
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My folks live 37 mi. away and I am now their chauffeur, errand runner, do meds., attend appts with them, all that kind of stuff. They do still live on their own, but life is really slowing down for them. Dad had a stroke in '04 and is still up and around, doing some things with friends, but his mood and interest in life has really changed. He's no longer outgoing and chatty, he almost seems depressed; he's so quiet and doesn't have a very cheerful personality anymore. This has really affected my mom who is physically the weaker one, poor balance, wobbly at best, poor appetite. So she doesn't have her ole hubby to boost her ego anymore. For the past months I have been trying to keep them going, help where I can, get them out and about for lunches and errands (even if they just sit in the car while I run in). They have someone come in and clean, and the gal is good company for them. But they don't want to HIRE someone to come in and visit with them (oh, horrors!!!). Mom is just recently frustrated enough with Dad and his lack of involvement in ANYthing, so she's thinking to move to assisted living. Tomorrow we will visit a place and see what it takes to move in. I don't know whether to be happy or sad...I know it will be great for them both socially. I'm just wondering what the downside will be.... Anyway, you are not alone in your journey with your parent. I am so glad you bring him joy with your closeness; it's a pretty special position to be in: caregiver for a loved one who loves ya back!!! :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 10:59PM
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Thank you for replying telling me how thing's are for yourself's. When my grandfather past away in 1978 we all knew it was coming, seen his health decline from heart problems. Grandfather was my first lost from illness and I was specially close to him. My granny, grandfather's wife lived 19 years past his passing away and I would go over and sit with her for a few hours, she'd talk of how much she missed him and was so alone without him. I was very young at the time plus busy raising my two young kids, didn't realize just how bad it was for her being without her spouse. Not only having to deal with her loss she also had to put up with my uncle her first born son, he wanted to put her into a nursing home right away just to get her out of her own home so he could do as he pleased. My dad and her would not hear of it and she wasn't ill nor was she having any health problems at that time.
Later on in the late 80's she started going down but it was slow she started forgetting the great grand kid's names till it came down to not even knowing her own kid's names. My dad would go over to see her and she'd ask who are you...well, where do you live. It is sad and so hard to see and watch a loved one go down.
My dad has his up's and down's. When he is feeling good he loves to tell jokes and friends of his beg's him to tell them.
Here lies one problem: being that he does live so far 23 miles from me it is not easy going over everyday like I do. My own home is suffering some cause I cannot get around that good myself. Like the other day I left dad's house around noon time so I could come home and do some house work but I had a bad bout with my leg and foot, the pain was so bad that it kept me up at night, I could not get comfortable no matter what I did. I'm going to the doctor today to see if something can be done for my foot, It might be a spur in my heal.
Plus my husband keeps me up sometimes with his snoring .... he's going for a sleep study tonight. My DH also has a bad gall bladder and will need surgery and we've been checking out trying to find a good surgeon for him. First one we went to had the personality and a wet noodle LOL, Really that surgeon left us feeling very unsure about letting him do surgery on my DH.
It is wonderful to have an outlet an outreach like this where as long ago it was much harder to find someone to reach out to.
Thank's again for listening to me ramble LOL

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 6:51AM
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Have you looked into A Home Health Monitoring System? This may help out a great deal with worries. It is a 24hour 7 day a week monitoring system that helps you keep an eye on your loved ones while they also keep their independence. The cost is much cheaper than a retirement home.

I was watching the CBS Evening news a while back and saw a special on one of the systems and i didn't think much about it - but then one of my girlfriends suggested that I look more into it. I have had it for a couple of months now and it has worked miracles. It's relatively cheap and works very well, I won't go on and on, you can check it out your self, it's on-line. It's called QuietCare. http://www.quietcare.com

I know that with my everyday stresses on top of dealing with my mother, i needed some kind of help and I'm glad my girlfriend, cindy, talked me into it. It has really taken a load off of my shoulders.

Hopefully this will help a little, you should research it.
Best of luck

Here is a link that might be useful: QuietCare Home Health Monitoring System

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 1:39PM
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Mary, I see that you are new to GardenWeb, so welcome.

I'd like to point out that most of these systems, such as LifeAlert


and Lifeline


are attached to local health care systems. In Salinas, you get the LifeLine system thru the local hospital's volunteer auxilliary, and it is best supported in this area. Other locales will be different as to which system is well supported. I'd never recommend that anyone buy into any of these systems without asking at their local hospital which systems are most common and best supported in their location. The services and costs on all these systems are very comparible.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 3:17PM
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It may be wise to also look at a revocable living trust regarding your dad's estate. Or consult an elder attorney about what you can do regarding planning if you foresee you would not be up to the physical challenge down the line.
We've done this with my parents as they had a horrible time with the probate process when my dad's uncle died. We are now fine tuning as mom is ill with cancer & Dad is 87 & having a harder time writing his name on checks & such.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 12:46PM
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