Barbara, how are you?

shamboOctober 22, 2008

How are things going with your dad? I've thought of you often these last couple of days. My mom moved to the memory care wing of her AL last week, and I've been anxious all week. I know your situation is full of anxiety too. I hope you are well.

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mikeandbarb

Thank you so much Shambo,Your very sweet keeping me in your thoughts.
I think my nerves finally got to me this week. I was trying to do a little clean up outside and I started feeling very bad, dizzy and upset stomach. I haven't been eating right or sleeping well. I took the past two days and took it easy and I'm feeling better.
I haven't seen dad in a week now, trying to get him to settle into the AL. He's does fine for them at the AL but when I go see him all he tells me is how bad it is in there and to get him out NOW. If he only knew how bad I wish I could get him out and have life as it use to be but he can't understand why he's there. While his dementia is real bad yet I can see changes since he's been in there. Every time I see him he'll ask if the jeans he's wearing are his and I tell him yes and that I brought them for home. Guess I just need to say yes there his and leave out HOME. That gets him to thinking of home.
Right now I feel so out of control of my life, my house has turned into a storage place and having so much to go through in both dad's homes, I started last Saturday with granny and grandpas house and they saved every piece of paper, I have found post cards and letter, checks dating back to 1910. I wanted to go through everything to keep what is sentimental, the post cards are from great aunts and uncles to my great grandmother and this grandmother is one that my father talked about telling me what a sweet lady she was and how much she loved him.Great grandmother must have loved the post cards casue they have pin holes in them, so she must have tact them up so she could see them.
How are you holding up? How's your mom doing? I wish you both well.

Barb

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 8:44AM
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shambo

Thanks for responding. I certainly understand what digging out from under the possessions is like. I've done it a couple of times for my mom. It's amazing what an widowed woman, living alone for ten years, can accumulate. I remember thinking when she first moved to an AL and had to drastically downsize, that I had whittled all her stuff down to a few necessities. Even with all the give-aways and trashing, we still had to rent a storage facility unit. Then when she moved to another facility, I was amazed again. Do the possessions just multiply in secret while we're not looking? Good luck on your project and just take your time. The stuff has been around for years, so there's no real hurry.

I think you're smart to keep your visits down to just about once a week. Don't be alarmed about your dad starting his whining when he sees you. From everything I've read and been told, that's perfectly normal behavior. The elder somehow manages to survive on his own while the family is absent. But as soon as they see a family member, the acting out starts.

I also think you're correct about not mentioning home at all anymore. Why remind him? And, yes, every move, hospitalization, change in living, etc. can stress an elder. Their ability to adapt to new situations deteriorates and their dementia may take a downward turn. My mom went quickly downhill after surgery & convalescence following a fall with hip fracture.

My mom is doing fine. She's in such a state of constant confusion now, that she really hasn't noticed the move. She knows something is different but cannot pinpoint exactly what it is.

Take care. I'm forcing myself to go outside today to do some garden clean-up too.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 1:46PM
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mariend

When you are going thru stuff, you might sort some of the letters, cards out and put them into totes--later you can do a family history--if you wish. Also some of the stamps might be worth a little and as a stamp collector, I am always looking at garage sales, auctions etc for unusual stuff. Is there a licensed Antique dealer in the area? After watching the Road Show, it is amazing what some of the stuff is worth--like costume jewelery, pictures, etc. Just relax and think of the good memories. A scrapbook box would be good to be worked on a little at a time. If you find pictures (old) maybe your Dad could at least identfy the people if you can't. One thing at a time. Hugs to you.
Marie

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 6:26PM
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mikeandbarb

Thank you both for the kind thoughts.
Shambo this is what my dad is going through. With having had congestive heart failure and the pacemaker put in. For a little while he seemed like he was going to do ok but I knew he wasn't about to read and retain the info for the pacemaker. He would not know what to do if he had the hiccups to long or he wouldn't do anything if he had them. He wouldn't let me take him to the doctor or even call the doctor when he's legs swelled up. He waits till he good and ready and gives in to having to go to the doctor or ER. He says he doesn't like to go to the ER but he'll not take care of himself so he doesn't end up in the ER.

Marie, My kids are going to want to kill me when they have to go through all of my stuff. I have the spare bedroom full of pictures and hallmark ornaments and what have you. I have started many times on Family albums going back as far as I can with the people I know. When I got pictures from my dad none of them had names on the backs so I'm the only person who would know who the people are in them, So I sat down and put names on the backs of ones I knew so if my kids or grandkids wanted to have them they'd know what side of the family there from.
I've also wrote down stories about some of the family members for the kids. I have one great great grandmother who was sold to an elderly man when she was 13 yr's old. He past away and she married her Step grandson and they had one daughter my great grandmother. Little thing's like that who knows how far it will go down the line for my kid's kids kids kids to read about and have pictures of who there reading about.

My fathers father lost most of his family to TB back in the 20's to 30's. One of the homes I'm cleaning out belonged to my grandparents, it's a small 2 bedroom place only about 1000 sf. Back in the 30's when times were so bad a lot of their family moved in with them at one time they had 17 family members living with them in the tiny house. I know they did what they had to and I know it was not easy from the stories I've been told.
They did not have indoor plumping back then either. I saw pictures of the house before it had been fixed up, I did not know what it look like before then only what it looks like now. They had a rock siding put on in the 50's, new wood floors and new windows. Oh those floors were beautiful but they are quite worn now.

Barb

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 7:59PM
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