Thursday, February 12, 2009

I admit it - I don't know what to do . . .

If you have elderly parents and don't have to be responsible for their care, you are very fortunate. If you are younger and your parents aren't there yet, get ready. If you have siblings - talk about this NOW and reach an agreement as to how their care will be given and who will be responsible for what. Sadly, I only have one brother and he only comes around when he wants something. He is more of a liability than anything else, and he has never been, and will never be any help to me in the care of our parents.

This is harder than anything I've ever had to do - EVER!!! There are several levels on which it is hard, let me tell you a few:

1 - You become the parent of aging parents who still look at you as a child, so therefore you don't know anything. They look to you for guidance and help, but don't for a minute believe you can do anything to help them, and they don't even attempt to make it easier.

2 - There are things going on inside of them (physically and mentally) that you aren't even aware of and have to find out in little mini segments, making it hard to know what to do at any given time.

3 - They need and want independence, but they aren't able to be independent and resent the heck out of you for trying to take it away from them, even if you are only trying to help.

Wondering where this is coming from??? Well, my dad got home last night, was up and down all night, tried to pull the catheter out, and is totally unable to realize how serious his condition is. My mom is worn out from 2 weeks of worrying with him, and she's been up with him since before 5 AM because he'd had an accident in his pants and she had to clean him up and found a clot of blood in his pants. So she's got a call in to the Urologist about the catheter, and I've got a call in to the staff Dr. at the hospital about his meds and the social services nurse at his primary dr's office to talk to her about our options.

In my opinion my dad is no longer able to care for himself, and my mom is no longer able to provide the level of care he needs. After all, she's almost 79 y/o and I can see a huge decline in her over the last few months. She's tired, but it's more than that.

Are any of you in similar situations??? Do you have elderly parents that you are responsible for - either in part or in whole??? How are you dealing with this??? I'd love to hear from you, but more than that, I covet your prayers for my parents, and for myself! Specifically I need wisdom, patience, and peace that I am doing what is best for them both.

Talk to me! How have you handled similar situations! Becky

6 comments:

LissyLou said...

oh dear, you poor thing, you are going through it. My parents are in their 50's and 60's so i'm not there yet, but i can imagine as i've had to see them deal with my grandparents. I'm an only child so aaaggggghhhhh!! I do feel for you. You sound like a very caring lady, do take some time out to treat yourself every now and then. big hugs to you xxxxx

SoBella Creations said...

Sending prayers and hugs for you and your parents.

debbie said...

DEAR CAMILLA,
MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU AND I WILL TRY TO GIVE YOU SOME SUGGESTIONS...
I WORKED AS A NURSE IN AN ADULT DAY CARE FOR PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA AND ALHEIMERS....I AM NOT AN EXPERT...I CAN JUST HELP YOU WITH SOME THINGS TO ASK OR CHECK IN TO.........
FIRST LET US TAKE A DEEP BREATH...LET ME HUG YOU...AND
DEAR HEAVENLY FATHER, I LIFT THIS PRECIOUS FAMILY UP TO YOU LORD...THEY ARE SO TIRED AND WEARY LORD. GIVE HER FATHER A PEACE SO HE CAN REST AND THE MOM CAN REST LORD. YOU KNOW ALL THINGS. YOU ARE CLOSE TO THE BROKEN HEARTED...YOU ARE A SHELTER TO THE WEARY AND SHALL SUPPLY ALL OUR NEEDS. FATHER GOD, I HAVE NO FANCY WORDS BUT I THANK YOU AND PRAISE YOU FOR SUPPLYING ALL THE NEEDS OF THIS FAMILY AND ALL THE GLORY WE GIVE TO YOU LORD. AMEN AND AMEN

IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOUR MOTHER GET SOME REST BECAUSE THE CARETAKER OF A PERSON WITH DEMENTIA BECOMES ILL QUITE QUICK FROM SLEEP DEPREVATION AND EXHAUSTION FROM THE DEMANDS, IN THIS CASE YOUR FATHER

CONFUSION CAN BE CAUSED BY MEDICATION...OLDER PEOPLE ARE VERY SENSITIVE TO MEDICINE
SO IT IS VERY GOOD TO BE CHECKING INTO HIS MEDS

TALK THE MEDS OVER WITH YOUR MOTHER IN A WAY SHE WON'T BE SUSPICIOUS...BUT ASSESS THAT SHE HAS A GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF HIS MEDS AND CAN CLEARLY READ THE BOTTLES
ARE THE MEDS IN A SAFE PLACE AWAY FROM YOUR DAD

ARE THE MEDS BEING GIVEN BY ONE DR. OR MANY DRS....SOMETIMES THE DRS. ARE NOT AWARE THE PATIENT IS SEEING OTHER DRS. AND IT IS ESSENTIAL TO YOUR DAD'S HEALTH THAT ALL THE DOCTORS ARE BEING SENT PROGRESS NOTES TO EACH DR. ON THE CASE

SO WE GET ALL THE DRS. ON THE SAME PAGE AND ALL THE MEDS ARE OKAY.....

DOES HOME HEALTH COME AND CHECK ON YOUR DAD....THEY USUALLY ASSIGN AN RN TO THE CASE AND SHE SETS UP A CARE PLAN
A HOME HEALTH AIDE COMES TO BATHE, IF THEY ARE HOME BOUND....USUALLY 3X'S A WEEK. HOME BOUND MEANS THEY USUALLY ONLY GO OUT FOR DRS. APPOINTMENTS....

LOOK FOR AN ADULT DAY CARE OR EVEN SOME CHURCHES ARE NOW SUPPLYING 1-2X'S WEEKLY DAY CARES FOR ADULTS...THEY PROVIDE A DAILY CAREPLAN OF HIGH FUNCTIONING AND LOWER FUNCTIONING CLIENTS WHERE THEY ASSIGN A CARE PLAN TO MEET THEIR GOALS BOTH SHORT TERM AND LONG TERM...THEY HAVE EXERCISE CLASS...ART THERAPY...LUNCH...COGNITIVE ACTIVITIES AND SO FORTH....THAT WOULD GIVE YOUR MOTHER SOME RESPITE

THEN YOU CAN LOOK AT HAVING SOME IN-HOME CARE...YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL AS IN MY GRANDMOTHER'S CASE THEY GOT A PERSON THAT ROBBED THEM BLIND AND BY THE TIME IT WAS DISCOVERED THEY HAD ROBBED THEM OF 20,000.00 PLUS JEWELRY THEY NEVER RECOVERED...IT WAS TRAGIC....

ALOT OF HOSPITALS HAVE A GERO-PSYCH UNIT WHERE THEY CAN ADMIT THEM FOR 6 WEEKS TO EVALUATE THEIR ABILITY TO CARE FOR THEMSELVES AND CREATE A CAREPLAN FOR THEM TO THRIVE WITH DIGNITY WHATEVER THEIR STATUS....THEY REVIEW ALL MEDS AND SEE IF THERE ARE MEDS THAT MIGHT BE ADDED THAT FOR EXAMPLE COULD HELP WITH BELLERGENCE...ALOT OF OLDER PEOPLE BECOME VERY MEAN AND THEY CAN HELP THE FAMILY COPE WITH THESE BEHAVIORS........

NOT REALLY KNOWING THE SITUATION IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS THERE IS A TIME WHERE THE CHILDREN BECOME THE PARENTS AND HAVE TO BE STRONG ENOUGH FOR TOUGH LOVE......

SOMETIMES EXPLAINING THINGS HELPS BUT EACH PATIENT IS DIFFERENT AND THEY MIGHT RESPOND TO ONE PERSON MORE FAVORABLY THAN ANOTHER.....
TALK SLOW AND CLEAR AND WAIT LONGER FOR A RESPONSE THAN NORMAL BECAUSE THEY ARE TRYING TO PROCESS IT IN THEIR BRAIN

JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP IN YOUR AREA THAT HAS THE SAME PROBLEMS AS YOU

I WILL TRY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTION YOU HAVE
I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU
BLESSINGS
debbie

Ladybug in TN said...

Debbie, you gave Becky great advice.

As a former caregiver of my Mother, when she was unable to remain comfortably in her home with 24 hour caregivers after a massive stroke, she went to the nursing home but we maintained sitters with her until the end.

I know the frustration Becky has and praying for God to lead them to the right decision for all involved.

I think your suggestions are a good beginning.

Annette Gonzalez said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I've experienced what you are going through and I know what a difficult time this is for you.

I have written an article that might help you, http://ezinearticles.com/?Finding-Time-For-Yourself-While-Taking-Care-of-Elderly-and-Ill-Parents&id=1594820.

Don't forget to take care of you so that you will have the energy to take care of your parents.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Annette

K-Sue said...

Seconding Debbie's prayer for your family.