Wednesday, July 19, 2006

comments/questions re my father

Basically, I was asked have I called the state yet, and about checking into a home health aide.   Adding a sign "remember to flush" is a good idea:) and not a question per se, so thanks for that suggestion, MikeV, that is a good one, and for everyone's support.

I have not called the state yet, nor asked about getting a home health aide.   Of course, first thing was getting the crisis dealt with, and the constant making sure he's in clean clothes and fed appropriately.   Now I'll have to try to be sure his finances are on track.   Yeah, me who has to really take care that my OWN are own track (thankfully online payments are more commonplace now!!!).   I may go by there to my dad's this afternoon after MY doctor's visit (just a recheck on my scar with the plastic surgeon who fixed it up for me and did a fantastic job).   Oops, maybe buy bleach first.........   I couldn't sterilize the bathroom when I was by on Monday.

Anyway, I'm trying not to be overwhelmed with ALL of this at once.  

I'm realizing quickly again, that my brother likely is NOT going to truly buy into the idea that yeah, he could and should help out, too.   His comment to me when I mentioned that my fears were correct, that Dad had lost his passport and therefore had no photo id, "MVA can give him a non-driver's id card."   Gee, thanks, D.   Yep, I'd taken Dad twice to the DMV (MVA), long lines, too much for him.  They'd be worse now.  And, well, he still had his passport so I figured he was alright "for now," and then, frankly, I forgot.   Dad was okay with this, his bank knows him, where else does he need id for, he has some old credit card as id (gee, great), and I forgot.  Plus, I don't know how to obtain one of the state / DMV id's, now, without any OTHER form of id.   Wonder what D would say if I asked him to take Dad there:)   Oh, he has to work, well, so do I.

I have to do these things in steps, break them down, or I'll feel overwhelmed with the big picture and stymied on what to do NOW.  I don't do well with a big picture, give me some details along with it.   Unless in a crisis, then I can focus and pick out the details.   So, I'm going in steps.

I have talked with a neighbor who works in the mental health field, who got me the link to Alzheimer's Organizatoin or whatever it is (on my list of websites), and I checked that out some, not much in the way of summer classes or support groups local and not during work times, but, it'll help and I'll check it again.   She also suggested Meals on Wheels.  Yes, I think perhaps Dad would accept that at this point, maybe.   I will ask him again.  Years ago, he wouldn't.   I also need to be sure he'd be, um, acceptable for a visit, too.   He could use the social stimulation, for one thing.

Home health aide is an excellent idea -- I really do think that could be our best shot, cuz he's not budging from that house anytime soon.   Amy also reminded me in e-mail that those with dementia can become worse after they've been moved.   Sigh, of course, but I hadn't thought of that.  

So, I think I need to ask him if he has Medicare or Medicaid (I'm SO unclear what the difference is).   I know he did once have a card and it's his SSN or similar to that.  He knows the #, but lost the card a long time ago.   Last year, flu shot time, my General Practicioner (GP) said he'd take Dad on as a new patient.   Dad decided he wasn't up for doing that, but, at this point, he HAS to get some diagnoses done.   He could use dental attention, too, but hey.  I think the process is that AFTER that is done, THEN I can check into having a home health aide for him, and what he qualifies for.  

As far as visitors to his house, anyway, um, not in this condition.   Most areas are just fine.   But, it's gotten trashed in the family room where he hangs in all the time, and in the bathroom close by there, oh, and the kitchen is partially.   He has a long history of being enabled, and I was not going to stay falling for it.   I stayed trying to encourage him, as if with a child, to stay doing the things he was capable of.  Heck, that'd be good for him now, too, jsut he's capable of less.   When I go in and help with cleaning stuff up, I can act like it's US doing it, say, okay, Dad, can you hold this bag and I'll put these newspapers in it.........  or whatever.   I know he can't carry them down to the curb now, he used to be able to even just 4-5 months ago, but not now.  I thought he'd still at least pick up the trash, I didn't wish to, he'd rely upon that.   Now, it just has to be done.   Somewhat ticks me off, cuz if he CAN, I want him to.   But, sigh, maybe it's beyond him now, and I am okay accepting that if that is the case.   If any of this makes sense.   

I did also check into the National Council of Aging -- see the link I have -- they have a great area on their website for Benefits Checkup I mentioned in a previous entry.   It didn't print sigh, so I'll redo it.   You don't provide any identifying information other than zip code, no name or address, etc.   But, it DOES ask a bunch of questions, and from them, they provide a report of services that could be potentially beneficial.   It was great, just didn't print.   For my father, 25 pages worth, including links and addresses, etc.   This will give me a good start, too.

A woman in the building next to me is also one of the coordinators for my church's "VIP" i.e., seniors group.   I plan to talk with her, also.

But, while I check some of this out, which is a lot!, I think he has to have those couple rooms cleaned up first.  

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