Thursday, October 26, 2006

I collect Tidbits of Information

About a month back, one night when I actually got OUT with ADULTS, two of the women started talking with me about our parents.   At first, the one was asking me all sorts of questions, with good intentions, but I'm not at that stage with my father yet.   When I told her it was really mostly me, that we hadn't recognized, or wanted to recognize, my father's needs and dementia (like the many mini-stroke kind), and it's just so daggone overwhelming that I'm needing to break it all down into steps.   She immediately realized and they both remained supportive.   But, I learned from them, too.   Both have mothers who have needed care, one went downhill rapidly with Alzheimer's, the other I'm not as certain about.   

The local nursing home that is so good, where I'd have wished for my grandmother if she'd ever gone into a nursing home instead of from her home into a hospital elderly care place where she died, medicare covers it.  Or Medicaid.   I cannot get those two straight.   Nor is he signed up for any Rx plan, cuz I'd have to understand it to explain it to him, and heck, we only found his card a couple weeks ago.   

That there's a free bus for the elderly and disabled, except that you have to actually show up in person to prove to them that the applicant is truly elderly and/or disabled.   As if a visual inspection can be accurate?   It's great this is offered.   Not that I wish my father to utilize this -- oh, it could be great for his indpendence, I'd like that part, but it'd be horrible if he'd forgotten, well, to wear clean and appropriate clothing, or brush his hair or something.  

Other tidbits.   Each person who shares, who has gone through this, is helpful:)   I have another step, another avenue.

My brother Doug describing his loss of dexterity in HIS fingers and hands, how they shake sometimes, and yep, he's 41, from the two mini-strokes he had when 39 years old.  (Nor can he stand on one leg any more.)    I know that my father's hand shakes, his handwriting is quite illegible, he spills drinks readily.   I always look for plastic glassware that appear nice, with ridges or bumps or something, to help him hold things.   I guess Doug is right, that that's likely why my father asked me to clip his fingernails andtoenails.   I did cuz Dad asked, even if I hesitated as, well, he doesn't wear socks around the house any more, but, I clipped them all and washed us up some.

I try to do things that will keep me from having a mini-stroke, or, of course, a larger one:)   Perhaps I should start taking that low-dose aspirin, that my father takes.   Bayer has a low-dose "women's" aspirin version, to help with the heart but also provides calcium.   There were other brands, also, but he asked for Bayer, as he'd read about Bayer, so he got Bayer low dosage for women lol.   Besides, more calcium can't hurt him with his diet:)   Osteoporosis runs in our family, his (late) mother and I both have it, he may not, but what the heck.   If I remember to get myself some, of course.   Take it daily if I get it.

I read how drinking juices, or was it eating fruit?  Gosh, it's in my own daggone journal.    Trying to keep track....... but it aids against dementia of some sort, perhaps the Alzheimer's sort.  This week, I read how eating 2-3 vegetables a day can help ones mental acuity, fruits less so, starting even later in life is helpful.   I add more to my salad at dinner I was preparing, anyway:)   

Now, socks.   I knew my dads ankles were thicker for a while, but he didn't feel bothered by them.   I looked for low sodium items, and kept bananas on his list even if he took them off for a week.  He loves fruit, he eats them, anyway.   It seems to have helped, I'm hoping.   I look for socks w/out the tight athletic ridges that go all along the calves.   I didn't know that there were prescription socks, or diabetic ones.    I love a pair of socks we found for my daughter (women's section of LLBean, smartsocks for hiking, low cut).   If I could find him a pair like that, or a nice pair of slippers again, would he wear those?  

It's colder now.  Oh, inside his home it's always around 70, as it's a daggone programmable thermostat, meaning, neither he nor I can alter the actual temperature setting.   Maybe I should ask M, lol!   I just flip it from "cool" to "heat" depending on the season.   I've heard that there are energy programs for helping pay utility bills if under a certain income.   It'lllikely take me hours or a day to get even one arranged for, but, worth it.  

I've heard the low-income property tax credit has been extended until October 31 for those over age 65, so I know I have to get that form, naturally for some unknown reason, NOT in the county office near my office, only in the other county office.   Having to apply yearly sucks, too, but I can understand it.

Tidbits, tidbits.   I'm learning:)   Why do so many have to become expertson such things, like family court laws, or caring for a parent with dementia issues?   I love my child, I love my father, and hope my brother isn't starting short-term memory loss issues himself, may my mother and stepfather remain fine for a while.   Just, gosh.   It is all part of life, though, and I'd rather have life with some issues, than not life.   :)


  1. It's hard seeing our loved ones deteriorate in front of our eyes, isn't it? I find it much harder to deal with seeing my mother lose her hearing and become increasingly dependent on asthma medicine and dad with all his ailments than anything I face of my own. I wish I could just keep them in a big hug and protect them from the world, but I guess that wouldn't be any kind of life for them.

    My folks were fighting to the point of threatening divorce less than a year ago because my dad wanted to stay in Pittsburgh and my mom wanted to move to Maryland so they could be close to me and my sister. I'm so glad she won him over. I see their physical condition and I know they're gonna need us. Plsu it's sooooooo nice to have them near. It's as though we had stopped being a family for those twenty years and now we're getting re-acquainted.

    I dunno, in a way, it feels great to worry about them like I do.


  2. Well I think the problem was your first thing you said.  Out with adults more than a month ago.  Protect your sanity and get out Robin.  The best thing you can do is check with senior services in your state.  They will happily do a lot for you since they are paid by the government to do i.  From food to help with bathing.  Also make sure your dad's pressure is good and he is not developing any heart problems.  ~ Mike

  3. That parents-with-illnesses thing really sucks. You know my story, so I dont have to repeat it, but my dad had muli-infarct dementia like your father has now. It's a tough road, and worse for you because you dont seem to have any help in riding herd on his life along with yours.