Saturday, January 27, 2007


This past week has been long and hard, and I've been feeling overwhelmed. I seem to spend most of my time in doctors know, the sort of thing you dread: sitting, sitting, sitting, waiting, waiting, waiting. Thank heavens for books, a portable escape.

Things are looking up, however; we have some help lined up now in caring for Dad. He has previously refused to move in with us or to get an apartment in an assisted-living facility close by, so my brothers and I have been frantic trying to see that he is cared for, fed, transported, entertained, etc. I know he has been afraid of losing the little independence he has and of losing the familarity of his own home, but through some excellent recommendations we have someone who will be able to come in the morning, make breakfast, see that he gets his meds, and drive him to work. My brother will take him home, and K. will return and see to supper, meds, etc. He was amenable to K. and showed her (in great detail) how to get the laundry detergent out of the box and which settings of the washer and dryer to use. We have great hopes that this will improve the quality of his life and reduce the immense stress of trying to make sure he is safe, occupied, and comfortable!

There are still several more appointments for the next few weeks, but I'm beginning to unclench and feel more hopeful. I'm determined to get my house cleaned up and get back into a more normal routine.


  1. This whole process is so difficult for everybody involved. I am glad you are feeling more hopeful and that you may be able to devote more time to getting things organized and re-establishing personal routines. I know on my own terms that it's really difficult to keep an dual-energy flow going that is always part of th care-giving process. I wish you luck with it and, more importantly, some greater measure of personal escape/fulfillment.

  2. I'm glad to hear that things are easing up for you Jen. Elder care is very difficult as so many of us know. Enjoy this time to do a few things for yourself. I know whereof I speak because I didn't. Your relationship with your dad will remain healthy and happy as long as you take care of yourself as well.

  3. I didn't realize that Laddie worked...what does he do? Jen, have you interviewed him on video? He seems like such an interesting man that it would be of great value to your grandchildren when they are grown to have such a great connection.

    Last Saturday I attended my ex-husband's grandmother's funeral...with all the grands and great grands, she also had 12 great-great grands and 4 great-great-great grand children. For the last year I've been telling my oldest son that they really need to have generational portrait made...I guess he thought she was going to live long enough for it to become convenient for him.

    I'm happy to hear your father is open to help now. Take care of yourself too!

  4. Wow, he still works?

    I hear your pain. The eldercare issues are tough. It's been strange for us since Aunt Ethel went into assisted living. We felt a little lost after all those years of caring for her.

    It seems like it's a step by step thing, this slow circling end of life spiral. It's made me think a lot more about my own long term plans.Good luck to you & your family Jen.

  5. Thanks to all of you for the good thoughts.

    Laddie goes to work each day with my brother. My daughter also works there. He benefits from the routine, from feeling useful, from seeing people. It gives his week days structure. For quite some time now, all he really does is sort papers and go through junk mail. And re-sort papers and mail. Bless my brother Marty's heart - he has to run the business and deal with Laddie, too.

    Mother's long illness caused a sharp plunge in his cognitive abilities, and her death last Dec. caused another. He has had a long and difficult year, but he struggles so hard to remain "independent."

    He has refused to move in with me or to go to assisted living, and my brothers and I have been running ourselves ragged trying to keep him home and cared for. Having someone come in and cook, supervise his meds,and do most of the driving will relieve us of a huge burden. Marty can still take him home. I can still take him to appts. and the grocery store and to the country, but we will have a little more free time and less stress.

    Again, thanks again for the "tea and sympathy"!

  6. Jen, you know I'm sending you prayers and support. It sounds like you have made some good progress and decisions, and that Laddie is in agreement makes it so much easier for all of you. I love that he still goes to work and that your brother makes this possible for him. DH's grandfather did that, too, and often would come in, close his office door, and later DH would find himn napping peacefully in his office. He still felt like he was running his company and he was in a comfortable place feeling at ease and useful. Please take care of you, now that you have a little respite from some of the day to day things you will start to feel better. Take care, Jen...

  7. I am lucky that my dad willingly moved into a retirement community. They keep track of him if he misses meals or stays in his apartment too long. He periodically talks about moving back here with me and I discourage him as much as possible. Where he is *is* the best situation possible.


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