Having a tough time....

Discussion in 'Lighter Life Forum' started by Blonde Logic, 25 February 2010 Social URL.

  1. Blonde Logic

    Blonde Logic Yes. You can.

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    Hi all

    I have been finding it harder and harder to get on here lately and post anything of substance. My mind has been all over the place lately.

    I need to "talk" and no one is home so you are the lucky ones.

    As many of you know by now, my mom is 93 and in America, and I have been dealing with a lot of issues about this fact, as she is not getting any younger, and we are not getting any nearer.

    So I have been having to face some very difficult truths - and that is I am likley not going to live in America again, when she is still living. It is not a given, of course, but I have to face and accept it is a very distinct and likely possibility. I need to stop living in denial. As much as it tears me up - I have got to start facing it.

    About a month or 2 ago, I started sensing she was "slowing down". And I tried to deny it. But, I started to get a feeling in my gut....that the clock was sarting to tick faster.

    About 2 weeks ago, she was going out the driveway to get the paper, and she fell. It was her carer's day off, and my uselss brother is out of town, so she was alone. She fell, and got tangles in her zimmer, and could not get up. She lay on the hard concrete porch for 45 minutes before a passing car just happened to look over at the exact second to see through a clearing of shrubs that she was down. So they helped her.

    Yesterday, she had another fall. In the house. And could not get up but this time remembered she has an emergency alert necklace. Only because here carer put signs around the house. (the whole itme she was outside on the concrete, she had it too but did not remember :() SHe hurt her arm and hands - a lot of skin damage. But nothing broken.

    I know my brother is going to want her to go into assisted living or a care home - and I know some very unpleasant times are upon us.

    She will NEVER EVER go into a home, and if we forced her to - she woudl HATE us - feel she has been betrayed. She and my dad built the house she is in. She and my dad had an amazingly amazing relationship. They were in love, every single day they were together. THeir last week together was as important and exciting as their first week together. It never ever faded or dimmed, etc.

    That house is him.

    To leave there, would be the end of her. She'd die a broken heart. She has lived there her entire adult life - 63 years. its the ony home I ever knew, as my brothers. Every single memory of hers is tied to that house. Moving her out would kill her. And it would be a slow death of depression. Or maybe not so slow if she were able to just turn off the will to live, as some people can. But I don;t think she can - and her body (organs) are top notch. So it would just be an agonising thing for her to do, and us to watch.

    My brother wants her too move. I would rather her stay in the home, and am looking into getting her carer to move in with her. Even if it means risking her having a fall one time, hitting her head - and, well, you know.... :( It is what she wants - where she wants to be. I have known that my entire life....that she would never leave the house. ANd she means it.

    I - I guess I feel it is my "duty" to see that it happens that way. She has always told me never let them do that - feet first is the only way she wants to leave. And I feel I need to - as hard as it is - support her. Be her ally. Do you think thats foolish?

    I just can;t bear breaking her heart. She is not a foolish women - she knows the risks.

    Ugh. I feel horrible - I really am struggling with this. I turn 50 next month, but I am still 12 years old inside - and I am scared. Her and dad gave me so much - I was so lucky to have been adopted by them - this looming end is just awful whether its this year - next year or 5 years from now - I know its coming. As hard as I try to be sensible and grown up about it - I struggle. And it freaks my OH out - he is not sure yet how to deal with that part of me, though he tries with true intention - its usually not what I need. So I try not to show it - try and be strong - but it gets consuming. I so wish I dealt with death better than I do. I know what I went through with my father - and, I just can't bear the idea of whats to come.

    I need to get a grip. lol

    Good grief - I am really sorry to purge like this - but I am not sorry enough to delete it though, unfortunately for you :D cause I really just needed someone to listen.

    But I am sensible enough to know when to stop. lol
     
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  3. peony

    peony Silver Member

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    Oh BL my love. This is a very very sad and difficult time for you and it is 100% harder because you are not in the US. You have so many emotions all tied up in this situation - love & respect - anger (at your brother) guilt. It is really tough. I am so sorry I can't give you any useful advice on this one - it is way beyond me - I can't even skirt thinking about the deaths of those close to me. I just want you to know that I am thinking of you and sending you thoughts of love and strength.
    xxxxxxxxxx
     
  4. caketiger

    caketiger Member

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    You have my thoughts...

    We are facing a similar debate at the moment about my gran who is 95 so many of the issues you face we face similar, and there is so much stress for so many members of the family. The only thing I would say is that however much you want her to stay in her home she has to be safe, so I guess that the focus has to be on how to ensure that she is enabled and safe. My gran has one of those necklace things but hated it so we made it into an elasticated wrist strap, then she can find it more easily, she too has falls. I would get as much advice as you can from organisations that help support the elderly in their old homes.

    I spent this morning talking to family and got myself sooo worked up, everyone is tired and fraught, so my thoughts really are with you. thank you for sharing xxxx
     
  5. slendablenda

    slendablenda Gold Member

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    Hi Jan,
    I've just read your post and am really sorry for what you must be feeling at the moment and it must be a scart yime for your Mum too because as you say she is still an intelligent woman and she will know that the pressure will be on for her to move out of her home.
    When people become so old and frail they know that their power to make decisions regarding their life is often taken away
    from them. It must be so hard.
    You have the pressure of being the one she has entrusted with ensuring she stays in her home.
    Do you think her Carer will move in with her? Are you waiting to discuss it with him when you go over?
    I wish i could help you get peace of mind.
    You have had so many things to deal with in these past few months.
    With my love, SB xxx
     
  6. Foxtrot

    Foxtrot Is back in the saddle!

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    I may not have a lot to say on the subject BL but I listen. You type away all you want.

    And if you ever find anyone who can deal with death in a better way, give them a big, wide berth. They probably are not right.

    I'm sending you good and strengthening vibes along the coast and hoping things will work just how your Mum wants them to. She sounds a wonderful lady, she brought up a pretty cool daughter after all.

    XXXXX
     
  7. Jezebella

    Jezebella Playing the Angel

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    Hi BL

    So sorry to hear about what you are going through. It must be such a difficult time for you. I think asking the carer to move in with your mom is an excellent solution. Do you think the carer would agree? Is there any chance you could take a trip over to get it all settled? I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers and am here whenever you need a ramble, I am a firm believer in better out than in, so if it helps in some small way to just write on here then that in itself is a good thing. I find that often the writing helps me to put things in perspective.

    Love

    Jez
    xx
     
  8. daisydoll

    daisydoll Gold Member

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    Hi BL
    I'm sorry you are going through this.
    My gran is 96. She lived in the same house, opposite my mum since she was 9 years old!
    She is all there mentally, but has really bad arthritis -but was still mobile, just til 2 years ago.
    She had to go into a nursing home - satyed there for a year then decided she wanted to be independant.
    She bought a bungalow and amazingly lived there just over a year on her own with meals on wheels each day.

    just beofre xmas she had a fall and is now back in anursing home - and she will stay there now as i think she has finally admitted she cant cope.

    its so sad.
    in her head she is still young, fit and healthy - her body is letting her down.

    she has changed since being in the home. she doesn't walk anymore, she sleeps a lot - its like she has resigned herslf to the fact she is old.

    its a relief for my parents that she is being looked after, but it breaks my heart, as she is becoming institutionalised, which is something she has fought against for so long.

    i really feel for you - esp as you are so far away

    i guess reality of life is hard at times and we can't help think about 'if that were me'

    (((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))))
    daisy x
     
    Last edited: 25 February 2010
  9. pete10141748

    pete10141748 Postaholic

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    [[[hugs]]] BL, I'm having a similar time with my Gran at the moment, she needs my Grandad to take care of her 24/7 as he has done for the last 20 odd years, but now he can't cope anymore with doing that, but they are both proud+stubborn, won't admit they need help, refuse to even consider going to a care home, my Gran is terrified of anything outside her front door (she hasn't left the house in over a decade now) and has panic attacks whenever the doorbell goes in case it's someone she doesn't know so having a carer move in is out of the question too.

    It's like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, a similar situation to yours I guess; we can't move them out to be cared for elsewhere, no-one in my family can move in to care of them, they won't allow anyone they don't know to move in to care for them yet they can't take care of themselves.... I almost can't bring myself to speak to them anymore as it always ends up the same conversation, them getting upset asking me to make sure my parents don't decide for them, and me getting (internally) angry at them for not being able to make a sensible decision :(

    It's a horrible situation when your relatives go from being older to just being old, espeically when we can't do all that we would like to for them :(


    Wow guess I've just depressed this thread further huh?
    All I meant to say was you have my sympathies! :)
     
  10. thin_inside

    thin_inside I Can Do This!

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    <<<< HUGS >>>> to all of you struggling to come to terms over loved ones getting older and how best to ensure thay have the right care. It's an emotionally turbulent issue with the life-long investment we have in our parents and grandparents.

    Every situation is individual. Do what you think is right based on the knowledge you have. But don't then beat yourselves up with guilt.

    I wish you all peace in your decisions.

    xx
     
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  11. Blonde Logic

    Blonde Logic Yes. You can.

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    Thank you so much everyone for your thoughts. And SB-sorry I missed your call - was on the phone with mom at the time.

    I spoke with her last night and she sounds 'ok' - she had difficulty holding the phone with her hands so kept it brief, but was comforting to speak to her for a few.

    She has a mild form of epilepsy and she has not had any seizures/black outs for quite sometime, She admitted that was what happened on both occassions. She has promised me she will go and report this to her doctor and get checked out - something she is ALWAYS relucant to to because it makes her feel "old" and she doesn't want to "trouble" the doctor. Stubborn woman. But I am glad she promised.

    My bro - the good one - was going by last night to see her but I have not yet heard back from him.

    It is hard. Bloody hard. I too wish everyone peace with their decisions and what they are facing. Seems a fair amount of us dealing with this. It is indeed, most unpleasant. Which is why I have spent years in denial. But you can only do that so long,can;t you. Then it slaps you in the face and says "Deal with me NOW".

    Anyway, must run to work - just wanted to thank everyone for their support. It is a tough time.

    Love you lot lots!

    xxxxxxxx
     
  12. kenshin112

    kenshin112 Gotta Make A Change

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    (((((((hugs))))))))
    wish I could say something just can't get any writing down
     
  13. Morticia

    Morticia Happy in my own skin

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    BL, hugs to you and to everyone else going through the same.

    I probably should not give my personal opinion as these decisions are all very personal to the people involved. However, having seen many go through this and make their decisions, I know if it was my dad I would much rather he stayed in his home and be 'less safe' than go into a nursing home. I know it's easier said than done but I think for someone of that age, who has lived in their home for all that time, and for what it means to them, then being less safe is a risk most of them would be prepared to take. One way I would look at it is, if my dad was to stay at home and only last 2 years then have a fall that leads to something nasty, I'd much rather he spent his last 2 years somewhere feeling familiar and secure. On the other hand he could be safer in a nursing home and last 5 years but it might be the most depressing 5 years of his life. When people get to a ripe old age, I feel that what should matter is quality of life, not quantity. So, lasting longer and being safer in a nursing home might look good on paper, but in reality I think most would opt for a shorter time but with all that is familiar around them.

    I hope and pray you and your brothers can come to some arrangement that means all are happy. It's a stressful time.....so big huggssss.
     
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  14. Blonde Logic

    Blonde Logic Yes. You can.

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    M - those are exaclty my thoughts and reasons for my thoughts. SPot on. You could not be more on the money.

    xxx
     
  15. vanda

    vanda plodding away

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    I lost my mum in November, she was 81 and had been in a nursing home for the last 6 years of her life after having a stroke. Although mentally she was well she had so many physical problems it was not possible to care for her at home without giving up work which I could not afford to do. She needed 24 hour care.

    My feelings for what they are worth is that support your mum in what she wants to do - quality of life is so much more important than quantity. My mum continued with her unhealthy smoking and eating habits although it increased her risk of more strokes for just this reason. It broke my heart to see my mum going into a nursing home even though we picked the best one and she was happy there it took some time for me to accept that I had done the best I could.

    I was lucky in that I could move back home to be closer to my mum when her health started to fail but I do remember how helpless I felt when she had the first stroke and I had to drive 3 hours to get there.

    Be kind to yourself throughout this as otherwise you cannot do your best for your mum. Hope your brother supports her and you in what is best for her.

    I know I do not know you and do not normally post on the thread but just wanted to offer my support. It is very difficult to see your parents grow old. Unfortunately I lost my dad when he was only 50 so I am grateful I had my mum for the time I did - I feel like a little girl again even though I'm 47.

    I am thinking of you and hope all goes well.
     
    Last edited: 27 February 2010
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  16. scotwannabethin

    scotwannabethin Back to the grindstone!!

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    Jan,
    Just wanted to send you some good thoughts and an offer of an ear anytime. I may not post much but I always read!
    I would agree with the many who have talked about her being in that familiar, warm, safe place that has been her home for so long. The lovely memories it must hold are very, very precious by the sounds of things.
    I understand the "dawning" of the reality of the situation and how helpless that makes us feel. I was in a similar situation with my father before he died in 2004. Suddenly we could see him begin to fail and it was heartbreaking and a reality check we didn't want to face.
    I can only wish you all the best in your endevours to do what is right for her. I am sure between you, you and your brother can sort things out as best as you can.
    Lots of hugs....
    SWBT
     
  17. Blonde Logic

    Blonde Logic Yes. You can.

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    Thank you so much everyone. I really appreciate your support. It has made me feel better, that my idea and intent to keep her in her home is not necisarily a bad thing.

    Things like this just root me to my seat. It is as if I am just sat here waiting for something to happen. So I have been trying to keep busy and its been good doing so.

    I still have not heard from my bro. Grr. He is busy though with his life and children too....but I wish he would write and tell me how she was when he saw her.

    It is sad, to see the end of life coming closer and closer. But I am hoping that be trying ot face it now, will hopefully help me when the day comes be it sooner or later. Hopefully much later.

    ANyway, all your coments, and shared ands imilar experiences - really does help.

    I think inside Vanda, we are always little girls.

    xxx
     
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