Looking after our parents (part 2)

Order yourself a latte, and a pastry (The virtual cinnamon buns are excellent today). And have a nice chat.

Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby uschi » December 3rd, 2018, 8:26 am

I'll be thinking of you, too!!! :hug:
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby suffolk » December 3rd, 2018, 9:46 am

Thoughts heading your way from Norfolk :hug:
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
― Virginia Woolf
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby earthmaiden » January 7th, 2019, 4:09 pm

I keep meaning to mention that I have had a recommendation for a firm that does ready meals. They are called Parsley Box.

Like other brands, you choose what you want online and it is delivered. However, the meals, presented as any ready meal, are not frozen and so can be stored in a larder or cupboard.
I have seen some of the meals but not tried any. Portions are not massive. The person who showed them to me likes good, wholesome food so I think they must be alright.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby StokeySue » January 7th, 2019, 4:42 pm

Those don’t look bad, and I see they will provide a printed catalogue too
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » January 9th, 2019, 11:52 am

They look nice. Makes me realize how little my mother eats though. One of those would be more than she wanted for the whole day. Mind you the only time she moves is to get on the commode, so she doesn't need to eat that much...? (She is worried about putting on weight. Sigh. Her whole life obsessed with her weight.)
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Meganthemog » January 9th, 2019, 3:32 pm

Herbidacious wrote:They look nice. Makes me realize how little my mother eats though. One of those would be more than she wanted for the whole day. Mind you the only time she moves is to get on the commode, so she doesn't need to eat that much...? (She is worried about putting on weight. Sigh. Her whole life obsessed with her weight.)


My mum was the same - she watched her weight obsessively - just before she died she weighed about 7 stone and was 5'4''. She would ration herself to one square of chocolate or a cheese straw as a 'treat'. I bought her a fleecy jacket that was a size 14 - it wasn't very roomy and as she was in a wheelchair I thought it would be easier for her to get in and out of. She refused to wear it as it was a size 14 - refused to even try it on.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby earthmaiden » January 9th, 2019, 4:25 pm

So sad that our image of ourselves is so hard to change :hug:.
With regard to the Parsley Box meals, they are larger than standard child/small portion ready meals but not as large as some ready meals which those with small appetites find daunting. Obviously , it is always hard to accommodate those who want very little. MIL got on well with t
children's ready meals or small Wiltshire Farm Food meals as she got older. I really only highlighted Parsley Box as they don't need a freezer.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » January 9th, 2019, 4:48 pm

Ha my mother has always been funny about sizes - delighting in fitting into a size 12, disregarding the fact that sizes vary from one place to another, and one from one time to another. She has been on a half-hearted diet since I can remember, but has only lost weight in old age really. She is quite vain. She is a pretty person. Beautiful in her youth imo (and, I think, knew it!)
My mother's diet is this:
a piece of toast with a poached egg for breakfast. A dessertspoonful of tinned salmon or a slice of ready sliced meat, two cherry tomatoes and a half inch of cucumber for lunch, or a sandwich made with beef paste or a slice of meat using one slice of bread with a bit of salad , a yogurt for dinner. A cup of milk. A couple of very weak teas. An instant Cappuccino. The odd biscuit and bit of chocolate possibly. (She says she is off sweet things at the moment, though.)
This is better and possibly more than before she had carers though.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Ratatouille » January 9th, 2019, 7:28 pm

That is so sad. Why can't we all juct accept things as they are , especially as we get older/
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » January 10th, 2019, 8:45 am

Rats, I think if this has been an underlying motif throughout your life, you are even less likely to let it go in old age? It would involve a fundamental character shift. I think my mother clings onto a couple of things, at least, that elevate her sense of self - give her some self worth. Another is her past academic success and a deeply embedded belief that intelligence is very very important, to the extent that people seem to be almost criticized, or thought less of, for lacking it.

I have a theory that as people get older they become a more intense, narrower versions of themselves. Often this involves the less pleasant aspects, alas. This is probably to do with brain deterioration. It could just be my mother, of course, but this is what has happened to her.


Back to the dieting when I was little, she stuck little red devil stickers all over tins that contained biscuits etc.! They were quite cute. I wish I had a picture. But who would take a picture of such a thing in pre-digital days ;) Cute but a bad message for teenage daughters?
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Seatallan » January 10th, 2019, 8:54 am

Herbidacious wrote:I have a theory that as people get older they become a more intense, narrower versions of themselves.


Oh definitely! From personal experience, its what seems to happen during the menopause too... :oops:
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby suffolk » January 10th, 2019, 9:27 am

Seatallan wrote:
Herbidacious wrote:I have a theory that as people get older they become a more intense, narrower versions of themselves.


Oh definitely!


That was the case with Ma ... it also seemed that the more negative aspects of her character overcame the positive for a while, until she was prescribed meds to lessen her anxiety ... and then although she was by then mostly back in the world of her childhood, she was content and able to enjoy things again. :)
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » January 10th, 2019, 10:03 am

Seatallan wrote:Oh definitely! From personal experience, its what seems to happen during the menopause too... :oops:


I keep meaning to write a letter to my future self...
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » January 10th, 2019, 10:07 am

Your poor ma, Suffs. I friend's husband recently died - it was about a year after dementia was diagnosed, and he had terrible anxiety. Just awful.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby suffolk » January 10th, 2019, 10:55 am

Once I explained to the Dementia Nurse that Ma had been prone to anxiety for much of her life but had taken herself off medication when she heard it could be addictive she asked if I would be happy for her to prescribe some meds again for her ... my view was that anything that improved the quality of Ma's life for the last little while she had left was fine by me ... although Ma dreaded 'addiction' she only had a year or so on the meds and she was so much happier :D The wonderful carers helped so much as well ... giving her reassuring answers to her anxious enquiries "where's my husband?" was met with "he's ploughing today, we've given him a packed lunch and the chef will save his dinner and heat it up for him when he gets back" was an explanation that fitted with her view of her world . "where are the children?" (meaning me and Bro) was met with ... "it's Wednesday ... they're at school" and she was happy with that. The truth is worth nothing when it makes the elderly and confused unhappy. If they'd told her that her husband had died every time she asked where he was she'd have been freshly bereaved every day of the rest of her life.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
― Virginia Woolf
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » January 10th, 2019, 12:01 pm

My mother's reaction to the possibility of addiction to her meds (er morphine, zopliclone, and at one point an SSRI for pain relief) is to deny that she could be! I think denial helps her cope with things these days. It is worrying though when the chemist mucks up her meds (often) and she is in danger or running out of morphine. She is savvy enough to ration it, so some acknowledgement of possible addiction, but of course shouldn't have to. She has, though, of late, been taking less morphine so she (feels she) has a clearer mind. The result (especially over Christmas) is tetchiness and argumentativeness. (Caused by pain and sleeplessness, I think, rather than withdrawal.)

In a sense there is nothing (philosophically) wrong with being addicted to/dependent on something, as long as you can always obtain the substance you are dependent on. After all, we are dependent on food and air...

Reminds me of Mrs Dubose in To Kill a Mockingbird.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Ratatouille » January 10th, 2019, 1:38 pm

Herbidacious wrote: I keep meaning to write a letter to my future self...

I gave my GCs one of these each at Christmas. I bought them in the Britih library in the summer.
https://www.abebooks.fr/Letters-Future- ... gJz9fD_BwE
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » January 10th, 2019, 4:53 pm

Hopefully your GCs do not need to send warning letters to their future selves just yet though :)

I imagine I would dismiss much in letters from my rather ageist much younger self :? I wasn't in a great position to give advice anyway... Middle age might just be the right age to tackle things. Not that I have it all sorted out, by a very long chalk.
I often look at myself and think how horrified my younger self would be to think she would one day look the way I do :o (Like mother like daughter?)

It's a favourite creative writing course exercise, writing letters to your younger self, write letters from them to you etc. I find it very unnerving.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Ratatouille » January 10th, 2019, 7:35 pm

Funny thing is the girls have all embraced them, as has one boy but the youngest GS said :rolleyes: . It was not his only present from us however!!
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby earthmaiden » January 10th, 2019, 7:47 pm

I think I might cry if I read a letter from my younger self. None of the harsher realities of life were ever going to happen to me :lol:.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » January 10th, 2019, 9:13 pm

Yes. I don't want to know the future either.

I really wanted to give my friend's twins Listography books, but somehow never got round to it.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Ratatouille » January 11th, 2019, 9:32 am

I have all the letters -one a week- that I wrote to my parents during our 6 years in the Bahamas. She kept them all and I found them after she died. They give us a wonderful memory of that time of our early married life. The things that we had to put up with and how we survived them. I have them in chronological order and preserved in books for each year and they will go to our Bahamian born children.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » January 11th, 2019, 10:04 am

How lovely.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby earthmaiden » January 11th, 2019, 10:44 am

That's different. I wish that my family had kept more of such letters. There are a few, including letters between my parents in the days leading up to their marriage which even now seem too intimate for others to read. Their relationship was dreadful for most of my childhood and I find it dreadfully sad to read of a time when they were crazy for each other.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby patpoyntz » January 11th, 2019, 12:43 pm

My OH was at sea, and we wrote to each other almost every day.....as indeed my parents did during the war. Our sons have begged us to get rid of our’love letters’...they are far too embarrassed to read them, as indeed I was when I discovered my parents letters.
However I did travel round the world with OH, and children, when we had them, and the letters I wrote to my parents then, and which my Mother saved, are fascinating to read now. We went to such exotic and unusual places in (like The Falkland Islands...long before the war.... or The Seychelles, before there was an airport) and I am surprised at how well I wrote about them. Also, small details of what the children were getting up to bring back such lovely memories.
Later on in life, we lived for many years in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but rather than letters, the family and I used to ‘fax’ each other, but sadly faxes fade and disappear after a while.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Busybee » January 11th, 2019, 1:09 pm

OH found every letter he wrote from boarding school to his mother. He was made to write every Saturday, it was very interesting how he progressed from pencil to pen, capital letters to fully formed joined up writing.

She also kept his very first letter which was a screwed up piece of paper, he refused to write to her as she had left him at school! The headmaster sent her the screwed up paper with a covering note saying something along the lines of ‘he will get used to it’, the following weeks letter was ‘ I hate you’ and the week after ‘please come and get me mummy’. He was only 8 years old.

She wonders why she didn’t have a very close relationship him, I think insome ways it scarred him for life, but in others has made him very independent.

Anyway, we had a good chuckle as the years went on, he began to tell her what they had been getting up to at school, including which film they watched each Saturday night, and the memorable details of when they all went down with dysentery. He continued to write weekly until well into his twenties when he lived in New Zealand. Fascinating both persand social history.

BB

P.s. he also wrote weekly to his old Nanny, who didn’t get the cold shoulder treatment!
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » January 11th, 2019, 2:14 pm

When I was about 14 I "discovered" love letters between Mum and Dad from the mid 1940s.
I have never discussed it with my siblings.
Wonder if they are still in the same cupboard, no doubt I will find out soon when we clear the house.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » January 11th, 2019, 2:21 pm

Poor little thing.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Ratatouille » January 11th, 2019, 2:45 pm

Your OH sounds to have had a rather similar experience to mine Busybee but he actually wanted to go to schoolat such a young age he was a choral scholar and he loved music (still does). Also his father was an RAF officer and he rarely went back to the same house more than once or twice. He didn't have a close relationship with his father who was extremely strict and critical. His mother and he always adored each other but she had 3 other children to care for, one severly handicapped.

He doesn't have any letters from those days. But I have most of the letters I got from him when he was in France at University and we often have a giggle over those. I also have 6 postcards my Grandad sent to my mum and her sisters from the first world war and a letter one of his fellow soldiers sent to him when he was injured and sent back to the UK.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Zosherooney » January 11th, 2019, 10:41 pm

You have just reminded me that somewhere I have a couple of letters written by my Mum to my Dad that only surfaced after Dad had died..... I really must look them out, trouble is - everything is all over the place at the moment....would not know where to start looking ? I am sure that in time to come they will turn up.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Rocky » January 12th, 2019, 1:23 am

patpoyntz wrote:My OH was at sea, and we wrote to each other almost every day.....as indeed my parents did during the war. Our sons have begged us to get rid of our’love letters’...they are far too embarrassed to read them, as indeed I was when I discovered my parents letters.
However I did travel round the world with OH, and children, when we had them, and the letters I wrote to my parents then, and which my Mother saved, are fascinating to read now. We went to such exotic and unusual places in (like The Falkland Islands...long before the war.... or The Seychelles, before there was an airport) and I am surprised at how well I wrote about them. Also, small details of what the children were getting up to bring back such lovely memories.
Later on in life, we lived for many years in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but rather than letters, the family and I used to ‘fax’ each other, but sadly faxes fade and disappear after a while.


What years it you live in the Emirates? My family moved there (to Ras Al Khaimah) in 1983 when I was small but lived there for 30 years!
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby patpoyntz » January 12th, 2019, 12:12 pm

Hi Rocky...we lived, mostly in AD, couple of years in Dubai, from 1985 to 95. Absolutely loved every second, especially AD, and feel very privileged to have been able to experience the amazing life that the UAE had to offer. We often used to go through Ras Al Khaimah on our way to Khasab with the dive club, or, most exciting to drive through Wadi Beh to Dibba, where our dive club had a villa for weekend trips. We almost got trapped in the wadi one time, it was very scary.
I think everything has changed a lot since those days....RAK has wonderful golf courses now I hear? We keep saying that we should go back for a holiday, but I’d hate to spoil the memories. Something special about being a resident and not a holiday maker...
Did you go to school out there? And do you still have family/friends there? Do you go back at all?
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Rocky » January 12th, 2019, 4:55 pm

Patpoyntz - have sent you a PM so as not to hijack this thread!
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby patpoyntz » January 12th, 2019, 5:10 pm

Thanks Rocky...good idea.
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