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 suffolk » August 7th, 2018, 4:50 pm

WW :hug: good that she's made that hint ... there are some very good residential care homes out there ... ones with social activities and interesting outings, discussion groups etc, as well as ensuring residents can spend time on their own doing their own thing or just doing nothing at all if that's what they want.

Also start thinking about the sort of things she'll want to take with her ... pieces of furniture that aren't too big but that will help her to make her room feel like home ... framed photos.

Also for the future, family albums may well be useful (with photos named ...her memory may fade ... and a family tree and a list of friends who are important to her) also a bit of family history ... where she grew up, what her parents did, what she did, hobbies, holidays, all that sort of thing ... that way in the future staff/carers can have appropriate conversations with her. She won't need all that stuff at the moment but it's so useful to have ready if it is needed.

Good luck :D :tu:
“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 StokeySue » August 7th, 2018, 5:39 pm

Sounds very positive in a way WWordsworth. It’s a big step, but sounds like she is going to cooperate.


The memorabilia is quite complex, and a lot of older people don’t in fact like being reminded that they have outlived all their relatives but prefer more generic things like old photos of familiar places, talking about (and watching) old movies etc. You have to play it by ear
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby scullion » August 8th, 2018, 1:10 am

i used to think that electronic photo frames were rather horrible but both my mother and my partner's father (who had Alzheimer's) loved the ones we gave them. there was an 'oh! that's my father!' from my partners father as soon as we switched it on.
it also means that they're there, with changing photos on view, whenever they want and without having to go through albums. old photos just need scanning and loading onto an sd card that slots in.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby earthmaiden » August 8th, 2018, 7:16 am

Although sad, it sounds as though you now have some time to think about and research suitable care homes properly. :hug:

Personally, in this case, one of my top priorities would be to find somewhere that really understands the needs of those with sight and hearing loss. My experiences with MIL brought to light so many so called experts who didn't.

My ma declined the offer to have any of her personal effects in her room. I was forced to store a lot of stuff at my house just in case she asked for it. She liked having up to date photos of her grandchildren and to have some kind of plant life to nurture. As someone who had never owned a TV, that became more and more of an attraction. She developed quite a crush on David Jason in a Touch of Frost :lol:.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby uschi » August 8th, 2018, 9:49 am

earthmaiden wrote:She developed quite a crush on David Jason in a Touch of Frost :lol:.

Aaaaww!!! :aww: :aww: :aww:
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » August 9th, 2018, 11:23 am

Having failed to get through on the phone for the last few days I have made contact with mother this morning.
(She's so deaf she can't hear the phone unless it's right next to her)

She spends a huge amount of time in bed these days - anything up to 20 hours per day - but today she was up and washed and about to get dressed.
My cousin had gone over for a coffee with her and had nipped out for some shopping so Mum decided to get dressed and go downstairs :tu:

I told her J and I will go up next Thu after work and we will stay until the "home help" arrives on Sat teatime.
I said I would cancel the carers for both visits on Friday plus Saturday morning, to which she replied that she probably won't be needing them by then as she feels so much better. :?

She bl%%dy 91, can hear, can't see, can barely walk, doesn't bother enough with food & drink if she's left unattended and thinks she doesn't need any help.

What I really want to do is set a bed up for her downstairs so she has easier access to the kitchen.
She has a downstairs loo so that's not a problem but each time I have mentioned it she has flatly refused.

J says he can see where I get my stubbornness from.
I think he must be confusing me with someone else.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby suffolk » August 9th, 2018, 5:45 pm

Explain that the carers are really there for your peace of mind ... you know she doesn't really need them, but you really can't concentrate on anything else unless you know there's someone going in each day and doing little bits for her ... the only alternative would be for you to keep driving up and down every few days ... or even move in and think of the disruption!!! :shock:

Would that work??? :hug:

Or even 'everyone else's mothers have home helps coming in' my friends will think I'm an awful daughter if I don't make sure you have a home help too ....... how would that do?
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Rainbow » August 9th, 2018, 11:11 pm

You really are good at this, aren't you Suffs? :D :D
Sounds like really great advice.

Plenty of experience from the past, I guess :hug: :hug:
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » August 19th, 2018, 3:23 pm

Back from a 2-day Mother visit.
Will post when I have recovered.

Recovery process is likely to involve gin.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby suffolk » August 19th, 2018, 3:49 pm

Have a large one WW :cocktail: :cocktail: :hug:
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » August 19th, 2018, 5:54 pm

I am on my way back from mine too. Slowly and tortuously. All trains from Chesterfield to London cancelled. Train, coach and train with little information or reassurance along the way that the next leg of the journey would take place. I am currently racing my husband (en route to southern Germany) to see who gets home first.

My mother has been told that she doesn’t have arthritis in her knees after all, but pseudo gout. She is unnerved.
She was in some pain today, but apart from that just very moany. It was still very hard work. Lots of up and down the stairs, and a trip to do a big shop in Sainsburys (20 packets of cappuccino, 14 posh yoghurts, 14 Rachel’s rice pudding etc.) was time consuming and not fun. But have had far worse weekends there. Like my last one when she was constantly defensive and antagonistic. I think it’s easier when OH is there too. She’s less horrid to me, which makes me better tempered.

I did have a run in with her pharmacist though who was very rude. I fear the result of a bit of a feud. (Mother says they keep forgetting her meds.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby suffolk » August 19th, 2018, 6:11 pm

Think you've earned a large one too :cocktail: :cocktail: :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 Herbidacious » August 19th, 2018, 7:55 pm

If only I drank (wine)... but I am really enjoying my freshly sparkled chilled water :D
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » August 19th, 2018, 8:59 pm

You made it home then?
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » August 19th, 2018, 9:29 pm

Yes. I am afraid the thought of going back to hers made me almost burst into tears, which is not very nice of me. I think she'd had enough of visitors too, though, tbh. Good to bve home. Just wish I didn't have to get up at 7am. Grateful husband came too. Last time I was so depressed and exhausted for the week that followed my last visit, I ended up taking a day off. Hoping this week will not be like that.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » August 19th, 2018, 9:30 pm

I hope you are ok WW.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Zosherooney » August 19th, 2018, 9:37 pm

My best wishes to you both......... In the very best possible way, I say I do not miss the bad times with Dad, but I do miss him in some ways. WW have my gin - enjoy ! :cocktail: :cocktail: Herb, I'll have a glass of water with you - Cheers !
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » August 21st, 2018, 12:38 pm

It was more positive visit than others have been.
She was feeling better and the upset stomach caused by antibiotics seems to have cleared up.
I dosed her up on Yakult which seemed to help.

She has adapted quite well to the "home helps" so much so that when she went to bed on Thu evening she placed her breakfast (in bed) order with me.
On Friday evening she gave me Saturday's order - more milk on the Weetabix than today and make sure you warm it before you add the Weetabix :rolleyes:
Talk about the Queen of bl%%dy Sheba.

She still won't wear any of her 147 bits of hearing kit so everything has to be bellowed 3 times and it is exhausting.
I came away with a sore throat.

She hasn't left the house for about a month so we were determined to take her out for a coffee.
She listens to J more than me so he was working on her and it was going well until 2 of her pals turned up.
Once they left she was tired out so we had to let her off.

She worries about dying alone - she hasn't told me that, she's told Bro.

I visited 4 care homes at the weekend - she doesn't know, we just need to have our ducks in a row for when she has her next meltdown.

The one I preferred is an old vicarage, 13 bedrooms, oldest resident is 103 and has been there for 2 years; next oldest is 102 and has just moved in, youngest is 79.
They have a resident whippet called Neil.
That one was discounted by Bro and Sil as it's in the wrong direction for them and as they are the main carers I had to accept their decision.

J preferred one that was purpose built 30 years ago.
30 beds, all bright and cheerful, spotless, nice sounding menu and all the staff were smiley.
Everyone was up and dressed, some in their rooms with the door open watching TV, reading, knitting, others were in the communal lounge .
A tea trolley was doing the rounds.
It's 10-min drive for Bro and SIL and on their route to work.

Bro and SIL liked the sound of the one that's 10-mins walk from their house.
I didn't like it quite as much as the others but it was perfectly acceptable.
A larger place with a nursing wing and a residential care wing, the advantage being that if she ever needs nursing care she only has to move to the other side of the building.
Otherwise it's very similar to the previous one.

4th place was awful, stereotypical old folks' home.
Chairs lining the walls, people sleeping in them in the middle of the morning.
All-pervading smell of fried food.
Generally tatty.

Next step is for siblings to go and have look.

I was very pleased to get home for a rest!
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » August 21st, 2018, 2:29 pm

They all sound much much better than the one my mother was in last year. It smelled of old people and there was loud pop music blaring out (of some of the residents' rooms) all the time. Rooms were tiny. It was located in a cul de sac in a scruffy bit of town. :( This is what you get when you can't afford to pay your own way.

I really think she is better off where she is at the moment. Four sets of carers a day is adequate. Problem is, money is running out...

I can't get my mother to leave the house. Not even for her 90th. She says she is worried about having an accident, and no, she won't wear special pants!
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » August 29th, 2018, 9:34 am

Mother has cancelled the evening carers "because I have a freezer full of food and can sort myself out" :rolleyes: :shock:
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby earthmaiden » August 29th, 2018, 9:38 am

:hug: :hug:
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » August 29th, 2018, 12:52 pm

Sorry to hear that. Just tonight or for the forseeable future?

I am afraid that really, at each stage, my mother has only accepted all the changes and help as and when they have become absolutely necessary. I have not tried to force any issues, but seeds of ideas have been subtly implanted, and gently referred to when its not impolitic. But at the end of the day, it's down to her to accept things. I guess it's the same with most people, and by the sound of it your mother too. It can't be an easy thing to accept loss of independence and the beginnings of powerlessness. My mother seems to have had to reach a kind of (apparent) rock bottom before she accepts help. Or a series of ever lower apparent rock bottoms :o Of course, the lowest (the actual) rock bottom will be the need for a care home...

Some are more sensible than others though. My mother in law moved into a bungalow 4 years ago in advance of old age mobility problems arriving, and a friend's very fit elderly mother moved out of her bungalow into a smaller but still substantial flat in a building with a concierge who pretty much looks after the occupants. Another friend's mother, as I think I have said, who has dementia has refused all help - dismissing all carers, meaning my friend has to travel to the other side of Lodnon by public transport (no car) regularly to feed and clean for her. I like to think my mother wouldn't have done this if I lived in the same town.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Zosherooney » August 29th, 2018, 2:21 pm

WW & Herb... :hug: :hug:
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » August 29th, 2018, 3:01 pm

J and I have agreed that if one of us is left alone at the age of 75 we will move into more suitable accommodation whether we need it at that point or not.
We are child-free so we can do what we flippin' well choose!
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Ratatouille » August 29th, 2018, 6:30 pm

WWordsworth wrote:J and I have agreed that if one of us is left alone at the age of 75 we will move into more suitable accommodation whether we need it at that point or not.
We are child-free so we can do what we flippin' well choose!


Good grief we ought to be getting a move on then. we are well past that mark. We know exctly what we intend to do and it won't involve our family. If they want to be then great but otherwise.............
Je pense, donc je suis. - Decartes
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » August 29th, 2018, 6:50 pm

Yes Rats but you are not living alone.
We agreed we would make that move if only one of us is left at that time.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » August 29th, 2018, 7:06 pm

I have plans to write a letter to my future self regarding what I should and shoult not do if I don't want to turn out like... I imagine if I do this, future self will ignore it.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Busybee » August 29th, 2018, 7:44 pm

It’s a difficult one, having just moved home it made us realise what a huge job it is, especially when you downsize. I’m not sure I could face it by myself aged 75, it would seem so much easier to stay put. My thoughts are that we leave it too late, by the time we feel ready, it’s already too late.

We did have an eye to the future when we bought this house, we could easily live on the ground floor, but we are still too far from civilisation, bus routes etc.

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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » August 31st, 2018, 7:11 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45354846

One shudders to think what the adult social care reform will involve given this government's track record for dispossessing the vulnerable and relatively helpless.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » September 21st, 2018, 8:21 am

My mother seems to have a new lease of life :D

She has kept the morning carers.
The one who called yesterday had been before and said Mum used to be "a little old lady who was always in bed" and now she's up and doing things for herself.

This week she left the house for the first time in 2 months, she had a wander round Dunelm with my cousin then they went for lunch.

Who is this woman?
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby suffolk » September 21st, 2018, 8:51 am

That's positive WW :D :tu:
“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 miss mouse » September 21st, 2018, 9:17 am

That is good news.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Herbidacious » September 21st, 2018, 4:03 pm

That’s great! Wish I could persuade my mother to go out. (Although it would take a lot of arranging!) I am on my way back from hers right now. Sigh.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby earthmaiden » September 21st, 2018, 4:06 pm

What wonderful news! Has there been a change in medication or anything? It must be quite a relief.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » October 6th, 2018, 12:28 pm

I am at mother's house but it seems to be occupied by an impostor.
She wants to go out for A PIZZA tonight.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby suffolk » October 6th, 2018, 12:32 pm

:shock: Better put your glad rags on then WW :bounce: :hug:

It's amazing the difference some positive interaction with a skilled carer can make ... the carers are usually younger than their daughters, also with far more intelligence/common sense/understanding etc than their daughters could possibly ever have.

I think that sometimes our parents actually listen to what carers tell them ... they chat about their lives and families while they're doing whatever it is they do ...when we talk to them they've 'heard it all before' and of course 'they know better anyway' and what do we know anyway ... so they 'switch off' :lol:
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby WWordsworth » October 6th, 2018, 3:10 pm

You may well be right.

I have read the carers' diary for yesterday and it says something like
"Mrs X was up and dressed when I arrived.
She had eaten her Weetabix and was drinking tea.
I made her bed, washed up and tidied the kitchen then we had a cup of tea together and a lovely chat"

I am perfectly happy for the carers to spend this sort of quality time with her.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby miss mouse » October 6th, 2018, 4:30 pm

suffolk wrote:It's amazing the difference some positive interaction with a skilled carer can make ... the carers are usually younger than their daughters, also with far more intelligence/common sense/understanding etc than their daughters could possibly ever have.


I agree. What on earth could daughters know?
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby StokeySue » October 6th, 2018, 7:04 pm

suffolk wrote:It's amazing the difference some positive interaction with a skilled carer can make ... the carers are usually younger than their daughters, also with far more intelligence/common sense/understanding etc than their daughters could possibly ever have.


That’s a very odd and rather rude thing to say Suffolk
I’d be quite surprised if any of my parents’ caters would generally be considered more intelligent than me. Or possessed of more common sense - a group of people who couldn’t collectively remember that the bed linen lived in the drawers in the bed base
Understanding? Well I’d known them over half a century which can cut both watlys, but I don’t think it’s a reasonable assumption that the carers will do better

My parents would take S’s advice on small practical matters, but not a lot of intelligent converstaion went on except when the manager visited
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Bubbles » October 6th, 2018, 7:20 pm

Sue, I think there was more than a touch of irony in Suff's post. ;)
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby earthmaiden » October 6th, 2018, 7:24 pm

I thought that too. Just like children who will take advice from anyone but their parents (even the same advice!).

Good to hear that your ma has made a good recovery WW). ;) :hug:
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby StokeySue » October 6th, 2018, 7:25 pm

Bubbles wrote:Sue, I think there was more than a touch of irony in Suff's post. ;)


It doesn’t read that way

If trying to be ironic in text you should make at least some attempt to make it clear

That just reads as rudeness to me and even if intended ironically it has no place on a thread intended to provide support
Last edited by StokeySue on October 6th, 2018, 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Bubbles » October 6th, 2018, 7:27 pm

Well to me it was self deprecating and slightly ironic. I knew what she meant.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby miss mouse » October 6th, 2018, 7:37 pm

StokeySue wrote:That’s a very odd and rather rude thing to say Suffolk


I disagree completely. Perhaps you experiences are different. It rings a bell for many of us.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby suffolk » October 6th, 2018, 9:52 pm

I’m sorry you read it that way Sue. I had thought that folk on this thread knew enough of my experiences with my own mother to understand that I was being ironic.
I also thought that most folk on the board, let alone those who’ve met me several times, know that I would never intentionally post anything rude, upsetting or unsupportive ... especially on a thread where I’ve received so much support myself.
I’m somewhat surprised and saddened.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Rainbow » October 6th, 2018, 10:28 pm

I read it as ironic too, Suffs.
Spoken from the mother's point of view of their rather 'hopeless' daughters - what would they ever know!!

My mother wasn't really like that, (but I only saw her rarely, from Oz, and she had my father to look after her) but I can understand what Suffolk means. Just like kids and their parents advice - which was never taken by our son!!
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby StokeySue » October 6th, 2018, 11:25 pm

OK so maybe it was meant ironically though I’m not very happy with it

But consider that the reason it maybe didn’t feel that way to me is that neither of my parents not any of the other very elderly people I have come across have responded to carers in that way, it’s far from universal. A joke only works if the audience get the set up.
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby suffolk » October 7th, 2018, 5:55 am

My mother took advice about Wiltshire Foods, Tena pads, comfortable shoes with Velcro fastenings , having her medication in the blister packs from the pharmacy, and many other things from the lovely Emma who visited them daily. They took far more notice of her than they ever did of me because I was their daughter ... Ma regarded her as a capable adult who had years of experience in caring for the elderly and knew about these things whereas I was her daughter , a little more than a child! This was of course due to the beginnings of her Alzheimer’s.

This shared experience been discussed and laughed about many times on here by me and by others ...no one has ever said before that they’ve not understood or been offended by it ... of course it’s not a universal experience ... little in life is ... but reading through these threads will reveal that it’s a very common one.

And if being a carer for a parent with Alzheimer’s isn’t a justification for a little black humour and irony then I don’t know what is.
“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 » October 7th, 2018, 8:40 am

Moving on from the irony debate... my mother is more likely to take my advice than she once was. However I think this is because she thinks a lot of it come from a higher authority - the internet :D
re her carers, she has ones she likes and approves of and others she dislikes. When she talks about them, her feelings about them are built into her references to them. So it's xxx, the one I really like, she is far too intellgient for this job, did vvvv. Or yyyy, the one I don't like, she makes me feel bad after she's left, did zzz. It feels like she complains about them (nd the chemists') endlessly, but I suppose that gives her something to do/talk about, as the only other things in her life are tv and books, and visitors.

I fear she is deteriorating. The doctor has said she has heart failure, and getting on and off her commode (the only physical activity she can manage) is making her out of breath. She is repeating herself a lot (more than usual).
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Re: Looking after our parents (part 2)

Postby Ratatouille » October 7th, 2018, 1:21 pm

I am just so sorry tat people find this subject so distressing and, it seems, contoversial.

Having got to the age when it is quite likely we will need outside helpand knowing that our family is so far away, we have made sure we will never have to rely upon them to care for us. We chose to live where we do and we must rely upon ourselves to make sure we have support.
Not that our family wouldn't be involved but why should they? We have always done our own thing and encouraged our children to do the same and they do . Not that we aren't close and caring but we are who we are.
Je pense, donc je suis. - Decartes
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