Category: Caring for an aging parent

To be or not to be an anonymous blogger – that was the question

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Blogging Anonymously

When I first started my blog in the spring of 2015, I was afraid to announce that I was the author.  I primarily wanted to stay behind the curtain because I wanted to feel complete freedom of speech which meant writing without offending anyone.  I really dislike confrontation.

I lasted about a month before coming out.  This secret was kept longer than I lasted when I lived in sin with my husband for now 19 years, Jason.  When I got my first job at Turner Broadcasting and moved into a one bedroom apartment in Vinings, I told my parents I was living solo.  I explained that Jason was giving me most of his furniture from his apartment because he was going to move in with his aunt to save money.  Jason and I moved in together and my soul turned blacker and blacker that week.  I made it to the next weekend and came clean with my parents at their house.  My dad told me the ultimate thing that always got to me: ‘I’m so disappointed in you, Elizabeth’.  My mom said something like ‘Why would he (meaning Jason) buy the cow when he could get the milk for free?’  Really mom?  It didn’t change our situation, we knew we were committed for life but we felt we were too young to get married.  We didn’t want to waste an extra rent when we could be banking that income for future plans.  We had an understood agreement that we would live together no more than a year before something more serious like an engagement would happen.  By the way, it took Jason just about a year to take the next step and then we had a yearlong engagement. (more…)

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I’m unpacking my bags and refusing to take the guilt trip

wisdom-92901_1280I’m tough on myself and I hate to let others down.  Guilt is a common emotion for me – truly probably a daily occurrence.  You see, it’s impossible to make everyone happy in a world with so many competing priorities.  Just like an overstuffed sandwich, some wonderful initially desired ingredient is going to slip out and get left behind on the plate or the wrapper.  We can just fit only so much into our mouths or into our day.

For me, guilt flashes into my head, slithers down the back of my throat and wedges itself in my chest where it pressure cooks for a few minutes.  Sometimes it gets the best of me and I steam out a few tears but lately I’m practicing a lot of self-talk and can get that pesky guilt emotion to dwindle and sometimes even completely dissipate.  Deep down I do know that I’m doing enough – more than enough…probably too much! (more…)

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Mom says it is best to be seen AND heard

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I witnessed a mini miracle this week.  It’s been difficult to get mom to all the specialists she needs to see since my dad passed away seven months ago and we moved mom into her assisted living.  Hearing aids was next on the list.  Part of the reason it’s been a chore to get her to her appointments is that I have a full time job and my appointments and many of my kid’s appointments were set aside so we could help care for mom, dad, and my husband’s mom who passed last December.  Appointments got backed up and oh by the way, I missed a ton of work.  So we slowly chip away at the list.

Mom’s hearing has been really bad lately.  One of my dad’s last requests of her was that she get her hearing aids checked.  She’s probably had her existing ones for about 10 years.  I know they were the best at the time and they cost a pretty penny.  When someone you love can’t hear what you are saying it frustrates everyone.  Mom has difficulty talking over the phone, staying awake during movies, engaging in meal conversations, and understanding her caregiver’s instructions.  It impacts all relationships because the third or fourth time someone shares something it certainly doesn’t come across like the first time.  This is when we get accused of being disrespectful. (more…)

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Top 10 reasons We Chose Mom’s Assisted Living Community

noperfectassistedlivingFirst, let me start by saying that there is no perfect assisted living.  Afterall, I don’t know of one person who has  chosen to live their twilight years in an assisted living. The phrase assisted living simply means you have lost partial control of your daily activities.

When we started looking for an assisted living last summer, my dad was in the hospital and we were focused on a place for a couple.  Frankly, we didn’t know the timing or the details, but we were confident that my dad was no longer going to be able to help care for my mom and my brother and that they needed to be closer to family.

Once my dad had passed, we had to change a focus to just a place for mom. (more…)

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How to have ‘the talk’ with your Parents about moving in to an Assisted Living community

 

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The reality is that I had several talks with my parents encouraging them to simplify their lives by downsizing and finding a place where life could be easier for them.

Sadly, I feel that I have been grieving my parents for over a decade.  They had been slowly killing themselves with complications from morbid obesity and diabetes.  It’s been devastating to watch and frustrating to witness the pain their addictions with food and sedentary lifestyles have caused themselves and their families. (more…)

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Throw up Thursday

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Earlier today, I thought I’d write a Throwback Thursday post and tell a great past story. But, then my day felt more like ‘Throw up Thursday’. I already knew this….but today confirmed that I’m a creature of habit and I thrive in structure, I can get by on a day with little structure, but I really don’t like a whole day of unexpected crazy. (more…)

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