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Visiting Nursing Home Today

I'm going to visit my dad and step mom in the nursing home today. I took care of them at home with my siblings for years and it became too much for us when my step mom's dementia got worse and worse and she got up in the middle of the night and almost started a fire in the kitchen. They are both on hospice and slowly declining. It is painful to see them this way. They can barely sit up and walk around. My dad's hearing is getting worse and his hearing aid isn't working. We're trying to get an appointment with an audiologist. My step mom's brother came to visit and we talked about cremation and what to do with the remains. He doesn't want them. He is leaving everything in our care. My dad's lower dentures broke. We're trying to get those fixed. They are taking all of their social security except for $30 each. I hope that means they are going to take care of the hearing aid and dentures. How else are they expected to afford it.

 

I don't like thinking about the coming days. I am having trouble enjoying my life because of this fear of impending doom. One day I may bet a phone call letting me know one of them passed. And I am afraid of how lonely the other will feel when they are the one left behind. 

 

And I am feeling lonely too, like I am the one being left behind. It is an emotional time. It is a strange feeling of pre-grief. I lost my youngest son to cancer a few years ago and it seems like history is repeating itself.

 

I feel apprehensive and fearful of the inevitable. 

 

The good news is that we have cameras installed in their room and I saw the CNA give them both a nice bed bath. She cleaned them up real good and got them both dressed. It is good to see them with clothes on. Maybe today they will leave the room and take a walk. (smile)

A friend in need is a friend indeed.
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Regular Contributor

I don't have to look very far to find something to feel bad about. I was watching National Geographic documentary '9/11 One Day in America' last night and it made me feel sad for the people who lost their lives that day. That was twenty years ago and so much has changed since then. 

 

Thanks for the suggestions about bringing something like music and pictures with me. The only thing I have to bring today is sad news that his childhood friend, his first cousin, just got admitted to the hospital after his heart stopped in ICU. 

 

Death and dying seems to be all around me now. 😥

 

And this just came in my email today. Thanks for you kind words.

 

 

 

September 11, 2021

Verse of the Day

 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:4 NIV

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

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AARP Expert

Hello there, Old Married Man. That is really tough, watching both parents decline. And having lost your youngest son to cancer, the anticipatory grief does stir up the grief of losing your son, and pretty much any other loss you've ever experienced. That's the way grief is: it combines with other losses and sometimes you can grief them all at once and heal a bit more. Other times it just seems overwhelmingly sad. And on those days you practice self care: something healthy for your body, like taking a walk, something healthy for your spirit, which can be listening to your favorite record from long ago or going to a church service  (I go to church for the music, the people, and the sermon, in that order.) Self care for your social self can mean calling up an old friend, or calling up your other child(ren) to catch up on what they're doing. Watch some 'america's funniest home videos' on youtube. Or just take a very long nap in the middle of the day. 

 

Hospice team folks can tell you about dentures and hearing aides. My guess is that there is a 'work around' for not having the right or enough or any dentures. If they are slowly declining, they are not eating a lot. Hearing aids are expensive: if he has some old ones, perhaps a visit to the audiologist to adjust those aids might do the trick. But ask the hospice social worker or nurse. Or the nursing home social worker or nurse. 

 

Is there anything you can do while you visit your folks that would make them and you feel better? Bring in some music on your phone and play their favorite tunes. Or bring in a photo album. Or bring in some baby oil and give each hand a gentle massage. I know its hard. I used to visit my father in the nursing home he lived in for 7 years very regularly. It always felt heavy. When he did start declining and hospice joined the team, my sister and i took turns living in the chair next to his bed, with his wife visiting during the day. He was comfortable. And it was very sad.

 

I hope your wife and other children and maybe grandchildren give you some pleasure. And I hope the hospice group has a bereavement group for afterwards. Thanks for writing. Write more if you want to.

 

Jane

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I don't have to look very far to find something to feel bad about. I was watching National Geographic documentary '9/11 One Day in America' last night and it made me feel sad for the people who lost their lives that day. That was twenty years ago and so much has changed since then. 

 

Thanks for the suggestions about bringing something like music and pictures with me. The only thing I have to bring today is sad news that his childhood friend, his first cousin, just got admitted to the hospital after his heart stopped in ICU. 

 

Death and dying seems to be all around me now. 😥

 

And this just came in my email today. Thanks for you kind words.

 

 

 

September 11, 2021

Verse of the Day

 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:4 NIV

A friend in need is a friend indeed.
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AARP Expert

I watched that documentary also! I was heartened by the story of the drug addicted former EMS guy who woke up,got out of his apartment,and helped rescue someone. All because he didn't want to disappoint his sister, who'd called while he was still asleep and who told him in the voicemail, i bet you are down there helping. He'd been deeply stuck. And he got moving, and saved someone. I LOVED THAT STORY. 

 

Maybe don't tell of the man in the ICU, unless your dad asks about him? 

 

I'm here, you're there, we are not alone.

 

Jane

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Thanks for your kind words. My wife gets on my case when I reach out to strangers online, but I think this really helps. I like the feeling of not being alone. I think we all share some kind of connection with the human race. 

 

My dad is struggling doing little things. Even sitting up is a struggle for him.

 

My step mom is sitting in a chair all doped up. Tomorrow we're meeting with the care providers. I want to know what they're giving her. I would like to see them more active. But my dad stays on his oxygen all day and he seems to be having trouble with muscle coordination too. 

 

I will visit and spend more time with him tomorrow. It feels good when he recognizes me and says "hi son". I have to learn how to enjoy those short moments of joy. 

 

Again, thanks for your response. I'm feeling better today for some reason and I'm savoring the moment. 😊

A friend in need is a friend indeed.
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AARP Expert

All moments of joy are worth savoring! Just being with him, occasionally sharing a happy memory... 'remember the time when'  ... will help you and probably him as well. Even if he doesn't remember you. Human contact is so important. We are herd animals.

 

I love GK Chesterton's quote: We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.

 

I do not see strangers, i see friends i don't know yet.

 

Jane

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Newbie

didnt' answer the question about fixing denture? is that covered in a nursing home?

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