Friday, September 25, 2015

Changes...But Life Goes On

I've wanted to start this post a million times, but one word stops me every time...LIFE. There was a time when I was posting every single day and loved doing it. Then it was like exercising...it was easier NOT to do it as time went on lol. Change is inevitable I guess. We just need to accept it and move on.

Another reason why I've hesitated writing this post is I don't want you to think it is a "woe is me" post. I have always been the glass is half FULL person, always look for the positive in something, keep moving forward and learn from the experience. I do, however, want to share personal things because life isn't always about sewing, crafting and pretty decorations. We need to see or read that someone is going through similar experiences, because it may help...even in the tiniest of ways.

I know people are going through things in life that are much more difficult than we are right now, but none the less, it's changed our family once again and sharing things with you may help us both. As many of you know from past blog posts, my father has lived with us for over 11 years. We've been through just about everything you can think of...literally everything (from the passing of my mom, floods, fire, to good times and bad times etc), but once again "life" has hit the fan. My dad is 91 years old and his health is getting the best of him. He can't walk much any more due to a fall, has a choking and aspiration problem, seeing, hearing and his dementia is off and on.



We've had to move the furniture on his side of the house, so it's easier for him to move from room to room, we changed how he eats, how he sleeps (hospital bed now), we took away his car keys, shut off his internet access and pulled the breaker switch on his stove. We are in charge of giving him his medications, he needs help with personal care, health care professional are in and out of the house on a daily basis while I'm at work...and the list goes go.

He was a career military officer and teacher, so you can imagine the fight for power when he is with it mentally, especially when it's his 2 "daughters" telling him what to do. I'm the youngest of 5 children, so even worse that I'm the baby. The emotions run the gamut...frustration, anger, aggravation, pity, sadness etc. One minute he's with it and you're angry with him because he refuses to put thickener in his drink, so he won't aspirate liquids into his lungs and the next minute you feel pity for him, because he's trying to use the T.V. remote on the refrigerator and wondering why the channels aren't changing on the ice maker.

Needless to say, the stress level at our house on some days is to the moon and back. My husband is my rock. His love and strength through this never waivers and I love him to death. My family...Courtney, Kelsie, Courtland and Nick keep me busy, laughing and happy inside and out...and they don't even know they're doing it!  My sister is my partner in crime. She is always there for me and for my dad no matter what. If she and I didn't laugh together, we would cry for sure. We laugh so hard sometimes at all the crazy things that can happen in one day, I really should wear a Poise pad. Lol

I really try to look for the positive in each day, just to keep my sanity and this saying says it all!!



For the past month, we've moved a house full of his stuff to the storage room, paper work beyond comprehension, visiting nurses, long term care preparation, doctors appointments, hospice etc. We've learned a lot and the learning never ends.

Here are some quick bullet points that I want to share with you as "food for thought". Just a quick read even if you are not taking care of an elderly parent, relative or friend...we will all be in this situation ourselves one day.

Food For Thought for yourself or a loved one...


  • Living Will and Advanced Directives...make your wishes known legally, especially DNR (Do Not Resuscitate (here's a link I found for a quick definition).
  • Power of Attorney for health and Power of Attorney for financial matters. In our family my sister and I have POA for his health and my brothers have POA for his finances. These are a must. You will not have any legal rights to call for information from doctors, hospital or banks to make any decisions on your loved ones behalf without it. 
  • Write a will for your possessions. 
  • speaking of possessions...I am slowly but surely cleaning out my life of "stuff". I WILL NOT let this happen to my kids. I don't want them packing up boxes and boxes of junk in my attic or basement. Usually when things happen to elderly parents, the children are dealing with the important medical issues at that time and shouldn't be dealing with a house full of things. I have officially sworn off buying things from thrift stores for myself (I still buy for everyone else though). lol
  • Read the fine print for everything. My dad purchased long term care insurance years and years ago on his own. A hundred thousand dollars later and it's taking an act of God to get it activated. Not to mention he has to pay out of pocket for home care for the first 60 days before the insurance starts to pay. READ THE FINE PRINT.
  • Make your funeral wishes known. Think about purchasing a plot or crematorium.  Put away money for funeral costs. When the time is closer, some funeral homes let you pay in advance or pre-pay the total.
  • My parents sold their home and moved in with us, so that was not an issue, but you have to think about the elderly who still own their homes and what happens to that home if they go into a nursing home. Consult with a lawyer for further info, because every state is different and every situation is different whether that home is an asset to pay for nursing home care.

I know there is never an easy time to talk about or do these things, but I at least think about it and have it on your radar.

To end on a funny note...going through all this has certainly been an adventure much like a roller coaster, but mine is double the FUN having menopause along for the ride. Lol 

Here are a few funnies to make you laugh...












Thanks for listening,
~Karen~


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67 comments:

  1. Great advice. I went through similar events with my Dad. We are still trying to work out the settlement with my step-sibilings over the property. Oh, how I wish my Dad and step-mom had taken the time to write a Will. Hang in there. I'm sure you are doing a great job.

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  2. Oh Karen, prayers for your family! I just found out last night that my dad's cancer is back. Time to jump back on the emotional roller-coaster. Your list above is such a welcome list today. Hopefully I won't need it for many years but last year when he was diagnosed, my siblings and I felt quite unprepared. This time I'll have the guts to ask dad to update his will. His current will is ancient. Keep up the good work. Your dad is lucky to have you.

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  3. I am so glad you posted, thank goodness my MIL has everything in order. My dear friend past away last week and we have to get the condo ready for sale.

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  4. You hit the right points. It's a life learning event that we all wish to avoid, but must accept the reality. I am with you....clean out the "stuff" now while you can and don't leave it for anyone else to do. Love your funnies....we all need the giggles.

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  5. Excellent information as usual Karen! Love the menopause memes too! Best to laugh about it because what else can you do? ;)

    MGM

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  6. I have lived through what you're going through and there is light at the end of it, I promise. My dad lived with us for 12 years and his final couple of years were very challenging to say the least. I know how you feel about all the people coming and going in your house and how you have to sleep with one eye open. I highly recommend getting a baby monitor - it was one of the handiest tools I had. My dad had throat cancer the last couple of years and it robbed him of so much. Thankfully you have family to talk to - I'm an 'only' so my rock was my DH and also my kids. All I can say is to take one day (sometimes one hour) at a time and keep that ability to laugh. Hugs.

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  7. Good advice. Keep on keeping on. It will all work out. My DH and I have both lost both parents. So your advice is good. So much paperwork!! UGH!!

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  8. I knew there had to be a reason that you had not posted recently; I hope you know that there are a lot of people praying for all of you.

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  9. I can so empathize with your situation! My mom's health is not the best, dementia, COPD, heart and my dad is in denial about her condition. I'm the oldest of 4 and live the closest. I've been working on them about getting things "in order"... just in case. But as you know they are very resistant to giving up what they perceive as their independence. I will keep you in my prayers and I'm going to show your post to my dad... maybe hearing it from someone besides me will spur him on! Thanks for posting about this... it's important stuff!

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  10. Oh yeah, I hear ya. I learned SO MUCH when my DH passed away 3 yrs ago. Stuff I didn't really want to learn. And with my dad with his Alzheimer's many years before that (but I've never dealt with fire and flood, thank God). I know how hard it is.. just gotta keep on fightin'.

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  11. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Having walked in your shoes twice, I can tell you that laughing instead of crying saw us through many days. Hang in there and feel the hugs that are sent your way. I'm praying for you and your family. ~Jeanne

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  12. I truly feel for you, Karen. My sister, who lives abroad (making things just that much more complicated) and I are dealing with our mother, whose dementia has progressed to the point where we have had to have her moved to a place where she can be safe. It's stressful, even without her living with either of us, so I can't imagine how much more so it must be for you.

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  13. Though I will not go through this since I am not close with my parents, I someday will be the parent in this story. Thanks for sharing and preparing me for my future.

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  14. I had been hoping an d praying that it was not difficulties with your dad ...
    I would say God won't give you more that you and He can handle but instead I will say ... when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on ... sometimes that is all you can do...

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  15. I was just thinking about you the other day and was hoping that you and your family were all okay. Having been through similar things with my mum, I know some of what you're going through. Hang on to those who make you laugh - they're the ones who will see you through this with at least some of your sanity intact! I know it's a cliché but I do believe this one is true - "this too will pass".

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  16. Hi Karen. I've thought about you often as I missed seeing your post in my blog roll, but I knew that you are going through a tough time. My sis is 20 years older than me and it took me 5 years to get her to go to an attoryney to complete the forms you spoke of. Even though the attorney advised her to give me copies...she has not done so. I suspect she is quite wealthy and I'm sure she does not want me to know her business. She is a recluse and hoarder...sad situation. But thank you for the reminder that Terry and I need to get OUR things in order. Best Wishes for you to cope and thank God for your husband to keep you grounded.
    xx, Carol

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  17. I hope writing your post and sharing laughs whenever possible is some care for you as caretaker. You still are that positive glass half full person, you are just having many more glasses to juggle. Blessings to you and your family. There are good lessons for all of us in this post.

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  18. Sending you a mental hug as we have been through some of this ourselves, though unfortunately we finally had to find nursing home care for my MIL with Alzheimer's. What hit home for me was not buying "stuff" anymore. After my husband and his brother filled an entire large dumpster with his parents' junk and went through the pain of giving things too valuable to toss to strangers, because no one in the family could or would take it…well we have been de-cluttering ever since and I can hardly shop anymore. Good for my bank account LOL! Hang in there Karen, thinking of you.

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  19. Ironically, I have been thinking about you knowing that your life was likely very complicated right now. I have read your posts for a long time and really appreciate your skill and perspective. That said, I have been where you are with four different family members in past years and now with my MIL. Dementia is a beast. There is no pat answer to every question but you have touched on many important aspects of the care of an elderly family member. Hopefully, it presents a guideline for others. I suspect it was difficult to do this post because it is a landmark of sorts. When you get to this stage of care in can be absolutely over whelming. As a medical professional and case manager I have dealt with so many cases where well meaning people make terrible mistakes. Seek advice, search out others who share your situation. In time, as mentioned in other comments, you will see the situation as one where you did the very best that you could. Bringing your parents into your home is a big challenge. An opportunity that many would not accept. My MIL lives next door to us and as long as everything is in order we are OK for now. She refuses to live with us so we (husband and myself) take turns living with her. She is always with us and I hope it is enough. Take care of yourself, remember that you are not alone and keep us updated now and then.

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  20. Oh, my! I can sympathize. My parents aren't quite there yet as far as dementia goes, but trying to talk to them about their wishes and their possessions is difficult. And they live close to us, still independently, but my siblings are all at a distance, so can't be as much help as they'd like. These are tough times, but thankfully they end. Prayers for all of you!

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  21. I am right there with you. My mom just turned 91and I totally GET it. She is really in good physical health, but even that is failing, but her mental...it is SO hard. And it is SO hard to watch. That's my mom, ya know? Our ROCK of the family. We have all her stuff set up in a trust, but actually, I have been wondering about the POA stuff. We really should get that set up. Luckily we are going to see the estate lawyer Wednesday so that will be addressed. I am also with you on the 'stuff' and am in the process of getting rid of/selling all the stuff I do not use/want anymore. :) We could almost be twins. Menopause, yep, me too. Luckily, I am pretty mush post menopause now, but there were some ugly days there for a while. :( Good luck and as MY mom always says "This too shall pass..." xo

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  22. So me go through similar stories. My heart is with you during your journey

    I lost my mother last week. It was a difficult and heartbreaking journey. Now she was the last of the old ones And I no longer have anyone to take care of. I took care of my aunt and her Alzheimer's for 10 years, Frank's horrible mother for pancreatic cancer for nine months and now my mother for eight years. I thought it would be a relief but it just leaves and empty hole. I had no Idea of the exhaustion I was feeling

    I need to turn my sights to the young generation. Carrie and her hubby are hoping to have a baby next year. This is the circle of life.

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  23. Oh, the last picture just sums it up!! I have had the same journey, minus a sister!! Be so glad she is there and helping. My prayers for you. You will make it to the other side. Thank God you took your parents in. You are doing his work right now & it is difficult. Love and patience. Your hubby needs a crown!!

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  24. I am a 70 y/o widowed now for 4 plus years, have three children and it weighs on my mind the fact that I do not wish to become a burden to my children in any way. Currently my health is good (need to loose weight, but who doesn't) and I live simply and comfortably. I am trying to purge my space of "things" but it is hard to do. I need to copy your list and get to work. Hang in there, there will be better days ahead.

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  25. I feel for you and I wish you and your family all the best in dealing with it. I've been there and done that with my mom, menopause and the STUFF. Oddly enough, dealing with the STUFF is taking the longest in terms of time. One thing I wanted to add to the conversation--passwords. In addition to the Power of Attorney, figure someway to let that person or persons know that information. I've told the children where to look for my master password if something should happen to me.

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  26. (((((HUGS)))))
    Wonderful post. Thank you for helping your followers when you are in the thick of it.

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  27. Just wanted to say that not all angels are in heaven. Thank you for sharing this. It must have been difficult to write.

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  28. My thoughts and prayers are with you Karen. I lost my Mom this Feb. 28th. She would have been 86 on Sept. 7th. Dad is going to be 89 on Sept. 30th and is in good health despite his heart problems. He has a sharp mind right now and still drives to church and grocery shopping and other chores. My youngest brother lives in the house with him and I am so glad of that. Hang in there the best you can and know that we are here for you.

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  29. This is such a difficult time.
    You are stronger than you know. Remember the airplane rule...put on your oxygen mask first!
    What do you need? A nap? Exercise? Being in nature? Hot bath? Care for you as you care for your loved ones. Oh, and one more thing, allow others to care for you.
    Thus endeth the lecture😉♥️

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  30. I found your blog through....hmm I don't seem to remember. And when I find a blog I like, I have to read from the beginning. Crazy I know, but I've come to accept it. :) So today was the day that I finally finished getting through your entire blog. Needless to say I love it. Tool Time is my favorite, probably because I'm not programmed to think of alternative ideas for everyday things, but I'm really good at copying anything I can find. I've saved the Linky Parties for last. I can't wait to go through them for some inspiration. And now that I've caught up with your life, I have more time to accomplish the projects I've read about. haha. It's also very touching that you trust us with the personal things that are going on in your life. I bet it is quite challenging trying to get through this part of life, when the child becomes the caretaker of the parent. It's completely understandable that blog posting is not at the front of your life right now. Your positive outlook will definitely help you get through it. Thank you for this post on things to start thinking about. My parents are only in their late 60s, but they aren't getting any younger. It's hard to think of them getting to where they'll become dependent on my sister and me. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  31. Thank you for this post. Your family is blessed to have you as their center.

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  32. Thank you for this post. Very informative. My prayers are with you and your family....

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  33. It seems there are more and more people dealing with this issue. I never thought I would have to as both my parents died years ago. But I because of low income (SS) , the apartment I could afford had an extra with it. lower rent to keep an eye out for the man upstairs. 90 with beginning Alzheimer's , Just call the family if he falls. Now a 1.5 years later I am feeding him 4 nights a week, cleaning up bathroom messes, redressing him . and have a camera so I can check on him from the basement apartment. He is at the stage now where he is trying to leave the house. I feel for you.. I know its going to get worse. I also have taken over driving his wife around because she is going blind. And she is getting a little cantankerous .. Both of their children work, As does the granddaughter and the grandson travels A Lot .. And here I thought I would be able to work on my hobbies and read alot.. LOL . I feel for anyone who is going through this. And it must be so much harder if its your parent. Emotionally. Thank goodness Menopause is over for me. :) LOL

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  34. We are on the same page, too. I'm living with my 91 YO Dad and 89 YO Mom. I have POA and have had to use it. My sister has charge of the finances. We've done your list. Mom has diabetes and dementia and Dad has congestive heart with leaky enlarged valves and only 30% of his kidney function. I've had 3 diet changes since March. I suspect my DH has some dementia as well and he is on his own at our house for now... Fortunately I have an email pal I can cry to once in a while.

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  35. I've been wondering about the lack of posts, thank you for the update. In the mean time, I'll keep revisiting my favorites of your posts - Tool Time Tuesday and the ones about your sewing room. And the advice about documents and taking care of things before you start failing mentally or physically is spot-on.

    Sending good thoughts and wishes to you and your family...

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  36. Thanks for the good advice. So sorry your dad, you and all the family are going through this. It sounds as though you all are doing a great job of taking care of your dad. Caregiver is a very tough job. Our family didn't have the care issues with our parents, but cleaning out years of accumulated things was difficult. I'm like you with not leaving a burden like that to our son. It is tough to get rid of things but it's better for me to do it than for them after I'm not here. Loved the funnies. Good luck to you. Thank you for sharing. Please keep us posted. You have a lot of caring people who have enjoyed your blog and now send our thoughts, prayers and hugs for all the family.

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  37. Thank you for sharing your life as it really is with us. We all have our burdens to bear and always does me good to know that I'm not alone in facing challenges every single day! I get thru many days praying this; Be brave and courageous. Don't be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is always with you. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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  38. As difficult as it is with your Dad now, when he is gone you will feel blessed that you had him. A few months after my Dad died, my first grandchild was born - and holding him was so healing. Good luck - and I'm glad you have so many people to help you along.

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  39. You are a better person than I. My mother lost her mother and then her husband just 4 months later. She has dementia which didn't allow her live on her own, fortunately financially we were able to put her in Independent living and at the first of the year moved her to Assistd. She too has a nursing home policy - hope it's not an ordeal for us when it comes to use that. She never got along with my SIL and I live in another state where she would not have afforded to live as well as she does now, but I could not have taken my mother in, I would not have survived, I admire you for caring for your dad in your home.

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  40. Dear Karen. I'm going through the very same moment in life like yours with two big "little" differences that are: 1. your dad's condition is my mum ones being 82 and my dad is 85 so we have two elderly parents to take care of and 2. my relationship with my sister is very bad what makes our parents' care even more difficult. I know it's life, I know we have to go through this situation because they are our parents and they took care of us and we love them but some days it's just so hard, so emotionally hard. I feel every word of your post, every single one. Let's have luck and high spirit to go through it. Let me send you a big hug from this Spanish woman living your very same situation

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  41. Karen: Prayers for you and your family. Sometimes it's just one foot in front of the other; playing the hand you're dealt. I hope you can find some moment of peace in each day.

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  42. First of all - praying for you!
    2nd- great info! I work at a nursing home and we see this alot and all too often families are across the country or start fighting or there is no one to handle it.
    3rd keep smiling, make sure you are getting enough rest. The local nursing home or senior centers can be a resource for a respite care giver, tips on dealing with dementia,, a friendly ear that's "been there". They have the resources but too often they are over looked.
    I just walked in our local Alzheimers association walk to end Alzheimers - our little chapter raised 37000 to fund research! Alz.org has some great resources too!
    Thank you for sharing

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  43. Dear Karen. I feel for you having had a similar experience with my mother. I would tell you that the best for us was to put my Mum in aged care. Wonderful workers who were so kind, I wish you strength and don't jeopardise your family's happiness and times. You need time for you too. Best wishes. xx

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  44. Karen, Ditto to all of the comments above. As you can see...you are not in this alone. My husband is currently fighting cancer, my mother has Alzheimers and my Dad dementia and can no longer walk and there are some days I wonder if I will be able to make it through another day. You just have to find a way every once in awhile to do something for yourself or you will go crazy. Even if it is going outside and weeding! Blessings to you!!

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  45. Karen you are brilliant!! Thanks for putting this out there (elephant in the room). It's so very important! Being in the same boat and menopause I sooo love your humor ending. Remember treat yourself well during this and (((HUGS))) are essential!
    Fyi some states like mine have prehospital "DNR" forms so an ambulance crew can remain respectful to the wishes. In NY it's called a MOLST form.
    Hang in and laugh daily!

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  46. Thank you for this post. I have my father living here with us - he's been here for a 1 1/2 yrs. It feels like I've lost my life. I am an only child so I have no one to fall back on for help and so I am fairly "trapped", wondering if I'll ever be able to really travel again before I'm so old I can't. I've lost my time to do my artwork, etc. Yet I wouldn't dream of having it any other way, but the thought of 11 yrs. I can barely face. (or more, which could be the case- my grandmother lived to be 100, dad is 87 now.) I am going to keep this post to re-read when I need to have a smack in the face to get on with life and just "do it".

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  47. I was afraid this was the reason for blog silence. I have been through both the Parental Trenches and the Big M Trenches. I assure you that you can make it. It'll be really hard sometimes, really bizarre others, really tiring most of the time, but in the end really comforting to know that you didn't give up. Your kids will learn valuable lessons by watching you handle this, and everyone will better understand what to do when it's the next generation's turn. Ask for all the help you can get right now!! A little cry every now & then doesn't hurt either. Then wash your face, look in the mirror, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you are strong enough to do this. Sitting outside at night & staring into space also helps, especially if you are having a hot flash, LOL! My struggles were happening while I was going through Lyme disease, too...the perfect storm. But the sun always comes out again, and the worst storms produce the prettiest rainbows. My sewing room collected a lot of dust during those years, but it was all there waiting for me later, as were my quilty friends, thank goodness.

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  48. I too have a mom with dementia. Dad passed away last month. At the end of July he was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away 3 weeks later. I am grateful he didn't suffer long and passed in his sleep. We have gotten mom a home companion. There are 5 of us too who share the responsibilities. I am attending a wonderful series on dementia through my local Catholic diocese. I have "therapy" lunches with a co-worker who has a mom with dementia and a dad with Parkinson's. We laugh, cry, and share tips. I spend as much time with my little grandchildren as possible and took them to see my parents as they are a great joy to all. But mostly I've learned to enjoy the moment, live in the present no matter what. And I am at peace.

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  49. You are not alone on this. My dad went through the same passages. He lived his final years with my sister. It is impossibly hard. Yet you still do it. I agree with you about cleaning out and talking about what you hope with your kids. So much has changed in the past 40 years regarding older care.

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  50. We all have stories, but this is about you. According to the above comments many prayers are being
    lifted for you and your's. God is good and will carry you at these unreasonably hard times. Obviously many of us love you from afar and will continue to pray for the circumstances that comes with age that you can't control.
    Love in Christ
    Tonia

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  51. Hello, Karen, i've missed your posts. i'm in your boat: my husband is 93, retired USAF Col Flying Flight Surgeon and retired Medical Examiner of my County. he's used to being in charge. he is suffering through each and every one of your Dad's issues. regarding the CHOKING: our gastroenterologist dilated his esophagus during an endoscopy and it has made all the difference. it was done once before (during a previous marriage) but the gastro told me about it. please talk to your Dad's primary about the procedure--painless and immediate relief which lasts indefinitely. wish i had a few more hints but, although my husband has not been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Namenda, 10 mg daily, has a definite positive affect on his cognitive ability. 20 mg was prescribed but the second dose produces agression and hostility. we're not going there... Good luck.

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  52. Your post is so touching... as are the comments. Sending prayers and good thoughts to your family.

    If I may add one thought to your section about Thoughts for Yourself or a Loved One. Update your will as needed to account for any changes that take place. And please, please, choose the executor of the will with care. If that person's situation in life changes then be willing to change your executor to someone who can competently handle the disposition of the will and your final expenses. I won't go into details but we recently had to deal with the results of a mismanaged estate a year after the death.

    Sending Aloha hugs!

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  53. I wish you the best. Thanks for the tips. It's not a subject that people like to deal with you, but hopefully your advice will help someone else going through the same thing.

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  54. I can so relate to taking care of your dad, I took care of my grandma until the end, she also aspirated and had to be put on a feeding tube the last several months. In her day she was a certified genius. She never knew who I was until the last week, it made the whole time worth it.

    Fortunately I was in my 30's and not going thru menopause. My mom did take me to the musical Menopause so I wanted to send you this link for a good laugh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndFBFXV3jjs

    We are here for you!

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  55. I completely understand. My Dad has dementia and is living with my brother. I posted about it in February and have barely posted anything at all afterword. There are those moments though where you have to laugh to keep from crying. My mom also just recently passed because of cancer. It is hard to write about because like you, I never want a woe is me post either. I found menopause to be easier when I gave up sugar. Far less hot flashes. God bless you on your journey.

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  56. Karen, It is very hard dealing with elderly parents, I went through this a few years back and had young kids. Enjoy the time you have, Even though it was stressful, I miss my parents every day. Wishing you all the best. Hugs, Heide

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  57. Karen, your post touched me a lot. I just went through this with my father, who has been living with my brother for the past few years. All of the things you mentioned, had been done several years before we needed these important documents for both of my parents near the end. A few more items I would suggest.

    Even though I had the medical "POA", I always made sure that all of family members were on board with any medical decisions I had to make.

    My father was a veteran, and I was blessed to have the help of the VA with his care, when there were no funds to pay for his care. They can help with prescriptions, medical care, nutritional information, caregivers, and emotional and other support.

    Take care of YOURSELF. Caregivers often neglect their own health, which is why spouses usually pass soon after their loved one has gone.

    Dementia is not a pretty disease. Eventually, we had no choice but to put my father into assisted living. Unfortunately, I think we waited too long to move him, and he became angry and combative (not his fault--just the ugly disease) and ended up in a nursing home. The Dr. told me when this happened, that this is all too common for dementia patients. They don't do well with change. I wish I had known this sooner. We moved my dad in July, and he passed away 3 weeks ago. His last words to me were "thank you for taking such good care of me". It hurts, but it was a blessing as I know we all did the best that we could to help him through his last few years. You will know this peace too after your father is gone that you were there for him when he needed you.

    It helps to have other siblings around to work through the issues, and sometimes, you have to push them to get involved when you are the primary caregiver.. I will say a prayer for you and your family.
    Karen aka Quiltluver

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  58. I want to hug you but since Im not able, I'll send a virtual hug instead. I can only imagine how difficult this all is...some days worse than others Im sure.
    Your post touched a 'sore spot' for me today. Im living in a different country to my dad. I miss him terribly & I know that one day I'll have to make decisions about his welfare. It hurts to even think about it. But thank you for raising those important points as a reminder of the things I need to speak to my dad about.
    Take care of yourself.

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  59. about the financial & legal things to take care of - don't forget to change beneficiaries, as changing your will has no effect on beneficiaries. If ex-DH is beneficiary on a policy or account, and you now want the money to go to your kids, new DH, or any where else, ex-DH will get the money, no matter what the will says.

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  60. Hugs to you and yours! You're an amazing person!

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  61. oh Karen, many, many hugs!!!! we have my Mother in law with us. she has always been the best MIL. no complaints. she has always been loving and caring. it's hard to watch her. she is starting to have dementia. some days are very frustrating. You take care of yourself, so you can take care of your Dad. I wouldn't have it any different. just wish my hubby's brothers lived closer and could share a bit. lots of hugs!!!!

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  62. Been praying for you every week since you posted about your dad several months ago. Take care dear lady. Gail

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  63. OMG this post hits so close to home. My mom is 80 and she's had to mental break downs plus little what evers in between. She's been argumentative and aggressive primarily with my step father. It hit in July. I'm an only child and overly stressed and frustrated. I'm having a really hard time with this change.
    Hugs and prayers for you and your family as you struggle with this change.

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  64. Karen, I came across your sewing blog and started reading, I'm sure you can feel the warmth and support of everyone who will lift you up when your positive spark just won't come on! I've also gone through the same issues, only difference was menopause started when I was 40, (we go early!) I was so busy with my dad and his cancer, I really didn't notice much, what a blessing! After losing my aunts and uncle, my dad, brother, and lastly, my mother, at 59, I am the only one left now, I'm still numb and exhausted, although ripping up grass and weeds to make way for groundcover was very helpful!, but I'm struggling with all the family "stuff" and feel obligated to take care of it, not logical I know. DH going thru the same with his parents stuff, our house is insulated with boxes!

    After reading these posts from so many loving people that have been there, it has given me the peace I need to "let go" and start living (AND SEWING!) again. Thank you, and God bless you all! Linda H

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