Aging family members.

@Pose123 (21667)
Canada
November 5, 2009 9:15pm CST
Although I'm seventy years old,I have a sister and two brothers older then me. I'm sure that some of you will remember my discussions about my sister's illness during the Summer. The antibiotics she was taking would do the trick for a while, but three or four days after she stopped taking them, she would be back in hospital. The last time the doctors decided to keep her on them for a longer period of time. Now she has been home for nearly a month and although they have reduced the dosage, she is not completely off the yet. We are all concerned about what will happen when she gets off them completely. At 86 she still has an active mind and has recovered enough to do most of her own work, although one of her daughters is with her most of the time. We are all hoping that she will continue to be healthy for a few years yet. My 83 year old brother, on the other hand is suffering from a form of dementia and is still being cared for by his daughter and her husband. They work different shifts so they can be with him but it has been difficult. He has another daughter in the area but she has been ill and unable to help a lot. I have been helping to care for him to give them a break from time to time. Two nights ago they called me to come in as he had become violent, refusing to take his medication and threatening both of them. We considered taking him to the hospital at once, but eventually decided against it. I was able to get him to go to bed and to take his medication. In a couple of hours he had calmed down and fell asleep but after coming home, I felt tired but it took awile before I could sleep. He has not been violent since, but is very confused. I spent two hours alone with him again tonight but it wasn't as tiring as before.We find it difficult to see him like this but will do what we can to keep him comfortable as he has never wanted to go in a home, and his daughter is determined to keep him at home as long as she can. I just wonder how much longer they can cope. Who has had to deal with similar problems?
3 people like this
10 responses
• India
6 Nov 09
No, I have not had to deal with this situation till now. But let me say that I think everybody mentioned in this discussion are a part of a very wonderful and caring family… All of us have our own preoccupations and caring for the aged is never easy…yet this daughter and her husband (more so) are determined to do as much as they can and you being at your age, pitch in to help as and when you can…and then the eldest grand lady who’s fighting fit at her age (yes, I remember her illness and your worries) …I have nothing to add to this discussion, only my best best wishes that you all stay together and enjoy many more years of sharing and caring for each other.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
6 Nov 09
Hi sudiptacallingu, Thank you for your kind words and support. Blessings.
• India
7 Nov 09
Sudipta, this is in response to your earlier post. I think both of us think alike. Rightly mentioned, India does not care for its geriatrics, and that is the reason I do not want to be a burden on my children. You are atleast confident of a pension, after your retirement, since I am working in a private company, even that is not there for me. I would certainly do not want to join in an old age home. If things come to that level, I would like to take the easier way out of this world. Do not think I have a negative thoughts, but todays India is like that.
• India
9 Nov 09
Oh Ramesh, your thoughts are so like mine. I too work in a small private company but thankfully our proprietor has PF facilities for us so some money is accumulating somewhere for me. You know, many times I have thought as to what would happen to us (hubby and me) once our son grows up and moves away…taking the easy way out together would seem much better but then how would that effect our children (both your and mine)!!! Don’t you think they would be straddled with a guilty conscience throughout their lives? I know your thoughts are not negative but very practical. However, as parents, our actions would definitely effect our children and their lives…so think about that too!
@eileenleyva (10984)
• Philippines
9 Nov 09
Wow! I do wish I am part of your family. You and your siblings, nephews and nieces, are just exactly what life and living means. You are family despite the old age, the illnesses, the physical exhaustion, the inconveniences, the suffering. And you are especially sensitive to all that is happening. Just that is what you call genuine loving already. I do hope many brothers and sisters reach that phase of life when living doesn't mean adventures any longer. I do hope many brothers and sisters live life by simply caring. They say longevity is a blessing. Your family must have done something good to receive such a blessing.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
9 Nov 09
Hi eileenleyva, Thank you for commenting. I am sure that there are plenty of families out there that are trying to do the best that they can, just as we are, but I know people are not all alike. Sometimes it just isn't possible to do the things that you would like to do. I think too that my niece and her husband are very special, and since I'm still in good health, I give them a break whenever I can. They now realize that they have to take things one day at a time, and I warn them to watch their own health as well. We have always been a close family, my father lived to be 95 and my mother 86 and neither had to go in a home. My father did need some care in the last couple of years but my mother, although she lived with my wife and I, was able to take care of herself until she had a stroke and was taken to hospital, where she passed on a couple of weeks later. Personally, I feel that helping another gives me extra energy. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@eileenleyva (10984)
• Philippines
10 Nov 09
It is with a family like yours that hope still springs eternal for this wounded world. I pray God grants each and everyone of you ease and contentment everyday. Keep happy! Good stock, huh!
@Louc74 (620)
6 Nov 09
Hi, Pose. I've seen the pressures that family have to bear when looking after a loved one who has dementia. I used to work in a day care/respite unit for elderly dementia sufferers, and it was an amazing place; I worked for a short period of time in another so called care home, and ended up having to blow the whistle, I couldn't stand the dreadful level of "care". We had cients who came in on certain days of the week to give their family members a break, and also clients who would come for a stay for a few weeks at a time to allow their family a holiday. They usually would thank us at the end of their stay, and tell us it was a really nice "hotel", and they would come back soon for another holiday! Lol! I understand the need for people to look after the family members they love, and I can certainly understand their reluctance to consider a permanent care setting. Some people just should never work in care, and are callous and unempathic. Even when I blew the whistle, the result was totally unsatisfactory, and these places, unless they are run by caring people, are largely unvetted from year to year. However, caring for your brother must be very demanding, and may eventually have the effect of causing illness due to stress for your neice and her family. If you can find a really good care setting, it can actually be beneficial for the patient - somewhere which ensures a scrupulous level of personal hygeine assistance, helps with eating difficulties, which takes its clients out for regular walks (even if it's in a wheelchair), and on regular outings, and somewhere that the staff are not run off their feet, so that they can actually spend time with the clients, reminiscing and chatting. These places DO exist! If you ever find you're in a position where you have to make this decision, look for charitable, non profit trust run homes, rather than private, for profit ones (these are the places where they cut corners with everything, at risk to the patients). Bless, and good luck!!!
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
7 Nov 09
Hi Louc74, Thank you for sharing and I know that there are some good homes as well as some that are like the one you mentioned. Of course, the final decision is not mine but has to be made by my niece. We have already discussed such possibilities and I've also spoken to her about her health and that of her husband. She has agreed to take it one day at a time and I've offered to do whatever I can. For the moment we have to leave it there but in the meantime I have access to a mental health line should it be necessary. May I add that you appear to be someone who truly cares, thank you for that. Blessings.
@Louc74 (620)
7 Nov 09
Awwww thank you so much for that, Pose. I do try! Lol!
@zed_k4 (17627)
• Singapore
6 Nov 09
I really admire you and your family members whom are taking care of of your brother. Normally, children and siblings will walk away from aging parents and shy away from responsibility. But to take care of them, during old age and in sickness, that is really an honorable thing to do. No doubt it is hard, but there is just so much courage there. I used to have a sick grandpa. And we were all taking care of him, it looked like a bit hard during that time, but we went through it too. Years have passed since, and he has passed on, but the memory of him still lingered strongly. I can only hope that I had been there longer for him. Taking care of him, telling him how much he meant to me. Now that he's no longer around, it just feels so surreal, and those hard time taking care of him just felt nothing now. I couldn't even remember the tiredness. Just missing him..
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
6 Nov 09
Hi zed, Thank you for sharing and I agree that, although difficult at the time, there are good memories later. It's always okay to miss someone. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17627)
• Singapore
7 Nov 09
Thanks, my friend. The heart is a mystery and different people will react differently to it..good discussions here..
• India
6 Nov 09
Pose 123, this is one of the main reasons why I want to die early. I do not have any brothers or sisters, since I was the only son. I do not want to trouble my children or my wife.Not everybody is lucky to have a brother like you. Your brother is quite lucky to have such a loving daughter and son in law. I think my son in law would throw me into the bay of Bengal. Even though I have not seen you, I always admired you for the way you used to respond to all the discussions. My admiration for you has gone up much more, after reading this discussion. Rameshkumaar.
1 person likes this
• India
6 Nov 09
Ramesh, you echo my exact thoughts. I am an only child and I too have only one son. So you can very well understand my concerns about myself in my old age. And then we work so hard to make our children successful, do we want them to leave everything and be at our side constantly? I don’t think so…and India is so pathetic in geriatric care or the state has absolutely no facilities to help the old who don’t have family support. I think I’ll get a meager pension from the job I am doing now and when the time comes and if I am still alive (God forbid), I think I’ll admit myself to an old age home.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
6 Nov 09
Hi rameshkumaar, Thank you for sharing and I hope you will enjoy good health for a long time to come. Blessings.
@zhuhuifen46 (3486)
• China
6 Nov 09
I fully understand your position, and the puzzle to wander between the choices. My over 90 year old mother is staying with me currently. She was lucky to be recovered from a fall a month ago. My sisters came in the take care, and after the injury pain is gone, she is taking chinese medication, and has good appetite and sound sleep. We really have to make sure she be accompanied wherever she goes. Although there are senior homes, mother of four daughters is unlikely to go there. As long as we are fit and swift, it is ok, but for my generation, I do not expect to have the same treatment. The only child is not likely to bear the heavy burden. We are prepared to live the long period of time in the senior homes, preferably with decent living conditions and adequate respect.
1 person likes this
• India
6 Nov 09
You are quite right zhuhuifen.The present generation will not take care of us. I do not blame them, because they have their own life to live. My wish is to die as early as possible. I am fifty two years old, I will be very happy to die even today.The fact is man proposes and god disposes, and I have a feeling that since I do not want to live, god will make me live longer and have a long life.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
6 Nov 09
Hi zhuhuifen, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and you have a point. I'm not sure that it's the fault of the younger generation, but rather the fact that there is often only one child and so no one to share the burden. Let's hope that compassion will prevail and those who live old will be well taken care of. Blessings.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
6 Nov 09
i so know what you mean. my generation is called a sandwich generation meaning we have aging parents and kids still at home plus if you are like me, a job (well, actually i have 2!) but my mom is a few years older than you, i am an only child and my dad passed away in early february, not only that, i have a 12 year old and a 16 year old at home! but to that end, my hubbys dad has been diagnosed with altzheimers and right now still lives at home with my mother in law (who has health issues too) so who knows how long they will be able to live in their own house?
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
7 Nov 09
Hi cher, Thank you for sharing and I know that you understand. Yours is a particularly difficult situation. My niece has two children but both are in university. I have talked to her about her own health and that of her husband and she realizes that she may eventually have to make some changes. There are some good homes if it has to come to that. At the moment she is taking it one day at a time. Blessings.
• France
6 Nov 09
You are all very lucky to have such loving and willing family members. They are obviously feeling stress from the situation and perhaps would benefit from joining a support group dealing with the health issue. Ask neighbors to help with small things like meal preparation or cleaning. The healthy and calmer the family is, the calmer your brother will be.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
7 Nov 09
Hi SwissMissMama, Thank you for sharing and I like your suggestions. I think it would help everyone. Blessings.
@Mirita (2668)
• United States
6 Nov 09
I really feel for your family because dementia is usually very serious ,and he has to have supervision at all times. The other alternative is a nursing home ,but usually they deteriorate fast if you admit them to a nursing home. I know is difficult ,but try to keep him at home for as long as all of you have the strength. My prayers are with your family since this must be a very difficult time for the family. In regards to your sister, I hope that she recovers soon since she appears to be active ,and who knows even reach 100 years old.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
6 Nov 09
Hi Mirita, Thanks for those thoughts. Blessings.
@hotsummer (10449)
• Philippines
6 Nov 09
i too get worried over my aging parents. my mom is already 68 and my father is 69 who is i am caring of. but i am worried about us siblings. cause we are all single and the youngest is already 33 and i bit older than him while the other two are in their 40's. if we all get old single it will be really a problem. like they my other siblings are not worried if we all get old single. i just wish that they would marry. i know that in our clan in my mother side that our relatives or my cousins marry late. mostly in their 30's and some earlier like in their 25. only few did marry really young. one reason for most of our relatives marrying late is having a strict parensts. maybe in our family my mom is really strict and quite very manipulative in a way and try to impose something on us on what kind of person to marry and it is like we need her approval always in every thing we do. it is not easy growing with my mom and her relatives cause of very strict upbringing in a way. we are not like other family when their kids get pregnant that their parents will be accept is very easily or if their boy have a baby with a woman in their young age that they will just accept it. in my family we were brought in such a strict way, though they don't really say that we can't do this or that but their actions and their behavior and treatment of us it is quite strict. anyways, hopefully your sister will get well soon.
1 person likes this
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
6 Nov 09
Hi hotsummer, Thank you for sharing, hopefully your mom and dad will stay healthy for many years to come. Parents can often be too strict even though they may feel that they are doing the right thing. I hope that you and all your siblings find the right person to spent your life with. It is impossible to find someone perfect but just the one that we are happiest with. Blessings my friend.