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Worried about dad....

Friday, April 26, 2013

It has been nearly a year and a half since my mom passed away, so the focus has been on my dad and how he is doing being alone after 60 years of being with the same person. Last year was his year to adjust develop new routines, mourn, etc. When I was there in December of last year, he seems pretty resolute that in 2013 he would get serious about looking into one of the local retirement communities (he lives just south of Tucson, so there are no shortages of them!).

Well, here we are nearly to May, and not a peep on the subject. Normally I would not be overly concerned, but two recent conversations have us concerned:

- last Saturday, my brother talked to him (normal Saturday call), and in the midst of that call asked about plans for my youngest daughter to go visit him. My dad drew a blank at first, then told my brother he thought it was my older daughter coming to see him, but was not sure when.

- Wednesday evening, I called him (normal Wednesday evening call). Usual pleasantries. (Note: I was unaware about the Saturday call.) Then I asked him about his "company" coming this Saturday. Initially, he drew a blank! Then, like the Saturday call with my brother, he thought it was my older daughter coming, but he could not even remember her name!

My youngest daughter had not planned to rent a car while she was there, as she had a big enough bill to deal with on the hotel, so we decided we'd pick up the hotel bill while she was there and allow her to get a rental car (she is 23, so she gets hit with the "under 25 rental car premium!). Since going to the airport is not part of my dad's routine, we are concerned he might forget to even go, or if he did do that, who he was even picking up!).

But now my brother and I are much more concerned. We're going to let my daughter do some recon work for us while she is there to determine what the next steps should be, but I know in my mind we need to start encouraging him a lot more on the retirement community. Hopefully this does come to "forcing" him to go, but clearly there are some mental concerns that we need to address soon.

Love going to Tucson, but the next visit may not be too pleasant...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 5/10/2013 10:43AM

    Yup Yup
Been there
Done that
Never easy
Glad it's over
Thank God for a sister.

My dad wasn't a stupid man. He resisted because the thought of packing up all his clutter - and the thought of other people knowing just what a clutter bug he was - kept him frozen. I completely understand. I just hope I am different when it's my turn.

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    emoticon Patrick!
DH and I have had similar situations, as growing older is part of life's process. Both sets of parents are gone now, and there were difficult moments in their journeys.
I know you will do whatever is necessary and what is best for them. To love unconditionally can be a hard thing to do.
I will be praying for you and your family.
Everyone who has posted here had good, sound advice.
Life isn't always logical or fair, but you do the best you can, when you can; then let go and let God guide you.

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CASE4GRACE 4/29/2013 8:52AM

    I have had several people in my family with Alzheimer's. Currently, my mom has Alzheimer's - she is in in her 60s and is in the moderate stages, has had it for about 5 years. When she was still in very mild stages and okay to drive, we had her pick us up from the airport once. She turned into a parking area that she wasn't familiar with and got stuck in there and couldn't get out. She didn't know where she was. We had to have security find her and help direct her. It wasn't long after that her doctor told her she should not drive anymore. You might want to plan for a taxi from the airport to avoid a similar situation.

Memory loss is such a difficult thing to deal with and it is so hard to watch a family member suffer with it. Just embrace every moment you have and use your time wisely - planning for the future, etc. Moving him into an assisted living might be the best thing right now, someplace where there is an easy transition into additional nursing care if that becomes needed in the future.

My heart goes out to you and your family.

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SHIRAZSOLLY 4/28/2013 2:13AM

    Oh... almost forgot. Gail Sheehy wrote a book full of good advice and contacts called Passages in Caregiving. I highly recommend it for anyone starting this process.

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SHIRAZSOLLY 4/28/2013 2:05AM

    DougDC's comments are very helpful.

I work home health and hospice. You may want to have a home health agency help out in the meantime. They can come by for as little as two hours a day and help with activities of daily living. This may be cooking, cleaning, etc... or personal care. If you get a good agency and a good caregiver (I'm being careful here, because some are more like babysitters than health care providers), you can get a very realistic report of how he is doing, even from a distance. Some of the employees will be bonded to help with things like filling medication or writing checks. Some may drive them to doctors appointments and report afterwards to family members.

During this time period, you can gradually - with enough time to do it properly - handle the other arrangements for making a peaceful move. Be careful who you select and make sure you know what the financial repercussions are, including what could happen to any inheritance for you, your brother and your children if the senior living place should decide to seize half his assets, which they sometimes do. Know that these places are very, very expensive. Find out what kind of long term care arrangements he has, if any, what Medicare covers and what it doesn't, and if you should sell his house FIRST and distribute the funds into a trust to lessen any assets remaining in his name. Again, talk to a financial advisor. The goal is to have funds available for his needs but not to let the facility bleed his heirs dry.

I don't mean to frighten you... some facilities are very good. Look for one that has a graduated arrangement, if possible, as Sylph suggested. Also, look for a nonprofit, even if it is run by a religious organization that is not necessarily your religion. They are more likely to have adequate staffing. Read the reviews. Talk to as many other people as you can who have experiences with rehab facilities and related facilities, because they are often under the same ownership and management. Talk seriously with the owners and staff of the home care team.

Good luck. Hugs all around.

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GETTO140 4/27/2013 6:41AM

    Sorry to hear about your dad. He is a very lucky person to have you and your brother to be able to take care of him.

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JIMDAB 4/27/2013 3:45AM

    My father was very angry at me for forcing him into assisted living at first, then grateful. It will work out better if you do it sooner as he will adjust to it better the more alert he is. New friends and activities helped him a lot. Very frequent visits let him know he was cared about and kept the facility more on its toes. Make sure you choose a good facility, many states have ratings, results of their licensing visits, and copies of consumer complaints on their websites.

It helped me a lot to remember that this stage is a natural part of life and it helped him as well to be reminded that his confusion and memory loss was okay--"That's your job these days, you are safe and everything is okay."

Family bonds, loving exchanges, patience, and understanding assuaged the sorrow of watching a prideful CPA not even be able to work his computer or figure out how to sign a credit card slip. It all works out, really.

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/26/2013 9:01PM to be prepared though. Listen to what your daughter has to say...she'll have eyes on and can tell you what she sees

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MOBYCARP 4/26/2013 9:00PM

    I'm sorry about your dad, Patrick. I remember one of the first clues we had that we needed to watch my dad was when his email started showing up with typos. That turned out to be a sign of a series of mini-strokes, and the start of the end for him.

I hope the situation with your dad turns out not to be that serious, but even if it is it sounds like you and the rest of the family are on top of things.

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IUHRYTR 4/26/2013 8:43PM

    A tough stage of life to deal with. Hoping all works out. -- Lou

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RUN4FOOD 4/26/2013 8:04PM

    Patrick, best wishes to you and your family as you face some potentially tough decisions.

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    I hope your father's lapse doesn't mean what you're thinking. If there is cause for concern, though, you might want to look into graduated (I think that's the name) assisted-living communities. People who need just some help have their own apartments. As they need greater help, they move to the next level of care provided within the same facility.

Best wishes. Again, I hope your wariness is unfounded.

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CHUBRUB3 4/26/2013 6:59PM

    Hugs Patrick. I hope your Dad is ok, and that you can keep on top of any health issues.
Praying for the best.

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ALDEBARANIAN 4/26/2013 6:20PM

    Someone in the family needs to get a durable power of attorney for him for health care and financial decisions immediately, while he can still legally sign the papers.

Believe me, been there, done that for both my parents. It's a lot better to do this before you have to go to court to have a guardian appointed.

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/26/2013 4:47PM

    "Your daughter can gain an impression about diet, cooking, what's stored in the refrig, and for how long, laundry. The things one has to do to keep healthy."

For sure. So often what triggers seeming senility in seniors is poor diet or failure to take meds. Probably good if you can talk with his doc. about what's happening.

Hope all goes well with this, Patrick.

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HANSBRINK 4/26/2013 3:07PM

  Best wishes on this situation. My dad is in a similar situation.

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BRENDAGAIL9 4/26/2013 12:21PM

    Sorry to hear about your dad. Yes, it sounds like he would be better off in a retirement community where there are people to visit with and be in a safe environment. I have been in retirement communities the past five years. I'm 71 and love being able to live independently but have people to visit with, plus we watch out for each other.

Good luck to you and your family with your decisions.

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PDQ1203 4/26/2013 10:33AM

    totally know what its like

i am very glad your dad has your support
as you well know, there are lots of dads (and moms) out there who have no one supporting them

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DOUGDC 4/26/2013 10:29AM

    Am there, Doing that.

The memory blips would also make me wonder how well things like paying bills are going. It may be time for you and your brother (and other sibs?) to ask for on-line access to bank accounts, to get bills delivered on-line in addition to your dad via mail, and that way simply ensure that the mortgage/rent, taxes, utilities, and credit cards are all being paid in a timely way.

Your daughter can gain an impression about diet, cooking, what's stored in the refrig, and for how long, laundry. The things one has to do to keep healthy.

And she can get an idea about how much your dad is willing to go out, how comfortable he is driving. Can he remember how to get to places like the doctor's office, or his own home? How comfortable she is as a passenger?

That kind of data may help fuel some further conversations. Your dad is lucky to have you and your brother for support.

All the best...

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More on yesterday's 5k...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I went back and looked at my time from a year ago in the Ronald McDonald of Delaware "Run for the House" 5K -- I've made some strides!

Last year: 33:20 / 10:43 per mile pace

This year: 28:33 / 9:11 per mile pace

In that time, I've learned the importance of great running shoes, good training, good pre-race nutrition, and having a race plan!

All of these will be important in my upcoming 10K in July. One more 5K to run in (race TBD) before I tackle the "BIG" race.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOUGDC 4/26/2013 10:13AM

    That's great discipline and great progress to show for it. Congratulations.

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    Great job! emoticon

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THEFLYINGJ 4/22/2013 5:45PM

Great job! So proud!

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MOBYCARP 4/21/2013 7:29PM

    It took me a while to learn about great shoes being better than adequate shoes.

Train well for that 10K, and have fun!

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CHUBRUB3 4/21/2013 12:51PM


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KAYOTIC 4/21/2013 11:02AM

    Nice progress! emoticon

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PDQ1203 4/21/2013 9:47AM


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RUN4FOOD 4/21/2013 9:33AM

    Great job, much faster.

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A new personal best (5K race)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ran in the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware "Run for the house" 5K this morning. This was the first 5K I ever ran in a year ago, so now it has become a tradition! Anyway, happy to report I ran a PB of 28:33! I believe that was at least 5 minutes fast than a year ago, so great progress, and of course, for a great cause!

I'll be looking for a another 5K race to run in late May or early June, then comes what will be one of the biggest challenges of my racing life (which is just a little over a year old!) -- a 10K race in July - my first EVER!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEABREEZE64 4/25/2013 7:34AM

    Congratulations on your PB!!!

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MOBYCARP 4/21/2013 7:23PM

    Congratulations on the personal best time! Losing that weight helped quite a bit, didn't it?

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DOUGDC 4/21/2013 11:30AM

    Congrats on the new personal best -- and that's a big margin from a year ago.

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RUN4FOOD 4/21/2013 7:30AM

    Congratulations on your new 5K PR.
Now on to your 10K where you get to set a new PR for yourself.

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CATHOLICCORGI 4/21/2013 7:17AM

    I admire you for running! emoticon emoticon
I would like to walk a 5K one day...
Keep up the great work! SPARK on!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MESEATURTLE 4/21/2013 7:06AM


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KELLIEBEAN 4/21/2013 6:58AM

    Wow, that was great! A great cause. continues success to you!


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PMRUNNER 4/21/2013 1:59AM

    Woo Hoo!

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CHUBRUB3 4/21/2013 1:18AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/21/2013 1:09AM

    Congrats, Patrick! Onwards and upwards : )
Doing my first-ever distance event tomorrow, the Vancouver Sun Run. 10k. I've registered one category faster than walking. My goal? To finish the race upright : )

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MICHELLE2343 4/20/2013 10:13PM

    That's awesome. I just did my first 5K last night and now look forward to another 5K in June. Way to go on your personal best!

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Sadness in Boston

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I had just gotten off of a conference call yesterday afternoon when my wife broke the sad news to me about the bombing at the Boston Marathon. While not the same size and scope as the 9/11 tragedy, a lot of those same feelings from nearly 12 years ago came rushing back. Sadness, anger, and fear all came right to mind.

I'm a BIG Boston Red Sox fan, and now being an avid runner, this incident hit closer to home. It will be a few years before I am ready for a marathon, but clearly Boston will be in the picture when that time comes. And thankfully, the Marathon will go on, albeit with lots of new security procedures starting in 2014.

What is truly sad are that the person or persons responsible for this. That they think this is "right" -- killing and injuring innocent people. That they have the kind of time and apparently the resources to carry out such a bad thing. That their life / lives are so unfulfilled with good things that this is where gone to. It makes no sense to me....


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RASPBERRY56 4/21/2013 9:39AM

    I had to redo this post as I was about to make some very politically incorrect statements - but it really concerns me that certain people's actions have resulted in a major American city FORCED to SHELTER IN PLACE - that had to have been absolute HELL ON EARTH for all - I can't even begin to imagine what people's thoughts must have been while essentially being trapped in their homes or wherever......

May we find all the answers ASAP so that we can work diligently to get this world to turn around and get back on the right track!

Comment edited on: 4/21/2013 9:40:16 AM

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TECH1960PS 4/17/2013 1:27PM

    It just makes me so mad, the senselessness of it, I pray for all those poor people affected by this horrendous act of terror.

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    The sadness and shock weigh heavily, the diabolism challenges comprehension, the loss will be felt forever.

Comment edited on: 4/17/2013 8:06:52 AM

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    It will be a long while before I could run much less a marathon, but it really saddens me that someone would do such a thing. I don't have tv, so I only know bits and pieces of what I've read online. I'll keep that situation in my prayers, and hope that this doesn't keep any of those people from reaching their goals in the future.

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IUHRYTR 4/16/2013 9:07PM

    The world is changing and not getting any kinder. emoticon -- Lou

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HDHAWK 4/16/2013 8:19PM

    No sense at all. Hopefully the responsible party will be brought to justice.

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CHUBRUB3 4/16/2013 8:03PM

    So very very sad about this tragedy and all the victims and their families.
My prayers and heart are with them.

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/16/2013 7:30PM

    Just like 9/11 and Oklahoma City, they'll be found!

Remember, "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm"

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HANSBRINK 4/16/2013 2:23PM

  Yes, it makes no sense. I am remembering and praying for the families and those injured by this act.

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BRENDAGAIL9 4/16/2013 11:58AM

    When I turned on my TV to watch my soap opera I couldn't believe what I was hearing. At first I did not know what happened until I heard Boston mentioned. Then I was glued to the TV the rest of the day. I can't believe this is happening but from now on no one knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men/women.

All I can say is we have to be aware of our surroundings. It can/will happen anywhere.

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GETTO140 4/16/2013 11:24AM

    I can't make any sense of it.

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JIMDAB 4/16/2013 10:48AM

    I think this was done to hit us with the fact that there is no place at ll we can absoutely feel safe.It is sad that it takes bravery t attend a normal event...

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PDQ1203 4/16/2013 9:25AM

    i couldn't believe it when i heard the first news story - thought they got it wrong
than i saw the news footage

for sure... it makes no sense

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OOPS! Forgot the hat...

Monday, April 08, 2013

I was so excited to get outside yesterday and do yard work (it was sunny and in the 60's -- PREFECT yard work kind of day!), that I forgot to wear a hat! A year ago, there was hair on my head (granted, not too much!), now there is none! And the sun was VERY strong yesterday, so the head is a little warm this morning!

A good lesson learned before the sun gets even stronger....


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARCONIUS 4/9/2013 8:49PM

    Yeah, I can relate. It looks like I have a full head of hair, but there's a definite bald spot on top, and I have to keep it covered. Ouch!

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CASEYSAUER 4/9/2013 7:24AM

    Sunscreen and a good hat are your best friends in the garden!

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MOBYCARP 4/8/2013 7:43PM

    Yeah, that happens with a shaved head. A couple years ago, I got sunburn from the sun shining through the holes in my bike helmet. Took a couple weeks to heal up, and I went out and bought a wicking cap designed to go under the helmet.

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/8/2013 12:02PM

    oh, jeez, Patrick, that's a bummer! Hope there's not blistering--that would be no fun at all : )

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JIMDAB 4/8/2013 11:02AM

    I know the feeling!

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CHUBRUB3 4/8/2013 10:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Watch for those burns!

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CHRISTINASP 4/8/2013 10:33AM

    Maybe just carrying a large handkerchief with you at all times would help. In case you forget again, you could protect your head with the handkerchief...

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PMRUNNER 4/8/2013 8:12AM

    Hats and sunscreen!

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DARJR50 4/8/2013 7:42AM


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RUN4FOOD 4/8/2013 7:36AM

    Sunburn isn't a good thing. Be careful.

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WELLNESSME09 4/8/2013 7:28AM

    Oops, not a good thing lol, must remember that hat. emoticon

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