Thank you for asking.
Now that her whole world around her has adjusted to her handicap, such
as lifts, ramps and special a van, it has started to sink in that this
is going to be like this for a while. Her only improvements have been
as a result of her being able to operate the technology around her.
She still needs a lot of help with her personal maintenance, but that
is all being taken care of.
Her personal demons are in the realization that it has been a year,
and even though she has remarkable positive spirits, she has days when
it all seems heavy on her. Fortunately, that is rare.
One big load on her, is that she has left me with both our parents to
take care of. They are both in reasonable health for 86, but are in a
extended care facility. My sister is scared to death that she won't be
able to see them one more time, a fear that both my parents share as
well. None of them can travel that distance... it's only 1300 km, and
no commercial airline will take my sister, and the doctors won't allow
my parents to take the trip, either by car or plane. Olathe, KS to
Sarnia, ON is a bit of a drive.
So the only chance there is, is for my sister to take the trip in her
van, along with a 24/7 nurse and my brother in law. There is some talk
of her being strong enough for that. Once here, Angela has everything
at her fingertips to make my sister's stay here comfortable.
In short, no real positive news, just a lot of hard work. I did get a
hand-written letter from my sister a cpl of weeks ago...I could read
again, thanks for asking.
Me too. Although this sounds tacky, especially for you. One of my
sisters just underwent major "female" surgery, and the other is
fighting breast cancer. My Mom (with severe diabetes) is in the
hospital for about a month now, and may move out later this week to go
to a rest home or extended care. It is touch and go with her new
pacemaker at her age.
As for my poor crippled father of 81 years, he is falling apart at the
seams. At his age, he has never been a batchelor. He cannot (not
will not) wash clothes, fix three meals a day, pay his own bills, or
make a bed... nothing. He is so ill at this time that most things
that he needs to do he simply can't (like take out the trash). He has
absolutely no idea how to live alone. After living with my Mom for 60
years, this is the first time he has been faced with these tasks. He
is driving me nuts.
I am the only one in good health. You can guess what my days are
like in hospitals, at specialists, arranging transportation, going to
the store, checking on the aftercare folks (their newest company just
sent over a lady last week that stole 5 checks from my Dad and cashed
them) etc., etc. for the family. Thankfully, my sisters are almost on
the mend, and they weren't ever a burden as much as a concern.
But my folks.... I have been doing this off and on for years now. My
cell phone is my enemy. I cringe when it rings.
I truly hope the best for you, and don't forget to have you own life
along the way.
I am glad to hear you sis is hanging in there.
Sometimes the things life throws at us suck. My principal travails
were over ten years ago (father, brother in '95) and although my 88
year old mother is in pretty good health generally, I know I'll have
that life's rite to pass sometime in the next few years. But I figure
88 years is into bonus time, so I won't be sad at her passing,
although I'll miss her. She's had a hell of a run (and a hell of a
son--the thought just popped into my head and I couldn't not share
Wow, it sure doesn't seem like a year. And I'm not even an onlooker.
That must have been a long and difficult year for you and your family.
Thanks for filling me in. It's none of my business, but you shared
with us when it happened, and your comment reminded me about it, so I
thought I'd ask. I'll have a good thought for all of you.
A word to the wise.
If anybody on this list has a relative over the age of 75 that is living
alone, insist that one of the conditions for living alone is to wear an
"emergency alert" broach around the neck.
They have them for both men and women so vanity need not be an issue
There are several companies offering the service for a nominal fee.
My mother, who turned 102 in April, was still living alone this past
January, when she fell and suffered a compound fracture of her lower right
If she had not been able to sound that alarm, she would probably have laid
on that house trailer floor and bled to death in zero degree outside
Today, she is in a nursing home, trying to put things back together.
The bottom line................................
Cell phones are nice, but they are no substitute foar a medical alert
Medical alerts systems save lives, especially the elderly living alone.
Being old doesn't automatically mean being decrepit. Check this guy
. The oldest
participant in the Iron Butt (motorcycle rallye, runs 11 days and
possibly as much as 12,000 miles) this year was 81. Chuck Yeager and
Bob Hoover were flying F-15s in formation at 75. Robert Borglund
completed the 2007 Boston Marathon in under 4 hours at 78, as did
Harold Wilson at 74. As you get older though you do slow down--Fauja
Singh's best time for the London Marathon is a little over 6 hours, at
94. The FAA says that there are pilots with current medical
certificates who are 99 years old. My Dad was still chopping trees
down with an axe at 78 (and he probably would still be doing so if he
hadn't been afraid of doctors--they found his cancer too late to do
anything about it).
Decrepit has absolutely NOTHING to do with it.
Bones becoming more brittle with advancing years does.
Just to keep this in the woodworking domain, some people were standing in
line to get wood cut at a local Home Depot the a guy about 50, lost his
cool, and pushed the guy (reports indicate 80) ahead of him, out of line to
80 year old is now in hospital with a broken hip.
Probably one of the worst fractures a senior can experience and one of the
slowest to heal.
Meanwhile security video is being used to try and track dow the 50 year old.
Wearing a pendant is certainly no indication of being decrepit.
Compared to a Red Headed German such as my mother, she's gotta be a piece of
Seriously, it's not a tough a sell as you might think.
Get a local social services group for seniors to do the heavy lifting, then
it doesn't sound like one of her kids dictating terms and conditions.
That was my first thought, although it does require a bit of expertise
initially at both ends and, ideally, a broadband connection.
As much as I hate the program (but willing to do anything to be able to see
my 2 year old grandson in England) I've been doing the webcam bit over my
ComCast cable connection using "AOL Instant Messenger" and the built-in
webcam in my laptop.
It works OK most of the time, and certainly better than trying to talk to a
2 year old on the phone.
"Skype" (www.skype.com) supposedly works much better, but thus far I've not
been able to convince my daughter to use it in the UK.
Check it out ... might be just what you need and it is recommended by the
likes of Leo Laporte and other techie fanbois.
I think that the webcams work best for youngsters and oldsters, and the
voice works well for those in between.
My son sets one up for when he travels, and can talk with pictures to the
boys, 2 and 4, when he's gone. So much of communication there is non-
verbal. Communicating with an older generation is often the same way.
My father, 81 this last spring, wondered aloud when it came to be that his
son was more concerned with his daily welfare than he was with mine. And
he's doing pretty well, really.
The webcam stuff is really easy. Anyone who can regularly experience
Usenet should be able to manage, if broadband is in the mix.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.