Saturday, April 7, 2007

Dealing With a Older Parent

We are dealing with this right now. It's been coming on in stages. Jeff's mom had dementia. It had become steadily worse over the past year and a-half. We knew when we visited last year that changes were required.

Last November Jeff's mom fell...again...his dad was unable to lift her up. I should say that Jeff's mom was 87 at the time and his dad 89. Jeff's dad did call 911 and they took hs mom to the E.R.

Jeff took off from work and went there. Jeff's parents are in Oregon and we are in CA. He has an older sister in Oregon, but her mental and physical health isn't all that great either.

While Jeff was there he moved his mom to a care home and his dad into assisted care. His dad put up a fuss, but at last agreed.

His mom could only be in the care home for a month, so we knew we would have to find a home for her that would take dementia patients and where she and his dad could be together.

On December 12, Jeff's mom passed away. He was in Spain at the time. He knew there was a chance it could happen. It was still a shock for me to get the call from his sister. I knew by the tone of her voice what had happened. I just said, "tell me."

There is a eight hour difference in time between us and Spain. I thought of calling Jeff that night, but instead decided to wait until morning...night is the worst time to receive such devastating news.

At around six o'clock our time I got a call from Jeff's cousin. They live closer to his parents and had been helping them out...why is another story. I'll get into that later in a different post. Anyway this fool called to ask me if I had spoken to Jeff yet. I said no, I was waiting for it to be morning there, and then he tells me he sent Jeff an email to the office in Spain, telling him his mom had passed away. An email! Can you believe it? I was furious. I hung up and called Jeff right away. No way was I going to let him read on a email that his mom had passed away.

He was stunned of course and heartsick. The holidays can be rough and this did not help.

I am so glad we had his father already in assisted care. He went through the memorial alright. But called us all of the time out of loniliness. He and Jeff's mom had been married for over sixty years. Jeff''s sister has a long history of conflict with her dad. After her mother passed, she decided he couldn't take the stress and dropped it all in Jeff's lap.

That's still another story.

Jeff's dad has decided to move closer to us. That will happen in June. I'll write more of what has happened in the past months with my next post.

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