Sunday, December 13, 2009


Last month I received a card in the mail from a local Funeral Home regarding a free Seminal and Lunch that they were offering to inform folks about some of the reasons why Pre-Planning is a wise choice regarding Funerals and Memorials. I returned the card and they called me back in a couple of days and gave me the time of the Seminar. I told Mom that I signed me and her up for the free Lunch and Seminar. She wasn't that thrilled about it. Well, the day of the Seminar came and when I called Mom she said she just wasn't up to it and hadn't even gotten dressed yet. So, I attended the seminar alone.

There was some good information given out in the seminar and for attending I was awarded a certificate for a free burial space which I put Mom's name on since my wife and I can both be buried at no cost at the National Cemetery here in town with my Veterans Benefits. I made arrangements for the counselor to meet me at a later date at my house to work out the details of some pre-arrangements for Mom and explained that I would do my best to encourage her to be there. Well, wonder of wonders, Mom came over for the meeting and we were able to get a real good price on everything .

The total price was just under $2000.00 for the plot (free), memorial endowment, burial internment and recording fee, outer burial container, concrete grave liner, container setting, granite marker, memorial setting charge, and taxes. Mom has a savings CD at her bank and when it matures next time, she wants to use it to pay off these arrangements. In the mean time, starting in January, the monthly payments are about $80.00 dollars.

Later that week Mom came over and had Thanksgiving Supper with us and our daughters and their families. It was a grand time. We've started a tradition of doing it all over again the next day on Friday after Thanksgiving and the food and fellowship is just as good if not better on Friday. Mom thoroughly enjoyed herself both days.

Call the Dr. for me.

Yesterday Mom called and said she needed me to call her Doctor and set up an appointment with him some time after the first of the year. It was Saturday and the Doctor office was closed, we were swamped with four grandchildren of our own that we were babysitting for the weekend and not only that, we were on the way to the funeral service of my brother-in-law who passed away suddenly a week ago Friday while clam digging at the ocean. So, I asked Mom if there was any reason why she could not call in for the appointment herself.... Well, I guess not. OK, good, let me know when you get it scheduled. When I called her this morning about picking her up for church, she said she was not even able to get herself dressed. This is another line that she uses frequently when she doesn't feel up to getting out or going somewhere.


On Tuesday December 8th, 2009 I got a call from the Apartment Manager over where Mom lives expressing concern about Mom. It was not an ultimatum that she cannot live there but an incident that needed to be documented. Mom set off the Fire Alarms in her apartment due to catching a roll of paper towels on fire on her stove. This was another mark against Mom in regard to the need to be in assisted living. I told the manager that I would follow up and see how much longer it is before the volunteer "Chores" people will be able to assist Mom. She has been on their waiting list for quite some time. The manager also suggested that I look into an organization called "Cope". On Wednesday, the following day, my wife, ladybug, went grocery shopping for Mom and when she brought the things into the apartment, Mom sat one of the bags on the stove right next to a hot burner that she was boiling tea water on. Ladybug scolded her and said that was the very kind of thing that set off the Fire Alarms and cautioned her to think and be more careful about things like that. Mom just tried to play it off by saying that there was not enough room on her table. So, Ladybug immediatly began to clean off the table for her. Mom seemed to be irritated about it but the table had stuff on it that needed to be tossed long ago, stuff like two old calendars from years before and old junk mail.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Son I need your help

I was over the other day helping Mom balance her bank statement again. She always acts so helpless, frail and fretful when I am there and complains about being "sick". I reminded her that she did not go to the last Dr. appontment she had and did not reschedule another one.

Today I get a call from her around noon and she said, "Son, I need your help." What's wrong? I'm sick. What kind of sick? I don't know. Have you called the Dr? Yes, he is booked up today but they said to come in anyway. OK, I'll be over in a little bit to take you in.

When we got to the Dr. office they said they did not do walk-ins and there were no vacant slots on any of the doctor's schedules for the day. They asked what she needed to see the Dr. for and she said because I'm sick. They looked at us and one another with bewilderment. Finally one girl who was working on a computer said they might be able to get her in to see someone (not her regular Dr.) around 3:15PM. Mom said, " I don't know what to do." I said, "OK, we'll take that appointment."

I suggested to Mom that we go get something to eat and go home until the appointment time rather than sitting in the waiting room for over two hours. We went to a fast food place near by. After eating and on the way home Mom seemed to feel better. When we got to her apartment I suggested that we cancel the appointment with the unknown Dr. today and reschedule an appointment with her regular Dr. She agreed and fiddled around until I finally wound up doing it for her. She doesn't seem to have enough confidence to do ANYTHING for herself anymore and is starting to say things like, "I think I'm going to have to move in with one of your kids."

Monday, September 7, 2009

What is YOUR story?

Stories from other Bloggers

I know there are many others out there that have aging parents and are learning how to deal with various different issues regarding Mom or Dad. PLEASE feel free to leave your story here too. It may be funny. It may be sad. It may be frustrating and perhaps you just need to vent. That's OK. We can identify with that. Lord Bless.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Note to Family Doctor

August 26th, 2009

Dear Doctor,

Tomorrow my dear wife is taking Mom into your office for her regularly scheduled physical. We gave Mom a ride to Prayer meeting tonight and she complained about having to go to the Dr. in the morning and appeared to be totally worn out from the ride to church and back home. She said she would have to write a check and couldn’t remember who to write it to. I wrote a note for her so she could remember who to make it out to and how much. Her memory is getting worse all the time. She often does not know what day of the month it is or what day of the week it is.

She will probably tell you that she is “fat and sassy”. That is not what she tells me 9 out of 10 times when I talk to her. She complains about bursitis pain in her left shoulder and dizziness, nausea and lack of balance although she refuses to use the walker we got for her. She is frequently short of air and coughs constantly. She acts as if she does not have the strength to get up and do hardly anything and spends her days lying on the couch watching TV and napping. She repeatedly says getting old is not as much fun as she thought it would be.

We have her on a waiting list for a “Chore Volunteer” in home care giver to help with the domestic things that need to be done. We are not sure that she eats properly. She keeps a hand written log (if we can believe it) of when and what she takes for her medication and this convinced the nurse that you ordered for the evaluation on her that she did not need “medical assistance” regarding proper medications. During the recent period of very hot weather, my sister had Mom stay with her for those few days and since then told me that she now feels that IF Mom doesn’t get an in home care giver soon Mom will be needing assisted living. That would be a very difficult move to make. Mom is barely getting used to the move from her mobile home to the SHAG apartment she is in now. I started a Blog on “Aging Parents”:

Yours truly,


Thursday, June 4, 2009


We are getting together tomorrow at a local Denny's to express concerns about Mom's health and so on. I'm not sure if we will be able to resolve anything but it is something that seem worth doing. Not sure what all is on the agenda but here are SOME of the concerns that might be discussed.

HEALTH: Medications, diet, pillbox, blood pressure, journal, mental clarity, dizziness, anxiety, use of walker, smoking, Dr. appointments, in home care giver, a panic button, other.

FINANCES: Checking and CD accounts, Bills, Sales Solicitations by mail and phone, burial costs, Will, Living Will, Where is the important paperwork, etc.

SOCIAL and Physical Exercise: Won't use Shuttle or public transportation, has groceries delivered by us kids, won't walk due to dizziness and "no spunk" and resists using the walker for anything but a seat next to the telephone, attends church services on occasion and infrequently joins tennants in community room for soup night etc.

I will PRINT this out and take it to our meeting at Denny's in the morning. :)

In Home Care Givers

Snickers called me today and had been talking with one of the tennants where Mom lives and was informed that many of the other folks there have "Care Givers" that come in and help with things like laundry and routine house cleaning. Apparently this is covered on their health insurance and all it takes is a call to the Doctor to start the ball rolling for this service. So, I called our family Doctor and left a message with his nurse on this topic. Ladybug told me about an ad she saw on TV about this and gave me a link for it and I have posted it down in the lower right of the page under "Other Sources of Info".

The Car

Probably two of the greatest events in an American's life is when they turn 16 and get their first driver's licence and then years later when "They Take Your Car Away." Mom had gotten into a fender bender and arguably, it may not have been her fault. She was at the point where she really didn't get out that much. Maybe she'd go once in a while for a trip to the Bank or the Grocery Store and Gas Station. Whether she went anywhere or not, she was always faithful to go out and start up her car every day in the carport and let it run for a while to keep the battery charged up.

After the fender bender, Mom didn't get out that much anymore. Ladybug and I would do her grocery shopping for her and that worked out well. Finally when she got another Insurance bill for the car, we sat down with her and figured out how much it was costing her every month just to have the car set there in her carport and she became convinced that it would be better for her economically to cancel the Insurance and sell the car.

OK, so, we did that. - For two years after that, everytime we saw her, Mom would say, "I sure miss my car." She was better off financially and had door to door delivery and chaufer service but STILL - she had lost one of those things that brings a real sense of independence to you and that is a hard pill to swallow.

This Blog is fairly new but in time perhaps other Bloggers will stumble across it and relate to it and may want to make a comment. We hope they do. We know we are not alone in the "Aging Parents" thing. Someday, our kids will have to go through the same thing with us. HA! Let's see, where did I put my reading glasses now?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Mom has always been very independent. She lived alone for years in a mobile home court until the space rent got higher and higher and the neighborhood kept deteriorating. So we helped her sell her mobile and get moved into a SHAG apartment for seniors on low income. About that time we also sold her car for her but THAT is another story.

The move was more than three years ago and it took some adjustment but she is starting to feel settled in now about it although she still is not real social with the other tenants there. She has problems with dizziness and we got her a nice walker but she balks at using it. She also has COPD and is a smoker. She quit for abut 12 years but for some reason started back again and buys her cigarettes from a neighbor that gets them from the Indian reservation (so I hear). She didnt asked me to buy her cigs for her but one time she asked me to buy her a lighter and I said, "What you are asking me to do is to help you commit suicide." She has never asked me again.

Ladybug and I buy her groceries for her and deliver them weekly. She has problems with her check book so we just get a Store Gift card and buy them on that until it runs out and then we get another one. Mom pays us for the card. We ONLY use it for her groceries. I help her balance her bank statement when it comes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First Post on Aging Parents Blog

Well, here we go. Yesterday was terrible. Today was pretty good. You never know from one day to the next what it will be but here lately it has been more bad days than good. Don't really know where to start but at least we are started. More to come.