Saturday, 31 January 2009

Old age, illness and possible dementia.What fun...

I have just spent all morning ferrying my kids around from one football match to the other. It was as cold as the Arctic and both lost their matches. I saw about 1/2 an hour of one match and the rest of the time I was driving. I am now home ( obviously) and having got them both bathed am about to start lunch.My Man has got up and gone to his football match.

I am wondering when I will be able to run?No doubt my Man will want to go and visit his dad in hospital later so that is my running time gone. Yes, I know I am sounding selfish, but I need to do stuff too... other than cook, clean, transport, blah, blah, blah.

His dad is 82 and very big.Since he moved down here to be closer to us, in a wardened place he has declined in health rapidly. A lot of this seems to be because he gave up when he came here. He has spent the last 18 months sitting in his flat watching tv, eating fish and chips, cakes.That sounds terrible, but he seemed to give up. He gave up cooking at all and was in a vicious circle of being too overweight to walk comfortably, yet the walking would have helped him. He rarely went anywhere even though my Man and his brother have worked tirelessly to introduce him to people, clubs... you name it. His social life has revolved around us- Sunday lunch at one brother, lunch out with another.He has become absolutely dependent on us.

And now he has a painful knee. He can't put any weight on it and when you are 17 stone (210 pounds), 82, have a dodgy heart and no muscle tone, that's bad news. He is forgetful - short term memory dreadful. He forgets to take medication, even though its in a box next to him with sections for each day and each time of day clearly labelled. So then his problems are compounded because there is no medication being taken to make them better.He has started falling as he can't balance or put any weight on his knee - 4 times the ambulance has been called in the last 3 weeks. And this last time they took him in. He is staying in over this weekend and then we will have to decide , with the doctors, what to do.He is not capable, at the moment, of caring for himself. My Man and his brother have been going round to him at least once a day, each - cooking, cleaning, washing, caring. They are amazing.

But this cannot go on.They have young families, jobs, other commitments. They are not nurses and that is what he needs right now - nursing care around the clock. It is very hard for these 2 men to see their dad fall so quickly and to see him suffering. It is a terrible strain for them to constantly have to be visiting, trying to help him when he can't or doesn't know how, to help himself. It is like having another child in the family. I am beginning to think that he is going to have to move into a home. I just wish he would do something to help himself rather than relying on everyone else so much. Maybe it has gone past that stage and he truly is incapable of helping himself.

The one thing I know for sure is that I am so proud of both my Man and his brother. They are good, strong men with hearts of gold and I love them both.

1 comment:

Kelly Hudgins said...

We're at that "sandwich" age, aren't we?

My thoughts are with you and your family.