Sunday, 19 September 2010

Being Really Old



People of my age (60), are becoming known as the 'sandwich' generation: we have our own grandchildren but also, very elderly parents. There are now many articles in all the magazines with suggestions as to how to cope for all concerned. My dad, 93, is soldiering on, still living next door to my brother and his wife. Last week he was fitted with a permanent catheter, after a year of increasing difficulty in passing uring, but not telling anyone. For most people, this is easy to manage but not when you are bent over at 90 degrees, extremely thin and weak, almost deaf and classified blind. It is hard motivating dad to continue. Someone has to deal with the catheter as he can't see to change the bags himself. We have to try to teach him to at least flick the valve to empty the bag into something at lunchtimes, as he is alone most of the time, as my brother and sister-in-law work. At least he is in the home in which he knows his way around and of which he has a mental picture stemming from before he was almost blind. He can see light and dark. Isn't he lucky. NB. The gentleman in this picture is only 79.

6 comments:

  1. Omigoodness, he seems much older than 79. I think if people look after themselves, they can age well, depending on their genetic make up as well.

    BTW, you have the LOVELIEST masthead in the whole blogosphere.

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  2. Now I call that a real compliment!

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  3. As you saw in my comment on "A Walk In My Shoes" my grandpa is also 93. My mom lives in the upstairs of his house which we fixed up as a studio apartment so she could be near but still have some privacy. Grandpa is having difficulty getting around now but still tries to do everything. He insists on mowing his own lawn still, taking longer to get his riding mower started and out of the garage than it takes to actually mow! I'm afraid that when he no longer can do everything, he will simply give up. So far he's still plugging along. We all just went out to dinner tonight, I make sure I sit next to him so I can yell right into his ear! :)

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  4. This is very close to my situation with my
    Dad..I am taking both my Mother and Father on a trip to San Francisco in December...I'm a bit afraid, as both of them have some problems balancing, but I forge ahead. I want my 92 year old Daddy to get to visit again, as he gets very frustrated just staying home, (though my Mother has no problem with it...) I really enjoy your blog and relate to it...

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  5. I'm hearing these stories so often now. Amazing how most people are sticking with their parents and doing the best they can to support them; although sometimes it appears they need more care. What can we do?

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  6. Carers comes pretty expensive in the UK, as it is hard to qualify for any benefits from the government if you have paid your taxes all your life and tried to save so as not to be a burden to your children. My dad has a carer for half an hour in the mornings, just to help him shower, dress and she gets his breakfast for him. She also points out the medicines he must take for the day. She is not allowed to give them to him: so if he forgets or gets them mixed up during the day, (as happens), that is just too bad. It's awful living half way across the world. My conscience never ceases to plague me.

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