Sunday, November 9, 2008

Aging

Yesterday was a pleasant afternoon spent with my in laws. We had them over for lunch and all went very well. My mother in law has dementia or Alzheimer's and sometimes it isn't too much fun when she gets going.

The day was just beautiful and we finally got our 70's degrees day. Because my mil has osteoarthritis in her hip, they haven't been over since last Easter. We go to their house, because it is easier for her to get around and not have to negotiate any steps. They hadn't seen all the work we have been pouring into our yard, greenhouse, and driveway....and all the rest of the things I've shown you guys in the past 8 months or so.

There were so many things to look at that were new to my mil she didn't repeat herself too much. I made my first pulled pork bbq and it was a hit. Thank goodness. I try to cook for them frequently, because my father in law forgets she can chew too well anymore. I make meat that is tender and easy to chew. They both like it and it is a help to him in the cooking area. Sometimes I think he just forgets there are foods in the frozen area at the grocery that are already cooked and easily heated up in the microwave. He is 91 and she is 90, so it isn't going to get any better. We do what we can to help them and it is almost a daily thing.

I broached the subject of going to Houston for Thanksgiving with our daughter and my mil got really excited about that and wants to go. She gets very bored at home doing the same thing every day and since she has arthritis it is an ordeal for her to get out. I'm not sure if we can stand 5 hours in the car going down and another 5 coming home. I'll have to take a lot of things to try to keep her occupied or a lot of tranquilizer drugs for me. Aie aie aie. If she decides it will be too much for her, then I'll cook a small turkey or hen here and we will have Thanksgiving at home.

Aging parents are difficult for many families. There was a special on NBC about the difficulties some of the newscasters have had with their parents, but mostly their parents went into assited living situations. Many of us don't have the funds to do that or the room in our homes to take in aging parents. Melli has taken in her mother in law and has such a wonderful attitude toward it. Hopefully, I can learn from her example. So far my in laws have been able to live independently, but I don't think that they will be able much longer.

While at lunch with "the girls" the other day one lady came whose mother had recently died. Her mother was 107 and she was 87. She is still caring for her things and doesn't know if she will be able to come to lunch often. Margaret, who is 98, confided in me that we need to get her out and that it isn't good for her to not be with others. She is so correct about that whether we are 87 or 27, it is not good to be isolated. Margaret had taken the other lady to a doctor's appointment that morning. She is also an inspiration and I hope I grow up to be like her.

12 comments:

  1. Aging just plain sucks! I hope it all works out so you can see your daughter.

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  2. Love the Maxine cartoon below your post! I hope you get to go see your daughter. Old age is awful.

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  3. I disagree that old age is awful. Sometimes old age is FUN! You certainly don't have to worry about what other people think! You've earned the right to just BE who you ARE! But dementia IS awful! No two ways about it. But when I look at people who are 98 ... or even 89... who are still fully aware and ACTIVE... it AMAZES me! And I want to be JUST LIKE THEM too! My own mother had dementia (not sure if it was alzheimers or not) and now dealing with MIL - and you just have to keep a sense of humor! I think it's much harder for Dennis than it is for me. She's not MY mother, so I can laugh. But I think he gets frustrated a lot more easily. I certainly did NOT have the patience with my own mother that I have now... and sOMe days that is precious little!!! But most of the time I guess I do okay. I just hope it all works out for you guys -- I DO certainly agree that she needs to get out and about more! Sitting around always makes it worse!

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  4. Having no children to care for me, I wonder what old age holds in store. It is a sobering thought.

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  5. We cared for both my parents in our home. I'm not sure which was worse, them in our home, or driving 45 miles to theirs all the time. It was the best of times and the worst of times. I've never been so tired in all my life but I would do it all over again. I wish I could have had more time with my mother but my father's dementia kept us all jumping.

    Everyday I look for ways I can remain independent. I plan to go the assisted living way. My parents could not afford that.

    My parents deserved every minute we spent with them. You'll never regret it. You sound like the daughter-in-law every mother hopes for.

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