Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Parents, covid, old age
  • Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    My sisters and I found out a while ago that my mum had cancer.

    She and my dad between them convinced themselves that she had “only” had a stroke, but a few weeks later, a scan revealed several inoperable tumours, including a brain tumour and lung cancer.

    My bonkers parents stuck rigidly to their story that since my mum has never smoked, she can’t have had lung cancer, therefore it must be a stroke (metastasized breast cancer you say? But she’s never smoked!).

    Well, it all started getting a bit much for my dad dealing with this, as my mum gradually, then quite rapidly, lost all mobility. So eventually we found a place for her in a local care home.

    That was all going swimmingly, with both my mum and my dad hating the home, but grudgingly accepting the inevitability of it….until about two weeks ago, when the whole country went into lockdown. After this my dad was no longer allowed into the home to visit his wife.

    Obviously my sisters and I made it absolutely clear to my dad that he needed to be *very* careful about the whole CV19, and to stay away from other people.

    He treated our advice with the consideration he gives to everything I and my sisters say, and promptly went wandering around Waitrose in search of his favourite rollmop herrings, and had dinner with his neighbour; next thing we knew the neighbour was in bed with a cough and a fever…

    “Have you got a cough dad?”
    “No, I’m perfectly hfhfrruympgh fine”.

    That put paid to various plans we’d had for my mum going home.

    Sheesh.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, he’s now gone and fallen over backwards, has fallen over a couple more times, and was picked up by the police having collapsed in Waitrose.

    I called him again just now, he still says he’s fine, so that’s OK.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
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    Bloody hell mate. That’s a lot to be happening in normal times let alone now.

    Elderly patents can do your head in… bless them. Just do the best you can, as that sounds just what you are doing and you can do little more.

    It’s an utterly crap situation and I can’t imagine what you and your family are going through but if it helps to vent on here, I say have at it.

    All the best,
    Finn.

    (Yeah, Poopscoop isn’t my real name, go figure.)

    Sounds like a nightmare. I had to have the same conversation about going shopping with my mum every night for 2 weeks. Then a few days ago she tells me she drove to the woods with a friend to walk the dog!!! I think she just forgets what she has done that day and just decides to tell me something that happened weeks ago that she can remember…all finished off with asking me how school is going? Schools closed mum has been for weeks, oh is it Easter?……..

    Premier Icon tjagain
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    Its difficult but there is little you can do. They are adults who are making their own decisions for their own reasons ( until they become legally incapable / incompetent of course)

    One of the apparent paradoxes in the law around this is a stupid decision ( as we see it) is not necessarily an incompetent decision

    Many older folk live in denial of what is happening to them as they age. Its their defense.

    So hard as it is you can only do your best to support them while leaving them their dignity and independence

    Premier Icon oldagedpredator
    Subscriber

    Heck, that is an awful lot going on. Same thoughts really as everyone above – you do your best but you can only do what you can do. Spirit and character gets people through but can create issues. Don’t think parent wrangling was top of the list of things any of us thought we’d be doing in 2020 – brings some really emotional highs and lows. Keep going, as Finn says it’s ok to vent.

    Vent away, my In-Laws, Father and Wicked Stepmother have all acted bloody mindedly as they wanted to see grand kids,. go on holiday to Egypt or walk up and chat to people in the street.  TJ and PS have it right.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    Going through similar to you right now but your situation sounds like it’s the next stage on from mine.

    It is really tough, I liken it to the parent/child roles reversing, my dad is basically throwing tantrums whenever he can’t do something he wants to do and I’m having to be the voice of reason and impose rules for him. Even after I’ve helped get paper deliveries for him he’s still insisting on going up to town every day. He tells me he hasn’t but my friends in the local shops tell me he’s still out and about. We had an argument about it a week ago and haven’t spoken to him since, it is genuinely like dealing with a child.

    Just do your best but don’t let the stress of it all take over your life. Very easy to say but very hard to do I know but you have to try.

    Premier Icon RichPenny
    Subscriber

    Had a bit of this, my Dad’s not really getting the “go shopping once a week” business. The Gov’t don’t seem to have focussed on the vulnerable groups self-isolating as much really, I think they need to get back to that. Have to have some sympathy though, when you’ve built up routines over 5-6 decades and also are a little more accepting of mortality, I can see how compliance is harder.

    Reluctantjumper, I hope you can get back in touch with your Dad.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
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    I’m still phoning my mum every few days so still in contact with him, we just don’t speak directly. No way would I leave him on his own in the current situation.

    Premier Icon RichPenny
    Subscriber

    Great – wasn’t a dig, just a genuine hope. Feel the same thing with my dad at times, they’re pretty sensible but 100% are out more than they should be. Desperately trying to avoid the argument. My Mum was in an Ambulance last week with chest pains, fortunately just a panic attack but painfully aware that 20k miles between us is difficult at the best of times, more so now.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Subscriber

    I think a few of us are struggling with this. My mother just lost the sight in one of her eyes last night – blocked artery to it. Under normal circumstances I would be going round immediately but I really cannot.

    its tough to see them failing and tough not to be able to support them as you might want to. Its my professional world but by ‘eck its different when its your own

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    Very much so TJ.
    My parents are no longer here but I’m keeping an eye on my In-Laws and I have to say they are following the guidance to the letter 🙂
    Probably helped as my Sister-In-Law is the chief district nurse for Gloucestershire and they listen to her thankfully as they are both very strong willed, I suspect having seen their daughter die from aspiration pneumonia last year has shown them what a frightening way it is for your life to end.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    I’m in that parental age group, actually grandparent…

    We know that if we get infected, as we inevitably will, our prospects are dire. There’s a good chance we’ll not get treated because of our age.

    So sitting here knowing that I may not be around in say 3 weeks, it’s a strong temptation to say “F*** it”, jump on my bike and get what is likely to be my last trip into the mountains.

    I can do this without going near anyone, I live a couple of 100 metres from being able to social distance for miles, and it will be much less risk for me and the public than walking my dog.

    The temptation is strong.

    Premier Icon fossy
    Subscriber

    My parent’s are behaving – only been out for shopping, although my mum hasn’t left the house. Dad used to go for a pint every afternoon, so he’s having to walk round the block before going back home.

    Two neighbours are staying in – health issues, and I’ve done 2 pharmacy runs for one of them so far.

    MIL in nursing home – will be dead fast if she get’s CV19 (heart failure, knackered lungs, the lot). She’s still going to the GP practice (in a taxi with care staff) for regular wafarin blood tests – the doc’s should be coming to her, but no, she’s got to go out (severe mobility issues). At least she can’t get out when she wants.

    Only saving grace is SIL lost her job as a swimming teacher, but managed to get a role in the Nursing Home her mum is in, so at least she can see her from a distance, rather than not at all.

    My mum (78, 3weeks out of hospital with heart issues) developed a dry cough yesterday. Pharmacy say it’s a side effect of the drugs she’s on.
    There’s worry here at the moment.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the comments, kind of feels a bit overwhelming at times.

    I actually managed to go and see my mum today – the care home don’t seem to mind if you talk through the partially open window. I think that may be the best I get, as it seems my dad is a lot worse than just a bit collapsey.

    He parked his car in the middle of the street before going into Waitrose (where else would you park it, it’s perfectly fine, completely normal!) and before that, lost his car keys, which were eventually found in the ignition.

    The house. I don’t even know where to start, there’s so much wrong with it.

    Anyway, right now he’s in the John Radcliffe, with a cough.

    stgeorge
    Member

    I’m in that parental age group, actually grandparent…

    Out of interest, what age group ? 62 here. Hoping to f.k that my prospects aren’t dire.

    My Dad, 87, on the other hand….

    stgeorge
    Member

    He parked his car in the middle of the street before going into Waitrose (where else would you park it, it’s perfectly fine, completely normal!) and before that, lost his car keys, which were eventually found in the ignition.

    KNow what you mean, only the thick hedge and small tree stopped Dad landing on roof of Kitchen trying to get into drive! Keys removed from ignition and never given back. Its hard, feel for you.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Subscriber

    A lot of worry and emotion hidden in the words above in this thread.

    Look after yourself guys. Its not being selfish, if you go downhill you can’t help anyone.

    All the best getting through this.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    My parents (78 and 82) have finally agreed to let me do their weekly supermarket shop from this week. Still going out for their daily mile walk round the village though, shouting conversation at friends across the road, and I suspect picking up the odd thing in the village shop.

    To be honest, after a few weeks of lockdown, my mum is more likely to kill dad than the virus.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    My parents are probably causing me the most anxiety and stress in this whole cv19 situation, and joking apart it is really f ing stressful. Both in early / mid 80s. Mother has only just stopped popping off to the shops on the buses (not even the local supermarket) after being shamed into stopping by my eight year old niece in US. Father has early stage dementia and stone deaf, still goes out to get the paper and whiskey, nothing anyone says makes any difference. If he gets it he’s toast and we have already had one scare, mother would probably die too. Not sure they get this tbh.

    My mother has also developed the very Mrs Doyle trait of when I am dropping the shopping she has asked for around going “ah sure we could do with some milk / bread / other essentials “ Jesus why didn’t you mention that when we spoke earlier!!! Rant over. In laws seem reasonably sane in comparison.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    He had chronically low sodium, which is apparently quite common as people get older.

    And what he was proudly telling us was Covid19, turned out to be just a regular infection, but that turned into mild pneumonia.

    It seems that old people don’t get a fever with an infection because their immune system is borked, so instead they just go even lower on sodium.

    And you need sodium for your brain to keep working.

    The falls, the crazy erratic behaviour – were all signs of an infection.

    (Well, he was always erratic, but even more erratic).

    Now he just wants to be reunited with his wife.

    Cleaning up the house a bit we stumbled across some old photos from when he was just married. It’s pretty heartbreaking really.

    ****.

    Premier Icon eskay
    Subscriber

    I dropped some food to my parents last night to discovery 74 yr old mother had been on a ladder clearing out the gutters on the front of the bungalow.

    She said dad is getting the big ladder out today to do the rear gutters (rear is higher).

    I got bloody cross with them both and told them to wait until this is over and I will do it. I know fully well she will still do it anyway.

    Even after spelling out what could happen if she fell off and had to go to hospital I know they weren’t bloody listening.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Well, did the first weekly shop for my parents (78 and 82) yesterday. Was so glad they agreed to stop doing their weekly trip to the supermarket.

    Until they calmly announced they’d be off to the local market in town on Friday as the eggs from the egg stall were so much better than anywhere else 🤦

    I’m popping in at the weekend to check I know where wills, funeral plans and computer passwords are kept!

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