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2nd guessing our decision about dad


DawnM
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It can't be changed now, at least not for a while, but dad is lonely I think.   I think he is happy to be with us, but I told him I would take him to a men's bible study this am at 7am.   Well, he has been up since 4:15 banging around getting ready.   Dh and I have both been woken up and I have been getting very little sleep anyway.

Now I wonder if it would have been better to find him a nice retirement place with more activities.

but then I have to remind myself that he wouldn't have gone.   He would have stayed with my friends in their basement place until he absolutely HAD to leave....so that wouldn't have been good either.

 

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Big hugs!  All these decisions are so hard and we are just doing the best we can.  Give it some time -- it's new what you are doing now.

You are a better daughter than I am -- I could not have my dad live here.  Our house isn't set up for him to come here anyway, but I mentally could not do it.

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There is no choice that is easy in these cases Dawn.  Having him close is a real benefit though.  
 

I would definitely find a kind way to ask him to be mindful that you are still sleep until whatever time.  He may not be aware that you can hear him.  Is your bedroom above his room?

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It's hard as there is rarely a perfect decision. 

Can you work on sound proofing your room? Maybe line the door with a heavy blanket and keep it shut? 

Is there a senior center with regular hours that meets there? If he makes a couple of buddies who drive, maybe they can come pick him up for senior activities or coffee or a chess game or whatever. 

 

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((Dawn)) No situation will be perfect. Your dad is safe and has good care in a place where he is loved and welcomed. Many seniors do not have that! You are doing a good job and have a lot to juggle.

I am sorry for your early waking. Glad your dad has a good Bible Study to go to, though. I bet as you all settle in, you and he can find some other social activities that he will enjoy.

 

Edited by ScoutTN
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A lot of seniors are just early risers.  It may have little to do with the planned activity-maybe he just couldn't sleep? 

I think helping Dad find activity and connection is a great idea.

Could you use some kind of white noise to help you block out his early risers noises? 

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I use a white noise machine every night, it does little good when it sounds like he is banging downstairs.   Normally I don't hear him.   DH thinks maybe there is still air in the pipes.

In the future I do think he will shower at a different time.   But the shower was literally available for first use this morning.   They set the glass Wed. afternoon and told him to wait until today.

Even he thought 4:15 was too early, no idea why he got up so early.   He normally wakes around 7am.

Yes, his room is right below ours, but we don't normally hear him if he is in his room.   

And now I am trying to figure out church.   He doesn't like our church because they don't have an amplified ear set and he can't hear.   The bible study we went to today is at a church I think he would enjoy, far more older folks, etc....but not sure we want to uproot to another church, although I have considered putting the 3 year old in that school for PK-8th grade when we get to that point, so it may not be a bad idea?

forgive my rambling, I am just exhausted and can't think straight.   Mad at myself for signing up for summer school for the entire 6 weeks, although the money will be nice.

My friend keeps telling me to try to find someone to come in a couple times per week to give him company and help him shower, maybe get to bible study, etc....but I am not sure he will be very receptive to that.   It sure would help me though.

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3 minutes ago, DawnM said:

My friend keeps telling me to try to find someone to come in a couple times per week to give him company and help him shower, maybe get to bible study, etc....but I am not sure he will be very receptive to that.   It sure would help me though.

Are there any options for transportation other than you driving him places? Maybe someone at the church he'd like could come pick him up, or maybe there's a community service that can get people to the senior center or something.

Cobbling together as many social outlets as possible for him, and as many supports as possible to reduce your load, would make life easier all round. You're balancing so many people's needs, in such disparate stages of life, I think you need to find all the help that's available.

Would he be more receptive to help if someone from church stopped by to visit regularly? Maybe someone there would like an occasional job as companion, which could morph into more help as needed. Or several people, filling different roles.

I think what you're doing for him is great: how lucky he is to be with his family, and even to have a youngster around. It's bound to have some difficulties at first, but I hope you find a way to work those out.

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My dad was miserable and lonely in a retirement place. And then he died from being there. He died of Covid and was in constant contact with the many many staff members who would come and go while the elderly were forced to stay in their rooms and have no contact with anyone else, no family, no friends, not even each other. Then he got Covid from a Covid positive staff member. And believe it or not, there are not a lot of men in those places. My sister wanted my dad to go there because she was convinced he would be so happy and have friends. Nope. 

Have you looked for a senior center?

Edited by Janeway
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37 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

Are there any options for transportation other than you driving him places? Maybe someone at the church he'd like could come pick him up, or maybe there's a community service that can get people to the senior center or something.

Cobbling together as many social outlets as possible for him, and as many supports as possible to reduce your load, would make life easier all round. You're balancing so many people's needs, in such disparate stages of life, I think you need to find all the help that's available.

Would he be more receptive to help if someone from church stopped by to visit regularly? Maybe someone there would like an occasional job as companion, which could morph into more help as needed. Or several people, filling different roles.

I think what you're doing for him is great: how lucky he is to be with his family, and even to have a youngster around. It's bound to have some difficulties at first, but I hope you find a way to work those out.

 

I am hoping to find someone to at least bring him back home after bible study.

and I am HOPING to find someone to come in a couple times a week, we will see.

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16 minutes ago, Janeway said:

My dad was miserable and lonely in a retirement place. And then he died from being there. He died of Covid and was in constant contact with the many many staff members who would come and go while the elderly were forced to stay in their rooms and have no contact with anyone else, no family, no friends, not even each other. Then he got Covid from a Covid positive staff member. And believe it or not, there are not a lot of men in those places. My sister wanted my dad to go there because she was convinced he would be so happy and have friends. Nope. 

Have you looked for a senior center?

 

So sorry, and you are right, just because he is there doesn't make him have friends or participate.

There is a senior activity place but it is for lunch time.....hot lunch and an activity, free every day.    But it is over 10 miles each way and we just can't do it.   I am at work and DH is working from home but already takes munchkin back and forth to preschool, no way he can add in a hour of driving per day for my dad.    And my dad doesn't seem interested.   I would love it if the church offered some sort of "adult seniors days" I would even pay if needed.

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1 hour ago, DawnM said:

My friend keeps telling me to try to find someone to come in a couple times per week to give him company and help him shower, maybe get to bible study, etc....but I am not sure he will be very receptive to that.   It sure would help me though.

Some counties will arrange volunteers. You could phrase it as not optional, like the county does well checks. 

4 hours ago, DawnM said:

banging around

Did he not have his hearing aid in or turned on? 

1 hour ago, DawnM said:

uproot to another church

No. If he doesn't like your church, he can watch a service on tv. That's what happens when you live in a nursing home or assisted living anyway.

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I wouldn’t worry about the getting up insanely early unless it keeps happening.  My oldest son, who normally has to be dragged out of bed in the morning, is always up four hours early on the first day of a new thing. 

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My parents moved in with me two years ago and there was certainly a transition period, especially with my mom's habits.  It took time and good communication for us to get to a place where we knew it was a good decision

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1 hour ago, DawnM said:

My friend keeps telling me to try to find someone to come in a couple times per week to give him company and help him shower, maybe get to bible study, etc....but I am not sure he will be very receptive to that.   It sure would help me though.

I think this is a great idea. He may not enjoy it at first, but it could be the beginning of a great connection. My DH's grandpa (who is 101!) has his "ladies" that come throughout the week, and he really looks forward to time with them. It gives him something to plan his day around and look forward to. Since they don't spend all day with him, they have more energy to do fun things like go walking, go out on a boat, go out to lunch.

I agree that summer school is a lot! Hope the weeks go quickly and you can have a break before fall. 

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1 hour ago, DawnM said:

 

So sorry, and you are right, just because he is there doesn't make him have friends or participate.

There is a senior activity place but it is for lunch time.....hot lunch and an activity, free every day.    But it is over 10 miles each way and we just can't do it.   I am at work and DH is working from home but already takes munchkin back and forth to preschool, no way he can add in a hour of driving per day for my dad.    And my dad doesn't seem interested.   I would love it if the church offered some sort of "adult seniors days" I would even pay if needed.

There just are not many men in those places. I have asked around and this is not unique to the place my dad was in. People do not usually go to those places until their spouse dies..and the husband usually dies first.

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(((Dawn))). I just want to say that you have been a rock star navigating all the details of your family’s life...  It will take time to figure out all the details for your dad - transitions are always hard.  (And I know that’s super easy for me to say!)

All of us here are pulling for you and/or praying for you - don’t forget to take a little time for yourself!  

Anne

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6 minutes ago, Anne said:

(((Dawn))). I just want to say that you have been a rock star navigating all the details of your family’s life...  It will take time to figure out all the details for your dad - transitions are always hard.  (And I know that’s super easy for me to say!)

All of us here are pulling for you and/or praying for you - don’t forget to take a little time for yourself!  

Anne

QFT

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6 minutes ago, Anne said:

(((Dawn))). I just want to say that you have been a rock star navigating all the details of your family’s life...  It will take time to figure out all the details for your dad - transitions are always hard.  (And I know that’s super easy for me to say!)

All of us here are pulling for you and/or praying for you - don’t forget to take a little time for yourself!  

Anne

Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.  This is exactly how I feel.  Big hugs to you Dawn.

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Sending hugs to you!  You are doing so much for your whole family and this has all been so stressful.  He just moved in and it is going to take time to workout the kinks.   There are pros and cons to having him there vs in a home.   I think having someone come over and help is a great idea.  Even just talking to him that waking up so early and getting going is disturbing to other people in the house.    Can you add more noise stuff?  We have air purifiers in rooms and hallways to drown out noise from neighbors and people waking at different times.  It helps so much. 

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2 hours ago, Janeway said:

My dad was miserable and lonely in a retirement place. And then he died from being there. He died of Covid and was in constant contact with the many many staff members who would come and go while the elderly were forced to stay in their rooms and have no contact with anyone else, no family, no friends, not even each other. Then he got Covid from a Covid positive staff member. And believe it or not, there are not a lot of men in those places. My sister wanted my dad to go there because she was convinced he would be so happy and have friends. Nope. 

Have you looked for a senior center?

Men in general have a higher mortality rate than women, and unmarried men have twice the mortality rate as compared to married men.  This leads me to posit that in the elderly population the great majority of men are married, spouses are able to take care of each other at home longer than singles, resulting in few men in residential elderly care placements.

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

So sorry, and you are right, just because he is there doesn't make him have friends or participate.

There is a senior activity place but it is for lunch time.....hot lunch and an activity, free every day.    But it is over 10 miles each way and we just can't do it.   I am at work and DH is working from home but already takes munchkin back and forth to preschool, no way he can add in a hour of driving per day for my dad.    And my dad doesn't seem interested.   I would love it if the church offered some sort of "adult seniors days" I would even pay if needed.

Even in our rural location the area senior center has a transport van.  There is also a for-hire taxi service...

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I would see if there’s a van service for seniors he would be eligible for.  Here, it’s through the bus service and you schedule the pickup times.  They come to your door.  The cost is quite affordable. 

Also, the senior centers here offered field trips pre-Covid.  Usually a drive to a point of interest, a stop for lunch and then home again. I’m hopeful that will start again at some point in the future.  My dad enjoyed those trips. 
 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Some counties will arrange volunteers. You could phrase it as not optional, like the county does well checks. 

Did he not have his hearing aid in or turned on? 

No. If he doesn't like your church, he can watch a service on tv. That's what happens when you live in a nursing home or assisted living anyway.

Hearing aid is on, he has had a few of them.....they don't seem to help.

He won't hear of that.....he will come to my church even if it means not hearing because that is what he has been taught is the right thing to do.   You GO to church on Sundays, unless you are an invalid.   And he isn't.....just ask him.

Edited by DawnM
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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

I would see if there’s a van service for seniors he would be eligible for.  Here, it’s through the bus service and you schedule the pickup times.  They come to your door.  The cost is quite affordable. 

Also, the senior centers here offered field trips pre-Covid.  Usually a drive to a point of interest, a stop for lunch and then home again. I’m hopeful that will start again at some point in the future.  My dad enjoyed those trips. 
 

 

There is, but the church is just 3 miles away, and I would have to facilitate getting him from his door to the van anyway as he can't walk that far without taking about 10 min. and being completely out of breath.   

Not sure about field trips, he seriously can't walk more than 5" shuffles at a time.   It is painfully slow and he keeps stopping.

Edited by DawnM
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2 minutes ago, DawnM said:

There is, but the church is just 3 miles away, and I would have to facilitate getting him from his door to the van anyway as he can't walk that far without taking about 10 min. and being completely out of breath.   

Not sure about field trips, he seriously can't walk more than 5" shuffles at a time.   It is painfully slow and he keeps stopping.

I don't want to rely on anyone but me and DH to take my dad anywhere for this reason.  He is slow and wobbly.  And...he has to go to the bathroom all the time (yes, we've had him checked out for this) and won't wear adult underwear to make things easier.  It is worse than when I potty trained my twins.

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12 minutes ago, mlktwins said:

I don't want to rely on anyone but me and DH to take my dad anywhere for this reason.  He is slow and wobbly.  And...he has to go to the bathroom all the time (yes, we've had him checked out for this) and won't wear adult underwear to make things easier.  It is worse than when I potty trained my twins.

YES!   This too.

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It will take time.  And there aren’t any perfect solutions.  At least, not that I’ve found. Loneliness is an issue here, too. 

Our area does not have a senior bus, only fairly expensive ride services, and we have the same walking issues, so my assistance is needed on either end.  I have considered hiring an aide to take my mother out once a week, but that hasn’t planned out yet.  Maybe that’s an option for you? Our private pay aides range from $10 - $25 an hour, and we end up tipping quite a bit, but it’s worth it for help bathing and some social time. They stay in the house or go for short walks together.

Our area, pre-Covid, had a team of volunteers to go visit seniors and just sit and visit with them for an hour each week.  If he’s like my mom, something like that would not sound interesting, but if you find a way to make it appealing - a card game, whatever works for him. My mother desperately wants to teach someone her art … before she dies.  She is, as far as we know, the only living artist still doing her thing, and she fears it will die with her.  So if I could find someone who wanted to learn … that would work.  Does your dad have anything he’d like to share with others, even strangers? Would a weekly card game interest him?

I do a lot of encouraging my mother to call old friends. Sometimes I offer to host lunch or take her to meet a friend at a restaurant, though unfortunately she’s down to one living friend in our area.  

I’ve found that I simply cannot be the sole entertainment for my mom, honestly.  I do almost everything for her, and entertaining her has to be her own job sometimes, unfortunately.  That sounds harsh, but I try to help by making suggestions and doing what I can.  

 

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1 hour ago, Spryte said:

My mother desperately wants to teach someone her art … before she dies.  She is, as far as we know, the only living artist still doing her thing, and she fears it will die with her.  So if I could find someone who wanted to learn … that would work.  Does your dad have anything he’d like to share with others, even strangers? Would a weekly card game interest him?

I do a lot of encouraging my mother to call old friends. Sometimes I offer to host lunch or take her to meet a friend at a restaurant, though unfortunately she’s down to one living friend in our area.  

I’ve found that I simply cannot be the sole entertainment for my mom, honestly.  I do almost everything for her, and entertaining her has to be her own job sometimes, unfortunately.  That sounds harsh, but I try to help by making suggestions and doing what I can.  

 

What kind of art does your mom do?  

My dad enjoys tying flies for fly fishing and talking his grandkids through tying flies.  He can't really go fly fishing anymore (standing in a river is off the table) but I've started telling him that I'm taking the boys out for fishing and it would be good to have him help us find a good spot.  Then I set him up on a chair on the side of the river and he enjoys calling out "useful suggestions" to us.  He also likes to fiddle with the reels.  He doesn't really do any fishing but he gets to sit in the shade with a cold drink, eat sandwiches and enjoy the company of the kids.   Another thing we stumbled into is that he really likes watching our younger son play video games - he gets *really* into offering suggestions in Zelda.  

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2 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

What kind of art does your mom do?  

My dad enjoys tying flies for fly fishing and talking his grandkids through tying flies.  He can't really go fly fishing anymore (standing in a river is off the table) but I've started telling him that I'm taking the boys out for fishing and it would be good to have him help us find a good spot.  Then I set him up on a chair on the side of the river and he enjoys calling out "useful suggestions" to us.  He also likes to fiddle with the reels.  He doesn't really do any fishing but he gets to sit in the shade with a cold drink, eat sandwiches and enjoy the company of the kids.   Another thing we stumbled into is that he really likes watching our younger son play video games - he gets *really* into offering suggestions in Zelda.  

How cool that you can still take him for the fishing experience! And video games - no way, that’s really fun for the kids.  
 

My mother is a metal sculptor.  But small scale pieces.  She makes botanically correct miniatures of flowers.  She uses aluminum offset printing plates (getting harder and harder to find them), and it’s all very labor intensive.  They are beautiful, but I have seen them since I was 2, and grew up with tiny bits of aluminum stuck in my feet (ouch!), and basically have zero desire to do her art.   Right now I need to spray paint about 600 flowers with a base coat and shading for her so she can hand paint.  I dread it.  But she can’t do that part on her own any more.

@DawnM does your father like to play chess?  What about a chess club for seniors, or playing online?  

 

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9 minutes ago, Spryte said:

How cool that you can still take him for the fishing experience! And video games - no way, that’s really fun for the kids.  
 

My mother is a metal sculptor.  But small scale pieces.  She makes botanically correct miniatures of flowers.  She uses aluminum offset printing plates (getting harder and harder to find them), and it’s all very labor intensive.  They are beautiful, but I have seen them since I was 2, and grew up with tiny bits of aluminum stuck in my feet (ouch!), and basically have zero desire to do her art.   Right now I need to spray paint about 600 flowers with a base coat and shading for her so she can hand paint.  I dread it.  But she can’t do that part on her own any more.

@DawnM does your father like to play chess?  What about a chess club for seniors, or playing online?  

 

Wow! I would love to see your mom’s work!

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1 hour ago, Spryte said:

How cool that you can still take him for the fishing experience! And video games - no way, that’s really fun for the kids.  
 

My mother is a metal sculptor.  But small scale pieces.  She makes botanically correct miniatures of flowers.  She uses aluminum offset printing plates (getting harder and harder to find them), and it’s all very labor intensive.  They are beautiful, but I have seen them since I was 2, and grew up with tiny bits of aluminum stuck in my feet (ouch!), and basically have zero desire to do her art.   Right now I need to spray paint about 600 flowers with a base coat and shading for her so she can hand paint.  I dread it.  But she can’t do that part on her own any more.

@DawnM does your father like to play chess?  What about a chess club for seniors, or playing online?  

 

That sounds beautiful! I'd love to see her work.

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3 hours ago, DawnM said:

There is, but the church is just 3 miles away, and I would have to facilitate getting him from his door to the van anyway as he can't walk that far without taking about 10 min. and being completely out of breath.   

Not sure about field trips, he seriously can't walk more than 5" shuffles at a time.   It is painfully slow and he keeps stopping.

Does he have a PT to work with him regularly? My mom also doesn’t walk well and her PT gad been a wonderful help and encourager for her over the last few years. He comes to her home. 

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Maybe your church can get the earpiece thingy and start a daytime social program for seniors. Stuff like this is why they get tax breaks. It can’t hurt to make the suggestion. Even a once weekly senior lunch would be something on his social calendar. 

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The church should get a hearing aid thing for their sound system. Unless they are totally broke, that’s just standard these days.

If his hearing aids aren’t working well, he probably needs either a more motivated audiologist (many really do NOT seek out specialized solutions), or you/he may need some tips for learning to work with them. There are places that educate on these issues.

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3 hours ago, Spryte said:

My mother desperately wants to teach someone her art … before she dies.  She is, as far as we know, the only living artist still doing her thing, and she fears it will die with her.  So if I could find someone who wanted to learn … that would work.

Sorry to hijack this thread, Dawn. 

@SpryteCould you have your kids produce a homemade video channel on youtube that showcases your mother's art and also classes or lectures of her teaching how to make this type of art? (Ofcourse, only if your kids are interested in doing this). I think that something so unique should be showcased for a larger audience. There are so many masterclasses on youtube, so she could reach out to others through that media - and might keep her very motivated as well ...

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1 hour ago, ScoutTN said:

Does he have a PT to work with him regularly? My mom also doesn’t walk well and her PT gad been a wonderful help and encourager for her over the last few years. He comes to her home. 

Nope and one wasn't recommended at the doctor's office.

He needs 2 more hip replacements.   

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1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

Maybe your church can get the earpiece thingy and start a daytime social program for seniors. Stuff like this is why they get tax breaks. It can’t hurt to make the suggestion. Even a once weekly senior lunch would be something on his social calendar. 

Maybe, but there are like 3 seniors in the whole church.   I think my dad is the oldest there.   

They have several other day programs, so I don't think they feel they have a need for it.   There is another church a few miles further that does this daily thought state funding.

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