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Old 02-09-2008, 07:28 AM   #1
CGRFish
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Unhappy Prayer for aging parents and self

I would greatly appreciate some prayer for myself and my parents as we deal with a very difficult situation. I don't know why I havenít posted this sooner - I have been praying about it, my church is praying about it, but I guess I feel I've reached a point where I need every bit of help I can get, so I would greatly appreciate prayer from the IFisher's.

I apologize this is kind of a long story, but it will help you understand the situation.

My mother, age 79 had an "episode" with her heart on Jan 10 (Thursday), and dropped a cup of probably boiling coffee (microwaves!!!!) on her lap, incurring third degree burns on her inner thighs and private areas. She was taken by ambulance to the Newport hospital, where they began treatment for the burns, and to get her heart back into a normal rhythm. By Sunday they had her heart going ok, with vitals back to normal, but she looked terrible - weak, poor color, etc. I spoke to the ICU Doc, who shared my concern - the vitals said she was getting better, everything else said she was worse. At 9:45 that night she coded and we were called, and when I arrived at the hospital at 10:00 things were extremely critical. I called my sister to come from Albany, and the Doc was very honest that he didn't think mom would make it that long... She had had a massive hemorrhage somewhere in her abdomen, and they had used, I believe, 5 units of blood to get her stable. I give the ICU folks in Newport great credit, because they made an incredible effort, and managed to get mom stabilized. Unfortunately by the time she was stable enough to take from the ICU to cat scan, she had soooo much blood in her abdomen, that they could not isolate the cause of the bleeding. By 4:00AM they felt she was stable enough to transfer to Corvallis, expecting surgery would be necessary. Upon arriving at Corvallis she continued to stabilize, and is now on the road to recovery. She is still in a rehab home, but expects to be going home probably late next week.

Dad, who is 80, is experiencing pretty significant dementia / confusion problems, and is an extremely strong willed person. We have been trying to convince them to move to the valley to be closer to my sister and I for over a year, and they have resisted. Throughout this whole process, dad has refused to stay at our house in the valley, but drives back and forth from Corvallis to Newport every day. He has been caring for himself, and I've had a neighbor checking in daily to be sure he's taking his medication, etc. I do not feel good about him being there alone, or driving this much, but he has refused every effort I have made.

The problem really comes in trying to deal with the future. We don't know how fast dad's problems will progress, so it's difficult to plan for his care. The rehab center has strongly recommended they go to an assisted living facility, but Dad absolutely refuses. I had arranged for a close friend / neighbor to be a paid caregiver, but now, after all the plans are made, mom decides she's not comfortable with that.....

Time is rapidly becoming a huge issue for me. I am a self employed CPA, and if I donít work 12-14 hour days this time of year, I don't have an income to live on. My business gives me incredible flexibility most of the year, but from Feb 1 to April 15, I need to be locked in the office.... Dad was very ill earlier in the year, and I closed my business the month of May to help them out, but right now, I just don't know how to manage.

And perhaps my biggest source of stress is my sister... She says she wants to help, but never follows through. She stops and sees mom every day, but will not take one minute off work to take her to the doctor, etc. She will not be involved in anything that involves confrontation with mom or dad, and thus I'm constantly the bad guy. This week the rehab center had a meeting to discuss mom's future care, and had told mom they were going to recommend assisted living, and that all her family should all be there. I called my sister and explained the situation, that the staff of the center wanted to talk to all of us about care, and that she really needed to be there - she works 10 blocks from the care center as a receptionist for a dentist, with another person working right next to her - they can manage if she's gone an hour... She said she would try, and then didn't show up, so I end up in the meeting with Dad refusing to move, me trying to rationalize with him, and mom crying, and the care center staff standing there shaking their heads....

I'm sorry this is so long, but I am more stressed out than I have ever been. The night before last I kept waking up, and my first thought several times was if I'd get it over with and have a heart attack, I wouldn't have to deal with this mess.... That is just not a healthy thought to be having.

So, here is my prayer request.... First, that I manage my stress level better, and give the struggle to the Lord - I'm not doing good with that right now. Second, that we can come up with an acceptable short term solution for their care by the end of this coming week, and third, that I can get dad to soften to moving closer to the kids where we can be involved with their daily lives, without having to force him against his will.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

Mark

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Old 02-09-2008, 07:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Prayer for aging parents and self

I will be praying for your stress and time management. And the care of your parents. It seems we see more and more of these care situations. It is difficult and change is extremely hard on the older folks.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:50 AM   #3
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I'll pray too
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:11 AM   #4
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Man...this is tuff. First my friend, for your own health, forgive your sister and except the facts as they are about her.
If you are in a position to help physically, as well as financially, if needed, try to share with your parents how in doing so, it gives you a great joy in paying back all their love, support, etc, they ladled on you through out your life. Try and convince them this is NOT a burden, but an opportunity for you to feel better and more worthy to yourself, if they would just yield to your wishes.
You must remember they do feel a burden, and their struggle is within themselves, It will be hard, but worth it if you can...

Luck and prayers on there wat brother...
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:21 AM   #5
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I am praying for your situation. God Bless your mom and dad and God Bless you.
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Prayer for aging parents and self

Mark:
I am praying that God will reveal his will regarding the living arrangements to your parents and you, and that everyone will be at peace with it. Also praying for the physical and mental health of you all.
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Old 02-09-2008, 04:23 PM   #7
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In the last couple of years, we've been through much of "it." The thread here re my brother, Chris, and our loss is only part of it. Dad is doing pretty well right now but is, essentially, dying of congestive heart failure - - 'been through hospitals, surgeries, nursing homes, moving him and step-mom out of their home and into assisted care, which they complain about constantly. Mom, with dementia, moving her from her apartment and into a home near one of my brothers, which she also complains about, and her progressively becoming more and more dependent, unable to care for herself and now having to look for a care facility for her.

'Point is, as much as it seems, at times, there's no end to it, there is - - things will work out in the end. Keep in touch with your own health and just deal the best you can as things come up. Your dad, with his dementia and, what you describe as "strong will," coupled with his driving and apparent inability to help you make decisions for them, has to be overwhelming. If you think a heart-to-heart talk with your sister will help, I'd say it's worth doing - - - you know best - - - if that will just deteriorate your relationship, probably best to be happy with whatever small amount of help she is "able/willing" to provide, for now. From reading your thread, my impression is she's in denial - - maybe she'll come around.

It sounds like your dad may very well be unsafe driving(to himself and others). If so, maybe a talk with the local police. If this is a real worry, I don't think "laying a trap" for him would be cruel. They can require he be re-tested and that way it may take that "bad-guy" stigma off of you and resolve that worry.

'Not professional advice - - 'just someone, also going through some of this, with some well-meaning thoughts.

'Very best wishes and to you and your entire family - - 'hang in there!

Don
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Old 02-09-2008, 04:46 PM   #8
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:07 PM   #9
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This is a very tough situation to deal with and I will pray for you and your family. Please know you are not the only one facing these issues.

Take care of yourself, trust God and the answers will come.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:26 PM   #10
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Mark,
I will pray for you and your family.
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:30 AM   #11
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We've been there and done that with my wife's folks. Not easy by any means and very frustrating when you start butting heads with them. It is not pleasant but you have to keep trying.

Keep in contact with the sister and try to keep her involved. Make sure their affairs are in order and that their wills are made accordingly.

You have my sympathy and prayers during this time. It will not be an easy time for you and the family to handle.
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:30 PM   #12
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I will pray for your family ...
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:51 AM   #13
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I thank you all so very much for your prayers and input - it really helps alot. Earlier in the summer I had worked with them and have all the wills, trust, and power of attorney's up to date, so we are in good shape there.

If I could ask for an updated specific prayer it would be for friday afternoon. Mom is scheduled to go home friday morning, and later in the day I scheduled a assessment meeting with a local home care provider to come meet with us. Mom feels she will need the help, and I agree completely, but dad is adamant that he can take care of things, and they don't need any help. It has the potential to be a difficult session, but I feel it is the right thing to do.

Through all of your comments and input, and talking to others who have been through this, I have accepted the fact that I have tol try to put in place the help they need, and if they choose to refuse it, I will back off and just monitor the situation until things change.

Again, thanks for all the prayers and input.

Mark
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:03 AM   #14
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You've got 'em . 'Sounds like you are on track and doing much better. That's good to "hear." Again, hang in there. Best wishes. Don
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:41 AM   #15
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Still with you and family in prayer.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:11 AM   #16
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You are not alone. A fair number of people in our generation are going through the same thing. When we moved from Denver, we brought both of my parents and mother in law with us. Here are some of the things I have learned and seen as I have dealt with aging parents and family.

You can not make them do anything. You can suggest, but it ultimately it is going to be their decision. I have seen very few people in health care deemed incompetent and a court appointed guardian. It won't happen. As uncomfortable as it is to watch, sometimes you just have to sit back and let the drama unfold. I got through it by identifying my priorities, which are my kids and spouse.

Family members and other people can get critical of your efforts. I had a cousin that was super critical when my mother (bipolar) was on a manic binge. I thanked her for all the insight into my life and relationship with my folks that she was able to gain via one phone call with my manic mother. Never gave her comments another thought. Don't critique your sister too much. She is going to out live your parents and you need to get through this with your relationship intact. Everyone is going to do what they are capable of doing.

I have shared this philosophy with just a few, it is the BIG ROCK theory. I feel at times like a really big rock in the middle of the stream. High water may at times may swirl over my head and around my sides, but I am steady until the water recedes. Then once again you have your head above water.

With your job and commitments at this time of year there is only so much you can do. Be content with that, other times of the year you can do more. For now this is the most I can give. Know your priorities.

Been there, and wishing and praying you come to terms with where you are at.

DW
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:55 AM   #17
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Standing down until you hit "crisis" mode and are allowed to step in is the hardest thing you will do.

We tried several times to intervene with my Father-in-Law who suffered from dementia. We finally met with the county office of aging services and were told my Father-in-Law was an adult and we had to wait for a crisis. The situation advanced to a medical emergency. My husband then had to deal with the emergency room staff who couldn't understand why he hadn't done something sooner.

Still praying for you and your family.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckwheat View Post
You are not alone. A fair number of people in our generation are going through the same thing. When we moved from Denver, we brought both of my parents and mother in law with us. Here are some of the things I have learned and seen as I have dealt with aging parents and family.

You can not make them do anything. You can suggest, but it ultimately it is going to be their decision. I have seen very few people in health care deemed incompetent and a court appointed guardian. It won't happen. As uncomfortable as it is to watch, sometimes you just have to sit back and let the drama unfold. I got through it by identifying my priorities, which are my kids and spouse.

Family members and other people can get critical of your efforts. I had a cousin that was super critical when my mother (bipolar) was on a manic binge. I thanked her for all the insight into my life and relationship with my folks that she was able to gain via one phone call with my manic mother. Never gave her comments another thought. Don't critique your sister too much. She is going to out live your parents and you need to get through this with your relationship intact. Everyone is going to do what they are capable of doing.

I have shared this philosophy with just a few, it is the BIG ROCK theory. I feel at times like a really big rock in the middle of the stream. High water may at times may swirl over my head and around my sides, but I am steady until the water recedes. Then once again you have your head above water.

With your job and commitments at this time of year there is only so much you can do. Be content with that, other times of the year you can do more. For now this is the most I can give. Know your priorities.

Been there, and wishing and praying you come to terms with where you are at.

DW
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper View Post
Standing down until you hit "crisis" mode and are allowed to step in is the hardest thing you will do.

We tried several times to intervene with my Father-in-Law who suffered from dementia. We finally met with the county office of aging services and were told my Father-in-Law was an adult and we had to wait for a crisis. The situation advanced to a medical emergency. My husband then had to deal with the emergency room staff who couldn't understand why he hadn't done something sooner.

Still praying for you and your family.
A "trick" that sometimes can be made to work is to 1) structure the conversation in a way that "they" think it's their idea or, 2) consider whether there is someone else (someone "they" are more likely to accept advice from, at the time . . ) to deliver the suggestion(s) . . . Don
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:40 PM   #19
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Prayers from a fellow Christian bean counter. I started the day at 5:00 this morning and finished an hour or so ago, same tomorrow. Managed to squeeze in an hour for dinner with the family, but that's about it this time of year. Remember you hopefully will have time in the off season to spend with your parents, and the income to pay for it. Like you, I struggle with time issues and trying to deal with the sometimes unreasonable demands of clients, family, friends, and parents. "Let go and Let God" is a great catch phrase, but living it is another thing. I pray every day for the faith to give these struggles up to the Lord, the patience to let Him help me with those struggles, and the wisdom to find the way. I will say the same prayers for you. Hang in there, comrade. Only 54 days left . . .
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