Friday, December 28, 2012

I'm Worried About My Dad

Today should seriously be called forgetful Friday! My mind has been elsewhere lately mainly because I have been thinking about my Dad a lot lately. Ever since I spoke with my sister, Julie, on Tuesday afternoon Dad has been on my mind a lot. Julie told me all sorts of things that have me very concerned about his well being.

Dad will be 85 next month and he's been living on his own since Mum passed away in twelve years ago. He volunteered at his local hospital for 10 years and then gave it away. Since he stopped volunteering around 12 months ago he's been steadily going down hill. It was the little things I noticed like his repeating conversations every time we've spoken on the phone. How he couldn't hear properly while on the phone. He would often say things that had absolutely nothing to do with what we had been talking about. 

When we were visiting him a few years back his driving scared the heck out of me by driving down the middle of the white line on a dual lane as we headed for a roundabout. I was relieved when he phoned me a couple of weeks ago to let me know that his license wont be getting renewed. He told me that the doctor said his eye sight wasn't up to scratch so he was no longer able to drive. What he didn't tell me was he had been pulled over by the police a week or two before that. He had absolutely no idea why he had been pulled over but he did remember that they were very nice young men. Scary right?!?!

Dad wants to remain independent and stay in his house. The trouble is he isn't able to look after it properly. Or himself for that matter. Apparently he lives on sweet biscuits (cookies) and cake. He no longer cooks himself meals. If he does cook anything he uses the microwave but that is very rare. He turns the power off on everything that he considers non-essential ie: toaster, kettle, stove, microwave [not really a bad thing in my book] He wont use the air-conditioner on stinking hot days. It gets too cold.

Dad no longer walks properly. He shuffles. He has trouble getting in and out of the car and needs to hold on to things while he does it. All he does is sit in his chair in the lounge room and sleep all day. His attention span is very short. Dad is unable to stay away to watch a whole tv show unless it's a short 30 minute one. His short term memory is pretty and his long term memory is a bit iffy at times. Julie asked Dad how old our Uncle Bob is. He said he was 37. Then Julie explained to him that his grand-daughter is 40. Oh was his reply.

Dad has it in his head that Julie and Vicki (my other sister) want to stick him into a nursing home. From what I have been told that isn't necessarily a bad idea. He of course will not had a bar of it. It would be admitting that he is old and needs help because he can no longer manage on his own. He's such a stubborn man. It's his generation really. You don't talk about certain things and you definitely do not admit that you need help! 

I have decided that I am going to go over to Adelaide and visit him next month. Julie said that I will be surprised to see what Dad is like now. He's certainly not the same person he was last time I visited but she said he's still Dad. 

Now the question is do I drove over (it's a 11-12 hour drive) or do I fly. The boys want to come and flying would be expensive. Although Julie did offer to help pay for the tickets. Mark will be staying home to look after our pets as we have no one else to do that. I really don't wish to drive on my own. I have done that before so it's not like I am unable to do that. I just don't want to go without Mark. I have a feeling I may need him. 


Vireya said...

That does sound worrying. Can he get Meals on Wheels? At least that would give him one complete meal a day.

All the best for your trip to Adelaide, however you go.

Eileen Chrisjohn said...

I will keep you and your Dad in my prayers. We went through this about 5 years ago with my Dad, (he is 90) and it was difficult but he is doing well in the nursing home and our peace of mind is much better. Ask for guidance and you will receive it.
Eileen :)

Jo-anne Blossy said...

Thanks Vireya. I don't know if my sisters have spoken wit Dad about Meals on Wheels. It's certainly something to look at. Provided he's open to the idea. Dad is a bit funny in his ways.

Jo-anne Blossy said...

Thank you Eileen. I am hoping that Dad will eventually come around when it comes to living in a nursing home. I haven't asked for guidance (yet) in fact I don't know why I haven't done it by now

PoetessWug said...

:-( It is tough when your parents start to get older, so I understand the emotions you must be feeling. I'm going through kind of the same thing with my dad. The only difference is that my sister lives in the house with my dad. That makes it a bit easier as to worrying about him...even though my sister doesn't talk to me!...Long story...As to flying versus driving, I say fly if you can. It leaves more time to spend with your dad and less stress going and coming...We used to love to drive when we could do it taking turns driving, but on your own...not so much fun.

Jo-anne Blossy said...

Poetess, you're right it is tough when your parents get older. I'm glad your sister lives with your Dad that must set your mind at ease a little.
I'm meant to get in contact with my sister in regards to ticket prices. Now that Angus has decided he wishes to join Brodie and I it wont be a cheap way to travel. Driving looks like our cheapest option.