It has been a roller coaster ride of sorts and we have experienced quite a few ups and downs as we care give ourselves. In spite of it all, we have had success but we measure it carefully, just in case anything else may happen to set him back.
One of the worst moments was last Saturday night, as I was standing in line to get Dad’s prescription filled. I received a phone call from my brother.
Moment Crisis Hits Bottom
“What are we going to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“We’ve never been in a situation like this before,” he said.
The tone of his voice kind of alarmed me. He had always been the older strong one in the family; a take charge kind of guy, not easily rattled. But this time he sounded stumped.
“We’ll have to figure it out as we go along. We’ll have to take it one hour at a time,” I said as felt my phone hand shaking.
Actually, what were we going to do? Dad was going to need constant care. It would either have to be a nursing home or we’d have to do it ourselves. Either option was not good.
That was then and this is now. It’s amazing how far you can go in only a few days.
That’s probably because we didn’t have a choice.
But now we’re getting used to our new schedule. We have the toilet set up even though he doesn’t like it. Thanks to the toilet liners changing a bed pan is now into the 21st century. It has really improved from what it was over 30 years ago when we took care of my grandmother.
I’m still concerned about his bed which I think is too high. He wouldn’t allow us to lower the mattresses on the new bed frame I had bought. ( I got it for $50 instead of $100.) So we’re saving it for later when he changes his mind. And I also worry about new things such as will he forget to put the brakes on his wheelchair?
We’ve had friends who have called and a few have visited. It means a lot. We know they care and small kindnesses go a long way. I’m finding out how important such small remembrances are to people in a crisis.
One of the most meaningful calls came from a tenant who found out Dad had broken his arm. She gave me encouragement and told me not to get discouraged. She has been caregiving at least two of her relatives for years. I felt much better after talking to her.
Future Care Giving Options
We’ve been given a name of a lady and her daughters who can come to do only the tasks we specifically may need. That’s an improvement over the agencies which insists you order care by blocks of time. In other words, you’d have to order a caregiver for at least four hours at at time which would come to about $100 per visit. It can certainly add up very quickly. That’s a little too corporate for my tastes, but so far we’re doing okay on our own.
However, it’s going to be a long winter and my Dad will not be free of his cast until around April.
Tags: Family, Health, Money