Over the holidays we caught up with friends and acquaintances who are dealing with aging parents. What to do? Some of the stories we’ve heard:
It’s scary riding in the car with them.
They are malnourished because they only eat pie.
The Dad who made a new “friend” who charges him $1500 to replace the battery in the car. This particular gentleman never had a credit card, and suddenly he’s racked up a $10,000 bill, not once but a couple of times with the help of his “friend”. His son is now managing his finances.
In his father’s defense, Dad was a workaholic, working was his hobby and he always had at least two jobs. After a forced retirement, widowed and recently fired from his part-time job for falling asleep on the phone with customers, he’s displaced and doesn’t know what to do with himself. Can’t access his cash without his son’s permission and no wheels.
He’s kind of pissed.
What to do with Dad?
He’s lost his license and continues to drive. Never mind that it’s like Mr. Magoo, driving around oblivious to the pileups in their wake. Can’t see OR turn their head, cuz their neck is locked up.
Recently widowed for the third time, Barbara decided she was going to meet a man. She doesn’t waste time, and traditionally marries within six months of losing her husbands. Sister works it and has been hitting the square dances and makes it clear that she doesn’t want to be alone. One of her sons who lives nearby, noticed hand lettered signs posted along the roadway advertising that his mother was seeking companionship. He ripped them down.
It’s comical and sad, and a real challenge mentally and financially for the Boomers that are still working full-time, raising kids or grandkids and caring for their parents. A good nursing home around here is $5000 a month.
What’s the answer?
UPDATE: Barbara was found in her home earlier this week unconscious and is in ICU. She’s been a bit of a medical mystery as she has no health history, and has not been to the doctor in 47 years……since the birth of her last child.Â She is in a coma.
I really don’t know. My mom recently went “home”. Back to Dad who a year ago was unable to care for her. Not because he is physically unable, but for other reasons too complicated to share here.
When she lived here, which she has for most of the last two years, I would not let her drive…its one reason she “went home.” Dad just handed her the keys.
I would monitor her cooking because she forgot constantly that something was under the broiler or on the stove. Dad won’t do this. He SAYS he will. But he won’t.
I am afraid she is gonna kill someone on the road, or burn the house down and kill both her and dad.
And what can I do about this?
NOTHING. Absolutely NOTHING.
Candace, I feel you. Parents resent being bossed by their kids and stripping their freedoms. The kids are worried sick for the reasons you mentioned. Sad.