Ariana’s parents were both in their late seventies and had health problems that were starting to slow them down. Ariana’s brother, Michael, had a developmental disability and still lived at home. She often wondered what would happen if – or rather, when – her parents could no longer care for him, but didn’t know how to get the information she needed to start planning.
There were problems right from the start. First, there was the issue of her father arguing about the temperature in the house all the time. He was either too hot or too cold and he was always monkeying with the temperature settings. He expected Janice to drive him to all of his medical appointments, even though she had a full-time job.
Gina was worried; it seemed that every time her mother complained of a new ache or pain to her doctors, she was prescribed another medication. Yet the more drugs she took, the worse she felt. It got to the point where Gina’s mother was taking at least 10 pills a day for high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, constipation, high cholesterol, heartburn, low thyroid function, insomnia, and who knew what else.
Mom makes the same holiday pie every year. This year it didn’t taste quite right. When I asked if she followed the recipe, she said that she has made it for so many years that she no longer needed a recipe. The truth is she could no longer follow the recipe.
It was a shock when Michelle got the phone call from the hospital one afternoon. Her father had tripped on the sidewalk and broken his hip. A neighbor saw what happened, ran outside to help, and had called 911.
She opens the door and asks, “Why did you come a day early?” You are confused. You told her you were coming today when you spoke on the phone over the weekend. “Mom, we’re here for the holiday and I told you we were coming.” She replies, “Yes, you told me you were coming tomorrow.” Your concern is increasing.
Please enjoy this guest blog from Jay Newton-Small with MemoryWell. My father was a brilliant man. He had a 40-year career as a diplomat with the United Nations, working on five continents. But in the last few years of his life, he wouldn’t have been able...
Feeling lonely and isolated is more than an unpleasant emotional state; it can actually lead to poor health outcomes and premature death.
While people of all ages have fallen victim to scam artists, seniors may be especially vulnerable. Loneliness and dementia may cause serious lapses in judgment. The need to feel useful and a contributing member of society can also overcome a healthy skepticism, especially when it comes to “charities” who pull at the heartstrings to solicit money.
Planning ahead and providing legal documentation of your wishes is extremely important to those you love. It may be even more important to you if you don’t have family to advocate for you.