Monday, July 7, 2014

Memories and Changes

Its been almost 16 months since our dear sweet Mom died. Dad is missing her very much. 



He wants to keep living at home and the time has come for a live in companion. That means making a lot more changes. My dear sister Gail has sorted out and made needed changes with all the various agencies that provide daily care for Dad and updated us all on the changes (hours and hours of work). My brother Rob lived with Dad for a year and dropped by last week to take his own furniture away. Helped with the changes.



Together with my sister-in-law Elaine, Dad and myself we sorted through our parents collections. We also went through, with Dad, all his clothing so some could be donated. Dad has aged into a size small mens and the medium shirts and slacks were just taking up space. My dear SIL Elaine and brother Tim have been living with Dad over the past few weeks to keep him safe and help him prepare for the changes too.



I won't say it was easy but more decisions about things were made and there is now less 'stuff' in his home, less to worry about. His care/companion has brought in her large fish tank and her plants and has two well behaved dogs that will be living with them too. This makes Dad's home suddenly alive with movement and interest.



Closets were cleaned out so the caregiver has her own spaces. Bedrooms were reorganized so her furniture could be moved in. Space and boundaries have been discussed and flexible guidelines have been put in place. We are hoping for one year with K, Dad's first companion/caregiver. 

Dad has had morning and evening and housekeeping and personal caregivers for several years. Now he needs more help. The easing in of another 'different' has been slowly progressing in the last few weeks. 

His companion/caregiver has been easing in toward full time, spending nights alternating with SIL because Dad needs to have someone overnight in case he falls. 

Having a companion/caregiver means Dad is getting better nutrition, companionship and a watchful eye to help him when he needs help. He has gained needed weight, his color is better and he is accepting changes (again, so many changes over the past few years) so he can continue living in his own home. His physical self is a problem for him but his metal self continues to write and share on his blog (a recent post about Mom and their love story), email, correspond and continue to be active in his community and church life. Dad will be 94 in 3 weeks.




Joy (me), Mom and DS Gail
Our last outing (about 6 years ago) with Mom before she went into a Care Home

I took pictures of a few of my favorite memories of Mom's collectibles for this post, her bird ornaments, pink depression glasses and the silver overlay set that she always served cranberries in for Thanksgiving and Christmas are now in my china cabinet. Memories.

I am grateful for family and friends and the many care givers who are supporting Dad. He is very fortunate that he can choose to live in his home and is very aware of the efforts that go in to keeping him there. Aging in place. It takes a community to raise a child, it takes a community to keep a senior in their own home.

Thank you for visiting.

18 comments:

  1. Sweet post, Joy. Thanks for the loving reminders, and thanks for all your help with our dad, and with both our parents all these years.

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  2. We did not go through this stage with any of our parents, but my cousins are going through it with my aunt and they are sharing the issues/difficulties with me.

    I am glad your father is putting on weight and looking healthier.

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  3. Isn't this a sad stage of our lives? Our Dad passed away first and it was so hard keeping Mother motivated to want to stay alive. Her health declined so fast. Prayers are with you and your family.

    Judy

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  4. Oh it is wonderful how you all rally around him...he and your mom raised a great family! :)

    It must be very hard right now and I can sense that yet you have so many positives in your post as well...and lovely memories for your china cabinet. Same place most of my grandparent memories are too :)

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  5. Joy, Sorry about your Mom's passing...I still miss my mother and it's been 8years. Hugs to your father. Please hug him and tell him how much you love him, while he is here. Blessings to all of you, xoxo,Susie

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  6. This is my first visit to your blog, but what I sense is sweet caring and the best possible options selected to help your dad enjoy life again. There is nothing quite like having pets and people around to liven the spirit. All the best to you!

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  7. Hi Joy,

    What a trial the aging process is! Your father is fortunate to have you and your siblings, but oh, I feel for him. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a Happy Blue Monday!

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  8. Aging is a difficult thing. But your dad is in good hands with so much wonderful caring kindness surrounding him. You are blessed all around with your system in place to help your father. God bless you that he is of such wonderful sound mind! The body is so fragile. I am praying for all of you and I am so sorry you had lost your precious mother. what lovely memories you share with us. Thank you.

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  9. My mom would have been 73 on Sunday, Joy. She's been gone four years now. They never really do leave all the way, do they? Your father is so fortunate to have so many people supporting hi right now. Thank you for this really sweet post. I wish all of you the best as your father moves inot this new phase of his life.

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  10. Jilda and I both have had similar experiences. We both know how difficult it was for us. I feel for those who have to face it.
    It's good that you have others in your family to help.
    Take care of yourself Joy.

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  11. What a nice post - so glad your Dad has an option for staying in his home. And I like the idea that the caregiver has animals - they tend to be very healthy for older parents as provide someone they can care for and give attention to.

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  13. Love those beautiful peach dessert dishes. so pretty.
    Sorry to hear about the loss of your Mom. It is so nice that he is able to stay in his own home where he feels comfortable and familiar with his surroundings. He has great children who are working hard for him. This is a tough time in life as our parents age and have physical issues. We have already been thru all that, and all of our parents are now in Heaven. Bless each of you for doing what is best for your dad and I am sure your MOM too.
    Blessings, Nellie

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  14. I love that you are working hard to keep your Dad in his home. I'm sure he will be so much happier there. Your beautiful inherited pieces are just wonderful!
    Hugs,
    Patti

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  15. It sounds like you are all doing such a great job of keeping your dad happy and well taken care of. I love the treasures that you now have, they are definitely special!

    ~Trisha

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  16. What a blessing your Dad's children are for him. So much care and caregiving for him at this time in his life. Lovely photos of your family and family heirlooms...such treasures.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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  17. My heart goes out to you and your family. We went through this several years ago when our dad passed away (Alzheimer's Disease). Mom tried to stay in their home by herself, eventually needed a full-time companion then finally moved to assisted living. We spent many hours/days/weeks doing just what you've done but it helped having her help us with the decisions. In the end, we were able to make her happy and safe. It sounds like you all are doing the same for your dad. I wish you all the best!

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  18. What a bittersweet post; I wish your family well.

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Thanks for visiting. I read and appreciate all your comments. Joy

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