Tag Archives: alzheimers

Cross Post: Life Got in the Way

Well gee… since I haven’t written anything here in a while, I’m going to cross post and give you my monthly post from my writers group. 🙂

Image Life Got in the Way

I’ve fallen into a writing slump.  In the first 14 days of June I was on sort of a roll and was gaining on 8,000 words, I’d met a bunch of my June goals and was feeling great.  In the past 10 days, I’ve written 112 words.

 

It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write or that I haven’t tried.  I think about writing all the time and I have ideas constantly running through my head.  It’s just that life keeps getting in the way.  I know, I’m supposed to be vigilant about protecting my writing times and write no matter what.  But let’s be honest here… that’s not always practical.

 

I live with my mother and my 97 year old grandfather.  He has Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Congestive Heart Failure.  Although he’s pretty damn with it considering his age and everything going on, his care is a 24 hour a day job.  A job which my mother and I do alone while trying to still have lives of our own.

 

Last week alone saw a 9 hour ER visit, a fall, and talks with hospice on top of me working full time and trying to squeeze in self care.  Due to his age and the fact that he has a heart condition that isn’t going to get any better he qualified for hospice.  Technically to be involved with hospice someone is supposed to have less than six months to live, but with Gramps it’s more of a maintenance thing.  His symptoms will be managed and then each six months he’ll be recertified to continue hospice services.  He may be 97 but his big sister just turned 103 and his baby brother is 90. 🙂

 

The amount of support we’re getting from hospice is kind of mind blowing, actually.  Before hospice we had to pay out of pocket for all medications (last week’s ER visit resulted in seven pills of antibiotics that cost $57.00), all medical supplies (adult diapers, ointments, catheter supplies, etc.) and 24 hour oxygen ($40 a month).  With hospice, all of that’s covered.  Oxygen, medication, supplies, a new cane, a wheel chair are just a few things we’ve received this week that we no longer have to pay for.  If Gramps is sick and needs attention, we don’t go to the ER anymore, the doctor comes to us.  We have a nurse who visits a few times a week to monitor progress, a social worker who is helping with all sorts of things including applying for a grant to help with funeral costs when the time comes, an aide who visits three times a week to help with daily living and who provides my mother with 2 hour respite breaks… there’s even an option to have a visiting chaplain if it’s wanted.   

 

My mom still can’t work outside of the home and is pretty much tethered to Gramps’ care, but this extra support is pretty amazing and much appreciated.  Is it going to help me get my writing done?  Probably not, but then again the less I have to worry about my mom the more likely I’m able to concentrate on writing when I have the chance to squeeze it in to my schedule. 🙂

 

Wishes of high word counts to you all!

Kel


D is for Dementia

Image

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged anything other than a book review via Goodreads.  It’s pretty much a clue that I’ve been overwhelmed by life when all I want to do is lose myself in book after book and I don’t even get any of my own writing done.

Things around the Compound have been interesting.  I knew that having my grandpa move in with us would be difficult.  It was hard before he moved in because my mother and I were the only people in the family who were regularly taking care of my grandpa.  Doing so meant driving a good 20-30 minutes one way from where we were living to where he was living.  Trying to get anyone else to help out was basically a joke so we did it ourselves.  There was even a time when we came home early from vacation because no other family in town could check on Grandpa for us just to make sure he was okay when we were unable to reach him by phone.

When we moved into a bigger home that could accommodate him as well, it got rid of all of the extra driving between our house and his apartment.  It also ensured that he wasn’t alone all of the time and would be able to have daily interaction with people instead of what he was getting in his apartment (which was basically if my mom and I didn’t visit, he was alone… every now and then someone would stop by for a few minutes but those moments were far and few between).

Having Grandpa in the house means a lot more than just an extra roommate though…  A lot more than I think many people understand.  He turned 97 years old yesterday and although he’s still pretty amazing when it comes to things he can do on his own, he’s also got a whole list of other things he simply can’t do anymore.  He’s also regressing regularly and finding out that things he had been doing just fine until recently aren’t possible anymore.

Dealing with Alzheimer’s/Dementia is incredibly hard to deal with on a daily basis.  It’s kind of like having an adult in your home who sometimes acts like an adult and other times acts like a preschooler.  Except when they’re acting like a preschooler they truly don’t see what’s wrong with it and think it’s perfectly okay.  Gramps recently spent fifteen days in the hospital due to pneumonia, sepsis, shingles and a handful of other issues… on his first full day in the hospital he spit a half chewed carrot across the room because he didn’t want to chew it.  At home and in restaurants if he decides that he doesn’t like something we’ve given him to eat, he leans forward and spits it out onto his plate or the table.  Sure, it can be humorous at times (having a sick sense of humor is key when living with dementia in the house), but it’s also quite frustrating and very, very sad.  Continue reading


The Girl With The Old Lady Bones

Arthritis might slow me down but it will never stop me!

Go-To-For-OT Blog

Sharing and Caring in Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Dauchshunds and Xanax

and other assorted ramblings

Babbling Brook

The mind wonders. Come along for the trip

Thoughts Off the Top of My Head

My life in black and white.

Writing is Hard

So sayeth the Prophet Chuck

Kris Norris

My life in black and white.

Paige Prince

My life in black and white.

site

My life in black and white.

Marj's Musings

.....is this all there is?

Trout Nation

Your One Stop Procrastination Shop

JennieKnits

my life with knitting