Absentee Chat

I love when I am half way through writing then editing a post and my IPad decides to publish, so if you all received a not completed all over the shop post..delete πŸ˜’

Brother P needed respite
From our penguins whom we love
I thought I’d take the challenge
A challenge yes it was!

Six days I have been absent, some of you may have noticed.
Last Sunday my brother and his wife went away for a few days, in need of respite. He, being the closest to the penguins, has been going over every morning at 7:15am to get Pop out of bed, showered, breakfast etc, on the days the carers don’t arrive.

I took on the challenge…and believe me a challenge it was. My brother spends approximately 6-7 hours per day with them. For anyone who has had to mind their elderly parents, it’s not for the feint hearted.

Permit me to give you a breakdown.

I’m exhausted!

Preparing breakfast lunch and tea daily.
Helping Pop from chair (recliner) to kitchen table chair.
This means lifting him, telling him continually to take big steps.

Having Parkinson’s, his brain doesn’t tell his legs to move any longer and he continually freezes. So after I have him balanced with his walker, it’s ‘Big steps Pop, talk to your feet”.

After every meal, lift him out of that chair, organise walker, follow him down the house to clean his teeth, possibly toileting. He’s weak, so it’s me to pull down the pants, get him seated, pants up, help to basin, then back to walker. The days the carer doesn’t come in, I got him showered.

From bathroom, it’s back to recliner. This procedure, chair to chair, to bathroom was continuous every day.

Evening was bathroom again, then into bed. He has a bed support stick. I help him to the mattress, he holds the stick and leans back. I lift his legs to the bad, cross his arms over chest, bend his knees and roll him onto his side. Because now he is slightly incontinent, I also put a towel under him for the night.

In the morning, getting him out of bed and starting the day again. Most mornings the bed had to be stripped, sheets, towels washed and hung up.

During meals he struggles to get the food off the fork or spoon as his hands shake. So I help to feed him.

Now add to that, the times I would sit down to finally have a rest, when I’d be called upon to make my ‘delicious’ ice coffee for a Pop, or grab this, that or the other.

Mum having Alzheimers has not made my ‘vacation’ very easy. It is so hard not to bite back when her angry moods set in, yes I’m guilty of getting too upset and losing my cool with her.

It was bed time for me, a single mattress on the floor, usually at 12 or later each night, then up at 6:30-7am.

I love them, of course I do as does my brother, but we can’t continue this and as previously mentioned we have to place them into Aged Care. We have tried to have rational discussions with mum, but ..sadly she is no longer rational.

This afternoon when the four of us were ‘talking’ ..things got out of hand, mum said..yelled, leave my house, stop dictating, I’m not moving, I can look after the house… The same conversation, we have had, that can’t be resolved easily.

It was their 64th wedding Anniversary on Wednesday. I coloured and curled mums hair, made her up pretty. Butter wouldn’t melt..would it.. Β  ☺️Dressed them and took them for lunch, surprising them with two friends who joined us.
Here they are.

K? Her second appointment with new physcologist – went well.
Still doing modelling photos, unpaid and here are a couple of her latest shots.




Never a a dull moment in my world! πŸ˜€

My eldest daughter and her husband finally after a year of searching and attending Auctions have bought a new home – so exciting!

Hope you you are all well. I hope once I have slept and recovered, to be back into the swing of things.


33 thoughts on “Absentee Chat

  1. It’s great what you are doing for your parents despite how difficult it is. Our parents deserve the care as a form of paying them back for all the pain and sacrifices they underwent for us, and in the hopes that one day when we are old and withering our own children will put up with us and take care of us when we need them. God bless you!

    • Maram, thank you so much for your lovely words. The post that originally came out wasn’t finished…technology and my iPad don’t mix, so I have reposted. I am glad we are able to help them as much as we can, but we need to get more care, which means moving them from their home… Something we hate to do, but have no choice. I appreciate you reading…thank you πŸ’œ

  2. Oh Jenny – you are a good daughter. Do not be hard on yourself. Caring for aging parents with physical ailments and alzheimer’s/dementia is one of the most difficult roles anyone can take on. I work in home health and hospice and see caregiver burnout so often. We recently put my hubby’s aunt in an assisted living community. She just turned 92. You would think she was living on a cruise ship. She loves the activities, goes to exercise classes twice a week, eats three meals a day socially with her “lady friends,” has someone clean her apartment. She loves it. Over the years we have dealt with various situations with parents, grandparents and other loved ones. I feel your exhaustion. And then you are still Mama and wife. Most important thing is to make sure you take care of yourself first, because without that, you cannot care for others (you know like how on an airplane they tell you to first put on your air mask in an emergency before helping your child, etc.) Anyway – rambling from another Mum who thinks you are wonderful! Hugs!! (PS K looks so beautiful – seems she should get paid for those beautiful sessions. Or is she building a portfolio to get other jobs? Looks like she should have a great future if given the right break. πŸ™‚ Hope she is doing well.)

    • Thank you Jodi for sharing your story. Exhaustion covers what we do, but then some relaxing and much needed sleep and the world doesn’t look as bad. I’m sure once mum moves and adjusts to not having her home or possessions around her, she will meet new friends, but for now she feels we want to lock her away and throw away the key! Thank you for rambling ☺️ I appreciate your comments. 😊 They are for a Portfolio, thank you for the compliment , but it’s difficult for her know when to stop. As much as I would love her to have a career modelling, it’s so tough to get in to, as she doesn’t know any agencies. Also she isn’t settled yet, so I don’t know how she would cope with the pressures πŸ˜” hugs πŸ’œ

  3. Oh! You must be exhausted. It is wonderful of you to take care of your parents in the best possible way.
    Your daughter’s modelling shots look amazing. And it is good to know that her appointment went well.
    Do take care of yourself. πŸ™‚

  4. Hello darling, oh my, don’t mum and pop make a lovely couple. 64 years. How rare and wonderful. Love mum’s hair.
    I think you and your brother are such caring, beautiful children and so lovely for taking care of your parents, who have done much for you. If only I could repay my mum for every sacrifice and all the love she gave us. You are tremendously strong my Jen. It is indeed a difficult chat to have, moving into aged care that is. Leaving one’s home is that shift from comfort zone to the unknown. I hope mum does hear the conversation, eventually. Your patience, (no matter how angry mum gets) is what will carry your though whenever she puts up her wall.
    Happy to see K continues with her modeling. She is simply gorgeous.
    Oh how exciting, new home. So happy for B and her husband
    Love you, will write soon, don’t worry about replying, have lots to say – my news.

    • Thank you darling, yes 64 years of what I have seen as wedded bliss…happy you like her hair too. She rarely does it now, saying who looks at old ladies now anyway. My patience is wearing very thin though, as hard as I try to remain it. It’s such a tough disease and carers and family have it tough, let alone those who suffer. K isn’t in to modelling yet, 😞 waiting to be recognised, not having or been in to any agencies, I don’t know what will happen next. She needs work badly. Thank you for the compliment. Yes B and E are super excited, as I am for them. I look forward to your email darling. Love you too xxx

  5. Hi lovely, friend- look at your parents. They are adorable. Why does aging have to come with such a hefty price? It seems after so much living, they should be able to age quietly. God bless you for all you and your brother are doing for them. K looks absolutely beautiful in he photos. Surely a break is on the horizon.

    • Hello lovely, how sweet of you. As I said butter wouldn’t melt in that photo would it? Yes at times, I think if we were able to be born old and die younger their would be more dignity. I wish there was a break for her, she isnt winning on any front at the moment sadly. Hugs B πŸ’™

  6. Enter your comment here…Hang in there Jen. I think your decision to put your parents in a living situation better equipped to deal with their specific needs is sensible and essential all round for everybody. It’s heavy hard work physically AND emotionally. It’s admirable you and your brother are working so hard and giving so much for these two special people. Loved the pics of your daughter too πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Trace, I know it’s the best, it’s just going to be very tough getting her there, when and if we find them a place together. They are special, as all parents are and we must do what we can for as long as we can. Thank you, I shall pass that on to her. πŸ’š

  7. I am so overwhelmed, just through reading the details of your days of helping out the Penguins, Jen! I would be exhausted and I certainly admire your helping out, allowing brother to have a much needed break. My brothers are like yours, they are sometimes the ones who are ‘in the trenches,’ with my youngest brother being the one who manages Mom’s money and grocery shopping and my ‘oldest’ (he is 18 months younger than I but I use this expression to designate his place as older than my little brother) is the one who ‘hangs out’ with Mom, eats dinner at her Senior Living apts. and who is one who watches t.v. with her. They found out, I may had told you, that this place she stays was 1/2 the price from if she lived close by me. This happened almost 3 years ago, but Mom wrote me this week: “I am a prisoner here. Why did you and the ‘boys’ take my car away?” She has a calendar where she can go on a bus to grocery stores, drug stores (you may call them pharmacies?) and clothing malls. She could go out to church, to dinner or lunch with ‘clubs’ formed where she lives… on and on, she has a lovely place to live. I am not sympathetic with her, nor do I argue with her, I write back positive messages 2 x a week and try to not get too upset about her wandering off, last Fall, in 30 degree weather, without a coat or her dog. It was coinciding with my youngest brother’s trip to California where he and his wife visited with her son, daughter in law and son. The ‘adopted’ stepfamily of my brother’s is one I am so happy he has, since my Mom has been one challenge after another. She lives across the street from him, so she ‘knows’ when she can upset him dearly. Sorry to hear, but can relate to some of the ‘mess’ or challenges you and your brother must handle. My hugs and sympathy are with you, also with your parents who must feel sad to know they are declining. It is a tough situation, Jen. Hugs, love and kisses, my sweet Jen!

    • It is exhausting! My hat is off to your brothers and you. Tough times, tough measures. Many challenges. Many more to undertake. I stupidly keep thinking that what I say to her will ‘sink in’ that she will understand, but sadly and you know..it doesnt πŸ˜’ the battles will still remain, I just have to learn to curb what I say too. It is sad, it breaks my heart, but my brother and I have to remain strong now and try and move them as easily and painlessly as possible. Hugs to you darling and thank,young for your support πŸ’š xx

      • I try to stay positive that I would rather have my ‘wacky’ mom than not. This helps bring me back to my senses, Jen! Hugs and you are most welcome and thank YOU for helping to listen to all I poured out here. Love the green heart, like an ecological warm one!

  8. never a dull moment, jen. though i know you could use a few dull moments. keep moving forward and rest whenever you can. you are an amazing person.

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