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Thread: Mega Caring for Elderly Parents thread

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    Veteran Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    Mega Caring for Elderly Parents thread

    The flip side of Parenting megathread

    This is about caring for elderly parents.

    In my situation, my dad died at the end of August and because my mom has advanced Parkinson's disease, she could not continue to live at home. She needs a wheelchair and so she can't drive. Her mind is failing. She gets terribly confused doing things that she has done all off her life. She can't make Mac-n-chesse without messing it up.

    When my dad died I got a week off from work. Then my wife stayed with her another week. We were rushing to get her into a place where she could be safe as we have no room at all in our house to hae her live with us and she'd need to go up and down stairs.

    We got her into a place about an hour and a half away on Cape Cod. Her sister is there and it's a good place.

    But the problems are never ending. She can't use her manual wheel chair. She is wiggling and squirming so much she falls out. She has no strength to move herself any more. We found her a simple electric wheel chair that she can drive with a joystick. But she is constantly getting confused and stuck in doorways. We had to cover up the speed dial and instructional stickers because she'd confuse the speed control with the joystick and the stickers with buttons to press.

    She will need to charge the wheelchair every so often but she can't remember what the charge lights mean. In the image below Green Green, Orange Orange and Red mean full charge. She needs to charge it when it gets close to only a red showing. But she can't remember!

    And I've tried 100 times working with her on how to plug the charger wire in. She can't remember where the charger socket is. She tries to plug the charging cable into a screw on the side! SHe'll get it right once and immediately after forget how to do it! I suppose we can figure out how to get the assisted living staff to charge the thing when it needs it but it's all so frustrating. I understand that it's not my mom's fault. It's the Parkinson's. I am not so much frustrated with her than that I feel so freaking helpless to help her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyfingers View Post
    The flip side of Parenting megathread

    This is about caring for elderly parents.

    In my situation, my dad died at the end of August and because my mom has advanced Parkinson's disease, she could not continue to live at home. She needs a wheelchair and so she can't drive. Her mind is failing. She gets terribly confused doing things that she has done all off her life. She can't make Mac-n-chesse without messing it up.

    When my dad died I got a week off from work. Then my wife stayed with her another week. We were rushing to get her into a place where she could be safe as we have no room at all in our house to hae her live with us and she'd need to go up and down stairs.

    We got her into a place about an hour and a half away on Cape Cod. Her sister is there and it's a good place.

    But the problems are never ending. She can't use her manual wheel chair. She is wiggling and squirming so much she falls out. She has no strength to move herself any more. We found her a simple electric wheel chair that she can drive with a joystick. But she is constantly getting confused and stuck in doorways. We had to cover up the speed dial and instructional stickers because she'd confuse the speed control with the joystick and the stickers with buttons to press.

    She will need to charge the wheelchair every so often but she can't remember what the charge lights mean. In the image below Green Green, Orange Orange and Red mean full charge. She needs to charge it when it gets close to only a red showing. But she can't remember!

    And I've tried 100 times working with her on how to plug the charger wire in. She can't remember where the charger socket is. She tries to plug the charging cable into a screw on the side! SHe'll get it right once and immediately after forget how to do it! I suppose we can figure out how to get the assisted living staff to charge the thing when it needs it but it's all so frustrating. I understand that it's not my mom's fault. It's the Parkinson's. I am not so much frustrated with her than that I feel so freaking helpless to help her.
    It does seem as though this is something the staff could ensure happens and happens safely. Possibly it could simply be recharged on a set schedule? Easier for your mom and staff to do.

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    Veteran Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    I hope so. Mom says one of the helpers plugged it in to charge last night.

    I'll be visiting tomorrow with some simple usage instructions for the wheel chair my daughter made. Lots of pictures and arrows and instructions in balloons. We are going to also use some modeling paint to note things and highlight the power socket. She confuses the power socket with a screw hole not far from it.

    Then we go out to buy a new bed mattress for her.

    Her handwriting is so bad that she can't read a phone number she wrote down. I wonder if there is a way we can get her a printer that we can print to over the internet so that we can make notes for her and print them from our home.

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