Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tough Choices in Life.

Dice, Die, Purple, Game, Play, Gaming  My father had a stroke last week Thursday. They kept him in the hospital for a couple days before releasing him. He is fortunate, it was a small stroke but there are a few things we notice that are different. Although he is on medicine, the doctors have stated he may not drive again.  The logic is simply he could have another stroke or heart attack and that would be disastrous. 

So now, the family is faced with choices of how to handle this.  Right now, people are looking into Meals on Wheels, possible Van Transport, and any other services he or my mother qualify for.

This is where the choices come in.  Do we try to peg together enough services so they can stay in their apartment and hope they do well, or do we look at putting them in sort of facility where they can get meals, maid service, engage in activities, or be able to go on trips because the facility has a bus.

I can tell you straight off, this is not an easy choice. I know my father would prefer to continue driving because driving represents his independence but since he can't, it is a big step that he has to accept.  He had enough trouble when they moved into an apartment in town from their house on five acres of land.  He made the move more for mom but he missed being out away from people.

He has always seen retirement homes, assisted living places, and the other choices in that area as for someone else, not for him.  I'd rather let them stay in their apartment a bit longer if we can because it over looks the ocean, allows mother to watch everyone who wanders by and isn't far from downtown.

I suspect my siblings are more into having them move to some sort of facility where they will be monitored 24 hours a day, just in case.  Maybe I don't want that because it signals the end of a time period when my father was the strong man who was always there for me.  Always willing to offer advice when I needed it.  Always willing to put me up if I needed to attend classes at the college near them. 

I know I don't want to think that some day he'll pass on.  A day that might come a lot sooner than I expected.  Its funny, I think I've always thought my dad would live forever, just like the guy on the TV show "Highlander"  Since the stroke, I now realize, he will only live a while longer. 

Since he was born, he's fought in two wars, raised four children, gone to college, become a teacher and taught till the age of 65, then worked as a sub for over 20 years more.  He has seen the world change from radio to television to streaming video. Although my mother has a computer, he's never been much for one.  He'd rather use pen and paper rather than a computer.

I see his mortality and it makes me realize, I'm mortal.  This is a hard decision for everyone in the family.  I don't know which way it will go but it will involve a lot of research and discussion.

Let me know what you think.  I'd be interested in hearing.  Have a good day.

1 comment:

  1. Very tough call Lee and I really feel for your dilemma. I think, as young people we all see residential care homes as places we go to end our days. Its something that happens to current old people with needs that make those places essential. Thing is, and you mentioned it here, it's not supposed to enter our worlds. Parents are the constant rocks since childhood, untouchable, strong and then we find life is fragile and time is not kind. Watching it happen makes mortality take a front foot. My own parents passed away some time ago; not old either. My mum from MND and my dad just wasted away afterwards, refusing help and living in the family home in a deteriorating environment. He was 200 miles away and I had very young children at the time. It was hard, but he chose the wrong path. He needed help and refused it and ended up having a fall inside that resulted in organ failure. I found out because he wasn't returning calls and I asked his neighbour to check; then got a call back from a police officer that had to break in because he was lying on the floor. Sometimes the call between living where you want to has to give way to practicality. It's never an easy one for siblings because the person concerned knows a home is the end game and may not want to accept that. It's a real painful time trying to get your head round these things. All I can offer is, if there are family close by then they can keep an eye open; if the distances a great then my experience tells you what can happen. Discussions need to be made unfortunately. We all have to do that sooner or later sadly x