Caring for aging/sick parents
A lot of us in this stage of life (55-70), especially in the 50’s age decade, have parents that are 80’s or 90’s. My Dad died at 79 suddenly at Christmas in 2011, and my Mom just turned 80. Having had breast cancer surgery and chemo 12 years ago, for 11 years after that she was free of it, or so we thought. Now we know it was just in remission, in some small way outside the masectomy area, and last summer it was found again in the bones. The first round of her medicines weren’t doing much for her, so that the doctors suggested she go on a trial treatment. We’ve been on that since March, and my Mom has been on a real roller coaster in her reactions to the treatment. MOst of that rollercoaster has been emotional, but she has had drastic swings in physical mobility and general health as well. It didn’t help matters that she had fallen and broken her hip in October 2012 (possibly a preview of the cancer showing up in her bones).
My sister has taken in her in quite often for long stretches since late February when the news of the returned cancer was heard, and we’ve been concerned for her general coping and physical mobility ever since. She uses a walker some days, and on other days she is getting around slowly but relatively steadily. But in the past 3 weeks we’ve been working on decisions about where she needs to be living now, and her house/condo where she and my Dad lived from 2006 -2011 has been sold since she can no longer live there without daily or hourly attention. She has been there by her self for 2 plus years, amidst some extended periods of living at my sister’s who lives 40 minutes from her (I live 40 minutes from my Mom’s place, 20 minutes from my sister.
So now we’re in the moving stage, and deciding on what her place of residence will be long term with the time she has left, which is totally uncertain. I post a lot more frequently of late about elderly caregiving, knowing there are certainly many other “Sciddy age” folks dealing with similar matters. The most liekly scenario is that my sister and her husband are moving their bedroom upstairs and adding to that another “master bath” and letting my Mom move in to their master suite (room and bathroom and entryway just have the main room on the main floor). But that could change. We’re still deciding. Today would have been my Dad’s 82nd birthday, but Mom seemed not outwardly emotionally fragile, which although I’m sure she was “feeling it”, she seemed to be “coping” well.
Any of you with experiences/thoughts on this , it’s always good to have an online place to tell stories like this, and this seems like a frequent and significant experience we can share here. Other than that, have a happy fourth!