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Getting Old Sucks
Old 1st October 2019
Getting Old Sucks

Usually I'm moaning about how getting on the floor is a one-way trip these days, but this time I'm talking about my mother that lives with me. She's in her seventies and she's got some sort of dementia/Alzheimer's thing going on, but of course she won't see a doctor about it. Not that I can blame her, because I'd be stubborn as hell in my old age but still... Explaining things she already knew how to do like getting her car out of park or showing her how to change the channels on her remote is frustrating, but I've learned to offset that and have fun with it by reintroducing things to her that I'm excited about and know she won't remember. ("You wrote a book!? You wrote this!?")

Today's frustration with her really sucks, though. We're having to scrounge money together to get her car out of repo because... she's been forgetting to pay the loan company for four months. She'd have extra money at the end of the month and end up spending it because it slipped her mind to pay for the car. To be fair, for a long-winded and off-topic reason, the monthly bill has been sent to Florida, but still, it should have aroused suspicions when she had an extra $300 at the end of every month.

It sucks because of the hassle involved (my poor wife has lost so much sleep helping her deal with this during the day when she should be in bed), but it's mostly a kick in the balls because my mom used to be a fiery and passionate bitch. Now she's so timid and frail physically and psychologically. I hate seeing her like this.

So what's you guys' aging frustrations either personally or with someone you know?
Old 1st October 2019
Lives for gear
My mom's been gone more than 5 years now - and it leaves a hole! So, cherish every single moment. Fill her life with patience, kindness, understanding and love.

Sometimes we can't [or at least, I couldn't] figure out in the moment exactly what to do. But the compelling clear objective is that we do our best. Give. . .

Wishing you and your family every good thing,

Ray H.
Old 1st October 2019
Lives for gear
robert82's Avatar
I can't imagine having to deal with all that. You're a good man. My mom made it to 92 and only had dementia in the last year or so.

I lost both my brothers this last couple years. Most of my friends are in their 60s 70s and 80s. You start wondering who's gonna go next. But besides my hips going out and ongoing heart disease, my life's pretty good.

Take care, man. Get whatever good you can out of each day.
Old 1st October 2019
Originally Posted by Derp View Post
So what's you guys' aging frustrations either personally or with someone you know?
My mom had Alzheimers. She'd had lymphoma and been given three months to live ten years earlier, so she's no slouch. But with dementia, it's an awful thing to watch your mom disappear in front of your eyes.

She had resources, which helps a lot. She moved from her house to an apartment after the lymphoma, and moved to a retirement residence when early Alzheimers symptoms started. It was downhill from there, and pretty fast. The Alzheimers floor in a retirement residence is a painful place to visit, though I saw one beautiful thing that I will always remember.

After one particularly bad flare-up she'd had enough and refused to eat. I was the one who had to tell the doctors at the hospital not to feed her as my sister/co-executor couldn't do it. My kids and I were the people that found my mom dead. Another thing you'll never forget.

Hopefully your mom has you (maybe other sibs too) as executors/powers of attorney. If she's intestate, get the legal work done now. You should seriously consider exercising your power of attorney for finances and take over paying your mom's bills. Power of attorney for personal care is another thing to come. Having a care provider to do housework and attendant care wouild be good too. A retirement residence may be in order some day, but people really go downhill there. Having money really helps (and we're not rich- just very very good savers).
Old 1st October 2019
Lives for gear
chet.d's Avatar

I sincerly feel for you and, with you. It's generally a inexcapable part of getting into ones 50's, 60's etc. The only seemingly true lesson of appreciable significance I can speak of is the hidden blessings of value and perspective gained via being of help to someone.

My wife and I never saw it coming when we were the only option of help for my Dad, and his wife who was exponentially falling into a dementia state.
The ensuing years were often tough, angering, fatiguing and again, with hidden gifts only gained through being of use to another. It in my case, helped dramatically that my wife is Indonesian and very much steeped in the importance of family as asian cultures mostly are.
Still, I wanted to point out that almost invariable through the difficulty of all this, there can be real value gained.

I'll just try to keep it succinct and say that my Dad died a few months ago. He had a tough battle with health issues and it got to feel like he was finally free. I know he saw it that way. He was like many parents having kids at an early age, not good at the Sisyphean undertaking of parenting. Many childhood born issues etc etc.
Yet still, and after a lifetime of feeling various degrees of hurt and resentment towards my parents, in the end he gave me a gift I could have never imagined would be so powerful. That is, in so far as how he attempted to express how much it meant to him that we tried the best we could to be of help.

Just wanted to chime in as I appreciate your sincerity and it hits close to home here.

On a related note that brings me some comfort and fwiw... I Just recently read two things that hit me hard that were spoken by some music folks many of us admire.

Patty Smith touchingly said...

- She believes that when people close to you die, you absorb what you most admire in them. “It’s like they leave a little gift,” she says.
- After her husband died, in 1994, she returned to New York, with places in downtown Manhattan and Rockaway Beach, and picked up her career. She once bought her husband a mauve iridescent Valentino shirt because she missed him so much and knew he would have loved it.


Tom Waits wise words...

- Getting old ain’t for sissies.
Old 1st October 2019
Lives for gear
chet.d's Avatar

Originally Posted by robert82 View Post

Take care, man. Get whatever good you can out of each day.

All good thoughts shared thus far. Quoted for the power of it's ultimate truth. This ^

I like to think that if one is fortunate enough to leave some beautful sounds floating around this place before they depart, that ain't a bad thing too.
Old 14th October 2019
Gear Maniac
tweekyboo's Avatar

My dad slowly lost his faculties about 5 years ago, with my mom covering up for him, so we weren't aware of just how bad it had got.

Eventually it got too much much for her and he is in permanent care now.

It is heartbreaking, but try to make use of whatever support is available. My mom qualified for extra help at home through a government program. She is very devoted and visits him every single day in a nursing home, but he can't even speak any more. She gives him company and feeds him.

Make sure that while supporting your mom that you also support yourself and your own mental health, this is vital.
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