Just another Baby Boomer flitting through the cosmos, and I’m heading toward Planet Elderly with very mixed emotions.
Part of this blog involves what I call “Parental Journal” entries. In March of 2015 I had to quit my part-time instructor position to assist my mom. She has been Dad’s caretaker for many years and they were oblivious to his cognitive decline. I wasn’t. An infection put him into the hospital for a while and then he was transitioned to “rehab” in March followed by “respite” care. Mom was hell bent on bringing him home, but I went up in March and helped her realize how much safer Dad would be in a long-term care facility. The staff were terrified to let Dad go home with her as the only caretaker. She’s been living with the guilt ever since, and continues to resent anyone telling her she’s too little to manage all of Dad’s needs plus take care of herself and the house. On July 1, 2015 Dad turned 93; on August 16 Mom turned 89. This change in their 60-year marriage has been difficult for Mom. I’m an only child who lives 400 miles away from them…so I try to hold on to a bit of my own life in Missouri while traveling to see them frequently in Illinois. Mom is showing signs of her own problems with short-term memory loss and frequent confusion, but she is fiercely independent and refuses to consider that she has any difficulties dealing with appointments, dates, times, mail, or bank books.
The journal entries serve as part therapy, part family history, and part “case study,” though admittedly not objective.
Side note: March 2016 Mom took some tests and was assessed as having “moderate vascular dementia, possibly Alzheimer’s.”