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  1. Hi everyone, Just wanted to send a request for prayers and an update about my folks. Well, back in December, the Licensed Public Guardian took completely over. The past few months have been a bit of a harsh reality for my folks, for in addition to stopping our financial and physical support during the summer, they have had to cut corners and budget...which is terribly hard for someone with dementia to do. In a nutshell, this past week has been hell. I am so grateful I had the Guardian and her staff in place. On Monday my dad's criminal case came to a head. He took a plea bargain and has a 6 month sentence. He was immediately taken into custody. I got a frantic phone call from my mom late Monday night saying dad was in jail and I needed to get the car. My husband and I drove to their apartment while I had the guardian on the phone. She had NO IDEA this was happening, for the attorney hadn't been in communication with her, neither had dad. We had no idea he was taking the plea bargain and no idea it would happen this week. So. This has left Mom alone - handicapped, blind, and unable to care for herself. The Guardian has been scrambling like mad to have Home Health Care workers come in and assist her with laundry, bedding, and meals. I was there for three days this week. . . and had a couple of melt-downs myself. Tuesday, the house was a wreck, so I and the Health worker cleaned - the kitchen mostly, for I had no idea what they had to eat. Dad said he had needed to get food from the Food Bank because there was no food - but the cupboard and freezers were PACKED. Absolutely jammed full! I threw out two kitchen bags of trash and half a sink full of questionable food down the disposal. So. The guardian will place my mom into assisted living as soon as possible. What caused me to 'snap' this week was my mom's health conditions and the fact that she is in denial about it. She had a case worker come in and do a reassessment - and lied. She said she was showing improvement, NOT needing more help, contrary to my words. Tuesday when I went over, her bed sheets were full of dried waste. We pulled the sheets down to the mattress cover and had to wash it too. The bed will not be savable. I am so glad it will be disposed of - it hasn't been suitable for sleeping in years. The health care worker and I worked our tails off. The next day, I came in to find waste tracked on the carpet down the hall, into both bathrooms, and by the bed. Evidently there was an accident. Not only did she not know about it, but she didn't clean herself up. When I suggested she take a shower, I helped her undress and there was dried waste on her body...from the waste down...down her leg, and into her socks...she had waste between her toes. She assured me she could clean herself and I kept peeking to look. She did, but refused the help of the worker for bathing - something they are SKILLED to provide. I was appalled, shocked, dismayed, horrified, and any other number of terms. I sent an email to the guardian and thankfully, the health care worker showed up and dealt with it while I had a little melt down. When the guardian came later to tell her she had to move into assisted living, she refused to listen. I had to take her hands off her ears, and say, "Mama. you can't stay here. Daddy's social security is what was paying rent and your bills. It goes away while he's in prison and will take a while to get back. You don't have the money to live here. I'm sorry, but you can't live with us we don't have room and I don't have the skills to take care of you." She cried and yelled...and said it was nor fair. I don't think she said it was my fault, but it was implied. The guardian and her assistant have had a heck of a time finding a place for her because they didn't have *TIME*. They needed a few weeks and Dad didn't give them that. So. They will give last month's notice and Mom will be somewhere soon. Meanwhile do you know what nasty job is left? My parent's storage unit. Oh, yes. I knew 18 months ago that it would fall to me and I was right. Well, I'm stronger now and much better equipped to deal with it. Doesn't mean I want to. Dad has communicated that he wants a few things to go a few specific places. I will do my best to honor his request. My husband reminded me that there are people who we know that will do a day's labor here and there for a reasonable sum and I will need to employ them for I will not throw out my shoulder or damage myself in any way. The guardian asked me why I'm doing this and I told her: 1. It's the last way I can honor my parents. I wouldn't want a stranger going through my stuff. 2. I want to see all the financial papers from my childhood (which they've saved) so I can better understand why they've been so financially stupid all of my life, if there can be an explanation for such a thing. 3. There are possessions mixed in with the trash that need sorting. She understood, God bless her. I assured her that I will lay eyes on the storage this weekend and will make a plan of action and get it done. It will be sheer hell, but at least we have a month and not a week like we had cleaning their house a year and a half ago. She did remind me that I was not obligated in any way financially or time-wise. She could call in people to 'take care of things'. I asked her what that meant. She explained. Usually when someone will be moved into assisted living, they take their things with them. Anything left behind is left for the workers to keep or sell. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. So, you literally have people picking through your stuff like vultures - worse than an estate sale. I said NO. I'll deal with it. Find her a place. My husband and I will pay storage for 6 months on what personals and possessions they need to keep - like the precious things. We will pay for a small unit for 6 months. At $50, we will do that. I also realize that it will be extremely hard on my dad to come back to a different place, with different possessions, with different things. I want to save the important things for him. Also, I'm also very afraid to share this, but as strong of a person as my mom is, assisted living may do her in. Prison will age my dad. I've a very strong feeling that I can't explain that she will hang on for him, they will have a happy reunion, and then within the next year one or both of them will pass on. I can't explain it, I just sense it. I hope to God I'm wrong, but when I've had this type of 'second sight' in the past, I've always been right. So. Over the past week, I've had a couple of melt downs. I had no idea my mom's care was needing to be so intense. I had no idea Dad had covered over so much and was so enabling. I will not step into the caregiver role or rescuer. I will do what I would want someone to do for me - hold my things and respectfully pack my stuff. I will do it out of honor and respect, knowing that they are aging and may not live long. That is all I can do.
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