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Going to be MIA for a while

unbaked's picture

Yesterday afternoon, shortly after my last post here, I got a call from my brother informing me that my 84 year old father was in the hospital because he had.....a motorcycle accident???????....yup.


He doesn't remember a thing, so I don't know the details yet, but he was hit by a car. Thank the Lord he was wearing a helmet. He has a broken pelvis & a lot of bumps and scratches and he scrambled his brains just a bit, even with the helmet.


He failed all the cognitive tests given 3 days ago (he was misdialing my phone number for 5 DAYS..the hospital didn't have the sense to dial the phone themselves when my dad couldn't draw a clock face for them???). Anyway, he is improving now that the concussion is wearing off and they moved him to a rehab facility yesterday.


My car needs a new clutch, so I'm not going to be able to leave here until Thursday night or Friday morning. I don't know how long I'll be there, but the nurse insinuated that he's not going to be able to live alone anymore. I concur, but telling him will be a fun job.


Dear old Dad, the genius, has finally started to regress. He can still multiply two 3 digit numbers together in his head, but he can't make decisions such as not riding a motorcycle when you gave up your license 9 years ago because you couldn't handle your scooter anymore.


Until I can get there, my brother will be there, hopefully they won't have killed each other before I arrive, sigh.


My brother lives only 2 hours from my dad, he never even tried to call him, le grand sigh.


Please say some prayers for Dad & me, too :)


'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

MadMom's picture

(post #52017, reply #1 of 76)

You have lots of prayers, good thoughts, and hugs.  I'm afraid it tickles me that your Dad had a motorcycle accident...good for him for still doing such things at his age.  I hope that he feels much better soon.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

suz's picture

(post #52017, reply #2 of 76)

Positive energy being sent to you and your dad....

Jean's picture

(post #52017, reply #3 of 76)

geez louise---poor fellow.  Prayers for healing and patience. :)


What was the best thing before sliced bread?



http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
msm-s's picture

(post #52017, reply #4 of 76)

((Hugs)).
If someone our dads' age wants to live a little, even though it's dangerous to them, let 'em go for it. unfortunately, motorvehicles could hurt or kill others, so it's a scary and worrisome thing.

am sending good vibes and prayers for your father's healing, and for him to have the sense to stay off the roads. (dirt biking is a whole different option though!) :-)

dorcast's picture

(post #52017, reply #5 of 76)

I'll be thinking of you and your father.
As the daughter of an almost 84 year old, I do admire the youthful spirit that got him on the motorcycle to begin with. Hopefully that will help him heal quickly.

Marcia's picture

(post #52017, reply #6 of 76)

Hugs and prayers are coming your way. It's not easy, but you'll manage well, I know.

It is amusing that your dad was riding a motorcycle at his age, but could that have been the result of impairment? Whatever, have a safe trip.

leonap's picture

(post #52017, reply #7 of 76)

Prayers and good thoughts for your father and you. Bless your heart. Have a safe trip. We'll miss you. My DFIL recently wrecked his four-wheeler (for the second time), broke his femur pretty badly, fractured ribs and scrapes. No serious head injury, thankfully. Why does a 74 yo man who can't tie his own shoes have a four-wheeler, you ask? Why to round up the cows with, of course. DBIL took the four-wheeler to his house.

MadMom's picture

(post #52017, reply #8 of 76)

Sounds like my DH, who is almost 73.  He wants a four-wheeler to run around his "property" (all five acres of it, LOL) and also to ride down to get the newspaper in the mornings.  At the moment, he probably burns a gallon of gas just getting the newspaper every day, poor baby.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Jean's picture

(post #52017, reply #9 of 76)

We have a battery operated golf cart with a trailer and use it for everything around here from hauling gardening stuff to taking joy-rides around the 9 acres.  Love it.


ETA I don't like the way you make almost 73 sound so old!



What was the best thing before sliced bread?



http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/


Edited 3/10/2009 2:41 pm ET by Jean

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
unbaked's picture

(post #52017, reply #11 of 76)

A golf cart or 4 wheeler would be fine for him if he weren't trying to negotiate heavy traffic in a major city.


Apparently he had a closed head injury & he's continuing to fail his cognitive tests, I'm getting concerned. The therapist told me that most of the damage is to the left frontal area, which controls a lot of that.


Oh my. Dad is such an intellectual, this must be killing him.


'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

kathymcmo's picture

(post #52017, reply #12 of 76)

I am so sorry that he has had to go through this and hope that when you get there you'll find some improvement. Remember to take good care of yourself too! Sending good thoughts your way.

MadMom's picture

(post #52017, reply #13 of 76)

OOOOPS!  Certainly didn't mean to make that sound old, since I'm only about 5 years behind him.  Actually, now that I think of it, he's almost 74...is that better?  How time flies when you reach a certain age.  Of course, you and I wouldn't know, because we're only 39, right?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

unbaked's picture

(post #52017, reply #10 of 76)

Thanks everyone. He's in a pretty foul mood, basically telling me not to bug him by calling him every day..omgosh, he must be okay, lol.


I'm upset by the motorcycle because he lives in downtown San Diego, not out in the country & he could have killed someone or himself. I need to call the San Diego PD to find out exactly what happened, but the nurse at the rehab center says that he was hit by a car.


He's not willing to give me any answers as to why he didn't tell anyone about having it, well, gee, I guess that's because we'd have insisted he stop riding it. He remembers enough to be able to tell me that he was turning left on 9th & University, which is a VERY VERY busy intersection.


He was a horrible driver when he was young & only got worse as he aged. The thing is that he voluntarily gave up his license about 9 years ago, no one pushed him into it. So being out on the street with no license or insurance is an indication that his judgement is starting to slip a bit. He would have flayed either of us children for doing that.


Anyway, they say he'll be out in a week or so, whether or not he'll be able to live on his own anymore is still up in the air. His intention is to continue and most of his concern today was getting the cycle out of impound (oh for goodness' sake!!!!). This isn't going to be easy. My father is a genius who's starting to lose his cognitive abilities and is fiercely independent. He's been covering it up quite well, but when faced with tests, he blew them pretty badly, so his ego is also bruised.


 


'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

Jillsifer's picture

(post #52017, reply #14 of 76)

Prayers for all concerned--of course.


PLEASE, I live about 90 minutes north of San Diego. If I can help in any way, or even if you  just want to flee the scene and have coffee and whine for an hour, contact me.


 


 


It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

knitpik's picture

(post #52017, reply #15 of 76)

I'm so sorry to hear this. Your father and you will be in my thoughts
and prayers. {{{hugs}}}

nexus's picture

(post #52017, reply #16 of 76)

I 'm really sorry to hear of your Dad's accident and wish him a speedy recovery.


That said, I also get a huge kick out of him getting on a motorcycle and taking off. What a spirit!


Cheryl

unbaked's picture

(post #52017, reply #17 of 76)

I can certainly understand that his spirit is to be admired, I'd be saying the same thing if he weren't my father.


Looking into assisted living places is going to be very depressing. I hope that I can manage to convince him to come live with me.


I will NEVER EVER EVER put him into a nursing home, but assisted living will just provide him with the level of care he needs, which isn't much..just some meals & transportation & someone to make sure he doesn't buy a Harley. :P


'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

TracyK's picture

(post #52017, reply #18 of 76)

I am sorry to hear about your dad... but take heart -- not all assisted living places are depressing. And the gentlemen-to-ladies ratio is WAY in his favor, if that holds any sway. ;-)


Seriously though, there are some very nice assisted living places these days. The first place my grandmother moved into was more like a social club or a college dorm.



"I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."
                                                            --Gertrude Stein

unbaked's picture

(post #52017, reply #19 of 76)

Yes, from what I've seen they're very nice. IF he can afford it. The one I contacted was $1,200 a month for a shared apartment. They said that the VA will pay at least part of it, but it takes 6 months AFTER he moves in for it to pay & they won't wait.


That is most of his income, so I don't know how we'll swing it.


At least the VA pays retroactively, but I have no idea what % they pay & the woman wasn't very forthcoming about that, which was suspicious.


I would feel okay about him being there, they provide balanced meals, which he really hasn't been getting enough of & he can keep his dog, which is very important.


Now to just convince him that it can be done. Without any information from the VA, I don't know what we'll do.


He has virtually no savings left. The last big recession took care of his investments & he's just been struggling along on his SS & 78 dollars a month in pensions.


Donnie & I are living paycheck to paycheck, my brother has liver problems, so I'm hoping my aunt and uncle can kick in a bit, but they have lost a lot in the market.


Le Ginormous Sigh.


I just have to believe that the Lord will provide.


'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

TracyK's picture

(post #52017, reply #20 of 76)

Does medicare cover any of that? Does he have Alzheimers? Perhaps there's some kind of elder care group home that might be more cost efficient?



"I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."
                                                            --Gertrude Stein

unbaked's picture

(post #52017, reply #21 of 76)

No alzheimer's, just aging. Medicare doesn't cover assisted living facilities from what I understand.


He'll be able to walk & care for himself, he just needs a bit of supervision.


I understand that we might be able to get someone to come in or get him Meals on Wheels, but that would just turn him into a shut-in, the last thing I want to happen. I'll strap him to my back & carry him to TX before I let that happen.


Maybe if I phrase it just right, he'll agree to come here (snort). Since he already thinks that we're headed for another Great Depression (he's not alone in that, I know), maybe I can convince him that we need the financial help he could provide if he lived with us. (he's slowing down, but he's not brain-dead, arrggh).


 


'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

msm-s's picture

(post #52017, reply #22 of 76)

Most insurance plans that do cover this sort of situation have an awful catch (as I've found out with my folks).
Once you start using it for in-home help or for a facility, the clock starts ticking. The coverage often lasts for X amount of time (2 years in my parents' case) or X dollar amount; whichever comes first, no matter how much or little assistance they need. Fine, but most likely if they continue to live for another 10 or 15 yrs, they will be in need of more help or medical attention, and if they've used up their coverage they'll be paying full price out of their own pockets. so, it's best to try to get by in the early days paying yourself for lower-cost help, like a maid service or inexpensive sitters who are just there if something happens. Because when the day comes that they need help eating and bathing, that'swhat you want to save your insurance for.
It's a complex business and all policies are not alike, also, they sound pretty reasonable (or vague) when you set them up. It's not until you need to start using them that it really hits you what a gamble it is to start using them.
Good luck and more ((hugs)).

mulch52's picture

(post #52017, reply #26 of 76)

Oh, good luck to you...your Dad sounds much like mine (when you said he'd been a poor driver when younger, I thought we'd been separated at birth).  I think Gretchen's given you somee good food for thought, as in consider ALL your options.  You might also consider talking on your own with the hospital social workers--my family found them to be very helpful, with lots of information about what's available locally, a real boon when you're coming in from out of town.


And be sure to take some breathing room for yourself!


Edited 3/10/2009 8:32 pm ET by mulch52

leonap's picture

(post #52017, reply #28 of 76)

When you get to the hospital, ask the nurses who you need to talk to. I would think there would be some sort of Social Services department to help you sort through all this. You might want to ask your Dad to sign a temporary Power of Attorney which I think the VA will require before they will talk to you without your Dad being present. If you are sure you and your husband can handle having your Dad live with you, you might suggest he come stay on a trial basis which might put his mind to ease as regards to giving up his independence.

Lastly, there are assisted living places that have stages of care which change as needed. Your Dad could have as much independence as he can handle but help only minutes away. Lots of socializing and planned events for him to enjoy.

Best wishes and remember to take care of yourself.

Gary's picture

(post #52017, reply #55 of 76)

I agree with Gretchen. Loss of judgment, failing those cognitive tests, impaired memory, and the changing behavior are not signs of aging. Please consider that he needs to be evaluated for a form of dementia.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dementia/DS01131/METHOD=print

The people who gave us golf and called it a game are the same people who gave us bag pipes and called it music and haggis and called it food.

Gretchen's picture

(post #52017, reply #56 of 76)

And Gary's comment about "a form of dementia" is right on. There are many, and AD can be the best of the lot, believe it or not. At least with AD there may be some medication that can somewhat help, and there is more "in the pipeline".  He might even qualify for a drug test, since he hasn't been on any others.

But in any case, he needs to be evaluated so that you actually KNOW what the prognosis is.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Jillsifer's picture

(post #52017, reply #59 of 76)

a form of dementia


Currently accepting suggestions on how to get my mom to CONSIDER thinking about the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there might be a shred of truth to the assertion that she, too, COULD be aging a bit. She'll be 80 in August.


I'm seeing very early signs of memory loss, confusion, and (most disturbing) her "knowing" things with her usual stubborn certainty--except the things she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt aren't true.


So far, what she "knows" is small, inconsequential stuff--like what we decided to do about an Easter meal (she "knew" I suggested a cold buffet late in the afternoon, but I didn't), when we're having the chicken quarters with tomatoes (we never discussed when, just the idea that we liked it), and things like that. It's weird--it's like she's recounting conversations or planning discussions that she deeply believes we had--but we didn't.


So, seriously, what first steps DO I take? I can't MAKE her discuss it with her doctor, I can't visit the doctor with her unless she allows me to, I can't call her doctor on my own to discuss what's worrying me (HIPAA) and . . . ?????


 


 


Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

Gretchen's picture

(post #52017, reply #60 of 76)

Has she had a physical recently?  Should start there. And I think you may have to be firm with her about coming along. A doctor depends on the history, and when this begins, she should be accompanied. Honest, Aricept has gotten some bad publicity, but it truly can make it a possibility of holding to where the patient is. An earlier diagnosis is so much better than none or late.


There is a difference between "memory loss" and "recall".


DH cited a statistic long ago that the person most likely to "diagnose" AD or such was the daughter in law. You may not have the possibility of someone who is detached, but sees her often enough to notice changes. And indeed, you seem to have done it yourself.


I hope you can work this out.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Jillsifer's picture

(post #52017, reply #61 of 76)

You may not have the possibility of someone who is detached, but sees her often enough to notice changes.


I really appreciate your concern and suggestions. I think I'll have to "make" her allow me to come to the doctor with her for her next physical. (Heh.) I'll report from my bed in intensive care about how THAT battle went. ;-)


And my friend Mary, who is almost another daughter to her, lives down the street and sees her once or twice a week. She'd be the best candidate--she knows and loves my mom but still has that bit of needed detachment.


And indeed, you seem to have done it yourself.


But I do have an emotional/personal investment there, so am undoubtedly the worst possible person to be an objective observer . . .


Thanks, Gretchen.


 


 


Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

MadMom's picture

(post #52017, reply #62 of 76)

Jill...just be sure the doctor is on your side and has been thoroughly briefed about what to look for.  I called my Mom's doctor, who was also my doctor and a wonderful physician, and told him I was concerned about her.  Made an appointment to see him, and told Mom it was the doctor's idea.  Then when we got there, the doctor looked my Mom in the eye and said "Sharon said she was concerned about you..."  Things went downhill from there. 


I do think Mary would be a good one to ask.  Tell her I said hi, too.




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!