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More parental health problems

August 10th, 2012 at 07:10 am

It has been a really crazy week, both professionally and personally.

My mother is still having issues with the arthritis, but at least it doesn't seem like absolute crisis mode. She has started physical therapy. I don't know how physical therapy will alleviate arthritis pain, but that's what the doctor ordered.

In the meantime, I got a call yesterday from my dad's significant other that my dad wasn't doing so well. He will never talk much about his macular degeneration, but she thinks it's getting worse, that he can't see the details of someone's face unless they're standing right in front of him. and he's still driving. And she thinks he's depressed. He also broke up with her.

I made arrangements to go see him in New Jersey this weekend. I'll stay the night and then come back next day. My goal is to 1. Cheer him up, and 2. Have "the talk."

"The talk" has to do with urging him to give up driving before he hurts himself or others. I don't know how to have that conversation with him but I have to try. We've talked before and he's said it's going to be very hard to give up driving. At that time, I tried to focus on practical ways of getting around not driving, like thinking about people in his life who could take him grocery shopping. The local senior center might have transportation.

The problem is that he has 4 kids, and none of live near him on the Jersey shore. My 2 half-brothers are closer, about an hour and a half away, but the one brother just had a baby with his wife and i don't think they seem him that often.

My dad's the polar opposite of my mother. My mom will readily complain and vent about her health issues while my dad puts on a cheerful demeanor and volunteers much about how he's doing unless you ask and dig for details.

Yesterday also I wrote a long letter and mailed it to my sister, basically asking her to step up to the plate and be more supportive to my mother. I also asked her to commit to calling dad, as I have, at least once a week.

Aside from worrying about my parents, things have been rather crazy workwise.

The policy and procedures manual for the power washing company is halfway done, which is great, and thankfully he paid me the balance due me today, but we need to get started on the other portions of it before I get totally absorbed in the huge new project for the PR agency.

I told him it'd be great if we could talk Sunday night.

Then there's the press release I want to get out today for my real estate client. It's ready to go but I need the go-ahead; there was one guy I could not get a hold of and was rude enough to tell my client i could call him (again) last night, but again he failed to pick up the phone. Good riddance, I give up.

The PR firm job turned out not to be re-writing an annual report at all. It's writing a brochure for the same NY state agency.

This looks like it's going to be a huge job and i'm a little worried about how i'll do as i'm completely unfamiliar with the agency or what they do. They have pointed me toward a half dozen different things, including the annual report, that i can use as source material to write the brochure, but there's a lot to absorb. They have a 50 page document just on their brand and how things should be expressed. So I'm in the process of printing stuff out so I can take it to my dad's with me and read it all over the weekend, but of course, a lot of their stuff is printed online so that if you try to print it out on your printer, it comes out gray scale or very tiny so I can't read it. Copying it all onto a word document would be very time-consuming, but since i don't have a laptop, I would like to print it out.

On a completely unrelated note, here's a pretty good T. rowe Price article on preparing for retirement and at the end shows different scenarios based on 3 different people retiring at different times.


5 Responses to “More parental health problems”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Good luck. Even if the talk goes badly, you will know that you tried your best. That is really rough; straight talk is not part of my family dynamic and I feel I have to dance around everything. (Well, with my parents and siblings anyway. It's NOT part of my nuclear-family dynamic; we try to approach everything directly because we agree the other way isn't healthy.)

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I hope that your conversation with your dad goes well.

  3. Analise Says:

    I think New Jersey is one of those states that has no restrictions for license renewals by elderly drivers. But there are some programs out there to help elderly drivers. It's good to bring your sister into the loop... she needs to pitch in and help. Good luck!

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    My dad just naturally stopped driving when he felt himself not capable. I think it will be harder when it becomes my mother's turn. So far she's doing okay, but I am keeping a sharp eye on it.

  5. Jerry Says:

    It might seem counterintuitive, but physical activity can lead to better outcomes with arthritis in many cases, so it could be well worth trying. I hope that you have some insurance of things going a little smoother with family and other frustrations! Good luck.

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