We had a nice conversation and I told him that I'd been thinking about University House (this is true - it's been on my mind lately) and wondered if he had any additional thoughts about it He of course said no and asked why? I mentioned again that I really liked the environment and thought he'd be happy there as I was able to just walk up to folks and start talking with them and I know (from repeated personal experience :) that he loves to do that.
He said if it came to the point where he truly couldn't take care of himself, then something like University House would be the way to go. At this point I decided to tell him that every time I tell someone the scenario where someone else is making the decisions and the meals and arranging for health care they say "Sign me up!" He laughed in acknowledgement, and said "Well you know your father has always been fiercely independent."
Now once in a while when I'm talking to him, some wild inspiration hits me and I channel someone who actually makes sense (can't decide if I'm channeling a therapist or a spin doctor.) I said "You know I was thinking about that, and honestly I think you've earned a break. Why not let someone else take the burden now? You really have earned it. I mean that." He heard that, but said "but it's so hard to fight that ethic" (paraphrase - I don't remember the exact wording.) and I said something like "Why try to convince yourself? Just let it happen." I mean it's not like some grand supreme court decision has to be made first (I didn't say that but only thought of it now.) I do think he heard that and I think I'll use that as a theme for the future. "Let us help you - you've earned it." Of course if it was me I'd say that I also have every right to be contrary which is quite true but things get dicey when you're talking about Mom's care.
Earlier in the phone call, he also volunteered before I ever said anything, that he is getting help for Mom so he could get a 4 hour break on Friday. I said "Great! Who's the agency." He said it was an individual. I knew he meant Gina but got him to say it anyway. I asked if Gina was really ok with that as she's been having trouble with her back. And he said that they were able to negotiate that. Gina won't have to lift Mom or anything. (I didn't ask who is going to help Mom with baths.) I asked if Gina could then in turn find someone to help herwith Mom if she needed it, and he said "Yes."
I or Anne or Tom should probably call Gina to make sure she's really ok with this.
Dad's also figured out (Tom actually point blank tells him) that Tom and Anne put me up to convincing him of things and he actually thinks it's funny and freely acknowledges that I can talk him into things that they can't. Though I did mention for completeness that this phone call was my idea and not theirs. :)
I have so many friends who are going through this, or have gone through this. My parents are still doing well, but we can sort of start to see it on the horizon. Yesterday, my dad helped me haul bricks from their back yard to my van. Both parents assembled quite a big meal for 11 family members (including themselves), and they seemed to be their usual bickering selves, just mom slower and having trouble with the arthritis everywhere.
Make a liar out of me. I was just telling folks that no one read the nondogblog since it's usually so deadly dull. :)
Post a Comment