The Job of Living

in Silver Bloggers4 months ago (edited)

You just have to get on with the job of living!

I often think of those words when the road of life gets rocky, and realize that if one were to survive and find healing, getting on with this job is the biggest gift you could give yourself!

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Living a long life can be a joy when the person remains in good health, but when ill health strikes or an accidental fall which would be nothing to a young child, but has disastrous consequences in our latter years, this comes at a price not only in monetary terms but also physically and emotionally.

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Getting on in years is a reality that has been hitting home of late as I see how my 90-year-old Mom is becoming frailer by the day. As she lives with us, the responsibility naturally is ours; she took care of me when I was growing up, so now it's my turn.
Mom however has a brain tumour which is causing major problems with her speech and mobility, it is a full-time job and super tiring, so I fully understand when families make the difficult decision to move their parents to a care facility of sorts.

I certainly do not wish to live such a long life, and although it may sound morbid, my wish would be to simply fall asleep and never wake up again, as it is awful to see a once fiercely independent parent become so fragile and helpless!

There is no perfect solution to caring for the aged, money cannot buy good health so even if money is not an issue, there is no perfect solution to this problem many of us will have to face one day!

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What are the options?

  • Retirement Homes many have frail care facilities and possibly would be a good option as one would initially make new friends who are faced with the same challenges, while still fairly fit and active, but having to move to the frail care section would still be frightening. The latter comes at a high price and is a cold and clinical environment.

  • Nursing Homes - Moving one's frail parent to a nursing home in reality tears the person away from the family unit. Being in strange surroundings must be very disorientating as everything that's familiar, gets taken away from the person; not only their possessions but also from their family. Unfortunately it's a known fact that many simply do not take the time to visit their parents which is so very wrong! Of course, if they live in another city, it's understandable with work and their own family commitments.

  • Registered Carer - Employing a registered and reliable live-in carer is ideal as the aged person remains in their own home, but this also comes at a price plus one obviously needs to have a spare bedroom or small bedsitter for the carer.
    One can also choose the daycare option which is more affordable and practical if one does not have extra living space.

  • Family take on the responsibility - not an easy option, as we're currently experiencing. It becomes extremely draining, not only physically but also mentally especially when they become ill and require round-the-clock care.
    This is where the family as a unit has to be strong and stand together to face the challenges that come with caring for the parent's basic needs.

Why did I start my post with that phrase - You just have to get on with the job of living?

One can become quite overwhelmed, but we need to realise that we need to simply change some of our routines and just get on with what needs to be done.
Slow down and make time to do the things you enjoy - in my instance blogging here on Hive, among other things, and not be too proud when friends or family offer to lend a helping hand.

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So I repeat, just get on with the job of living as it's all about attitude, as corny as that may sound!

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 4 months ago  

I love the phrase,

"You just have to get on with the job of living!"

And we certainly need to. I am with you on the thought of just sleeping peacefully when time comes. Also heard others say the same, not wanting to live long if they will only become a 'burden' to their families. I wish you great health and more strength to take good care of your mom.

 4 months ago  

Thank you so much for your sincere wishes @ifarmgirl, it just breaks my heart seeing my mom like this!

 4 months ago  

It's one of the most difficult times, seeing our loved ones getting weaker by the day. But then, we keep holding on...

 4 months ago  

I have not been keeping up with anyone, I don't even get notifications from people I know! :(

I happened upon this and you poor girl! How often do I think of you, having cared for both of my parents, while living in another State and putting my family on hold to go take care of them, bring them home with me, bring them back after a few months, stay there... My dad has Alzheimer's. My mom was just frail like your mom. I never did put them in care, and my father wouldn't let a caregiver come there, he got violent.

It's sad. It is. We all get there, but, it sneaks up on you. What you are doing out of love is still admirable. I love your heart. It is genuine and true. I never thought I would even think about a care facility, but, when it starts affecting the caregiver, such as yourself, you need to take another look. It really takes a toll.

In saying that, we all must do with what we can live with. You will make the right choice for yourself and for your mom, but, please, please, don't be a hero. You need to continue to live and be in good health too. It is a hard decision.

Much love to you!xoxo

 4 months ago  

Thank you so much Denise, your parents are/were blessed to have a daughter like you!
I think Alzheimers is one of the cruellest conditions for anyone!
I know what you're saying and am trying to make time for myself, but it all happened at the wrong time as our staff were away and the bnb was at its busiest!
Mom was very demanding yesterday, her speech was really bad and kept on ringing the bell and asking if she'll get better. I was ready to throw in the towel and accept my brother's offer of a day caregiver, but she's much imoroved this morning. She would hate that as well, as that would be her last shred of dignity gone to have a stranger take care of her!
Our Cynthia is back this week and Mom trusts her, so that's going to be a big help!
Please take good care of yourself too xxx

 4 months ago  

Hello dear Lizzy, @thebigsweed told me about your post about your mom. I am sorry I have not kept up with you, but to be honest, I have been in the doldrums since Christmas. My two youngest granddaughters came down with covid just a day after we left them. I was upset and worried about them as well as worried about us for being exposed to the virus. As it turned out, they were sick but not too bad, cold symptoms, cough, fever, and general grumpiness. I had a terrible headache and slept most of the day after we got back home, it was pretty much the same for my hubby. We never tested, but I am sure we had it. Thank goodness it wasn't worse.
The weather here has been dark, snowy and very icy, keeping us cooped up, too afraid to venture out, we don't need to flop outside in the cold.
So cabin fever is setting in. It sucks.

Good news is, we will be leaving soon for the sunshine state of Florida at the end of the month. Can't wait.

I pray for you and your mom, may she be at peace, without pain, love in her heart knowing you are there for her.
much love farm-mom.

 4 months ago  

Dear @farm-mom and @thebigsweed, I can understand your concern but thank goodness this virus has not been so nasty! We also just felt a bit off-colour and slight flu like symptoms, but also extremely tired for about 2 days! Even Mom only has a slight cough, but the inflammation around the tumour, is causing havoc with her having multiple small seizures, so her condition is full of uos & downs! It's been a harrowing time to say the least, worse for her as her speech is badly affected but she keeps on asking if she's going to get better. It's really heartbreaking!
Thank you for your sincere and warm wishes 💞

 4 months ago  

💝💔💗

 4 months ago  

I'm sorry, Lizelle. Supporting your parents in this stage of life is so hard sometimes. Seeing everything my Dad had to go through with battle with Alzheimer's then passing from Covid a little over a year ago made me think hard about the end stages of life and how fragile it all is more than I ever have before. Most days I still can't believe he's gone but I go about my business just fine but some days are darker and just really hard. I start thinking about all the times I missed with him since we lived so far away.

I love that quote you've posted, "Whether we think you can or you can't -- either way you're right." That is so true. We must "keep on keeping on" no matter what. During the dark days I go seeking for a glimmer of light. Your Mom is so lucky to have such a great daughter to take care of her.

I see my Mom getting less mobile and more fearful now too, almost like she's retreating into a shell. We invited her to spend time with us in Sedona but she won't come due to her fear of flying. I don't always understand her decisions or thought process but I try because I don't want to impose anything on her that she doesn't want to do. Her freedom of choice is about all she has left but I feel time slipping away and I just want to spend all the quality time with her that I can.

Keep your head up as best you can, I will do the same. Good night my friend!

 4 months ago  

Thank you my friend, it's been a harrowing time! Yesterday and last night seemed to be the worst, I was ready to throw in the towel and accept my brother's offer of a day nurse, but Mom will hate it as she already feels she's lost her dignity with hubby having to help with lifting her as I cannot do it, she's tiny, but a dead weight! This morning there's an improvement in that she's able to take in liquids without spilling and choking too much and is trying to use her one good leg (her right side is almost paralyzed from the tumour). The inflammation around it must be subsiding.
I was thinking of your Dad when my nephew told me they want to discharge her from hospital asap as there are too many bugs in hospitals and she would be vulnerable.
Thank heavens we all got Omicron and not one of the previous nasty variants of the Coronavirus!
When Mom's brother in law recently passed away after a bad fall, I was so sad but Mom quietly reminded me that we'll all walk that path one day. The circle of life not so!
It's such a pity that your Mom is afraid of flying, but like you say, we need to respect their wishes even if it doesn't make any sense to us!
They can get so stubborn at times! I wanted to treat Mom for Christmas by taking her on a golf cart tour of the Botanic Gardens but she point-blank refused!
You're so right, we need to keep on keeping!
Hope your wife is much better and that this is going to be a better year. Somebody once said when you've fallen down, there's only one way, and that's to get up and keep on going.

 4 months ago  

I'm sorry to hear about your struggles, Lizelle, but I'm glad things are improving with your Mom! Unfortunately there's no other way to get my Mom to Arizona except by air so that'll mean she won't be joining us. They can be SO stubborn. I guess this is the universe's payback for what our parents put up with from us during our teenage years. ; ) My wife is still having good days and bad days but we're trying to make the most of the good days, that's really all you can do. I hope you have a wonderful week!

Beautiful and heart warming (*and *heart breaking) article. I am one to appreciate the wisdom and life experience that comes with age. What's important to me is to live a full and healthy life. A lot of us could live better and longer if we lived more natural, organic lives. I am avoiding GMOS, drugs and most processed foods. I fast every day till noon, and I am surrounded by people who love and want what's best for me. I recognize I have been INCREDIBLY blessed and it's important for me to emphases where I used to be and what I come from. I was poor now I'm rich helping lift the poor up by providing them knowledge inspired by first hand experience

 4 months ago  

Hi @iamvicyor, the sad part is that Mom took such good care of her health, eating healthy food, keeping fit with regular walking and this the neurologist told us 5 years ago is why her body adjusted to this thing slowly growing inside her brain. Just seems so unfair! But, we have to get on with life and just appreciate the good memories!
Thank you for your feedback!

I am sorry toi hear that. Life is at times unfair, that's a sad fact of life. Blessings to you and your family!

Thank you & blessings to you and yours as well!

That is a hard choice to make when it comes to our loved ones and you are right about life being a job, especially when it comes to turbulations in our lives or when we have to make those hard decisions.
God bless you @ lizelle and your precious mom

 4 months ago  

Dear @joalvarez, thank you for your sincere wishes! I believe this us why we need to make the best of each day and just be thankful that we're still in good health, bur it's just awful seeing mom like this!

I totally agree with you dear @lizelle on living our each and every day to the fullest and that our health should always be our first priority.

I think watching our loved ones not doing very good is the hardest thing in life. Sending hugs and prayers.

Ah,Lizelle, I don't know how you manage. I completely understand agree with your sentiments. It's a conversation we often have.

A brave piece that says much that people will not.

 4 months ago  

Yep, it's a reality many of us are going to have to face. I really hope I don't get to that stage, it's so awful seeing Mom losing hope that she'll recover. She's quite aware of what's going on and it's ups and downs all the time!

oh dear Lizzie, so sorry to hear about your mum's condition. The road ahead is not going to get any easier, but you know that already, so stay strong and take good care of yourself if you need to take good care of your mum. Do you still have the wonderful helper who was was looking after your mum previously? Can she help with more hours to give you some breathing space?

 4 months ago  

Yes, the road ahead is going to be full of more downs than ups! The neurologist thinks it's multiple seizures due to the inflammation around the tumour which is causing more pressure on the brain stem. Mom is on a steroid to reduce the inflammation and looks like the new anticonvulsants are agreeing with her. It's just awful for her as she knows what's going on but her speech has been badly affected! She now keeps on asking if she'll ever get better but says she has no pain!
Our Cynthia took 3 weeks leave, is back next week and will be shocked to see Mom like this. It's going to be a big help to have her back!
Thank you so much for your encouragement @livinguktaiwan 💞

Yes, this is a difficult situation, and to have proper care given is very expensive. To car for an elderly person at home is also not easy, especially if a couple is still working full time. We are sitting in the same situation, where my father in law must be on oxygen full time and basically cannot leave the house. (My wife's brother is looking after him, but it makes it very difficult for him)

All of the best with your mom.

 4 months ago  

At least we're semi-retired but it's quite harrowing as it now requires two of us to help her as her legs are like jelly and her speech really bad most if the time. Seems like it's multiple seizures caused by the inflammation around the tumour as there's now more pressure on the brain stem. At least she does not have pain!
I can just imagine how difficult it must be for your brother and the rest of the family!
Old age is not for sissies is only now becoming a reality for me.

Agreed!!

Sterkte, there is no easy answer except know you are in our thoughts, look after each other.

 4 months ago  

Thank you Joan, the sad part is that Mom always took such good care of her health by keeping fit and eating healthy! But like you say, there's no easy answer!

Be grateful you have had your Mom around for so many years, no longer living quality life they enjoyed depression sets in, I noticed it with my Aunt on her 100th birthday celebration.

I lost my parents at 38/39 both within a year of each other, also both healthy, fit and ate well throughout their lives, clock of life is never the same for all.

I really feel for you. My mother had vascular dementia and after my father passed away, she would ask every day where it was. She had type 1 diabetes and we cared for her in her own home, but it is really sad and takes a massive drain on you, both emotionally and physically!

 4 months ago  

Oh no @tengolotodo, I can just imagine how difficult that must have been as living with type 1 diabetic can be quite worrying at times with the highs and lows plus having to deal with dementia is a double blow. Thank you for your good wishes!

Yeah you can only do the best you can do.


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