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    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2019
     
    Can't believe it is March already. Today is around 30. No snow in forecast until Tuesday night and Wednesday but praying that will change. So tired of it. We had such a mild winter thinking ourselves lucky when the polar vortex hit the midwest and east coast. Then, they let Mr Groundhog out - our winter hit then and didn't let up! Our lows are still upper teens low 20, but as long as no snow I can deal with it - except Sat is forecast 12, Sunday night 6, Monday 12, but then up to 20s for lows.

    I will get Jasmine her rabies shot today so she can go see daddy tomorrow. Then will try to go again on Tuesday.

    Monday I hope to take my computer in to see if it can get fixed with the cost being less than a new one. The screen keeps going black on me. I finally saw a message the other day about a failure of the 'graphics accelerator'. I can't afford a new one and don't want one.

    Hope March bring better weather and better times for us all.
  1.  
    I am so ready to see some warmer weather. I am tired of snow, rain, and sleet. We haven't had a lot of snow at one time here, but I'm just tired of it all. Spent 3 weeks in the Tampa Bay area of Florida in January and it wasn't even very warm there. Only one day over 70 degrees to sit by the pool. Next Friday I head to San Diego for a 4 week cruise to Hawaii and the South Pacific. That should cure the winter doldrums. By the time I get back on April 7th I hope there is no more snow, though we have been know to have some big storms in April.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2019
     
    Have a great cruise Mary. Sounds like lots of fun - and hopefully warm. Was talking to a friend in Yuma and they finally got above 70.

    Been sitting here looking through digital pictures finding ones to print out for hb. Right now most of his pictures are from his early years and his family. One is a collage of our kids and grandkids. I have labeled them all with who is in them. I am printing them on 8.5 x 11 inch sheets - haven't decided whether to leave whole or cut out each picture.
  2.  
    Is it March? Just a little out of it having been through a VERY long week. My husband had surgery on Monday, five hours worth, to repair a colostomy done last summer due to a diverticulitis abscess. The Colostomy "take down" was successful, but he did have complications from the anesthesia. Didn't start breathing on his own, had to be put on a ventilator and ended up in ICU. Five hours later he finally came to and began breathing. WHEW! Now we are working our way through the confusion but I have to say the hospital has been fabulous. I'm spending 7-8 hours a day with him and have brought in our caregivers to help calm and center him. The hospital has a "sitter" who is in the room at night when one of us can't be there. He's also right next to the nurse's station so the y can watch him. Even with the bed alarm, he's gotten into trouble by doing things like attempting to pull out the IV. He is improving every day.
    He's much more alert now but its been a scary road. There was a day where he didn't know where he was (office, store, home) and still gets more confused than pre-op. I know, this is to be expected but no amount of information or warning can prepare one for the roller coaster of dementia and deep anesthesia.
    We have two children, both his from previous marriage, but a son that I helped raise. He lives an hour and a half away but hasn't come up yet and doesn't do much to provide support. His daughter lives overseas but has called him every day in the hospital.
    We retired to a new community just as his strokes and dementia began. He is 78 with mixed dementia, VD and AD, and I'm 60. I absolutely love where we live and we have some amazing neighbors who are super supportive, but we are also fish out of water who are trying to settle in while we also are living a crisis. I am lucky to have a childhood friend nearby and a colleague who also retired this direction. They listen but you folks get it. I am so appreciative of this board.
    • CommentAuthorlindyloo*
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2019
     
    Hi MrsMountainGuy, Carrying you in thoughts and prayers as you go through this ordeal. Throwing out the lifeline. Hang on tight.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2019
     
    MrsMOuntainGuy, sorry about this ordeal. Be sure that his oxygenation level is high, this should help with the hospital delirium. Fr the last 10 years of my father's life he would be delusional when in the hospital and being on oxygen helped most of the time. I realize you are dealing with dementia on top of everything else so he will probably be confused no matter what, but this might help.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2019 edited
     
    MrsMountainGuy = how is it going?

    I went to see hubby on Saturday. He looked horrible, like he has not slept in a while or drugged too much. I was finally able to take the dog and he didn't seem happy to see her like normally. When they were talking to his PA about the melatonin they never asked about stopping the trazadone so he is getting both for sleep. He was also complaining of leg cramps which in the past indicates dehydration for him. I the pinch skin test and it showed mild dehydration. I texted the nurse this morning to please make sure he is drinking fluids and my reason why. Never heard back from her.

    I also noticed one of the teeth on his bridge is broken off. He has been missing one of the porcelain covers for a long time. When at the dentist in January it was fine. I check a picture from a couple weeks ago when my friend went with me and it appears to be broken then. So it happened sometime between Feb 6th and the 16th. In the original care plan they had instructions to make sure it gets cleaned. I told them not to touch, normal brushing gets it clean. Well, as of Saturday it was never changed. My feelings is the aide was trying to clean under the edge of the tooth next to the broken one or instead of letting him brush they did and pushed too hard breaking it. I was not happy. All I need it for them to break the bridge loose then he won't have any top teeth except for a couple back ones.

    I am really trying to keep positive about this placement. But, it seems every time I turn around basic things are not getting done. Therefore it is not easy. I see two options right now: bring him home OR let them do whatever they want with/to him. They are so right when said 'advocating can be just as hard as caregiver'.

    Took Jas to get her rabies shot Friday. She had a reaction - by Saturday her skin was beet read so something in it she is allergic to. I gave her one of her anti-itch pills (1/2) to help. I was tired and went to sleep early. Woke up 2 hours later and she had peed my bed. Thankfully it didn't make it to the bottom sheet. But I had to search for blankets ended up going to storage and digging out my quilt my grandmother made. Today had the quilt (smelling mildewy) 4 blankets to wash. Tired again so decided instead of taking ibuprofen for my aching back I would use some of the vodka I bought making a screw driver to see if it would help the pain. So far it isn't.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2019
     
    Charlotte, I am so sorry for your pain and Jas' reaction to the shot. Do call the vet, hopefully they can recommend something for her.

    Dealing with an ALF or NH can be difficult. Plus we aren't there all of the time so we don't know what is happening and if our spouse is going through a change or if there is neglect.

    My last visit with Leannah we had an odd speech problem. She has been having verbal losses and what happened is consistent with FTD. She wanted me to close her bathroom door so her friend Avi wouldn't use her bathroom (he would make a mess). It is a large sliding door. I had used the bathroom and she said to OPEN it all the way. So here we are, she telling me to open it and I'm saying its open. I asked if she meant that she wanted me to close it. She said no, keep it open. I ended up opening and closing the door, saying open and close and Leannah finally said she wanted it closed. She has mixed up words before but this is the first time I noticed that she was adamant that her word was the correct one and it took so long for her to accept the correction. In the past I would say the correct word and she would immediately say that is what she meant.

    I don't care that much about correcting her and her saying the right word. The bigger problem, besides reflecting progression, is that communication is becoming more difficult.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2019 edited
     
    Hi Charlotte, What's the status of the veteran's home option? And do you have any reason to think the care would be better there?
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2019
     
    Hello Friends, March has indeed come in like a lion here, we are back in the deep freeze, zero, supposed to warm up in the next few days just in time for the next storm. Let's hope it goes out like a lamb!!

    Sounds like everyone is having problems, so I won't list ours - suffice to say - he is still going downhill. One thing that made me sad, his one enjoyment is going to the little grocery store here, he tends to spend way too much money. but he gets out, makes small talk and usually comes home happy. His birthday was the 2nd, 3/2/37. He wanted to go to the store for something but when he came back he said he had to pay cash because he couldn't remember his pin for the debit card, tried everything he could think of. His pin is his birthday, 3237. I said what is today, -- my birthday, right whats the date,-- 3/2. Right, so what is your pin #? I don't know. So one more thing gone.

    On the plus side, the sun is out but the wind is terrible, not sure of the temp but still way below freezing. I did get a brisket in the marinade and will cook it tomorrow. They are expensive but I bag it in double portions with the jus, and it makes a a number of good, easy meals for us. I have to fix food and set it in front of him or he would live on crackers, cheese, chips. Even if the fridge is full of things he just has to put in the microwave, he says he doesn't remember.

    My own bad news is it looks like we are going to have to get another car soon, I was hoping to wait till next spring. The dog has more knowledge about cars than I do but the entire decision and purchase will be my responsibility. I've been reading everything I can find, checking prices within 100 mile range, I'm hoping to stop by the suburbu dealer on our way home from the dr thursday - but will depend on him. He hates to stop anyplace, even hates to go to the doctor anymore.
  3.  
    oakridge - since you just published the pin, better change it or d/c the card immediately.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 5th 2019
     
    The only time my hb used his debit card was when we were at my sister's and he would go to fill the portable propane tanks (when he still drove and could remember how to get home). He could not remember his pin so he just charged it.

    We are forecast for snow tonight and tomorrow afternoon again but latest weather was it might fizzle out - maybe an inch instead of 4-7 along with freezing rain. Let's hope it does fizzle.

    Today's visit was OK. He walks like a 90 year old man now not a 71 year old mostly saying his legs hurt and are stiff. He needs more exercise and maybe PT type.

    This is what I found pertaining to clothes: no socks out of 8; no underwear out of 8 except the pair he had on; no t-shirts out of 6 except the one he had on; his Mister Rogers sweater missing; coat missing; one pair of PJ bottoms missing; glasses still missing; one slipper missing. I was given the excuse Saturday that the laundry person had some emergency a couple weeks ago so they were all pitching in trying to get it done. Same excuse today but told them it wouldn't fly.

    I spoke with the nurse, told her I am frustrated because I am not being kept in the loop. Told her I was given this big sales pitch of how we are all a team, including me, but all I have experienced is being left out or finding out after the fact. Gave her all the examples. Also told her if things don't change I will contact the ombudsman and/or pull him out. I won't put up with it. Also found out his glasses are broken - supposedly he stepped on them which I wonder if it was him or maybe were broken when he was wrestling around with his buddy. I sent an email to his PA asking to stop the Trazadone (nicely!) and he did. Had to go to Walmart to buy melatonin because what the doctor ordered has not gotten here yet. Just checked the Rx from the VA was delivered to them yesterday.

    He was complaining about his feet so I checked them, Since they could not find socks they put a pair of those slipper socks with the traction on the bottom on him. They are not comfy in shoes. I am assuming since Saturday he only had one pair of socks he had been wearing them since yesterday. His feet were wet from sweating and smelled horrible. I told Janet she needs to find his white cotton socks and get them on him and out of those polyester socks that are causing his feet to sweat. She said they found a basket in the laundry room full of socks and found two pair. I am considering making up another set of 7 of all and do his laundry myself. I don't like that they collect everyone's daily and wash all together. I plan to go every 3 days for now until I see some satisfaction. When I left he didn't even say goodbye was busy flirting with a couple women.
  4.  
    Charlotte, the whole picture is just not satisfactory. Ditto to what Myrtle is asking about the VA.

    I've been really glad over the years to hear that so many who placed their spouses were able to find good care. My experiences were much more like yours have been, which is why I ended up just taking care of him at home with services coming in. (Just jumped back on to edit this: I am a registered nurse with 20 years of hospital nursing, 20 years of home care, and was 25 years younger than DH. So I was able to do it...barely.)
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2019
     
    oadridge, I suggest changing his PIN since you posted it here. I do not consider this site to be super secure, with the spam and everything. Please never post any secrets or passwords of that type.

    As to buying a car. I can provide some help. Here is a sample letter that you can e-mail to 3 or more dealerships. I recommend doing the entire deal via email, except for test driving a car to be sure that is the model you want. I did this when I bought my Impreza in December and from what I can tell I got a very good deal.

    Sample letter: http://www.howtobuyavehicle.com/bidlettersample.html This letter will show that you are serious in buying a car, that you want a bid with the entire price (if they add anything when you go to pick up the car be prepared to walk away).

    The letter is part of a recommended 3 step process in buying a car. http://www.howtobuyavehicle.com/threestepprocess.html

    I found this way less stressful than trying to negotiate with dealers on their territory. The salespeople probably also appreciate this approach because it allows them to sell a care while investing a minimum of their time, even though the profits per sale is less. I paid much less than the prices on the dealer web sites and the average prices posted by a car buying service. I learned negative things about the largest car buying service, which is used by Consumer Reports, such as you can often do better than them and that dealers often refuse to honor the bid they submit through them. I am a car buying rookie myself, this happens when you buy a car only every 20 years.

    Go to https://www.subaru.com and configure a car exactly how you want it. Join an online Subaru site and read comments and ask for help. I did this with an Impreza site once I knew that is what I wanted to buy. I had some technical questions that were answered. I received recommendations on dealers and specific sales people. I was also told where I could buy a Subaru extended warrantee at cost. I can buy it for $1,000 though a dealer in another state compared to the $3,000 the dealer I bought the car from wanted.
  5.  
    I thought the laundry practices at the LTC were unhygenic, so I did all of DH's laundry (and there was a LOT of it). I saw the aides stuff the washing machine and dryer so full that the machines often broke down and there was little agitation for cleaning. They were just trying to get through as much laundry as possible and not caring about the equipment or the clothing.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2019
     
    paul - after reading about sending emails brought back memory of when we bought our Prius in 2003. It was a 2001 listed in their ad for a certain price naming what came with it including cruise control. After confirming the price including what was included via email we went to see it. My sister had one same year, same color so knew what we were looking at. When we checked it out there was no cruise control. They said it was a mistake but they could put it on for $xx. Told them nope, we have it in print that is it included in the price. They wanted the sale so they installed it for free. This was when Prius was new to this country (2001 was the first year), this was a fleet car that only had 1300 miles on so evidently many didn't like them.

    They also gave us two keys and remotes but we did not realize that one key was a 'valet' and would not open the trunk. They told us it would cost $20 for a knew key. When we went to get it the price had gone up: $20 for the, $20 to program it. I reminded them they quoted $20 for a working key. After a few more arguments they provided it for $20.

    Do don't be afraid if they try to back out of something they confirmed via email to fight for what they said or as Paul said - walk away.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2019
     
    Just sent a long email off to the director listing my grievances about missing clothes and being lied to or not being told. That their communication stinks (didn't use that word). Also, to stop doing his laundry I will. But the need to dig through the baskets of laundry and find all his.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2019
     
    Good Grief, I didnt even think. I know I'm losing it.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2019
     
    Thanks Paul, I've spent the last day and night doing the internet thing. I do think it is the new way of doing things but new to me. I resent having to do this all by myself, he just says do what you want. So frustrating when you've been part of a team for so long. This will probably be the last car we get so I want to make the right decision, and the dog knows more about cars than I do. We have to get one soon, since I can't drive my car now - cadillac says sounds like timing belt, $2000-$3000 to fix. Just put about $2000 hoping it would last till spring. Funny, all the bells and whistles salesmen brag about I have had on my car since 2003. But, today on the way home from town, the truck started acting up and the check engine light came on. I may be down to driving the tractor soon. Why does everything break down at once?? I need for time to stop so I can breathe again.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2019
     
    I go from worse to worser. Asked dh to lift the brisket from the oven to the counter for me, very heavy. I guess he didn't quite understand - it had been in the oven all day so was boiling hot. He just lifted it out and it tipped towards his and spilled that hot liquid down the front of him and soaked his slippers and socks. Burned his toes so bad, a couple had the skin burned completely off the others have huge blisters and he was in so much pain. I got it soaking in cool water and called the nurse hot line but she didn't have anything to add that would help. Cool water, etc and get him to the dr tomorrow. I feel like such a terrible wife tonight. I was so frustrated with my own stress then let this happen to him, and he just got over six months dealing with that foot ulcer.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2019
     
    I had a similar situation. Put in $1,000 in my car within the month before it died, hoping to just make it through picking up my son from school and then selling it. I should have just rented a car for that last trip, but who knew? I'm actually glad I didn't sell a car that was going to quickly need a major brake and axel job by the new owner.

    I haven't even told Leannah I bought a new car since I don't drive her anywhere. Best to avoid any drama, as why didn't I let her pick what car to buy.

    If you do buy a Subaru do buy EyeSight. It makes my highway and rural road driving so much nicer. On cruise control my car automatically slows down if the cars ahead of me slow down, I set it to keep 3 car lengths between me and the car ahead. Since I bought the base model I couldn't get the EyeSight option that includes blind spot warning and backup radar. I did drive a Nissan with the blind spot warning and it was nicely done and not distracting. I had to rent the Nissan while the new Subaru was at the body shop (someone ran into it in a parking lot) and while the Nissan was a luxury model I didn't enjoy driving it. It didn't have the adaptive cruise control like my Subaru (that is part of EyeSight) and after only a month of driving the new Subaru I missed that feature very, very much.
  6.  
    Oakridge, it may be too late now, but that injury sounds like he needs to go to the Emergency Room.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2019
     
    Thanks Elizabeth, I called the hot line nurse as soon as I got his foot in cool water -- spent about an hour on the phone with her, it was 11:45pm. Mainly it's keeping infection from setting in. He had a dr appt today but it was to cast his feet for his diabetic shoes so I called and they said wait till his foot heals. I'll look at them when I change the dressing, I can always get him into our own doctor right away if necessary. There was no charring, which seemed to be the critical thing. Just a very bad burn with what was basically boiling water. Had he not had socks and slippers on it could have been worse. Although he had put it in the fridge in the back for me yesterday, 15b brisket with all the liquid, I guess he didn't really think about it being so hot now, he has always lifted heavy pans in and out of the oven for me. He's actually pleased he doesn't have to go to the dr, he hates to leave the house these days, so all he has to do is sit and watch TV. Also gives me time to get caught up a little around here. I slept good when I finally got to bed so with a few days at home hopefully I can get my stress under control.

    Yes Paul, those new inventions are wonderful. I've not had them but was excited to see how they work. They are really recommended for senior drivers. I did look at the links you sent, seems to be the new way to go. A lot of changes in the last few years :) In the past I just picked out what I wanted and dh handled the rest.

    My biggest concern these days is he is still my " husband" (not a child) and bigger than I am. He's of the generation the man is the head of the household. He still thinks he's fine, just a little memory loss. I talked to him again last night about his confusion but it was useless. He said it only happened because I was in his way :) It's always my fault when things happen. I'm used to it, damned if I do and damned if I don't, he gets over it quickly because he forgets. He is happiest just being at home with nothing expected of him - so think I will try and keep it that way as much as possible. He looks the same and I know I get busy sometimes and just forget he isn't. Hope spring isn't too long in coming so he can be outside.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2019
     
    I think I remember someplace on here that keeping a set routine helps keep them calm. I hate these constant dr apps, almost as much as he does. It's a full day by the time we get dressed, into town, wait at the dr, etc, then drive home and take care of the animals. It is exhausting. The more tired he is the more confused.

    Maybe the change to daylight savings will be a good thing. We had a "heat warning" last night on the news, it was going to get over 40 degrees, LOL. They were wrong, too much cloud cover, but it is above freezing today and the snow is almost all gone, Yay!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2019
     
    sorry Oakridge - when it rains it pours! I think you need to change to smaller size meats. But I know the feeling. Art carried the heavy stuff and was my 'ladder' to reach hi.

    Woke up to sun this morning. It is almost 11 and the sun has it warmed up to 68 in the MH - 43 outside. Feels nice but hope it doesn't get any warm - don't need bad flooding.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2019
     
    While watching a TV show a few night ago, the song 'Got It In You' by Banners played at the end & part of the lyrics of that song could have been written for caregivers. When I heard those lyrics I felt he was singing to me & all caregivers out there. Surprisingly, it made me emotional – wasn't expecting that, but I've been feeling down lately, so that's probably the reason. I was thinking how good we would all feel to have someone sing & dedicate those lyrics to all caregivers. Here are the lyrics I'm referring to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WEfX95orrY

    When the lights go out and leave you standing in the dark
    No one ever told you this would be so hard
    I know you think your fire is burning out
    But I still see you shining through
    You got it in you,
    You got it in you
  7.  
    Checking back in. Hubby is home after six nights in the ICU. They never transferred him to a regular room, partially because of a room shortage and I think partially because the "sitter" was available in ICU to keep him safe. The increased confusion is clearing slowly and he is healing but is very,very tired and I can see this will be a long road of recovery. His kids are still not very supportive. Next week his daughter is coming to the US from the Caribbean where she lives but is going to New York to see hubbies sister and isn't coming to California to see her dad who just left the ICU and has dementia. The son finally came up to see us with his kids after we left the hospital. I let him know that we were short on food since I'd spent so much time at the hospital and told him he might want to bring some lunch with him. He did, for himself and his children. Didn't even offer to share and spent very little time with his dad while here. DH finally told him that he was tired and hungry and we were going out to eat and it was time for them to go home. Sometimes the honesty of dementia comes in handy. :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2019
     
    going to start posting in the spouse in residence or here since I seem to be the only one posting on the subject.

    I had a little accident going. I pulled into a store parking lot to look for some grass for the dog. I found some under a tree. After she went I headed back to the car and slipped on the moss covered dirt (it was a little downhill)! So I went to visit him with a left muddy butt and muddy knee. He never said anything and no one mentioned seeing it. LOL
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2019
     
    My heart did a little flip when you said accident. That’s all you need. Grateful it was only mud. Sounds like it was better today.
  8.  
    Yeah, me too, Charlotte--when you said "accident" I immediately thought it was a car accident. Whew...relief!
    (Not that we want any slips, trips, and falls, either.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2019
     
    Sorry about that. Didn't think about all the auto accidents the last year with my virtual friends. From 4am on my shoulders were really hurting but that is nothing new. They have been since all the shoveling. I know it starts in my neck and goes down. Now that the weather is better I can get into the chiropractor more often. Last time it was so bad it took two weeks of M,W,F going to get it better.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2019
     
    Completely off any topic, but...

    In a recent Country Living magazine, I saw a pretty kitchen...with ducks running loose in it. Just when I thought I had seen everything, I turned the page, and there was a proud chicken owner showing off her chicken--with painted toenails! Okay, now I've seen everything!

    Although both photos made me chuckle, I am astounded by anyone having enough time (and energy) to chase down a chicken and paint its toenails, or follow ducks around and clean up after them. I think I'm in the wrong line of work, being a caregiver.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2019
     
    I have seen pictures like that on Facebook. It is amazing how different ways, sometimes bizarre, they find to love animals. I have seen ducks and chickens very docile so can understand painting a chickens nails. Now the duck - I agree about cleaning up after them. But if a bunny or skunk (I had one that was) can be litter box trained, then why not a duck?

    We need little things to laugh about - glad you found some.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2019
     
    It just never ends. When I arrived today he was outside and would not come in. He was being nasty and crying which is not like him. I told them to leave him and I would go around to him (he was outside the dining room and I couldn't take the dog through it).

    The dog ran up to him but at first he didn't want anything to do with her. Same with me. I don't think he knew who we were at first. I asked him what was wrong - something about he has been married for 40 some years and they won't let him be married there. And they won't ask him to help with anything so all he has to do it sit or walk around. He finally realized it was me and Jas so his demeanor change some.

    I wasn't too alert because I should have asked if he was hurting but it didn't occur to me until later. As soon as he said his back hurt I knew the problem - his butt crack was hurting. Took him to his room and sure enough it was raw. I forgot to check on Friday when I was there. I went to find the nurse, told her and let her know how angry I was since they were warned many times about it. She said she would talk to his care team. I told her they better do something because I'm not leaving until they do! They showed up about 15 minutes later.

    I also called the front desk to track down Glen, the director, because I wanted to see him too. To tell him about the butt crack and ask why they have not found all his underwear (still 5 missing), socks (7 missing) and t-shirts (all 8 missing). He had two t-shirts hanging in the closet that someone had put A.L. on but they were not his. All his are marked with
    "A. Lloyd"..They said they are working on it. I also mentioned to Glen that his slippers have been missing for a couple weeks. I doubt I will ever see them again.

    I trusted these people to do what they promised. I know the spiel about 'no one will take care of them like you', but that is not the problem. The problem is basic care is not being done. His personal property aka clothes are not being respected. I told Glen there will come a time when it won't be that important but for right now it is to me. And for being paid over $3000 a month, they can do better. His butt crack and the clothes are really the only two issues. I did ask for a key so when I come I don't have to track someone down to go in and out of his room. So the maintenance man got a key leaving it at the front desk so when I come I can get it. Thank you Dave.

    It is costing me $20 a week plus the wear and tear on my car when I placed him I figured once a week. Gas went up 6 cents from when I filled up Friday. I am rethinking this whole thing about placing him where he might be happier vs being closer which includes at the VA. I emailed the place a couple miles away to ask where on their list he is.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2019
     
    Hey Jan K, good to see your name. Been wondering how things are.

    I have a neighbor who has turtles, rabbits and cats roaming around her house. Probably some other critters. She’s really fun, but the rabbit thing was pretty odd - toys and lettuce all over the floor. She has a small herd of Alpacas. That’s tempting to get into. It was a completely Zen experience being surrounded by those Alpacas. I probably wouldn’t get anything else done if I had some of them here. They each had different personalities and made the most comforting sounds.

    people in my neighborhood have been finding baby rabbits on their property and actually asking if anyone will rescue and rehabilitate them???? Sorry to all the rabbit lovers in the world. We generally shoot them. They destroy everything. Do these residents of the granola state (land of fruits, nuts and flakes) really think there’s not enough rabbits in the world?

    I know you’re all still buried in snow, but this spring is, so far, one back breaking job after another. It’s been raining for about two months. Weeds out of control again. But dethatching St Augustine grass is working for the first time ever. Also digging up a back yard area where the grass died when he forgot how to water it and I didn’t realize all the things he used to do around the property. Then I was too busy taking care of other things. Now I’m trying to salvage and redo the landscaping. People keep stopping by wanting me to hire them to do it. But I have nothing but time on my hands. I figure it’s better than weight lifting to keep up my strength.

    Having a problem with the Defense Dept. They still haven’t processed my claim for arrears in pay and won’t create his 1099 until that is processed. I need to get the taxes done. Have called several times. They keep escalating it. Maybe this time is the charm. Fortunately the casualty branch seem to answer more quickly so haven’t spent too much time on hold.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2019
     
    Goodness, is this still only March 11th? Feels like a whole season has passed. I do understand and empathize with you Charlotte. When my Mother was in an ALF her clothes disappeared also -- my sister began taking her clothes home each time she went in since she lived closer than I did, and leave just a couple of outfits for her. They had told us not to bring anything of value because things disappear. Wonder who they think takes it?? Another sister, out of state, sent a beautiful flower arrangement for Mother's Day one year -- rather than take them to her room, they kept them at the nurses station -- "so everyone could enjoy them". My sister raised hell. A few weeks later Mother was moved to another room in the older part, and not near as nice. I always thought it was to get even with my sister.

    I have had ducks and can't imagine having them in the house, loved the sight of them outside but finally got rid of them because of the mess they made around the pond. I have a friend who has miniature horses and she allows them to roam the house. Kinda cute - as long as it's her house. The babies are only about 11" tall and she takes them around to schools etc. I didn't see that issue of the magazine but I sometimes wonder if they don't stage those things just to catch peoples interest.

    I have finally - at least trying - to accept my husband is getting worse. I don't know if it's really escalating that fast or if I'm more aware of it because there is so much more I have to do. I couldn't begin to itemize all the things he does that cause me "problems"? That's not the right word but can't think of a better one tonight.
    I do know it's his continued health problems that are causing so much work and stress, its not that he's sick just so many things he has happen to him that it takes a good part of my day taking care of those issues while other things pile up. When my dog was a puppy he would chew things at night, usually just paper but dh would pick up anything he might reach and put it up. He continues to pick everything up at night and stick it someplace. My glasses for one thing - tonight I couldn't find the gauze or tape to change his dressing, I've no idea what he did with it, nor does he. The puppy is almost 3 now but it's just something he does, he doesn't think about what he's doing, just picks stuff up and sticks it someplace, usually out of sight.

    He's settled in his chair with the tv on so at least I can sit down too. It was cool today but not cold, so anxious to see spring arrive.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2019
     
    I sent an email off to the director. Sitting here the thought came to me: wonder if he was trying to hook-up/be too friendly with one of the women thinking it was his wife. Either the staff or the woman told him to back off. I asked him to investigate if maybe something like that happened to get him so upset.

    Keep up the work Bonnie. Yesterday was so nice I got the shovel and started to knocked down the piles of snow/ice. My car dolly is about half showing. I also cleared off most that is over the flowerbed around the tree. All my bulbs that were coming up are sitting right there waiting patiently for the snow/ice to go away!!

    We had a dog who loved tearing up boxes. Art was a printer so would bring the empty paper boxes home for her to tear up. Never saw anything take such care to tear it layer by layer. My friend Paula's dog loves to tear up cardboard so I love taking it over for her to tear up leaving a mess for Paula to clean up!!
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2019
     
    Oh Charlotte, we were typing at the very same time earlier. It makes me so sad how Art said they won’t let him be married there and won’t let him help. Goodness this disease is so frightful for everyone involved. I kept believing it would be better when it was over. But it’s not. Catherine CS wrote about dementia PTSD in her Sunday musings. I guess that’s as good a term as any. I wish I could come over and give you a hug. Sleep well my dear.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2019
     
    Yes, I read it. I would also love to go visit on her little island.

    The nurse texted me tonight about a text I sent her earlier. I also told her I sent an email to the director to find out if maybe there was a problem with one of the women rejecting him or similar. She thinks it is cause his buddy has not been giving him any attention lately so he is down about that. I also told about him sad because no one ask him to help. Suggested maybe if nothing else, give him a broom and tell him the sidewalk outside needs swept.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Monday before I left my brother-in-law phoned - he is one year younger than hb. He said he tried to call hb but got no answer. HB has not had a phone for a year. This is the BIL who has not called in over 3 years. He also ripped us off when their parents house sold by the day before closing throwing in almost $10,000 in expenses he paid on the house to be reimbursed for (it was in their dad's name and the three kids). I told him I wanted proof since all along he was telling me it was coming out of their dad's Social Security. I was told if I delayed closing over it we could be sued for 'breech of contract' by the buyer. This is the BIL who in 47 years has only visited us once in 2006 when we were working at an RV park in NH. He has been flying places with layovers in airports near us but never called to tell us. Now suddenly he wants to fly out and see his brother who might or might not know him, who won't remember. A brother he tortured as kids because my husband was not smart like he was. My question is: Why? Mentioned it to a guy in the park today and his reply was: guilt for never coming to see or phone his brother all these years. Probably true.
    • CommentAuthorSedgly
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Hi Charlotte, I'd be leary of the BIL.

    "Guilt for never coming to see him".... maybe ...but from my experience people like that rarely feel guilt..like my own BIL tells me, remember every time someone turns over a new leaf it's really just another side of the same leaf.

    Just my two cents worth but I wouldn't tell him where Art was...

    Hope
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTime6 days ago edited
     
    I did send him a text this morning asking why he wanted to see his brother when he hasn't visited but maybe twice in 47 years. I have no worries about him trying to take him or go after money since we don't have any. Taking his brother would be the last thing he would want. I know in 2010 at their dad's funeral he mentioned he was having memory problems. Wonder if they have gotten worse? I doubt it but who knows. I really don't care.

    I arrived found him helping the maintenance guy -- was good to see. Asked him if he wanted to go to DQ for lunch. He popped up real fast. So we went to Walmart to buy a new pair of shoes, lunch then did his laundry at the laundromat there in town.

    Had a long talk with the next two down in line since the director and nurse were gone.

    Their excuse for missing clothes: they have 38 residents, which I never see that many so they must be bed bound, 38 residents clothes to wash and sort. I told them get more help them. They're getting paid enough (min $114,000 a month). If the laundry person is not coming back then hire a temp or a new person. I also told them if I can't get satisfaction I will go higher than the director. She told me not to threaten. I told her it is not a threat but a promise. I told her I made the mistake of the last place not going higher when I got no where with the director - should have gone to the ombudsman. I won't make that mistake again. I think they figured out I am not threatening but serious.

    Talk about our loved one getting obsessed over things - I am obsessed over his missing socks, underwear and t-shirts. After I did his laundry he was still missing 6 socks, 3 underwear and 7 out of 8 t-shirts. He had three t-shirts but they were not his. They were pink - evidently washed with the maroon napkins they have in the dining room. One had holes, one the neck was all stretched and the other one was OK except pink. I ask them if wanting him to have some dignity by wearing his own clothes was asking too much. They didn't answer. The nurse and director were not there so I spoke with the next two under them. I told them there will come a time I probably won't care that much but right now I do. I want him to keep what dignity and respect he can. I asked them 'is that asking too much? " I was fighting tears by now.

    Told them I was tired. Not only trying to keep his clothes but I now know despite many warnings they are not keeping an eye out for his butt crack getting raw. I Said Ruth and Glenn gave this big sales pitch over and over that this place would be different, but it is not. I had planned on coming only once a week but I am now every 3 days because I can't trust you people. That seemed to affect them.

    Why can I just not care about the clothes? I spoke with the woman at the Veterans Home yesterday. She called to touch base. All of those in their memory care are in the late stages, so Art would not really fit in. Weird because they have two memory care cottages: one is locked, the other is not but because the residents are low risk they wear an ankle bracelet. She called too because when she first contacted where he is now they said hb was not a escape risk. But, for some reason they called her Monday or Tuesday to say he was. So in our conversation today I said I wanted to know what happened to warrant that call to the Vet Home. So, it looks like the Vets Home won't be anytime soon. I did visit the place down the street yesterday. He is still #3 but the lady said the two ahead might not even need placement - it has been over a year and they have never heard from the people. If I am going to visit every day I might as well place him nearby.

    Today I left at 9 for the chiropractor and got home at 5 - was a long day and am tired, drained. So right - advocating can be hard work!
  9.  
    There is no excuse for the missing clothes. They are not doing their jobs. An occasional piece...sure, OK. But not all his stuff all the time. Especially that I'm sure you have marked his name in them with a black sharpie. When Larry came home from "Respite" in the Ohio nursing home with most of his clothing missing (plus a lot of other signs of neglect and poor care--like an open area on his backside that had not been there when he went in)--I called them and raised Cain. I realize it's not a perfect world, and if anybody understands the difficulties of working in a nursing home, I do. I'd been going in and out of them for years seeing patients. But I have never understood the complete lack of standards, basic care, and yes--the complete neglect of a patient's dignity and worth as an individual that I saw in facilities in both NY and Ohio. I am so happy for all the folks here who found good care for their loved ones--but I certainly didn't. My experiences mirrored Charlotte's. A disgrace.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    This is a lot of missing clothing. Is each piece of clothing labeled with the resident's name on it? At my wife's ALF they label all clothing labeling. When I bring in new clothing they take it and label it before Leannah gets it. We have lost only a few items of clothing. They never combine resident's clothing when they do the laundry.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Yes, his clothing is all marked with a permanent marker. When I placed him this time I made sure it was all still good redoing any that needed it. I can even tell you where each piece of clothing is labeled. His socks are on the bottom, underwear in the back on the waistband, t-shirts on the bottom hem in the back with A. Lloyd - not AJ like they did on a couple ragged t-shirts they put in his room. I am going to look at the thrift stores to see if they have white t-shirts (he has always worn one and see no reason to change that now if he still wants to plus he sleeps in it the puts a clean one on in the morning) that are in good shape and cheap. But, probably new ones would be just as cheap.

    The lady from the Vet Home when I mentioned the butt crack problem said that is a problem with assisted living -they don't look for medical problems like skilled nursing. I think at this place is he is at their lowest level of care from the Medicaid social worker which might be the reason. If it has to be raised this may need to be considered. I know the level he is on is an additional $800 a month on top of R&B. So a next level of care would raise it. The first time my co-pay was $700 at the first facility then was lowered to $17. Now it is $70 a month which I am fine with. Medicaid pays his Medicare Part B so I am still ahead!

    Hope all is having a good day otherwise. The sun is out, the sky is blue, the snow aka ice now is melting. My bulbs are in the open now and growing again so will have spring flowers in the next few weeks.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    Charlotte, I sympathize with you about the missing clothes. It must be very frustrating. Perhaps his clothes are in another resident's room.

    On my husband's floor, the residents laundry is done once a week & each resident has a designated day for their laundry & the worker does only one person's laundry at a time. The locked laundry room on his floor (15 residents), has 1 washer & 1 dryer - looks like a laundry room in any home. The laundry is sometimes done during the night. They only wash the residents clothing – sheets, towels, bibs & anything else is done at another big facility. Mix up still happens because the worker will do more than one resident's laundry per day. I've spoken to family members of female residents & there are some problems with missing or mixed up laundry, even with name tags. Perhaps it's because there are 11 females & only 4 males, but I haven't spoken to family members of male residents, so I don't know if they're having problems.

    I've been lucky so far, no real problems with missing clothes, except for 1 missing sweater which was 20 years old. I check his clothes periodically & have found extra clothing that doesn't belong to him with no name tags. I give them to the workers & they sometimes know who it belongs to – with only 3 other remaining males to choose from they can figure it out. If I wasn't checking, the other residents would be missing their clothes. The only time I had a problem was shortly after he arrived & there was a shortage of his PJ bottoms. He had 4 pairs, but he sometimes would wet the bed & if that happened more than 4 times in a week, then he ran out. As soon as they told me about the problem, I bought 4 more pairs. No problem since then.
  10.  
    Here is a head's up with wetting the bed. The aides would either not check to see if the bed was wet or purposely just pull the covers up over a wet sheet and mattress pad. I went to nursing and admin all the time about this. It would get better for a week and then we would be right back with a urine soaked bed that wasn't changed. I hate to give you one more thing to have to worry about, but always pull the covers back and check and smell the bed.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    That is one thing I don't like about this place = they do laundry daily and throw every ones in together then has to sort it afterwards. That is how the whites get 'lost' because they throw it all in a basket to sort later. Again, today I received a text from the nurse they are down a laundry person and are looking for another one. That excuse, after over 2 weeks, has gotten old.

    No fear at the moment for a wet bed covered over in the future - he usually only has a sheet on. The room is kept so warm. He is use to sleeping in a room 60 or below but due to his roommate it is usually set around 75. I couldn't even sleep in a room that warm.

    How is every one else doing? We have had new ones sign on the last few weeks but we have not heard from you since. Please join us.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    I started too many projects at once. All involve manual labor. I seriously miss hb’s strong hands, although he was at the point of undoing everything, so maybe better off alone. Finally had success dethatching St Augustine grass out front and fertilized that. Out back digging out old dead St Augustine. Removing a bunch of dirt there kept flooding out of the pool so definitely worth it. But oh so slow going.

    We have a lot of wrought iron fencing. He loved that, but planted too much stuff around it and had sprinklers too close. So they are rusted. I found wire brushes to use with the drill to sand them. That worked well, but drills are heavy. I got two panels and a gate sanded and primered a few days ago. Then more rain. Today I painted one panel. It took all afternoon for goodness sake. I keep asking myself why I didn’t get my FIL to teach me to paint. He was a master craftsman. He’d be laughing at how many brush strokes I’m using. I did use a little roller quite effectively. Had to use the brush for the flour de lis points and the rose ornaments in the middle. My MIL would have liked them. Her name was Rose. But she never came here. She had Alzheimer’s by the time we moved here.

    Hummingbirds buzzing all around me as I work. I’m on the patio and two hummers just landed on the side walk glaring at each other, then had a screaming match in the hibiscus. I hope they don’t land on the wet paint.
    Tomorrow I hope to finish that panel and the gate. I think I better redo the sprinklers before any more painting! We’ll see how far I get before I capitulate and hire someone. I got out a wrist splint cause wrist and thumb are very sore. Not sure I’d be able to hold a golf club at this point.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTime5 days ago
     
    Daily washing everything together is asking for mixing clothes. Keeping residents’ clothing separate through the entire process is a huge help. These are normal sized machines. I supposed if they have larger commercial washer an dryers they would want to fill them up. The washer and dryer is in each house, larger commercial units are downstairs and those seem to be reserved for bedding, towels and other material that is owned by the ALF.