Rhonda's A 'Muse'-ing Rambles

Life and Times of a Busy Woman

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Who’s the Caregiver for Dad?

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on February 28, 2008

To summarize a brief history, since Dad’s heart attack and surgery in 2003, followed by another surgery in 2004, I have been driving to his home once or twice a year to help him out with things like taxes, bill paying, getting his medications set up correctly and just enjoying his company. I’ve spent countless hours on the phone with him, with his doctors and helped him understand things. 2004 was the first year we realized that dad had a memory problem and would act irrational, especially about his health and doctor visits. He was diagnosed with Ischemic Vascular disease, which is caused by loss of oxygen and displays symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s.  With his health and mental capacity in balance, he was able to still live alone and take good care of himself. Slowly though, over the next two years, his short term memory loss was worsening. By 2006, the decline was severly noticeable and soon I found myself immersed in his troubles as calls & emails came in from various concerned persons where he lived. Little problems kept popping up, and I kept putting out the fires. The little problems got bigger and by 2007 I knew it was just a matter of time before we were going to need help and have to help dad make the decision to move closer to family or into an assisted living facility. As dad’s paranoia increased, along with the incidents with police, bank, social workers, health care professionals; and as his health declined, the flames of the fires were getting beyond my control. Several urgent events in which days were spent on the phones, weeks on the road back and forth, trying to keep the police and social services people happy during their elderly neglect/abuse case against me, and trying to convince dad to get to his doctors appointments. I’d leave him with everything functioning well, and another event would happen. Now, step in – the BROTHERS. In their efforts to now help, they inadvertantly set off dad’s paranoia stage so he got it in his mind that I was out to stick him in a home, take his truck away and spend all his money. At that point, he revoked my powers of attorney and attempted to get me removed from his bank accounts as a co-signer. He didn’t succeed with the bank because he forgot to follow up, but this past week he has done so. Now my hands are tied.

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