Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Elderly Quirks

Been back in Hawaii a week, and it's going from hard to difficult, rapidly working toward impossible.

Daddy has shingles. He won't take his meds, says that they make him sick. Ask what kind of sick, and he moves his hand in circles around his ear -- the sign we all used when we were kids that someone was "crazy" or "out of their mind". Mother says he never takes a full dose of any prescription med.

He's not eating. Yesterday he made a piece of toast for breakfast, but forgot to take it out of the toaster. Also forgot to get his coffee. At lunch he at 1/2 of a chicken sandwich made on a dinner roll. Had to force the glass of water. Dinner was a bowl of soup, a piece of toast, another glass of water, two scoops of ice cream, and a piece of chocolate angel food cake. Dehydration may be contributory to the weakness, etc., but he gets stubborn and won't drink what you give him. Cannot leave a bottle or glass at the bedside, it will either spill or get broken.

Mother says he could get better if he wanted to, he just wants to be waited on and doesn't want to do his chores. She says we don't need an in-home medical needs assessment. She says it will take her a year to be ready to move anywhere. She won't call for a 911 assist or ambulance, even when one is appropriate -- said she didn't know you could. Neither wants to pay the bill for an emergency room or doctor visit.

So I document. And pace. And pray. And try to focus on what needs to be done. Ian is flying back from California today, but leaves at the end of August for a week in Denver. We are supposed to talk to the folk at Kahala Nui and Pohai Nani (both multi-level residental facilities) tomorrow, see the trust attorney on Friday. Maybe that will begin to draw things into perspective. Next week I will push for the home care needs assessment/services match.

At least the services are out there. Keep praying.

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