Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Now for a moment of public bitching.....  I know I should keep this stuff to myself, showing grace and patience, but I just can't.  I need to publicly shout the things that I can't shout at my father or I may explode at him in a spew of vitriol that I can't control.

My father is almost 92, is in good health except for using a walker and has all his mental faculties.   He continues to live in his own home because 1) it is nice and big and it is his and he has lived there for over 30 years, and 2) it is across the street from his girlfriend.  It is an old house and it needs a considerable amount of maintenance.  My father is much better at making money than at spending it.  It needed a new kitchen when my parents moved in and it still needs a new kitchen.  It needed new bathrooms when they moved in and it still needs new bathrooms.  These updates have not been postponed for lack of money but because my father just doesn't want to part with his money.  Because this is now an old house that has not had the requisite remodeling done it continues to deteriorate.  And because it is an old home it doesn't have a bathroom on the first level so consequently he must climb up stairs each time he needs to use the bathroom.  He is also basically blind, having macular degeneration and blindness due to glaucoma (which grew progressively worse because he didin't like putting in the eyedrops so I have only limited sympathy for this).

Because of the stairs, blindness, and concerns about him cooking for himself I have hoped that he would move into a nice retirement apartment building close to his house.  He has been on the waiting list for a two bedroom apartment there for over a year.  (This place is highly sought after, you basically have to wait for someone to die to get in.)  They finally had a two bedroom apartment available which we went to see today.  It is actually the BEST two-bedroom apartment in the place because it is one of  the very few with a balcony.  It was a lovely apartment, he could choose on a per-meal basis to eat in the dining room, they have lovely reception and common areas, a van to go to shops and errands, and he has friends who live there.  He turned it down.

So we return to his home and I start on my list of fixes that need to be done to try to make his home safer for him to remain.  Make arrangements to have a backup electric generator installed, have stair elevators installed, find a personal chef (who will probably only last through one meal prep session since he will find fault with everything), and a lot more smaller fixes.  This still doesn't solve the problem that the cleaning lady does an awful job keeping things clean and he lives alone and can't see but I can't tackle everything at once.  I tell him I'm heading to the grocery store and ask what he needs.  He opens the pantry to take stock and it is like an Alfred Hitchkok movie about ants.  They are everywhere!  Now I had just sprayed for ants yesterday where I saw a little trail of them but from this is clear they have invaded like a conquering army. 

So after a trip to the grocery, a trip to the hardware store for ant spray, removal of everything from the pantry, and spraying everythng with ant spray and cleaning all the shelves and putting down ant traps, and calling an exterminator, he still doesn't understand why I think that he would be better off in the retirement apartment and that the house is really too much for him (and for me).

Now off to shower and hopefully get rid of the feeling that things are crawling all over me.


marianne said...

What I have found is there comes a time when you have to call the shots. They're already mad at you for breathing anyway.

(Sorry, I'm up to my ears right now too, can you tell?)


ellen kirkendall said...

Seems like everyone I know is dealing with elder problems these days. My age, I guess. I have no suggestions but you have my sympathy. I am down to one father in law and my mother, both of whom are in decent health for now but they are both out of town and I worry and wonder.