Thursday, May 7, 2015

I really must be old

My e-mail is increasing with advertisements for motorized, tricycles, wheel chairs, walk-in bathtubs, three footed  canes and information for the best assisted living centers. 

Friend Jimmy @  told of his childhood, though later than mine, it was a lot like mine. A time when kids did their homework, their chores and then went out to play. They learned yes-sir and yes-ma’am. I like that and it would be good today. But Going back to seniors and how it was, not so much.


Remember the County Home? The original pauper’s home, or old folk’s home. That was the last resort. Most times the seniors were in the home of a son or daughter until they passed away. Remember the Walton's?

      last-station-nursing-home-4 last-station-nursing-home-7   

I have learned things in my life, some the hard way. My mama was living alone, fell and broke her hip. I was stationed in DC at the time. WE rushed to NC to see what could be done. The Dr. recommended ‘a home’. Mouthy Jack, Chief USN,  had visited the urine smelling places said, “My mama will never go to ‘a home’.”


My brother Jr. said, “We need to talk, Jack.”

Outside he said, “You have no idea what you are saying, it is honorable, but one of the hardest things to do, I KNOW.” (Then he told me a story, I will relate tomorrow)

He did KNOW for a fact, they took care of his MIL & FIL for a several years both died  with cancer.

Taking care of mom was sweet but a trying time. My wife quit a good job and returned to our home in Charlotte to care for mama. It was VERY TOUGH on her. I was there on the weekends, until I could get a transfer.

photo 2a

(We laughed and had fun, Mama was the perfect patient, Sherry treated her like a doll. We transported mama in the back or a 1964 Studebaker truck,  We joked about being the Beverly Hill Billie's) 

Sister Shirl’s hubby quit a good job in Maryland and they returned to NC to care for mama. It was so tough that we have already told our sons, “When we need care, DO NOT under any circumstances, take us into your homes, Put us in a nursing home and come see us when you can. We have lived our lives, you live yours.”

photo 4a

It is honorable, but in today’s world it CAN BE suicide to try to do that and work a 40-60 hour week.

Tomorrow I will relate a story my brother told me that day. I have never forgotten it.

Nite Shipslog


Care? Nursing home? Assisted Living? Every one must decided for themselves, I just did not want our boys to feel guilty if it comes to an assisted living facility. I WILL NEVER judge anyone for turning to a care facility.


1964 Studebaker Truck

Jim's 1964 Studebaker


betty said...

I look forward to the story tomorrow you'll be sharing, Jack. I didn't "hands on" care for hubby's parents as they were in assisted living, but moving close to them (because that's kind of what hubby's father "demanded") put a big strain on us so I truly admire Sherry for what she did in taking care of your mother, along with Shirl's and her husband's commitment to come back to the area to help out.

Dealing with hubby's parents has really taught me what I don't want to put my kids through in our final years and I'm the same as you, put me in a care facility and come and see me if and when you have the chance. Don't feel guilty about it either.

I did tell my sister, as my mom was living with her in her final years, that if she got to the point where she thought she needed more help for mom that I supported her decision 100% and that I would do whatever I could to help out.

As you can tell, this is still very dear and near to me and fresh in my mind with our experience over the past four years.



My grandma lived with us growing up. So I know what a sacrifice that is on the family. Also when she died, my other grandmother moved in. Taking care of loved ones is a fulltime job. I admire your family for what they did too.

Paula said...

Sherry was an angel to take on a job that we all know is a big one.

shirl72 said...

That brings back memories I can
see Jim driving his Studebaker Truck and you and Mother riding in the back. Everybody helped so that made
things a little easier..We also took
care Of Jim's Aunt..Miss ESSO when
she got cancer. AIN"T EASY. I think
we have done our share..

Rick Watson said...

My mom lived with my sister for many years. Both my younger sister and I stayed with my mom a great deal to help give my older sister a break, but wasn't the same.
When my mom's health deteriorated and was too heavy to lift, we had to move her to a place equipped to handle someone who was totally disabled.
It was the hardest thing I ever did.
She was there for just over 2 years and we all three visited her every day ( with few exceptions.)
She received excellent care Nd when she died, her nurses cried as if they were her children.
There are no manuals for navigating those waters so all anyone can do is the best they can.

Mevely317 said...

This was an emotional read, Jack.
After it became clear my mother could no longer live on her own, my son and DIL insisted she come live with them.

Theirs were the best intentions, but with two young daughters and full-time jobs, mother grew lonely and slipped into a dark place. Unfortunately, no-one was prepared for her swift deterioration - both mental and physical.
Ultimately, the decision was made to put her in a skilled(?) nursing facility, and Troy flew with her here, to Arizona. At first she appeared to thrive, but the effects of a broken hip and broken spirit grew too much to bear. Not a year later, she slipped away, quietly, just as she lived.

I'll always be indebted to my son for having tried. (I couldn't do it.) But in retrospect, I wouldn't recommend it ...and don't count that as a personal option.
Come to think of it, if I make it to 80 y/o maybe I'll resume smoking and starting eating only fatty foods; and if that doesn't work, I'll take up skydiving.

Jean said...

I think the best thing is to not think old and maybe we want get old.(smile)I am glad that I am able enough (now) to take care of Grover (who is 88) and myself, but we never know what tomorrow might bring. I wouldn't want my kids to have to take care of either one of us so it be a nursing home or assistant living. Great post as always, Jean.

Rose said...

You married an Angel. Taking on that responsibility is tough but I do understand it.

I wonder what will happen to me living alone and my entire family in another state.

I try real hard to keep myself healthy as possible.

Hugs to my favorite couple.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I agree with you that I'd never want any of my children to have to care for me when I am unable, they can send me to a old folks facility and visit when they can. My sisters and I had the care of my folks when they were unable to care for themselves. One of them gave up her job as her husband could support them without her having to work, but the other two of us who had to work took weekend duty to give her time off. For quite a few years, it seemed that a life at home was put on hold for them. But they were our parents and they did not want to leave their home so we did what we could. I don't want my children to have to put their lives on hold. Life is to short.

Lisa said...

I've always told my family that I think I'd love to live in an assistant living facility one day. I have seen some really nice ones that have lots of privacy and well maintained.

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