Tuesday 5 January 2016

The Grands: On Aging - Part Two

There is a fine line when assisting the aged.  Their dignity must be retained, their independence supported and encouraged, but their frailties thoughtfully considered.

As the "Responsible Person" assisting in securing help for the Grands beyond what we can offer, many awkward (and unbelievably frustrating) situations arise, as I am also their cherished daughter.  If ever there was a period of time in life for humility towards parents, this is it. Not quite as the humbling situation happens, but very shortly after and it is a persistent haunting.  It preoccupies.

Heart:  You should do more for them!  You should see them more frequently!

Head:  You have done all you can!  You have assisted in making their lives as safe, secure and as peaceful as can be!

Some of the services in place for the Grands include:

Assisted showering
Ergonomic equipment
Meal delivery
House cleaning
Additional weekly transport to various venues
Hearing Impaired phone
Medical Alarm pendants

I am extremely grateful for the last item on the list. It was Grandpa who pressed the red button when Granny was coughing and choking, battling to get air and still stubbornly refusing to let him call us.    We were notified within five minutes by the Medical Alarm service.  We would have taken forty minutes to reach them. Paramedics were there within fifteen minutes.


Two days after her 87th birthday, Granny spent an eventful afternoon / evening tended to by Ambulance and ER staff.  After he was told that his wife would not be admitted to the hospital that evening, Grandpa assured us that he would let us know when she was home safe and sound.

He didn't.

When we called him, he sounded somewhat irritated.

"Yes, she is home, and is still full of nonsense"

"How so?"

"She's grumbling about the fact that I put her evening meal vegetables back in the fridge just after the Paramedics took her away.  How was I to know she would be back so soon...."

The Grands: On Aging - Part One

My dad - "Grandpa" - had spent quite a few weeks in his local hospital.  He hadn't meant to spend such a long time there; it just turned out that way.  Not necessarily because of on-going ill health, but rather - hospital regulations.

He had been admitted with gout, and he could hardly walk.  His feet and ankles were angry-red and swollen.  He would often wince.  Within a few days, his pain subsided, with great thanks to the reassessment of his Webster pack contents, and the addition of new (temporary) medications.   He perked up and blessed many staff members with his gentlemanly ways, wit and charm.

It wasn't enough, though - it wasn't enough to gain his hospital discharge.  His marching orders.

Hospitals require the aged to be as well as they can be - and in particular - stable and mobile before they are considered to return home. Furthermore, a "Services Package" had to be secured and put into place, courtesy of the Australian Government and currently available to our country's aged population.

Grandpa was fairly stable and he was mobile (with the help from a walker), but he wasn't mobile enough.  He was transferred to Rehab, where he spent a further two weeks before leaving - just in time for his 90th birthday celebrations at our house.

Sarah - hanging the 'Happy Birthday' banner

Starting to set the table with snackage.  

Grandpa has visited his local hospital a couple of times since this particular stay, - for gout, chest pain and dehydration and despite long family communal waits in the ER all visits were short lived.  Needless to say, the staff know him by both of his names.  They even shorten his first.  They call him "Bert". 


It makes me smile every time I hear it. 

The Grands have accepted the Service Package available to them.  We suspect that they are well pleased.  But shhhh.....

We haven't suggested this to them.  We haven't even hinted at it.   

To be Continued......

Friday 1 January 2016

New Year's Eve. New Year's Day.

Life is ever changing.

This eve - this new year's eve - is the first that the Machinist and I have spent ALONE together in 33 years.

It feels weird.

It is weird.

We see our children, their spouses and grandchildren every day.  It's not as if we have special occasion get togethers, because we always have get togethers in the course of regular, every day life.

Like earlier on the last day of last year.  We all went out to celebrate my mam's birthday.  It was a "given" that we should see the Grands anyway.  A regular weekly visit.  It so happened to be her birthday, and cause for eating out at one of her preferred restaurants.

It's not as if we feel lonely or out of the celebrations, either, because even as I type, our local  Hotel is hosting their New Year's Eve party, and the music is pounding out, equalled only by the vocal chorus of villagers, as they recognise and reminisce with the lyrics of familiar songs.

And yet .... somehow... new year's is different.  There are (sort of) expectations of being with loved ones.  Family or friends.  Or both.

This change is probably going to be the first of many to come.

A(nother) new beginning.

Peace and happiness to you, Blogreaders!

Happy New Year!!


 Table talk amongst our children is and always has been, -  a rabbit warren . We start off in one hole and end up in another -  quick smart....