Opening Lines of Communication

My visit to Florida has had its shares of ups and downs. My parents are exceptionally stubborn and independent. Dad’s recent health set-back has made it perfectly clear what they have diligently ignored… they really just can’t live alone any more.

I have been here providing support for them for a couple of weeks and I have definitely struggled with how to broach some issues with my mother. Dad’s cognitive ability has been suffering for a number of years and it has been at an all-time low this time around. Mother’s suffers also, but at least I have been able to have a few heart to heart talks with her. I have to admit that she has actually taken this all in much better than usual, and I’m grateful for that. Even so, it has not been a fun trip.

Dad actually seemed to be improving with his balance throughout the week but suffered a cognitive lapse a couple of days ago. Then, yesterday, he nearly fell several times and I was grateful to be able to catch him each time. His speech was slurred and he slept the sleep of the dead most of the day. It was very worrisome. When he awoke in the evening, he had decided that he was all better and insisted on getting up and around. His balance had indeed improved but I was not comfortable with him walking around without a walker. I got really aggravated with Dad last night when he insisted on taking the garbage out… and disappeared. I looked all over for him last night and finally found out that he had walked around the side of the house and into the the back door.

He is doing much better today but has also told me several times (several!) that he is exceptionally stubborn and he will continue to be stubborn, regardless of what people say or think.

I’m pretty sure he does not understand the gravity of the situation and I don’t know how to reach him. Mom, on the other hand, does. She is struggling with depression over the concept of giving up most of their household items to move somewhere else so she can make sure that they have the help they need when either one of them fall or have some other health challenge.

It’s a difficult road to travel and I am not very adept at it all, but I seem to be holding my own so far.

One nice thing is that I have had more time to get some older videos processed. They are videos I take for Kinzie’s sports games such as basketball and softball. I do not publish them, but send them to family members so they can enjoy them. I have also been able to post some on Instagram and TikTok . Although my content is not the same as it would be if I were home but have managed to post a video for the Grandma’s Homestead channel. It can be seen here.

I also posted a podcast, Episode 42; Navigating a Bad Day.

I am tired and certainly ready to go home but I have a few more days here. I’m sure everything will end up fine in the long run. I’m looking forward to seeing that happen. Until then, I’ll see you next week!

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