ms. mai-ling (mai_ling) wrote,
ms. mai-ling

Living Old and Being Thankful

I woke up around 6:20am this morning.
Getting our holiday lunch started.

We aren't of course, by any means, as usual
having the typical Gobble Gobble.

Of course we are staying home for the day
instead of joining in with the fam on my momma's side.

I really can't stand this lingering cough, and when I seem
to get aggrevated or start talking for a certain amount of
time...well there you go.
*cough* *cough* *cough*

Anyway, we are having Roast Beef with an assortment of
vegetables plus brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes and i'll
probably bake a cake of some kind. I dunno know.

I started chopping away at 6:30am while the bread was baking
and the coffee was brewing for breakfast. By 7am I was done
and everything was cooking away.

Now its just fiddling around the house getting other things taken
care of while we await for our lunch-dinner.


Tuesday night's NOVA was about extinction and immediately following was
the FRONTLINE I've been wanting to watch since the season began.
It was called Living Old, about the generation of 70+ that is the
fastest growing in population and how its putting our health care system in an
awkward position. Now with new technologies and such people are living
10-15-25 years more, and many of the times are unable to care for themselves.
Drugs make them live longer, families not willing to let go. There was only
a couple that were able to sustain an fairly independent life within an
assisted living facility and were in there 95-99 age bracket. Both were actually
women. The others were fairly severe cases.

Part of the problem is the descreased amount of Geratric doctors available.
Acording to Dr. Jeffrey Farber there's approximately 10,000 or 12,000
in the field and there's a need for more or less 35,000 to 40,000 now.
Especially with the baby boomer generation.

Its very scary, since most children will not care for the elderly parents when the
day come and the need is necessary.

Caregiving is not easy.

So I see what is happening and listening and the sorts. I think about my situation.

Alot of you don't understand the family dynamic in which we care for my father.

My father was 73 when he had his massive hemmoraghic stroke. I was at home.
and he called for me and said he was having a stroke and to call for Emergency help.
His stroke was so severe that a cranitomy was an option. For my mom and I it wasn't
about extending his life, or his misery. It was about doing what we could for him that
was the best. His neurosurgeon actually said,
"It could go either way with or with out the surgery."

For my father to want to get help in the first place, meant he wanted to live.

It was a hard and long road and I didn't want him to go into any kind of home after
therapy. I couldn't stand it when he was in extended care and wasn't about to see
my father who is vibrant and full of life be placed in a poorly run place where no one
really understands or care for him from the hours my mom and I weren't around.

So bringing him home was the only option and because of my mom and I we've worked
out a good sitatuion to make sure my dad got the most in his sitution. My mom
was working full-time and I was able to stay home and drive him to all his therapies
when necessary and do all the daily house work while working on my own music

When my mom retired it became much easier and in the two years since, my father
has really improved greatly. All from family support.

It's only been the three of us since July 29th. We don't ask for help nor do we expect it.
In many cases we prefer to be on our own, and that way the return isn't there nor
the obligation. Its sounds stoopid in some people eyes, but you learn from trial and error.
And you learn what works best from the situation.

My father will be 81 at the end of the year. He's progressing more then they ever expected him
too and he lives life everyday. I am happy and so is my mom. I wish for some change
at times but I'm happy, sort of settled in this role that has embraced me.

Often we wished for this stroke never to come upon us, but life is life. He's
healthy, humourous, and enthusiatic most of all.

Yesterday we went out and mom and I surprised dad and took him our for a Chinese lunch
and he was so surprised and happy. Lost for words. It made his day. Things like that
make us happy with him. He might be in a wheelchair outside the house but he'd rather
be outside then stuck inside all the time.

So this morning when I went to help him out of bed, he said to my mom and me that he's
got a lot to be thankful for...He has my mom and he has me. He smiles and full of laughter.

So the one man who has parkinson and his wife has alzheimer's demtentian living in a nurshing home, might say
I have nothing to look forward to, Getting old is for the birds.
I think it just depends on your situation, your mental attitude and what you do with your time.

Getting old isn't exactly easy, but you can make it your best time of you life if you work at it.

I think my mom and dad can prove that is true.

I encourage y'all to take time out and watch the episode on FRONTLINE.
Read the interviews and the other things they have on there. Its very insightful.


I am thankful and I hope you all out there are also.

From my family to yours Happy Thanksgiving.

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