Hello, I know it’s been awhile but it’s nice to be back.  I have gone through several changes in my life and it is time to be back on my blog.  Everyone goes through transition periods in their lives and I went through a major one.  I am now settled into a new routine and would like to share a little of my new reality.

My father has dementia.  I am still learning about what it is and how it may/can/will eventually lead to Alzheimer’s.  My father is 88 years old and is now in a foster home where he is very well taken care of.  My journey to becoming his guardian began in 2012, even though I didn’t know that it would lead to that then.  Anyone who has an elderly parent can testify to how difficult and devastating this journey is.  You watch your parent or both parents deteriorate and become a person or people they never were, and they can’t help it.  You try your best to help them or take care of them when you eventually realize that you cannot do it by yourself.  Taking care of your parent(s) takes time, commitment, and yes, money.  I was living my life around my small children, living my life through their activities when I got a this hiccup.  I mean, really, who ever thinks about becoming your parents’ parent?  It’s a possibility, yes, but it is not something you think about as eventually becoming part of your life, like retirement or becoming a grandparent.  I certainly didn’t.

In this process, I have learned a lot.  I’ve learned a lot about the VA structure.  A flawed organization.  I’ve learned the in’s and out’s of nursing care facilities and that is not a pretty picture.  That is a grossly flawed structure in the healthcare system.  I also learned about the Social Security Administration.  I cannot even begin to discern that bureaucracy.  Those are just a few of the tough worlds that I was thrust into when all of this began.

In the end, however, it is about taking care of my father.  He’s doing a lot better than he was.  He is stable and has stepped into an established, healthy routine.  This is not like taking care of another child.  It is taking care of another child, except that instead of growing up, they become children and eventual babies again.   All of this made me think of my life and my own elder years to come.  So many questions.  What will become of me?  Will I be able to stay in my home?  Will I develop this disease as well?  Will I have the adequate healthcare that I will need in my old age?  What about my children?  Will I be a burden to them emotionally, monetarily, or physically?

None of this has been easy.  It has finally become a little easier and I am still learning.  Any thoughts out there?

Finally happy that everything is stable,  Monica

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