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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Didn't See This One Coming

Semper Gumby, our motto (Always Flexible).  It has been put to the test once again.

My 97 year old father has had some serious health issues that have changed his lifestyle, the last one was when he fell and broke his hip while visiting us last summer.  The hip is doing very well, but it came with a variety of new challenges, he needs a walker and wheelchair to get around and no longer can dress or bath himself, let alone drive a car or cook meals.  He's also having some mental decline with memory issues.  He can no longer live by himself.  The "joys" of getting older.

We had worked out a  good plan to take care of him with my brother and SIL, rotating Dad back and forth every couple of months between their home in NJ and our home in South Carolina.  Unfortunately that didn't work out, because my brother still works, so a lot of the care issues fell on my SIL.  After a couple of weeks they realized they could not handle Dad's care.

The solution?  Dad is back here with us in SC permanently.  It is a new challenge taking care of him, nothing we can't handle with both of us retired, but it requires one of us (usually me) to be with him at all times.  I handle the dressing and bathing and Marti ensures we provide Dad with his favorite meals and oversees all his meds and health care needs.

Basically, it has locked us down and we can't go anywhere and do things like we used to unless we bring Dad along with us.  Every time we do take him out to eat or shop it tires him out so mostly we stay home.  So the Journey sits in a nearby storage lot unused.  I do go there and check on it, run the generator and engine every couple of weeks and take it for a short spin.  I can't let it be neglected.  We do miss our travels in it and are not able to make any travel plans in it for the foreseeable future.

So it's a lot of sitting with Dad watching Hallmark movies along with a steady diet of Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy at night.  It's hard seeing Dad decline after being an amazing brilliant man, but Marti and I are happy to be able to love and care for him in these twilight years. Family first.

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