Friday, May 21, 2010

A Little Grandpa Update

I figure it is about time for a Grandpa update. It has been almost 3 months to the day since we dragged Grandpa by the little hair he has left and dumped him at the nearest nursing home.

Ok, that is not exactly how it went. Although I think that may of been his version of the events at they took place.

What did happen was after throwing the idea of moving around for ages he called me on a Wednesday and said, ok I want to move out of here THIS Saturday. He hadn't packed one single thing, he hadn't even been looking at places to go, but lucky for him I had. Not packed that is, but researched the heck out of where he ought to be living. After touring nine different establishments we had choose the only one that seemed like home. The only one where I would want to live. It was a fairly easy decision as far as complicated things like this can go. We were going to move him to The Ritz, or The Springs as they chose to name the place, not sure why, The Ritz has such a nice little ring to it...

I thought he would adjust much quicker then he did. THE PLACE IS TOO NICE NOT TO LOVE!!! Apparently he didn't get that memo. He wanted to leave. Where did he want to go you ask?? My Sister's house, my house, my mom's house, my aunt's house, my uncles house, anywhere where he could burden the people he claimed to not want to burden a little easier. Or at least that is how it felt.

Never mind that he has everything he needs at this new place! Never mind that he has the potential to be happier here then he has been in YEARS!

But it makes sense that he didn't embrace this new living arrangement with open arms. They say moving when you are old is equivalent to someone dying. Like your wife. Also to compound issues more Wanda, Grandpa's girlfriend moved away on the same day he left to come here. So we will forgive him for what a difficult time he has had with this whole bit.

In the beginning he required A LOT of hand holding, and when I say the beginning I mean the ENTIRE THREE MONTHS!! But things are a changin!

Things were getting a little crazy. I won't get into too many details just in case you just ate lunch or something but lets just say there was blood. poop, and old people feet involved. It was getting a little scary around here, we needed some help, quick!!

Grandpa agreed to have the In Home Health Care people (Medicare) come in and assist him in some of his personal hygiene things we are not interested in helping with. They are going to be life savers, I am so excited!

They are coming to bathe him twice a week, which is approximately 104 more baths a year then he was taking!

They are also going to help him exercise more and eat better. They (hopefully) will even help us make sure he is taking his medications properly which seems to be our biggest issue at the moment.

Through this journey I have realized several things.

1. Getting old totally sucks.

2. There are more similarities between 2 and 84 then one could ever imagine.

3. Keeping your sense of humor is the most important thing you can do, at any age.

4. Getting old totally sucks.

That one deserves to make the list twice. I am happy to say Grandpa still has his sense of humor. He cracks me up all the time. I actually really enjoy hanging out with him which comes in super handy since he wants me there all the time : )

Yesterday after he had his first bath with the In Home Health Nurse he says "To think I used to be paid to have people see this body!"

Yep, haven't laughed that hard in a long time. He said it took the nurse quite a while to pull it together too.

A few weeks ago Grandpa leans over to me and says "See that lady over there in the blue? She is totally my type, I think she might have a husband though."

Yesterday he tells me that his neighbor Patsy is going to help him get to walking around with just a cane. Which apparently is something close to a come on to Grandpa because he follows it up with "Might be a girlfriend soon..." I didn't have the heart to tell him she is way out of his league.

The other thing that really cracks me up is how judgmental someone in his shape is. He is constantly saying things like: "that guy could stand to lose some weight" or "he sure doesn't have as much hair as he used to" or "that funny little man wants to be my friend"

In three months we have had quite a bit of progress. It comes with many up and down days but in the big picture we have come a long way.

Grandpa has putted on the putting green, played pool many times, exercised on fancy gym equipment, become a lot more social, joined the family for Easter & Mother's Day & best of all lifted his spirits from a dying state of mind to someone trying to figure out how to live better.

Progress & Hope, what more could we ask for???

Lastly, my family ROCKS! We all came together to help Grandpa & we have all done a fantastic job. Without us, I don't know where he would be. He has the most visitors by far out of everyone that lives in his new home and I think that makes him pretty proud!

Oh wait, I have to go, Grandpa just called to say he needs Preparation H and a Chocolate milkshake stat!!! I SOOOO wish I was kidding!


viewfromdownhere said...

Aw, that is so sweet that you've got that kind of relationship with your Grandpa. I only wish mine lived closer...he's a lot like that, though, at 87 with some of the comments he makes. And those pictures of your little girl with him are too precious!

Rhi said...

LMAO, but glad that things are looking up

Anonymous said...

As I am getting older it really bugs me alot. My parents died young; I'm getting close to when they died. Please have patience with your Grandpa. From my experience with my husband's parents, they know not what they do; they are 85 now-I don't know what happens but they are at the end of their lives and I'm sure they're afraid of dying for one thing and it's probably a major thing. It seems once they reach 80 but obviously they're not the same anymore-maybe upcoming generations will be different - I am hoping. All I have to say is have patience while he's still here and love him for his idiosyncracies. Kathy (@ Jessica's work)

Sarah said...

Kathy, you are right. I really need to work on that. Most days I do pretty good but it can be really difficult sometimes. I love him and want him to be healthy and happy. I know he is scared and some days he wants to give up. I don't envy his reality. I am trying to make his life better and easier it really can be such a struggle because he doesn't seem to understand how unreasonable he is sometimes. Plus I have to weigh his daily demands with taking care of my family which doesn't always lead to him getting his way which is all he really wants. Thank you for your advice, I really take it to heart.