Mrs. Roy had a pretty simple life a few months ago, just me and Mr. Roy tooling around enjoying ourselves and the peace and quiet. That's all gone now, replaced with four grandchildren just down the road, Mrs. Roy's mother and Mr. Roy's father. And Mrs. Roy couldn't be happier but things can be confusing sometimes in this new life of ours.
You see, Mr. Roy's father has Alzheimer's and can't really live alone anymore. In the few months since he has joined our household, we have managed to get his medication straightened out and started some Alzheimer's medication and he's doing better. Mrs. Roy still worries if Dad is left alone for more than an hour or two but so far, so good. It's a tough balance between respecting the wisdom of his 80 years and making sure he doesn't accidentally harm himself.
The medication was one of our first ventures into this confusing land. Dad insisted he was taking his medication but Mrs. Roy had her doubts. Mrs. Roy finally convinced Dad to let me put his daily doses in marked pill boxes but he took them out and mixed them up and then got mad at Mrs. Roy when I tried to help him straighten it out. He was taking twice his daily dosage of blood pressure medication! So Mrs. Roy confiscated the medications and one of the other adults in the house gives him his medicine morning and evening.
More recently, Mr. Roy found Dad headed out the front door and asked where he was going. Dad intended to walk up to the barber shop to get a haircut - 2 miles away on a four lane road! He got upset when Mr. Roy insisted on driving him up there but when Mr. Roy asked Dad if he had his cell phone so he could call Mr. Roy to pick him up, Dad had forgotten the phone at home. Just imagine if he had wandered away without the phone and gotten lost! The barber called Mr. Roy when Dad's haircut was finished and Mr. Roy picked him up and brought him home. Like I said, it's a difficult balance.
Mrs. Roy would welcome comments from others traveling this caregiver path. How do you manage to work and be a caregiver at the same time? How do you and your spouse make time for each other? How do you provide food your parent likes and still eat the foods you like? What limits have you set and how did you go about it? Have you found any insider tricks to getting proper healthcare or answering Medicare or insurance questions?
In other words, HELP!