Parents caring for the parent support thread (Part 2)

Continuing the discussion from Parents caring for the parent support thread (Part 1) - #14709 by surfcity.

Previous discussions:

My mom lives with me, and it’s been a long, long year. She has dementia and I care for her full-time. We used to have relatives visit on the weekends fairly often, but the last time we saw anyone was early February.

I feel like this lack of interaction has affected my mom’s ability to stay interested in living. We’ve done Zoom a few times, but she doesn’t stay interested in watching people in their screen boxes for more than ten minutes. I do activities with her, but I think she just views me as her nurse now.

On the bright side, none of us have been sick all year. No colds, nothing. She hasn’t been to her doctor for a year, so hopefully she stays well until the spring when hopefully she has a chance at a vaccine. She just wants to sleep all the time. To be honest, so do I!

I hope everyone else dealing with elders is making it through as best they can. There is at least a light at the end of this tunnel.


@psychmomma, I give you credit. It is hard enough dealing with either having to care for another but when that person has dementia, is so much more tiring. Throw in a pandemic and wow, you can hit overload very quickly!

I only watch my mom 2 days/week and overnight from time to time. I try hard to engage her and match her energy level. Some days she really had a hard time hearing at all. Other days she’s quite engaged.

We probably aren’t being all that safe since mom rotates between me and my sibs, but it’s been working daily well for all of us since February, so we just keep going.

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I am so glad we are extending this thread. My father died this past summer, but I still want to provide a caring ear to others, if I can. My MIL lives 1000 miles away, and my BIL and SIL are “in charge” of her care. My H is the financial POA for MIL. So our day-to-day involvement is limited.


My parents are just in limbo now. My dad’s health continues to improve but they really need to get out of their big, three-story house into a facility. But my sister and I don’t want to risk moving them now. Ugh.

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Sometimes the choices in helping parents are pretty daunting but still must be navigated. Wishing the best always to all on this journey.

My first post on the new format!
I am excited today because I am fairly certain that I can wrap up Mom’s estate THIS YEAR! For those newer to the thread, my Mom had dementia and I took over as guardian/conservator/trustee of all of her life in 2012. She died in 2017… We had a lot of property to try to sell and we (my bro and I ) made the decision to try to sell under the trust. But my DH was sick of the time I spend on it (not that much time now, but he holds the time I spent before in the forefront of his mind). We just have the one property left, when it didn’t sell at auction (third try, less $$ for reserve) I said we are done and am changing the deeds to the beneficiaries names. Done! I am one of the beneficiaries so I will still have to deal with some stuff, but I have a plan to do a trade of property with my brother so we don’t have to both sign and make decisions. He and I have a great relationship, it is just that as the big sister, I do the work and he usually agrees. But he is slower to react (I am not a patient person) So while he is thinking (which is sometimes a good thing), I am moaning impatiently to my DH who thinks then there is a problem.
For those still in the trenches, I just wanted to say you will get through it, just keep trudging on. For those just starting, it will be a long journey most likely so keep your patience and good will to all who you deal with, family or officials. Keep in mind:1) you matter too and 2) YOUR oxygen mask must be in place before you can effectively save others.


One suggestion: I had always been told to leave one bank account open with the deceased parent’s name in case you get a random unexpected check later. However, I realized that I, also, wanted to avoid any bank income reporting in the SSN of the deceased parents. I should have changed the joint account to be under my SSN before their death as I cannot change the account after the last death. Now there is the risk of a 1099, depending on the computer’s decision.

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Just copying over my post on the last (closed) thread. Plus I have a phone meeting today for a “care conference” for both parents. The reports are basically listing how much each are declining. . . it is awful to not be able to see anything first hand and to not be able to help in any real meaningful way.

Just bumping up this thread (if that is even a thing with the new platform :wink: ) to see how everyone is doing.

My parents place is back in lockdown because they had their first staff member test positive. They will test everyone and wait some time before allowing visits again. I saw my parents on Thanksgiving weekend, outside under a heater, they wore blankets and we were masked. It is better than nothing.


I am still seeing my mother at the window, with me outside. It’s cold but the only way I can see her. Twice a week.

She had Moh’s surgery for a skin cancer on her arm two weeks ago and mysteriously took to her bed for 10 days, with lots of weeping. She cancelled my visits because she said she was not able to get downstairs. She also was more confused: for instance, told me she was in bed because there was a “bandage” on her tummy which was actually her colostomy.

Equally mysteriously, she rose from her bed two days ago and I saw her yesterday and she was fine. Lipstick on, even.

The whole 10 days the private nurse was giving me alarming messages and the facility was telling me she is an hysteric (not very compassionate, but right as it turns out).

I cancelled the doctor appointment and at the window asked her to lift her legs. Her right ankle is very swollen, another thing the private nurse and facility disagreed about, and in this case the private nurse was right: very swollen, not baseline.

I also discovered something noone else has discovered: she is picking at,or should I say digging deeply at, the sites of other skin cancers recently removed. I think they were growing back and they get crusty and she is injuring herself by picking.

I asked the facility to put bandages on them and watch for infection. My lack of access to her felt and feels dangerous at times… The assisted living folks are overburdened so I don’t blame them. I do wish for more communication but that is a stressor for them and I get it.

How is everyone else?

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I’m glad you get to see your mom twice a week, even if it’s through the window. You are such a good advocate for her. I bet that ten days seemed like an eternity! I’m glad she bounced back for your recent visit.

Same old same old here with my mom. She has better days and worse days. Today was a good day. We zoomed with relatives and she perked up and conversed a bit. She gets confused by only seeing people in their little boxes, but enjoys it still.

My kids are all home and done quarantining so they can be in the same room with her now. It’s nice to have them here, and it’s a positive for her, too. I can tell just having additional voices and laughter in our usually quiet house is lifting her spirits.


@psychmomma so glad you have a houseful! I can imagine that lifts your mom’s mood- but also yours :slight_smile:

So happy that my dad is alive to enjoy another Christmas. Not only that, he is thinking about what to get his kids and grandkids for presents! He certainly wasn’t up to that last year. He’s going to give our son living in Beirut a good bit of cash since he had bought used cars for the other grandkids in the past.

It IS tough that Mom has checked out so much she doesn’t even do the Christmas newsletter that she loved sending out. She also doesn’t decorate at all. It’s too bad, because she’s certainly physically capable of it. :frowning:

I’ve been having mom help me wrap Christmas gifts. It works, as long as I hand her the gift and appropriately-sized paper. She wraps and it makes us both happy.
She does a very nice job. We are still keeping her out of her CCRC because they don’t allow visitors and continue to have cases. We figure we will keep having her out until she and her CCRC have had their 2 covid vaccines, which should be March/April.

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COVID is back in my mother;s facility, One case, two possibles. Bound to happen. All visits cancelled.

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Many more cases revealed after testing of residents and staff.

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Ugh, I’m so sorry.

Austin, where my parents live, has gone to Stage 5 restrictions. High risk people (which they are!) are supposed to avoid contact with any people outside their household. But I know Dad will continue to go to church every week and probably attend the potluck lunch afterwards. It makes me so mad that the congregation doesn’t say, “Hey, we love you - stay home!”

My Dads place (he was in Memory Care but they had Assisted and Senior Living) was very, very strict. My in-laws just moved into a Senior Living facility (that also has Assisted and Memory Care) less than a mile away from my Dad’s place and they don’t seem strict at all. My in-laws had to take a test when they moved in. But they are allowed to come and go all they want. No visitors allowed and they JUST closed the dining room and indoor activities last week.

Saw my dad when he went thru what I thought was an unnecessary procedure last week. He is an MD and trained many of the docs in his town so hard for me to argue when they say do it. (I thought Covid risks outweighed the necessity of doing this non essential surgery. My dad is using doctor visits as a source of human contact and diversion. Bleh.)

Anniversary of my mom’s death. That also made me go be with him and not push too hard. He did need a diversion.

He is good about staying in. He is lonely. When I was cleaning up his wound, I was thinking “when is the last time anyone touched him? Touched him gently like this?”

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We had a nice car parade at my parents’ community. I got to see my mom and wave from the car. It doesn’t look like they have any cases from the one staff person who tested positive, so that is good. No news on when visits will be allowed again. They are gearing up to distribute vaccines soon.

My parents are both declining a lot and it is so sad to think of how much of their last years I am missing :(.