Getting Old isn't for sissies

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Well-known member
Sep 4, 2015
Saskatchewan Can.
"Getting Old isn't for sissies" I'm not sure who coined that phrase on here, I think it was Tripper, but truer words have never been spoken. This is a long very sad story and the reason I have been absent from the site for the past while.
On Dec 5 2020 my parents celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. My mother had been in the hospital for about two weeks and Dad got to go visit here for a couple hours. On the morning of Dec 06th my Mom was taken away from my Dad and placed in a long term care facility an hour and a half away due to worsening Dementia, Dad was left alone in their apartment at a seniors lodge. Early January we had the Covid scare with Mom that she survived but left her on oxygen ever since. Here is a real stab to the heart Mom and Dad are on a fixed income and living well in the lodge with their rent, but when they took Mom to long term care the monthly cost tripled, now here is where the government of Alberta needs to smarten up they offer a subsidy for situations like this but it meant Mom and Dad had to get legally seperated :eek: Dad has been heart broken since she was taken away became real bitter and quit eating or drinking much, the Doctors now think he was severely dehydrated, anyhow just over 5 weeks ago he woke up from a dream at 5am that the cows had got out and Mom was out trying to herd them back in and he had to get out to help her. He put his jacket, and slippers on put his toque in his pocket and took his walker and headed out of his apartment on a mission, he checked the dinning room talked to a fellow senior then headed out the front doors of the lodge, this is all caught on security cameras. Down the ramp and sidewalk to the street always looking around for Mom, when he got to the street he turned left and went off camera all this in 2.5 minutes he hasn't moved this fast in years, oh and I didn't mention he is legally blind. Once he was on the street he continued about 200 feet around some parked cars then moved over next to the curb where he tripped in the deep snow and fell into a snowbank. As much as he tried he couldn't get up, he laid there as three cars drove not seeing him, it was -33 c -27.4f with a wind chill well into the -40 range. He managed to get his toque on and came to terms in his mind that this was how he was going to die, after laying there for an hour and 10 minutes a passing car spotted him and called 911 we don't know who this person was and have not been able to locate to thank them. He was taken to the hospital with a body temp of 32c the only thing keeping him alive was his pacemaker. He was shipped to Edmonton after he was stabilized, for the specialist's to look at. Three days later he was back in Edson hospital to recover. Frost bit is a very nasty thing it takes 3-4 weeks for everything that is damaged to die that is going to, and they can't do any repairs till this has taken its course. So after over a month of hell in the hospital this past Wednesday he went back to Edmonton and had parts of 7 fingers and two toes amputated, he is 89. Two weeks prior to this we got a call from the Long term care facility where Mom is that she had an internal bleed and her blood count was down to 38 from 140, they gave her 4 units of blood and brought her count back up to 88. We deceided that in Dad's condition it was better he was not privy to what was happening with Mom. This is when the wife and I deceided to hell with Covid we were heading up to see them before it was too late. We were up there for a week and were lucky that Mom had a clear moment or two and recognised us then went back to her own world. Our talk with the head of the facility was not great, the bleed she has can not be fixed as the surgery would kill her and at the rate her blood count was going down she had about 6 weeks left. They would not let my wife in to see my Dad all week because of covid rules, after leading to the hospital administrator, on Friday the day before we came home they let her in and she had an awesome visit with him. This has not hit the end yet, but it's coming, getting old sucks, I just had to put this down on paper so to speak.
So sorry to hear this Glen. My Mother in law's cancer has returned and they gave her two years max, maybe less. They told her she could take the radiation to extend her time, but it might kill her sooner, it was her decision. She decided to take the chance on taking it. She's only in her late 70's, but smoked most of her life. I just recently quit smoking after 50 years, probably too late, but hope it helps give me a few more years. It seems like the older generation are having to leave this life they way they had to live it, hard.:(
Dozer, my heart goes out for you. It's a very hard thing dealing
with and watching a family member with health issues and not being able
to do much of anything about it and then add our current restrictions
to that, it's just so terrible that most can't spend their last bit of time
together. Wishing you and yours nothing but the best, hang tough brother...
Sorry to hear dozer. I know there are no words that can make this better. We are going through this with my mother also with Alzheimers. This runs in our family and it is so sad. If you need to vent feel free. We all have your back.
Wow man, that is hard to read for sure!! I cant even imagine what you are going through!! Stay strong
Wow Dozer, I'll send you some strength to help you get through this.

Some observations: -'Growing old isn't for sissies'.
-Life can change drastically and quickly, depending on the
decisions you make.
-The Alberta Government barely looks after you in your old
age until you really need extra care, then the
Government washes their hands of you.

I'm thinking of you, Dozer.
Dozer, What you related is horrific to read about. It must be a hundred times worse to have your loved ones in this terrible situation. I'm glad you can tell your story here and feel some comfort and support from us. Your Father has to be from sturdy stock or he wouldn't have survived that extreme exposure. Now, you need to be strong too.
I'm sitting at the computer with tears in my eyes after reading your replies, trying to type this reply to such an incredible bunch of guys I'll call family. Thanks you so much for all the support and well wishes. Once again the best site and people on the web.
We're all a bunch of misfit brothers around here!:D I never had a brother, so you guys have to do, and most of the time, you do good.

I don't know how the international calling deal works, probably expensive, but if you ever want to talk to me Glen, just send a PM and I'll be glad to spend some time on the interwebs with you.
dozer sorry to hear what you are going through. my wife's dad is 81 and has dementia, he is a hand full.
My Dad died from Alzheimer's in December. He was 90, and had been gradually loosing his memory over the last 12 to 15 years or more. We gradually lost him, bit by bit. He had been a parts man at the mechanics' service desk for nearly all of his working life, and actually worked part-time during college in a repair shop that catered to hotrodders, in California in the early to mid 50's. (I remember him telling how they had to use two jacks to change a tire on the low riders with wheel skirts molded on. They would put a scissor jack under the axle on the opposite side, and a bumper jack on the side with the flat. That would twist the axle enough that it would bring the side w/ the flat down enough to get the wheel & tire out of the wheel well.)
Then 15 days later my Aunt, Dad's sister also passed away from Alzheimer's. (A much younger sister had already died of the same thing years ago, so it DOES seem to run in families.)
Mom had been the sole care-giver for Dad until just shortly before he passed away, when she just couldn't do it physically anymore, and so he was moved to a near-by facility that had specialized care, called Memory Care. He just stopped eating. Not out of stubbornness or something like that - he just didn't understand anymore why he should do it, didn't even know what it was for. (Once, when my Mom put his plate of food in front of him at the table, he asked, What do I do with that?) It seems to me that Alzheimer's is the most cruel disease I have ever witnessed.
So I feel for you, for what you and your parents are going through. The confused wandering around out in the cold especially. (My Dad left their room in his night shorts once, but the outside door in that place is kept locked, so he just wandered the halls for who knows how long before he came past their door and somehow the number rang a bell in his mind, and he knocked till my mom woke up & let him in.) I know we're not supposed to get into religion here, but I'm praying for them, and for you.
Wow Glen, that's such a sad story to hear. I'm sure I can speak for all of us when I say that we are flattered and glad you felt like sharing it with us. My thoughts and prayers to you and your wife. I lost my mom to Alzheimers last year, just prior to Covid. It's a tough way to lose someone, so know that we are here.

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