Friday, 22 July 2016

My past is now my present - being a carer


Fifty-one years later, I am back living in the family home. My 92 year old dad is living here. He has mobility and incontinence problems so I have taken on the role of carer. When he stays (for respite care, 4 weeks a year) at an aged care facility, he comes home worse than when he was admitted. 
I arrive at his place around 6:30 a.m. and leave before 5 p.m. This means I don't miss "wine o'clock" with my wife. A valuable unwind session.
I have routines in place to ensure he has an easy night - automatic lighting, light dinner set out on his tray before I leave, personal alarm pendant, commode in his bedroom, nighttime Lipitor on bedside table, heater to switch on/off.
If he has a bad day, I'll stay over. Sleeping in the bedroom I slept in 51 years ago. 
I cycle to my father's place. Travelling along the same streets I walked to primary school and high school on. 
I don't know how long this arrangement will last, but at the moment it's working.

Tape on carpet shows way to the bedroom
Things that make my life easier at the moment:
1. Split system heating/cooling with auto on/off timer.
2. My dad's electric tilt/lift chair
3. A Carpet Shampooer
4. "Piss mats" in front of toilet and commode (for bad aims). I cut up old Manchester that has been in the linen press since the 60's and 70's. Disposable. Saves on washing.
5. Netflix - finding TV shows that my dad enjoys - "Fawlty Towers", the  British "House of Cards" Trilogy, "Father Ted", "Doc Martin".

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