"My dad is driving me crazy!" Linda is speaking of her 97-year-old dad. Maybe some of you can relate.
Linda and her brother call themselves " Dad's on-call assisted living support team." She might be immersed in a project at work when "Eldercare Alert" sounds, otherwise known as Dad's cell phone. She gets his panic calls several times a day. So does her brother. "It's also possible we'll both get a call over the same issue, so we have to circle back and get things clarified."
Dad's needs and issues vary from day to day, with several themes running through: an eyelash stuck in the eye, constipation, food issues, medication issues. On the good days, including 3 days before Christmas last year, Linda said Dad was a delight. But there are the not-so-good days, too, often related to his refusal to take Zoloft for anxiety. He'll take the medication for a week or two and drop it like a hot potato later, much to the dismay of his children who suffer through his negativity.
According to his nurse-practitioner, assisted living won't work for him. He’s extremely claustrophobic, will only eat what HE cooks or what Linda and her brother take him every 2 - 3 days from one of 2 restaurants, and he has difficulty socializing. So Linda and her brother are doing all they can to help him stay in his independent living apartment. He does like that.
In one of our phone calls, Linda asked Joy, "Do you have any advice for me?"
Joy said something only a friend would say to a friend. And her words ring true: "Find a friend who you trust totally. One who you can whine to. Whine as much as you need to. When you're done, you'll feel better." I agree.