Bee Boppin’ Around…
I started writing this a few times and kept getting “stuck” on the subject matter. I looked through our first proof pages for inspiration and realized I need to talk about what is close at hand and my heart.
My brother and I are the primary caregivers for our elderly parents. My father has had Alzheimer’s for seven years and my mom has beginning stages of dementia. This past year my dad had been attending Live Oak Adult Days Services and enjoyed his visits there. Recently, I was called by the staff to pick him up early as he was being disruptive and wanting to leave. He also had become more aggressive and belligerent and early in January, I was called to help the caregiver because he was trying to attack my mom with her cane.
At the end of January my mother suffered a mild stroke. I was sitting in the waiting room updating my husband on her status when the social worker from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) just happened to call the house and was informed about what happened. My father has been declining in the last few months, not wanting to get up or be showered, and we were in need of a hospital bed for him. The social worker called me on my cell and I was able to order the bed for my dad right then. Two days after my mom went home from the hospital, dad took to his new bed and rapidly declined. We noted he was in some kind of pain and contacted Dr. Delie Sakai; soon hospice was called in. Suncrest Hospice Services came out immediately. They sent a CNA to give my dad a bed bath six days a week and assist our caregiver, Josie, from Caring Hands. They have a virtual team of angels to come assist you in the last days of your loved ones life.At the same time, my mom was rehabbing from the stroke and was being seen by occupational therapists and physical therapists. We also had to step up the care to 24/7, which required me covering the weekend shift with help from my brother.
Luckily, we contacted Jim Ward in early December to update my parent’s will and trust to ensure power of attorney was in place to assist our mother in managing her life. I am so grateful we did this and have been encouraging my employees and friends to make sure their paperwork is in order. I have asked Jim Ward to give a seminar to my employees at my office so that they too can be prepared should anything unexpected happen to them.
Dad passed away peacefully the morning of February 23. I am so grateful for everyone who has helped our family with this process, Caring Hands, Cheryl and her staff from Live Oak Adult Day Services, Jim Ward and his super amazing assistant Cheryl, Lettie at Gilroy Medical Pharmacy for free delivery of the monthly refills, Gina at Gilroy Medical Supply for arranging for equipment, Josie, Geri, and Elli our caregiving team, Edgar from the VA Palo Alto, Dr. Delie Sakai for her wonderful care and bedside manner. My sister girlfriend, Sylvia, for covering for me at the magazine and my wonderful family and friends for their undying support.
~ Bobbi Jo Palmer
A proud member of the Gilroy Rotary