by Laurie-Ann Copple
Tony and I have been on a steep learning curve in the care of my dad, but in a way it's quite a privilege. I didn't have the opportunity to be with my mom near the end of her life, due to my cancer journey in South Africa. You can't travel easily while taking chemo - I even found my journey to Namibia difficult, and that was by car. I am incredibly thankful that my sister fulfilled that role for both of us.
My dad refuses to be in a care home, and just wants to be in his own home. Many seniors feel that way. He didn't even want to do what Tony and I did - to downsize and live in a condo. We found the changes we did to his home when he came out of the hospital in 2015 were essential now - things like lift bars in the shower and a proper railing on the steep porch stairs. Both dad and I use a walker (mine is more for balance and to walk further). Unfortunately my inherited walker and his are very similar, so he "steals" mine away. So I only use it outside. We manage.
He has PSWs to help him with showers, and Tony and I manage his medications and meals. I'm the main cook, although Tony handles breakfasts. We do our grocery shopping online, which is either delivered, or Tony picks it up. There have been a few blips, but we've managed.
Dad has had a number of TIAs (mini-strokes), but these are managed in a way where we spot his deterioration, and get him to a more comfortable position. Except for the first we experienced, where he fell on the floor and we couldn't lift him, it's been manageable. Some days have been wonderful, where he's back to his usual funny, caring self. Other days, it's like he's a different person. But always we try kindness with him, with insistence on doing things in a certain way (we have to convince him it's a good idea that he can support).
We aren't trained carers but we are learning, and are given fresh grace each day. We are thankful. We are having hurdles with our own health journeys, especially mine - in getting care going. I can't even renew my accessible parking permit since I need a doctor to sign the form, and none of the walk-in doctors are willing, and most don't see you face to face anyway.
But Tony is getting some good care for his own health. A lot of that is chronicled on the "Our Toronto Medical Journeys" tab under the Home section of this website. And while we don't always feel up to scratch medically, together we have been able to help my dad. One of us is always here - and usually it's both of us. There hasn't been a dull moment! It's only been two months and we are de-cluttering, going through Mom's recipes and keeping the "good" ones, sorting, filing, cooking, cleaning, caring. Believe me, we could use an army, but we're enjoying our time with him. And best of all, dad had a great day on his 93rd birthday as you can see from the above pictures. We are thankful. We also thank our friends who have been praying for us, and for him. He's having some good days, and on the bad ones, we keep him comfortable, fed and well-loved. It's part of "stopping for the one" - which includes family!
Tony and Laurie-Ann Copple (usually Laurie-Ann)
L-A's devotional blog
TONY'S DEVOTIONAL BLOG
Tony's south african journal