Thursday, December 12, 2019

Some helpful information

Yesterday afternoon I called the place my mom lives in now. I wanted to make sure I'm aware of all what's available to her living there and wanted to ask if an outside service can come in and help her. I found out some helpful information, that will probably be able to keep my mom there awhile longer, or at least until we can figure out a move. Honestly, if she can stay there another 3-6 months that would be great.

So, first off is yes, an outside service can come in and assist her. Some of the residents use the services that are in the area (ie. like Visiting Angels). She wasn't sure of their details, she thought some maybe had a 2 hour minimum charge. I will just have to check into some, if the digital calendar/alarm doesn't work.

Secondly, is they have free Lyft service up to 10 miles for residents. They just have to go down to the front desk, let them know they need the ride and they will call Lyft. If it's over 10 miles then it's $2 per mile, so very reasonable and the charge just gets added on their monthly billing. I doubt my mom was even aware they offer this, or if she did, she forgot. I'm sure it was mentioned in the beginning, but she had way too much to remember then and plus, she has her car, so probably didn't give it a second thought. But, I'm so glad to know this. It's one more thing that could let her stay there awhile, if she can't drive, she would still have transportation. Like the grocery store (and her bank inside) is only a mile or two away. Her doctors office is 4 miles. She could even take a Lyft ride the 10 miles to see her BF and not have to drive herself! They also do regular "shuttle" trips in the van type thing where they have scheduled trips, to say Walmart, where they drop them off for an hour and then take them back.

So, if I can get the medication issue resolved and know she has rides, when needed, I feel she could stay there awhile longer and do ok, since otherwise she can still take care of herself. This  currenet place does do all the meals (though she does have her own kitchen if she wants to eat there) and does weekly housekeeping.

I called mom back in the afternoon as I wanted to tell her about the Lyft rides and that she could take that over to see BF.She didn't answer, no call me back until about a half hour later. She had been feeling better by afternoon and decided to get in the shower, haha. She did sound quite a bit better and more energetic. I told her about the free Lyft servcie and she brought up moving near DD again, saying she wanted to make sure it's a place that offers assistance with living, so she wouldn't have to move again. I told her that is the type I am looking into. Then she said "well, if it wasn't for my insurance I'd move over to near where you live". We have talked about this a bit before (I threw the idea out there a couple times, just to see what she'd say). I reminded her again, that she is not tied into this particular insurance plan. She has other options to choose from (she has just always used Kaiser) and if she moves out of the area, she is allowed to switch to a different plan (Medicare advantage type plan). She said oh, well I think I'd like living over there, close to you then. So, I'm going to definitely get more info on the places in the city (about 35-40 min from us). I had gotten info on one, just to see.

We'll talk more about it with her this weekend. Show her the places online. It would be so much nicer if she would move here! Easier on me and she'd have me visiting her regularly. But, she's also known for changing her mind, so next week, she could have a totally different idea, LOL. But, so far, the past 2-3 weeks, she has stayed set with the idea that she does know she needs to move and wants to be somewhere that can help her as her needs change over the years.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A grumpy old man

Well, dang. I was trying to remove an old blog from my blog reading list on the side of my blog and I deleted them all! UGH! I'm too tired right now to re-do them all. Sorry fellow bloggers! I probably won't get it fixed this week. Too much going on with my jobs and year end stuff trying to stay caught up. Plus, I'm not working Friday, since in the morning, I'll be traveling and then at the office all day and then visiting my mom all weekend.

DH is getting grumpy and crabby. Not enough to keep him busy and his mind occupied. It's just a big old catch 22 out in his shop. He should be able to spend hours out there putting around and keepign busy, but he can't work on anything out there because there's no room and he can't make room until he can get rid of/sell some of the stuff. And he can't get the stuff ready to sell because there's no room to get it ready to sale (some things to sell need to get re-assembled)...He is trying to sell some of the racing stuff, but no luck. I'm sure that is a combination of several factors. We no longer live where the racers live, so it's not convenient for them to buy, and lets face it, the stuff is old now and some of it probably getting obsolete. Or racers just are wanting new stuff, instead of used. And I'm sure he still thinks it worth way more than it really is, by now. He did have one inquiry, but didn't pan out. It all just puts him in a bad mood. I don't know how many times he just threatens to start taking stuff to the dump. Fine by me! At this point I don't really care what he does with it. It's all just a complete pain in the butt. I suggest just putting a "steal of a price" on the stuff. It'll probably be gone in no time. At least get something for it, compared to just dumping it, right? But no, he can't let someone get it for a steal. That would make him unhappy, too, LOL.  The shop is just basically a big expensive storage unit! Just dumb. He can't even start putting up shelves to start to get organized, because until he gets rid of some of it, there's no room to even do that. Classic hoarder, except that he does like everything neat and orderly, at least.

He's on edge with just about everything. Yesterday he got the window cleaner spray can out from under the kitchen sink. It's right there in front, when you open the cabinet door. Then he reminds me (for the 1000th time in 35 years) "don't be piling a bunch of stuff under the sink and having it knock over and mess up the pipes" (or something to that effect). I know. I keep stuff away from the pipes. I keep the stuff I use regularly right up front, not even near the pipes. If I do, on occasion, need something stored farther back I'm always very careful not to bump anything on the pipes, yada yada. I said to him have you ever, in 35 years of having a home, had to fix a pipe under one of our sinks, because something stored underneath broke it? (the answer is NO) Well, that set him off, LOL. He fumed and sputtered and then said "well, it's gonna happen!". Then he took everything out from under the kitchen sink and put in all in a box that is now sitting on the kitchen floor and says "there, now the problem is fixed". Whatever, I really don't care. He can be completely ridiculous.

I was going to call my mom a little after 10am her time this morning  to try to make sure she got her meds taken a little earlier than I've been getting around to calling this week, at 11 or l1:30. But, I had an issue come up with my computer at work and was waiting for a call from our IT dept, so I couldn't call her until 10:50. When I brought up if she took her morning pills it was her usual "oh yeah, I did" Then I said, well, I think you still need to fill in the box for Thurs-Sat, can you take a look at it for me and see? Oh, of course Wed, this morning, was not taken! ARGH!! I told DD I don't get how she has no problem remembering to call her BF every morning but can't remember she has pills to take every morning. It shouldn't be this hard! I thought at least calling every morning, then I can make sure she's got her pills taken, but even this isn't working. She told me she will fill up Thurs-Sat after we got off the phone. I know she most likely didn't do it. and I'll know she didn't do it when I get there Friday and see there are no pills left in her Friday evening and nothing will be in there for Saturday.........Plus, she just takes her time getting up and going now in the mornings (which is fine) but she still needs to be taking her morning medication in the morning, not at 11, or 11:30, or whenever she finally remembers. Alarm system set up will be a must. The crappy part is Saturday morning we are leaving early to go meet my uncle halfway and have breakfast, so I can't set the alarm to try out until Saturday evening's pill time.

And even if we still lived just 5 miles apart, like we used to, there is no way I can manage her meds like she needs. Sure, I could go fill them up once a week (which would be nice), but I couldn't be there every morning and evening to make sure she's taken them, I could only call her like I am doing now. She's still not got involved with any of the activities in her apartment community. She keeps saying (almost daily) that she needs to and I keep encouraging her. I'll say, just pick one to try. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

I want to call her current retirement place and talk to them. Explain what is going on with her and see what services they might be able to recommend in the area to help her, and maybe help her stay there as long as possible. I was looking up the phone number and then clicked on google reviews. Found a review by a local "Senior Care" agency, that said they are always impressed by the facility and it's employees when they come to assist residents in the care of their agency. Good to know! And then there was a lengthy review done by a prospective resident. She said you don't even need a car to live there. They offer a free car service if you are going within 10 miles and if going farther, it's still cheaper than a taxi. Again! Good to know! I'm going to give her place a call and see all what is available to her and what they can recommend for outside services.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Medication management struggles continue

My mom actually did worse with remembering to take her medications last week! I had high hopes this would be a good week because DD was there to make sure her pill box got filled for the week and she has the new digital calendar reminding her what day of the week it is.  But, when I talked to her Sunday, to make sure she took her morning pills and then to get her to fill up for this week, she says "oh, well looks like I already filled part of it...There's Sun, Mon, and Tues.."  Which of course means she forgot to take her pills for 3 days last week! ARGGGGHHH!!!  It really just makes you wonder when she took them on Wednesday how she doesn't realize she missed 3 days when the days before are still in there. Plus, of course she's not feeling very well, in the mornings again. Not to mention, when I call and ask her, she's obviously often just telling me she took them, when she hasn't!

I think combining her 3 or 4 vitamins into one multivitamin pill will help with when she needs to fill up the box for the week. Then she will just have her 2 morning pills and one vitamin pill for the am slots. Her evening slot is her cholesterol pill. I'm also going to get the medication alarm reminder set up on the digital calendar, when I am there this weekend. DD and I have discussed getting her a smart phone, where there are also apps that will remind her it's time for her meds.....but we both agree her having to figure out a smart phone is a BAD idea. I'm also guessing she's the type that will just turn off the alarm/reminder and then tell herself "I'll take them in a few minutes" and then of course she forgets/doesn't. Moving to assisted living where they can do medication management for her is a must in the near future. I should probably, for now, see about hiring someone to come in, and at least get her pill box filled up each week. I can still call every morning and will just have to make sure she's taking them and make her get the pillbox in front of her while talking. We did talk again Sunday about NOT putting it in her kitchen cupboard - I stressed again, when it's in there she forgets about it. I told her she's just got to stop worrying that the pills are "in the light".

I was looking online at her cell phone account and call log. I was just curious how often SB was taking the time to call her (before we changed the POA). Since she moved she only has cell phone, no land line. He called her a couple days after she moved in. Then again 10 days later. Then the next call wasn't until 3 weeks later! (the morning of my last day on visit with her). Just proves he shouldn't have been the one in charge. You can be in charge of her, at the level she now needs attention and regular calls, and only call once every couple of weeks. Geez. (though I'm sure he was probably mostly calling her BF, rather than her)

I emailed 3 assisted living places near DD (there really aren't too many) and only one actually replied and gave me pricing. One emailed but wanted to do a tour, and never replied back to my second email asking for pricing. A 3rd never replied. I emailed those 2 back again yesterday and also found one more in her area, that I emailed. I'm also going to email a couple more in my area, just to have a comparison to the one I did get and give her as option. I then emailed "A Place for Mom" and they called me like instantly and then transferred me to an advisor for that area. But, apparently, since I had already contacted (or attempted) to contact these places on my own,  they aren't able to really help me. She did throw out a couple prices for two of the places I hadn't heard back from yet, but she was talking so fast and jumping from place to place in her conversation. I then asked her to repeat the pricing but I'm still not sure if that is just the starting price (most of those places offer studio apartments as well as 1 and 2 bedroom) as I don't recall saying 1 bedroom, other than I told her where she was living now, in a one bedroom. One place was $3600 and she said that included assisted living, so that is what she is paying now, with no assisted living. The other was $3200/mo. The place that did email me back was $3150/mo plus medication assistance would add another couple hundred, she said.

I called her at 11:30 today. She said she wasn't feeling that great, so she cancelled on driving over to see her BF again. Then said "and he of course gets so upset with me". I said well, he's just going to have to understand you don't always feel well and shouldn't be out driving around. Tell him that DD and I will bring you over to see him on Saturday. I then asked if she took her Tuesday morning pills. She said no, not yet. That she hasn't really felt like doing anything yet this morning and went back to bed for awhile. I said well, if you are missing your doses that can and probably is contributing to you not feeling well. She said "oh, you are probably right, I'll take them as soon as I hang up with you". For some reason DD thinks trying the alarm to reminder her it's medication time will confuse her more. I said we'll try it out Fri eve, Sat and Sun and see how it goes. She has got to start taking her meds at a set time every day, otherwise she will just forget.

After I visit her this weekend, get her pill box filled up for next week and set up the alarm/reminders on the digital calendar, I'll see how she does next week. If that doesn't help the situation, then I am going to give a service like Visiting Angels a call and see about setting up service with them for medication management for her. We'll just have to use that until we can get her moved into assisted living place in the next couple of months.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Antique find

My groceries total at Walmart came to $218. I removed a couple items and  the steaks came in lower as once they go off actual weight, it's not as high as they always estimate. We did stop at Target and got stocked up on toilet paper - 2 big cases came to $32 and that included using the $1.50 off coupons that were on them. But, after I got home I realized I forgot tomatoes, for DH's salads. They also gave me 4 loaves of bread, where I only ordered/charged for 3 loaves. Friday night for dinner, we just had turkey, ham, and provolone cheese sandwiches on big croissant rolls and salad.

Friday evening DH mentioned going on Saturday to the two antique stores (one is really big) in the next town to look around and see if we see a farmhouse hutch I like and in our budget, which is basically the $500 from selling the topsoil we still haven't spent. We are holding off right now on the chest freezer. So, far using the little freezer in the shop refrigerator is working out well enough. That would be fun to go look around the antique stores. We have not done that in quite a long time.

Then Saturday morning he says "I don't think I want to go to the antique stores.....driving there will get the car all dirty" (we had just been through the car wash when we picked up our groceries). I said "well that's no fun!". So, we ended up going, ha! We were going to go to the little antique store first, but as we turned to go down the road it's on we saw a sign over the sign for the antique store that said "closed for the season". We walked all through the big antique store and while they had quite a few hutches, they were all 1) too expensive and 2) not what I wanted. I want a farmhouse style hutch with no glass doors on top. And I don't want to spend $1300! The guy also had us look back in his "second" building of furniture that they still need to work on cleaning up etc., but nothing there either.

Late last night DH saw one like I want go on Craigslist or marketplace so he messaged right away, but hasn't heard back yet. It was in the city and only $100. I am hoping and praying on that one!

And of course we both saw several other things we liked and caught our eye. Small church pew benches (DH really wants one of these for our entryway), an antique adding machine (for my office), a vintage pool stick rack/holder (if we someday get a pool table in our bonus room), and antique old wall telephones. We have been wanting an antique wall phone for several years. They had several. There was another couple in the shop, while we were looking around, and we heard them offer the owner lady a lower price than the item was marked and she said yes, if it was cash or local check. DH and I are not "bargainers" but we looked at each other and decided to try it on the phone. DH offered $50 less and she said yes. Then when her hubby was bringing it over to the cash register he started to pull off the bottom box to show DH and he dropped that piece! It ended up cracking a bit. He said he could fix it, if we wanted to come back the next day or if DH wanted to glue it himself, he'd knock $20 off the price. DH said he would fix it himself (the guy said just glue and clamp it down until glue dries), so we ended up saving $70 on it.

It's made of walnut and the guy said he hasn't seen many made from that wood, usually they are oak. It's super heavy, though there aren't any working parts left in it. DH put the bottom on, just to take the picture and then he took it out to the shop to glue and clamp. It "fixed" good and he put it back on this morning. This is on our kitchen wall, that door going into the laundry room.

We had a fun afternoon that is basically our Christmas present to ourselves, other than getting each other a few very small/inexpensive items.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Plugging along

I've heard back from 2 of the 3 independent/assisted/memory care living places in DD's area I emailed for more info and pricing on a 1 bedroom for their levels of care. Of course, no one wants to actually give me pricing, they just want to say "here's our brochure, let's set up a tour". I then emailed back I live out of state, so I'm not sure when I'll be over there and available to take a tour yet. At this point and time I am just trying to gather information and pricing. One did email me back that a 1 bedroom independent living is $3150/mo ($500/mo cheaper than mom is currently paying) and having something like medication assistance would add a couple hundred more. The place here, near me, that I emailed was over $4000 for a 1 bedroom independent living and assisted is $5000/mo but he also suggested if it's just medication assistance using an outside service might also be an option, too, while staying in independent living. None of these places I have looked into, seem to have a washer and dryer in the apartments, as her current place does. They have coin op laundry area to use. Both of the places that have emailed me back with pricing did also say that the independent living includes transportation to dr appts. I'm pretty sure the place she lives in now does not do that.

The mid 40's weather this week has melted most of the snow we had. Then neighbor's 3 dogs have been fine, while they are gone. No barking. Originally they were going to leave the new dog at home and take one of the other dogs with them (because these 2 fight) but I guess after realizing the new dog is barking when they are not home, they decided to board him and just leave the other dog at home with the other 2. Other than them looking sad and lonely, wondering where their humans are, they are doing fine.

I'm trying to get back into MTurks after a bad 2 weeks. Monday I did $8, Tues $15 and yesterday $13. Not great, but I guess this is a slow time of year for earning money with it.

I'm working on getting my Walmart grocery pick up order ready and in my cart (for tomorrow afternoon). Almost every single 2 week order I have done ends up right around $200. I feel like there is a lot of stuff I didn't have to add to this order (because we've been eating lighter dinners, so I still have some things leftover in my freezer) but it's at $240! I can't figure out what is so different. I pretty I even have less soda and water, since we stocked up some on our trip just before Thanksgiving, to get the turkey.

DH stepped down from being the website admin (he'd done it for about 7 years) for the kids racing club we belonged to --- 6 months ago. He emailed the club pres, secretary and another board member. Told them the hosting was paid up through October and the domain was paid through Feb 2020. Let him know who to pass on the login/passwords to. No reply from any of them whatsoever. Until last night. The outgoing club pres finally emails "sorry for the delay in reply, I've been busy with personal stuff, please email us the account logins/passwords". Ok, LOL. DH replied with the info. Said the hosting expired in October, as he said it would, and is no longer even accessible with that log in (website hasn't even worked since October). People are just worthless. That is why we got tired of volunteering for stuff....because we'd do what we said we were going to do and when it needed to be done, while everyone else just waited for us to do it. The racing club left the sanctioning body it belonged to a few months ago, anyway, so we aren't even joining the club anymore. Between the web hosting and web domain (that we were paying for) and the club dues, I'm going to save over $300 a year. Works for me.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Dogs, lights and gifts

Our neighbors left for their trip to see their son and family and will be back Sunday. They decided to board the new dog, since he will just bark when they aren't home. Hopefully the other 3 will do ok while gone. They get to go in and out whenever they want and a friend of theirs comes to feed them 2 times a day. So far today, the other 3 have been fine. They didn't even bark at me and my dogs when they saw us walking to the mailboxes.

We are going to have to have our electrician figure out why our great room lights flicker of and on every so often. It was mentioned to them by DH when they installed all the lighting (before we moved in) and DH noticed it. They made various "reasons" it might be doing it. A bad bulb in one of the light fixtures (hanging from ceiling) or a surge from our electric company. Then it was mentioned to them again that it happens every so often and when our head electrician was here to fix the fire detectors we mentioned it. Basically, they just kinda shrug their shoulders and don't say/do anything.

For the most part, while sitting watching tv in the evenings we only have one floor/table lamp on. It doesn't blink, nor does the tv plugged in above the fireplace). But if we turn any of the overhead or wall sconces on, they blink every so often. Now we have the tree plugged in and it does the same thing. So, last night we actually watched and timed to see if it was regular or radom. Yep, about every 9 minutes it will blink on and off once. The weird thing is the floor lamp will not do it, but the table lamp, plugged the outlet on the floor next to it, does. This is the only room in the house that does it and now that we've had tree and other decorations plugged in and it keeps blinking on and off once, every 9 minutes, it's annoying! Whatever it is, they need to fix it. We paid a buttload of money to this electrician and obviously something is wrong, If it was a power surge from our electric company wouldn't the whole house do it? not just one room? If it was a bad bulb in one of the hanging light fixtures, why do the other fixtures blink, when those fixtures are off. So, I just left him a message about it.

Mom continues to sound good each day, so that is encouraging. She hasn't had any days she wakes up not feeling well, since last Thursday. She does keep saying she thinks she needs to move closer to DD, maybe next spring, so I sent out a few emails to the places in DD's area. One just emailed me a brochure, but no pricing. That's all I heard from so far. I did also email one here near me, in the city, just to see. They emailed right back and sent pricing. Actually a little more than she is paying now, for independent living. Another place in my area did have their starting pricing online, for independent living and it was about $600 less a month than she's paying now.

I just ordered a gift for DD...or maybe I'll give it to her DH as a gift, since I still want to have a few things for him to open (even though we are chipping in on a big gift with DD). One of those Facebook ads got me, LOL. It was personalized stone/farmhouse style coasters. It has their last name initial, with some floral leaves type on each side and then their full name in cursive on the bottom. It reminded me of their wedding announcement. $23, which I tried to see if somewhere else was cheaper, but no. But when I personalized it and clicked it to my cart it went down to $16.99. Then I googled a coupon code and found one for 20% off. I did have to pay shipping of $6.99 but it all still only came to $19. Is coasters a good "guy gift"? LOL

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

This, that and the other

I had given DD a $50 JC Penney gift card for her birthday last month. Wow, did she do well finding deals there on Sunday online shopping. She had been eyeing a pair of boots that were regularly $60 on sale for $20. When she got home from their weekend at in-laws, she got online to order them. They were now down to $15. Plus she found another pair of boots she liked, reg. $80 for $15. And she got a 2 pack of bras for $15 and undies for like $10. She spent a little over the $50 but I think she did really well to get all that. I'll have to start checking out JCP once in awhile, I usually always just look at Kohl's.

So, my mom had a bit of trouble trying to drive over to see BF at his new care place, on Sunday. Oh geez! Of course, she thought she knew how to get there. I don't think he's too far from her, in the same general area. But, she realized she didn't know how to get there, so she said she saw a fire station and stopped in there to ask how to get back to her street/place and she just drove back to her place. I guess BF was mad and chastising her about it. But, apparently it all didn't throw her off kilter, because when I talked to her Sunday (around 6pm) she was fine and not stressed about it (other than I could tell she was annoyed how BF reacted). I told her that it was smart she stopped at the fire station, but she really shouldn't drive somewhere she's not familiar with. She's only been there 2 times and others drove. She said she had looked it up on the computer to make sure she remembered how to get there, but said she should have printed it out. I was kind of surprised she even knew how to look it up, haha. She said she was going to try again on Monday, but take the directions with her. I called her about 1pm yesterday and she was at BF's having lunch with him and his caretaker. Apparently BF had the caretakers husband drive over to mom's place (as I said I'm guessing it's not more than a few miles between them) and she followed him over there. So, that was good. She called me back when she got home (she's been good about remembering to call me back, if she's busy when I call) She said she made it home, no problem.

Woke up to almost 40 degrees this morning. What a change. It's supposed to be in the mid 40's all week and just above freezing at night. I had to take some things to our mailbox for outgoing this morning and it was nice not to be so cold. Last night DH stepped out on the back patio to let the dogs out and called me out. We stood there a minute listening to some coyotes, that didn't sound too far off.

The last of my Christmas decor is arriving today. Just some "swag" I ordered to hang on the two old wooden sleds (we bought off Craigslist last year). They were $10 ea, which was about the cheapest I could find
I'm going to be really watching after Christmas clearance sales on artificial Christmas trees....looking for a 10-12 foot one. We saw a 12 ft one at Lowe's on Saturday we really liked...only $525 on sale, LOL. I googled it. Found a very similar one (actually more lights and more tips) at Home Depot, for like $440, sale price. We need other stuff for the house before we need a $400 tree, LOL.

And last but not least. I've had my fill of turkey sandwiches :)