Hi- I am the third sister weighing in from the beach while on spring break with my family. Our parents live with us (my husband and 3 teenage boys) and the 24/7 caregivers that make life possible. Seven years ago I returned to Graduate school to obtain my Nurse Practitioner degree in an effort to be our parents' medical manager as their conditions were already apparent to us. As they progressed (Mom first) I informed my siblings that we would take them into our home. Working as an RN and NP in the hospitals and nursing homes made it crystal clear that their final years would be spent with family not in facilities. So 2.5 years ago we bought the house across the street from my sister (the house we all grew up in) and added on an in law suite to eventually accommodate our parents. On Oct 16 , 2015 (Dad's Bday) they were nearly ambushed and relocated to our home. Not a smooth transition but we didn't expect it to be. Each of us ready for a fight with our Dad and we got it...and periodically still do. He needs to go home, go to work, catch the boat/flight, obtain his driver's license or meet with the bank.
Slowly the new space attached to our kitchen has become their home although we have instilled a few rules..one being "no food in the new room". This has become a costly habit. "Someone" took a banana to the master bathroom in the in law suite and flushed it. This of course caused the toilet to overflow and the early am excitement was off and running...literally all over the floor. After sealing the toilet lid shut with virtual police tape and DO NOT TOUCH signs I left for work and the plumber arrived to reveal the curved culprit...and his receipt read just that...."BANANA" and $150 charge for removing it. All in a day's work...for the plumber and life with dementia!
Need less to say when I questioned them regarding the banana my Mom blamed the plumber and Dad was horribly offended that I would even suggest that he was involved. The bananas are now stored behind closed doors and are no longer available in the kitchen fruit bowl. And I told both of them that my Guardian Angel is watching their every move....(something my Mom used as leverage with us as kids ...that Guardian Angel of hers was EVERYWHERE that we were misbehaving!!!!)
J: As I'm headed over for early morning Daisy Duty I am so grateful to my sister, her husband and her boys for being willing to take on this HUGE challenge. I am so lucky that I only have to walk across the street to see my parents, and as nuts (or bananas) as it often is, I KNOW it is 1000% better than having to visit them in a facility.