Friday, August 28, 2009


So I was tired on Monday, big deal. Last night I went beyond tired and my body and mind just decided to go into meltdown to tell me to take a breather.

Mum loves the home but is taking time to adjust to the changed circumstances. Most independent people take at least three months to do this. The two arthritis conditions have acclerated to the stage where she can't walk and now uses a wheelchair. I watched her yesterday trying to stand and she tried her best but when I went back in the afternoon, she was in a lot of pain.

She was offered another room but declined because she loves her small corner. Everyone has turns to go first and last to the showers and she waited for her turn being warmed by the morning sun, watching the flowers and birds in the garden. She hates the dining room but goes anyway, if she feels like it. She's still giving me orders but I just told her to wheel over and get her own comb to do her hair. I think it's been made easier for her because of something the doctor said in the hospital, that we would no longer be her carers but would become her family again. It's true, even my sister says she enjoys the visits because Mum is not struggling so much and her thoughts have become more lucid. I put this down to the constant stream of people in and out of her life now.

Sis and I still can't believe our good luck, on getting our first pick of nursing home, on it being so quick, on the mental improvement to the old girl and the tension of three years finally letting up.

Since Monday I've been on the finances treadmill.
The Council (meals and cleaning) were happy to take small amounts until the account is settled, ditto the pharmacy.
The rates will still be paid fortnightly.
The insurance paid once a month and all is fine as long as someone is living in the house and please send us your Power of Attorney.
The Mastercard was a big worry. Too much for us to find once a month but their hardship department couldn't have been nicer. Just name a figure that you can manage and pay it on the same day each month. The account is temporarily closed and no further interest to go on it.

But our favourite company, the one we all love to hate and where Hal the mad computer is finishing out his days and causing trouble. AGL, the Devil's playground. After spending ages on the phone with a follow up call the next day, I obtained the billings codes so we could make extra payments to drop the amount owing. Good plan, bad execution. According to the lovely gentleman I phoned this week (because the direct debits hadn't come out of the bank again) the computer simply took our extra payments as the now and future direct debits, which means we've not paid extra at all. When I asked why I wasn't told this at the time, he said probably because the young people at the call centre don't know it. Jeebus, Mariah and Josepha, can't somebody send a memo in that place?

Now all I have to do is wait for the Centrelink assessment and assorted paperwork and we'll know if she has to pay more than 85% of her pension to the home. With the rent from the BrickOutHouse and any left from the pension, we won't have to sell her home.

And I've put on 6 kilos in the last 5 weeks. It's going to be hard to take off. I have to walk past the bakery in Mentone that makes the best shortcrust apple cakes in Melbourne. If I take the shortcut through the lane, I come out smack dab in front of Baker's Delight where the wafting smells of custard scrolls and date scones ambush me. Donations of will power will be gratefully received.


Marshall-Stacks said...

I hereby bequeath to you ALL my own WillPower ...
unfortunately this is not a large bequest. If I see it I eat it.

Happy that things are going better than they might have.
"Life wasn't meant to be easy but if we try,
we can find some contentment"
(is the whole quote)

Frank said...

JahTeh, I'm so happy to hear that things are working out for you, you deserve it. We had a good experience with the lovely people at the Good Shepherd nursing home in Abbotsford. It was so encouraging when you hear so many bad stories. Excellent that you can go back to being family instead of carer. Best wishes.
PS Thought you'd like to know that the word verification is "torte"

Andrew said...

Interesting to learn that looking after aged parents in their home is not always the best option. She sounds happier, you and your sis sound relieved and once things are sorted out better, you both will be more relaxed. I suppose you are responsible for her debts if you want to keep the house. I will send this on to my sis in law who is looking after her mother at home.

PS What a cheek of that Stacks person when she is as skinny as a rake. Ok, skinnyish.

JahTeh said...

Gee, thanks M-S but our combined willpower couldn't keep a cornflake safe from us.

See Frank, even blogger is against diets. This is a really happy and clean place and they won't push her to do anything she can't. I'm glad you had a good experience as well since it seems the bad list is longer than the good one.

Andrew, it was the mastercard payment that worried us the most but who'd have thought NAB had a heart. They even told me how many years it would take to pay off at $100 a month.
Even if my nephew had taken a carer's allowance it still wouldn't have made any difference to having the house not seen as an asset. You have to be eligible for a Centrelink or Vet's affairs pension for that.

Maria said...

Hehehe -

my word verification is witobig

way to big!

Surely you is appropiate blogger!

Jayne said...

Glad to hear everything is starting to come together, J (((hugs))).
Yes, you can begin to enjoy your mum as your mum again :)

River said...

The trick is the Pasta diet. Walk PASTA bakery, walk PASTA Bakers' Delight, Walk PASTA Donut King etc.
I'm glad your mum is more lucid again now, you and your sister can enjoy her conversations again.
AGL should be made to suck and chew on wet ropes.

Lord Sedgwick said...

"Donations of will power will be gratefully received."

My will Power of Attorney is available at an unreasonable price.

(So the container load of extra lite baby spinach leaves I had delivered to you didn't get a look in?)

JahTeh said...

I can laugh at you Sedgwick, Ha ha!
You've still got MadMa at home and on your phone.

River, are you insane? Even if I have the willpower to walk pasta those two, there are a million coffee palaces in Mentone. I'm better off at Southland where the noise drowns out the cake smells.
AGL are clowns so it's not my fault if I forgot to tell them about her pensioner concession and how it mightn't/shouldn't be on the account now.

Jayne, I see they've put up an information board with a photo of Violet Murrell near the horse trough. I managed to see that through the haze of bakery smells assaulting me at the bus stop.

Maria, you saved yourself by not putting an extra 'o' in that to. I am way too big though, BrickOutHouse is worried I'll end up beside Ma in the nursing home.

Lord Sedgwick said...

"I can laugh at you Sedgwick, Ha ha!
You've still got MadMa at home and on your phone."

Dammit I knew I shouldn't have killed the Morse code enabled carrier pigeon.

Middle Child said...

Ah Jahteh now I know you must have gone to a catholic school "Jeebus, Mariah and Josepha" we used to write JMJ on the top of every exercise page in our school books so as to remind us...who was in charge...
The weight will be easier to deal with when you have more real time to take care of a sixty year old grandmother