Some of you are aware that I take care of my father's well being. Remembering he is legally blind and uses the legal white stick. I am his only child so therefore his next of kin.
So I visit my dad in another city every week staying a night or two, and sometimes I visit 2 times a week and sometimes my husband comes with me.
The trip to dad's two story house from my house takes me 1-1/2 hours, that is from my garage into his garage. I have never missed, expect for when my husband and I travel to visit our youngest son, his wife and their little children in Queensland for 1 month each year. Yes, we need a holiday and break away.
I read him his mail, take him to the Dr. when necessary, do his shopping, pay his accounts, do his washing, and keep his kitchen and other areas of the house clean. Occasionally he will come to get the groceries with me.
I handle all his affairs, and together we make decisions as my dad is very lucky with a very good mind.
He tells me many stories, often they are repeated many times :) but I always pretend it's the first time.
A cleaning lady comes weekly.
Registered nurses: One comes 3 times a week and gives dad a shower. Another comes each Friday and changes his Leg bag, then another comes every 6 to 8 weeks and changes his Suprapubic Catheter. Being 90 years of age my father is doing a marvelous job dealing with this latter unavoidable on going treatment for his problem. I have to made sure he has all that's needed and buy all things needed for him as in urine day bags, night bags, then catheters.
Dad had prostrate cancer years ago, and had Radiotherapy treatment for many weeks, which cleared him of his cancer. Now the nerves have all gone in the bladder area and around so hence the need for the catheter. So the Radiotherapy did it's job at the time but has come back to haunt him in another way.
Meals on wheels are delivered 3 times a week, and consist of meat, veggies, soup and a sweet.
These meals cost $8.90AUD per one complete meal. Dad hates cooking and is quite capable of doing it, but with the meals delivered and me taking down some food, he gets by.
He doesn't wish to go into a 'home', and it's not necessary as he would be lost in one, for a blind person of his age is much better in his own surroundings. If the time comes for a 'home' he will hopefully let me know, or I will see plus the people that come to his house will see. We don't cross out bridges until we come to them.
Dad has a good sense of humour and now says he has spare parts that are not any good to him :)
Slowly over the months he is becoming more reliant on me and the Registered Nurses. I see a man of great standing in the Community of his City going down hill health wise, especially since October of last year.
Occasionally a man calls to take Dad to Rotary where he's been made an Honary Life Member, and several years ago he earned a Paul Harris Fellowship. I say 'earned' because in some countries the Rotary Member pays money to become a Paul Harris Fellow, all though you can also pay to become one here in Australia but it's much nicer to 'earn' one.
So what does dad do all day - not much as he can't watch TV, he can't see it, he can't follow a movie or a TV series or show because the dialogue isn't good enough. He does like the Cricket so some times he can vaguely see the white ball on TV but that's it. He listens to the radio, his iPod, walks down stairs and backup again, then down the ramp and back up again for exercise.
There is talk of someone taking him for a drive each week, which will be a great thing, even though he can't see anything but a shadow or faint outline of a figure...we wait and see.
Dad is a JP. has an OAM both of which he has had for many, many years.
OAM = Order of the Australia Medal for Services to the Community which was given to him by the Queen of England.