Bob and Darlene’s daughter Jill works full time as a Marketing Director for a large manufacturing company. Her work had her on the road most days, in meetings with new and existing clients. Her hours are long and unpredictable. The pandemic has completely changed how she does her job and honestly, she is worried about how she can continue meeting her requirements for bringing in new business. There doesn’t seem to be a moment in her day that her parents aren’t on her mind. Bob and Darlene are both in the 80’s. They have been married for 55 years. Jill knows that staying at home together is important to her parents; but sometimes she wishes that they would agree to go live in an Assisted Living Facility. Jill also worries that she has little knowledge of her parent’s finances, legal planning, medical history or insurance. Would they even have the money to receive care if they agreed to it? She knows that she needs to learn more about all of this. Her parents have always been very private people. It makes her feel uncomfortable to even ask her Dad any questions though. How can she even start this conversation? Her Mom and Dad both have Doctor appointments coming up and Dad insists that they can handle it themselves. Jill really wants to go to the appointments with them.
But Jill needs to focus on work. As she scrolls through her emails, she sees that her company is offering a Lunch-n-Learn Zoom meeting Thursday. The topic is Caring for Your Parents! This is a miracle!!!! Jill can feel some of the stress release just knowing that she might find some help. Then all the sudden the worry returns. If she attends this meeting, will it alert her boss that she is dealing with this in her life and will it cause them to question if her low new client numbers are as a result of her time and energy going to her parents? Maybe she shouldn’t risk it? Maybe she will look online and see if she can find something similar not connected with her work? Her cell phone rings, she sees it’s her parent’s number. Dread fills her mind. “Hi Dadâ€¦what’s wrong”?
Jill meets her Dad at the Emergency Room. Her Mom is getting x-rays. She fell and Dad had to call 911 because he couldn’t get Mom off the floor in the bathroom. The EMTs got her into the ambulance and brought her here. Dad doesn’t know why they had to bring her to the ER, he didn’t want them to; but they insisted. Jill asks her Dad what Mom was doing when she fell. He answers that he isn’t sure because he was in the kitchen preparing them lunch when he heard her fall. Jill starts to ask about their health insurance when they wheel Mom back in. Jill can see that her Mom is scared and anxious, her Dad stands up and goes over to the bed to hold his wife’s hand. Jill can see bruises forming on her Mom’s face and arms. They sit for hours waitingâ€¦. everyone’s anxiousness builds. Mom keeps trying to get up and leave. Dad tells her repeatedly that she can’t. Mom keeps asking why. By the time the Doctor comes in, Jill only wants this to be over.
The Doctor says that there aren’t any broken bones. When Darlene was admitted, they had asked about her medications. Now, the Doctor questions Bob as to the dosages Darlene is taking and when she is taking them. Bob admits that Darlene has so many Doctors who prescribe medications for her and that when they change the prescription or dosage he often gets confused. The Doctor tells Bob that he needs to make an appointment with Darlene’s Primary Care Physician to get a clean medication list for her. The Doctor then looks at Jill and asks “Will you be able to attend that appointment with them”? Jill says yes, but she can see her Dad shaking his head. In the car on the way home Jill tells hre Dad that she really wants to learn how to help them. He says she is too busy and he doesn’t need help. But she knows they doâ€¦..