First of all, thank you to all of those folks who wrote me asking where I had gone and when I’d be back. It’s nice to know that you are interested in what I have to say about my experiences.
Secondly, I have a few reasons for taking this very long break from writing My Father Doesn’t Know Me Anymore. Most importantly, and the reason that most deeply affected me, is the fact that I felt a need to discuss certain issues that I did not feel safe discussing here. I censored myself for fear of upsetting anyone. And, I may or may not bring up those issues at a later date. I may disguise them as topics or I may relate my personal experiences with them. I don’t know how I will present them, but I will present them. For now, I’m just going to work on writing about those things that people have asked me to address.
I do owe you an update however. My father, JHP,JR, passed away Sept. 20, 2012. I’ll go into that long story in another posting. My hope is that I can have this blog up and running for the first anniversary of his death. I’d like to think he’d be proud of me for doing so, but he would probably be really ticked off that I stopped for so long.
As always, if you have any topics you want me to explore, please feel free to drop me a line. I’m working with hindsight now and it’s amazing how similar the view.
I honestly believe one of the best decisions my sister made was hiring an elder care attorney. I am not sure where we’d be otherwise.
It was the summer of 2008 when my sister, as Power of Attorney for my father’s financial matters, hired Steve Katten to be our father’s elder care attorney. For a few thousand dollars, Katten has since been on retainer for all matters surrounding my father’s legal life. This means we have assistance with anything regarding my sister’s status of POA, with our father’s taxes, with anything regarding his estate, and then some. Not only do we have an attorney on hand, we have his social worker on our side as well.
Since I don’t have anything to do with my father’s financial matters other than buying things he needs, I find myself taking advantage of the social worker’s skills. Kim Olmedo has a whole host of abbreviations following her name that tell clients she is licensed, experienced, and highly qualified to help them through the obstacle course that is dealing with a loved one’s dementia. I am not exaggerating when I tell you Kim has seen and heard it all from me. She’s heard me give the silent treatment, she’s heard me cry, she’s heard me yell (even when separated by miles!), she’s seen me lose it in public and in private, and she’s even been through some ups and down in our professional relationship. It’s a tough job she has because of the emotional aspect of my role in my father’s life and her role in helping me with it all. So, I salute her for all she has done, will do, and may need therapy for when this is all said and done.
We are lucky, though. My father set up his finances in such a way he was able to give us the financial resources to take care of him in these ways. Not everybody has the money to do this. In that regard we are very lucky. He did plan well. If, however, you are in a position to utilize the resources of an elder care attorney for matters regarding your loved one, take the time to do the research and interview qualified attorneys in your area. I’ve included resources on the Additional Links page that may come in handy.
In honor of JHP, JR, retired Attorney-At-Law, who taught me to CYA, I offer readers the following disclaimer:
Please do not mistake any of the information on My Father Doesn’t Know Me as medical or therapeutic advice. All of the information contained in this site is based on Lucy Parker Watkins’ experiences, personal research and advice she received during the course of her father’s treatment for dementia.