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The Stewart River in between Stewart Crossing and Mayo, Yukon! Photo taken Saturday afternoon.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Keno City, Yukon!

Where are they going next? Dawson City, Yukon.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Not always easy dealing with aging parents.

After we saw the grandkids off to school, we hopped in the rental car and drove up to Ruth's father's place. It's a bit of a difficult situation, and one of the reasons that we chose to come here. He has recently made the decision (somewhat against his will) to move to a retirement home. And his doctor has recently taken away his driver's licence at age 83.

But, it's for the best. Not always easy dealing with aging parents. Anyhow, we went up to the big old house that is still full of his stuff, and cleaned out the fridge and tidied up a bit since it hasn't been lived in for about two months now, and likely won't be again until it is put up for sale and becomes someone else's responsibility.

Along the way, we made a detour through the town of Almonte, just because we hadn't been through that way for years.

Spring runoff has made the water level really high!

Tons of water coming down the falls!

Almonte is an old mill town.


They have a new (2010) hydro generating station at the bottom of the falls. 
The outlet water is churning like mad!

Almonte is a nice little town.

The old town hall.

From there, we went to her dad's house and tidied up a bit, but we'll be back again Sunday afternoon to do more. He also has two vehicles that will need to be sold, but we'll probably worry about them when we return to Ottawa area for a couple of weeks in early October. Ruth will have to discuss with her siblings the best way to accomplish all of this.

From there, we went into the town of Arnprior to the retirement home. Found him with a group of ladies playing some kind of horse racing game with dice. He's doing fine, but he definitely looks six months older compared to the last time we saw him. Getting old is no fun, but as they say, it's better than the alternative!

He was sure happy to see us, and really surprised. 

Ruth, with her dad.

So, we had a good visit, and we'll go back and see him again a couple of times before we head back to Saskatchewan and the motorhome next Wednesday.

I went out with a friend of mine last night, and Ruth stayed behind with Justin and the grandkids while Lindsey went to work. She's a server and bartender at a local pub.

Cameron (7), helping dad do some bicycle maintenance.

And here's four year old Sadie helping dad clean up the shop. She's such a cutie!


Not much on the agenda today, but we're going to take their 130 lb dog Chester, for a walk. Or, maybe he's going to take us for a walk!

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36 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Both T.C. and I lost our parents when we were I'd say, relatively young. My Mom when I was in my twenties, my Dad in my early thirties. Her Mom when she was 22 and her Dad much later. Anyway, I'd say we both miss our parents to some extent, but when I hear or some of the trials and tribulations of those of our age or older dealing with their ageing parents, I tend to find myself wondering just how I would deal with such a situation.
      ..I've thought about this, and wanted to add..
      I suppose I would have been quite happy to have "ageing parents" around, rather than having had the misfortune of losing them at a young age. Just not entirely sure of my ability to offer the type of support needed as a caregiver. It's not for the faint of heart.

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    2. We hear what you are saying and totally understand what you mean. It is definitely not easy to see our parents getting older but we are glad that we have had them around as long as we have. It is when they start to get sick or losing their minds that makes it really hard. Luckily Kevin's mom is doing very well and keeps herself very active and happy. My dad on the other hand has been noticeably getting worse and finally reached the point where he couldn't look after himself properly in his own in his own house. Moving to the retirement home was the best thing for him, he now has lots of company around and meals cooked for him. It is definitely more difficult when we don't live close by to help out more.

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  2. Funny to see pics of Almonte here - lived there during my elementary and high school years. I will likely never be back so thanks for sharing!

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    1. I am glad that we were able to bring back some nice memories of the town for you. It will have definitely grown a lot since you lived here.

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  3. My parent died ai 62 and 69. I was in my 20’s. To kinda take the edge off, over the years I have said “ well at least they didn’t get old and frail and decrepit and lose their minds”. ( not that I’m saying Ruth’s dad has.)
    I might add they didn’t have to leave their home for a nursing home.
    Doesn’t mean I don’t miss them a lot.

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    1. No, but my Dad is getting there. Definitely more frail and he has now been diagnosised with the onset of Alzheimer's which I have already had to deal with, with my Mum a number of years ago. It certainly makes things harder when we aren't living close by. I do believe that he is accepting this new change but he will have days that make it a little harder on him knowing that he can't stay in his house anymore. We did notice though that he did enjoy having people around him and he certainly seemed happy the day we visited with him. :-)

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  4. It is nice Ruth has siblings that can deal with the brunt of it. My two brothers lived in Ontario and the NWT so Peter and I had the whole aging parent thing to handle. When my mumsie had to retake her driving test and failed it was the start of the end for her. Her freedom was gone.

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    1. Yes, I have siblings but it is my brother that is dealing with the brunt of it and that isn't very fair to him. My sister lives in Hamilton so she isn't up in the Ottawa area often. It is times like this that I feel guilty not being around and helping out more, so when I am around I want to help out as much as I can. Hopefully I will be able to do more when we return in the fall for three weeks.

      Yes, losing that driver's license is definitely the start to losing their freedom, especially if they are living out in the country like my dad was.

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  5. Mom is 76 and slowing down, sometimes it is good to deal with the stuff when he still has a say even if he is no longer living in the home. We all get old, how we and others deal with it is key. She is lucky she has siblings to help with it, my sister is completely useless when it comes to that so I will soley be responsible for Mom's aging assistance. Good they found a place for him to stay so fast, in BC and Alberta it can take years on waiting lists. Holy cow that is one big dog! Buddy is 15 lbs lol

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    1. I said HOLY COW yesterday to Geraldine, as a COW was charging into my FRONT yard! Upon my calling out warning to G in back yard, sent the scared cow into woods bordering our property. Turns out, cow had just been bought at auction. Plan was to be a "Rodeo" Cow ($800) -still NOT found. Easy to see Chester is protective guard over the grand children; but also a beautiful gentle giant!

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    2. You are right it is good to get them involved with the process of clearing out the house while they still have a say. And, yes when you get old how others deal with you is huge, sometimes people lose the compassion and forget that it isn't your fault that you can't do the things that you used be able to do or things that you can't remember anymore.

      Yes, they were luckily that there was room at the retirement home in the town near by, at least he knows a few people there and seems to be enjoying it.

      Yep, Chester is one big dog, not cow but maybe a pony! And yes, he is protective of the kids but very gentle with them. He listens to Sadie really well. She can make him sit and stay and I can't. ;-)

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  6. Dealing with aging parents is one of the toughest things we have had to do. Norma's dad lived with us for two years before he went into a home and was so difficult to deal with that only one of us could leave the house at a time while he was here. I know our son was a bit trying when he was young and still at home and it is rather satisfying to know that he will get paid back when I get older! In the meantime, just grin and bear it! It has/will happen to all of us!

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    1. That is when it becomes hard, when you have them living with you and you always have to have someone there. The thought has crossed my mind several times about living with my dad in his house but I think after a short amount of time each of us might start to get on the others nerves, he is set in his ways and would most likely find me to annoying or controlling and I don't want him to feel that way towards me. It is definitely difficult because we are on the road and traveling and I do feel guilty about not being here to help my brother more. It isn't fair to put all of this on his shoulders just because he lives the closest.

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  7. It has to be hard for Ruth's dad losing his freedom , the body doesn't work like it used to and you can't live in your own home. He looks lime a sweetie. Have fun on your adventure

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    1. I am sure that it is hard on him but I think he also realized in March that it was getting to the point that he couldn't care for himself or his little dog properly anymore. We do think that the move to the retirement home has been a good one for him though, he certainly seemed quite happy when we visited him. He has a lot more companionship there, whereas at his house he was very lonely but didn't make the effort to get out and meet people anymore. The women working at the retirement home say that he is fun to have around and like to tease everyone, so that makes my heart smile. :-)

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  8. Not fun dealing with aging parents at all, But it does happen to us all, Suzie and I have lost both mothers and my father some 20 years ago. Good that we have memories and pictures to look back on.
    Spend time with them while you can.

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    1. No, it definitely isn't fun but it is reality and we will find a way to make it all work out.

      Yes, it is important to spend time with them while we can.

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  9. Yes aging parents are hard to deal with but I always look at ourselves who will be in that situation soon God willing. Enjoy them while you can because when they are gone you will truly miss them. Love the older OntRio towns they are so quaint.

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    1. Yes, the most important thing is to spend time with them and tell you that you love them before it is too late. It is just so much harder when you don't live so close anymore but we will always make the effort to come and visit as often as we can.

      Lots of little towns are pretty, problem is not enough people stop to enjoy them.

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  10. It's a tough conundrum dealing with aging parents. People whose parents die younger have a much longer period of grieving but often are spared the worst of the aging process (dementia, assisted living, and all that). We had to help move my husband's parents into assisted living a few years back and get their home ready to sell, and it was a major ordeal. My mother (83) and step-father still live in their home, and I dread the day I have to deal with that -- it's huge and FULL of stuff. I wish they would downsize now and move to something simpler, but they simply won't hear of it. Too resistant to change. And my younger brother is not much help, so I will be the primary person to deal with all this one day. It's something that keeps me awake at night at times.

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    1. Yes, no situation is a good one with parents. I am definitely happy that both Kevin's and my parents did very well up until about 10 years ago so. Now the work begins. Kevin's mother is very logical and has downsized over the years but my dad still has a big house and fairly large property and he has a lot of stuff that we will have to go through at some point and then like you get the house ready to sell, just not sure when that will be but we will try to be here to help my brother and sister so it isn't just one of us doing it. I am glad that Kevin and I have decided to live a simple life and have already gotten rid of most of our stuff so that our kids will never have to deal with that part.

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  11. He looks like a social guy and glad he is finding some friends at the assisted living center. My elderly neighbor moved to one to recover from an illness, and likes it so much she is a social butterfly there. Better than being home alone. It's hard to go through these stages with parents. We had to help with the decline of three parents to cancer so far, it is a huge struggle. Now my mom is getting up there and facing back surgery. Steve's dad just moved (to a house nearer the cemetery he said) and just gave up driving his motorhome. It's hard to watch them fade and lose their freedom and coping skills. Hope Ruth's siblings pitch in and make things easier.

    KarenInTheWoods and Steveio
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    1. At home the last few years he hasn't been very social but we knew that he wanted to be, he was lonely but he wouldn't make the effort to get out and see people. Now that he is at the retirement home he has been participating in a lot of the activities and meeting lots of people. He certainly seemed to be in a very good mood when we saw him on Thursday, probably the happiest I have seen him in a good long time. :-)

      I think, losing their license is a huge step for them to take and then to have to lose the house as well can be difficult but sometimes you have to make difficult decisions for the greater good of those involved. My sister lives in Hamilton so it is hard for her to up here to often. My brother lives close by and does the brunt of the work concerning my dad which makes me feel guilty for not living in the area. When I am here though, I have always tried to do whatever it is that I can to help my dad.

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  12. Ruth, your dad looks very happy! Not an easy chore for anyone. That's why I want to get rid of "stuff" now. I've been through this process more than once and it has never been any fun.

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    1. I don't like to accumulate stuff either - every year I go through everything and donate to my mother's church bazaar.

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    2. Elaine, you sound so disciplined to do that every year, because the job becomes overwhelming when we wait too many years. You have put a burr in my saddle to start cleaning out this weekend. There are so many things other people could put in practical use.

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    3. He does look happy Chris, I think it is the happiest that I have seen him in a while but maybe that was because it was such a surprise to see us. :-)

      We agree, people have too much stuff and it gets harder to get rid of stuff the older you get because there are so many more memories attached to things. I am glad that we have decided to live such a "simple" life with very little stuff, it will certainly make it easier for our kids if we ever end up in a similar situation.

      Elaine and Dee, that is the way to do it, you need to make a conscious decision and work at it little by little to get rid of the stuff that you don't need or use anymore.

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  13. Wow - you guys sure know how to get the most out of life & use time, so wisely! Packed in wonderful family visits with ALL the family! Turned visits into sightseeing; yet manage to be on "vacation" 365! Kevin, always snags great flight deals/car rentals - makes it happen - w/o breaking the bank! Ruth, you don't need to worry about your Dad; looks SO happy! Love his energetic smile, so much like yours! Appears he's keeping all entertained, esp the "ladies"! Such a very jolly gentleman! Thanks for sharing your special family visits with us. Sadie is beautiful, sweetheart child & looks so MUCH like Ruth! Great to see family love, so close together. Cute Cameron & Sadie learning valuable life skills. They have BEST play yard & obviously awesome parents! Thanks again, it warms heart to see family love! Enjoy EVERYTHING about your blog!

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    1. We only have one life to live so we want to make the most of it. Coming home to visit family is always a busy time but we try to fit it all in and still give you our readers something new to read and see.

      Yes, my Dad did seem happy, I hope that he is because he didn't seem so happy in his big lonely house all by himself even though he did have his little dog to keep him company. And yes, he is really hamming it up with the ladies, both the residents and the staff.

      We love spending time with the grandchildren and love the fact that they are learning how to do everyday chores and repairs. Both Lindsey and Justin are really hands on people and the kids are learning by seeing this.

      So glad that you are enjoying the blog.

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  14. My Dad still had my Mom's car (who had passed on in 1988) and, of course, his car when he failed the driver's test. He liked driving Mom's car once in a while because it gave him a few memories of her. When all five children got together to tell him what to do, he in no uncertain terms let us know that he was physically disabled, not brain disabled. So, he instructed the child with the Power of Attorney to sell my Mom's car and to hire someone from a health care agency to drive him in his car to doctors' appointments, grocery stores, hair cuts, etc.; the car insurance company cooperated because the worker was from a certified agency. Even though Dad lived in my home after Mom died, we were still going to work during the day, and it was great that he had a "take charge" attitude; no worries about decisions--he made them! And we carried them out under the POA. He passed on at age 91 and totally in charge until age 90.

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    1. I am glad that you were all able to approach him together to let him know that he shouldn't be driving anymore. I think what he did was a wise move by hiring someone to drive him around that way he was still able to live at home. I think the only other solution for my Dad would have been to hire a professional home care giver, who to could live there and give him any assistance necessary as well as driving him to appointments and cooking meals, unfortunately the house is a two story house and it is just getting too difficult for him to be as mobile in it as he used to be. Your father did very well and it was nice that he was able to live with you which made things even easier.

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  15. I would drive through Almonte in my engineering days- reminded me that the Ottawa Valley
    had a great culture and a nice place to live. I was the sole care-giver for my Mom who had severe dementia for 13 years. She lived a full life and passed peacefully at age 93.

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    1. Glad that we were able to bring back some nice memories. And yes, the Ottawa Valley does have lots of beautiful old towns that have been able to maintain some of their heritage.

      That is a difficult job to do, and for such a long period of time. I remember staying in the Ottawa area for a year and a half when my mother was starting to go downhill. I traveled every week for the whole summer to spend my two days off each week to visit with my mother in the long term care section of the local hospital and to help my Dad out at the house. Even after she passed away we stayed for another year to help my Dad out and give him some company. He had a very difficult time with the passing of my mother. I was glad to be there to help out and hopefully as time goes on I will be there to help him out too.

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  16. We enjoyed the “old MILL town” photos. Sadie’s pose at the end of the video - so cute! Loved the pic of Ruth and her dad. Nice to see Cameron learning how to fix things. You have a lovely family - so happy you are enjoying your time with them!

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    1. Thanks Connie and Barry! I love that pose and look on Sadie's face too at the end of the video, it is classic!

      His dad is teaching him, how to fix his bike and also how to do woodworking. It will be fun to see if he will end up taking after his dad in the woodworking category.

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