The "Early Stage" mentioned here represents the first 50 plus chapters of the Lewy Body Dialogue blog.
The chapters presented on this page were originally written between 2018-2020, representing the first two years after Pat was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia and perhaps 3-4 years after Pat's Lewy Body symptoms began altering our lives. This page is intended to help people new to the Lewy Body experience -- "patients," care partners, professional caregivers, concerned friends and family members. Although everyone with Lewy Body develops their own unique set of experiences, we've tried to focus upon issues that a large number of people with Lewy Body confront.
If you also wish to follow how Pat and I did as she has progressed into the later stages of Lewy Body, please go to the page entitled "This Week's Later Stage Lewy Body Dialogue Chapter."
Pat passed away on July 1, 2022. Ron has now begun a new series entitled "Living Alone After Lewy Body." You may go to that page to read the introduction and new chapters as they are written.
THIS WEEK'S EARLY STAGE CHAPTER:
Ch. 51 Our Children Want Us to Move to the City
I’m writing this the day after Christmas, 2019. As my son in law Mark was helping me load up presents yesterday at the end of the afternoon, he took me aside. Mark mentioned that all our children and their spouses thought we should sell our home in the country and move into town. They think it is too dangerous for Pat to be that far from help if needed and too strenuous on me maintaining a large home and caring for all our animals including a horse. We would also be closer to our two children who live in Eau Claire and so they could more easily give Pat more family time and provide me with rest periods when needed. Lakota could be stabled, Mark said, and family members could care for our two dogs and a cat if necessary. Meanwhile, we could find a condominium or apartment that would be safer, easy to maintain, and better placed for the family to provide help.
Are they kidding? Move out of our home? Into the city? When I am still perfectly healthy and easily able to haul 50-pound sacks of dog food, horse feed, and bird seed? When Pat is still functioning well and has become very careful about not falling? When we have built in a stair climber and walk in shower to lessen risks and make life more manageable? Give all this up for what, a few rooms in a crowded city? My idea of when to move has been that we could stay as long as my body holds out and Pat’s mind stays relatively clear. Hopefully, another five years, until we’re eighty years old.
That was my initial emotional reaction and I still feel that way. But at a more cognitive level I’m trying to consider my family’s concerns more thoughtfully.
First, would Pat really be safer in the city? Yes, probably, although when she fell recently the emt’s were at our home within five minutes. They all live nearby. Still, if Pat needed to get to a hospital it would take longer here than in town. Also, there are lots of things outside that Pat might trip over and we live on a hill, so we have to negotiate a lot of steps and slopes on a daily basis.
Secondly, am I reaching a point where I’m becoming overwhelmed or exhausted by my responsibilities? I would say the answer is “no,” but I suppose I could be fooling myself. I need to get some outside information – my children’s observations – to help me on this point.
Thirdly, would Pat receive more family time, and could I more easily take time-outs in the city? Yes, no doubt this is true.
It’s obvious, then, on the logical side, that we should seriously consider moving. But emotionally I know I’m not ready to act on that logic. Just like most “old folks,” I intend to cling to my home as long as I can and probably a little past the time I should let go of it.
Pat’s comments on Our Children Want Us to Move to the City.
My first statement is about the children taking care of our animals. Who would take care of them? Would there be a family member helping them get in and out of the house as they needed?
I do need to watch out for things I need to step over and I need to look at our steps and slopes that I use on a daily basis.
My overall feeling is that when things get really cumbersome in our current location then we should look for another place that will fill our needs (not necessarily the place our children would choose). Find me a decent size house and I’ll be fine.
- - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
WOULD YOU LIKE TO WRITE A RESPONSE TO THIS EPISODE OF OUR JOURNEY? How has it affected you? Have you had similar experiences? If so, go to the "Write us and/or join our new chapter mailing list" page to send a private note to Pat and myself. You may also contact us at [email protected].
Would you like to be on our mailing list? We use it only to inform readers when a new essay is now available. Go to the Write Us/Join the Mailing List page to enroll. When you do, you will receive an e-mail notice every time we add a new entry to the blog. Go to the "Write Us..." page to enroll.
Also, if you have found this site helpful or interesting, please tell others about us.