My dad is in caregiver limbo at the moment and it’s affecting his decision making. I was thrilled he was able to find an agency that could send a caregiver to the house to help out with my mom, but there was a catch – the first 90 days he’d have to pay out of pocket after that insurance would pick up. This being the case he has only had the care giver come a few hours a day as that is all he can afford. Make no mistake, though the hours are few the help is immeasurable; except…….my dad is too nice. Now, if he were in his 60’s, and not 80’s and caring for my mom who has Alzheimer’s, fell and broke her femur three years ago, and had open heart surgery two years ago, I’d think what he is doing for his part time care giver was awesome.
Potentially poor decision #1: The Good Samaritan
See, the care giver showed up one day in her beat up van that she got from a split with her gangster, literally, boyfriend and my dad noticed that one of her front tires was low on air and almost bald; my mom noticed the same about a rear tire.
“Well, let’s just get you up to the tire store and get those fixed,” says my dad.
Turns out the tires were too far gone to be repaired, but there were some retreads in the shop that she got hooked up with. Later the care giver (she really needs a name for this story, I’ll call her Pam, wait, that might actually be her name, meh)…Later Pam heads home and on her way on to the freeway she goes through a red light. Pam’s pulled over; registration is expired; van with ‘new’ tires is impounded. My dad, being my dad, loans Pam his car until she can get hers out of impound. “Well, she’s got to get to work.” Problem – Pam cannot afford to get the van out of impound. I think you can see where this is going, so I’ll reign it in before it gets out of control and just hit some highlights:
1. Pam had to go to DMV to file some sort of hardship paperwork to try and get van back
2. Pam has never had a bank account; she’s in her late 20’s early 30’s, so my dad is giving her suggestions how to set that up.
3. Pam still has my dad’s car; he has a second one but it’s a huge Lincoln Town Car, not something for daily errands
4. Why aren’t there more people like my dad around? (Though I do wish he’d be more careful now that he’s older.)
Potentially poor decision #2: Vacation Avoidance
Now on to the real reason I started writing this post. My dad had 4 brothers, two of them have passed, of the remaining 2 one is 8 hours away in LA the other is quite a bit further in Tulsa. While they talk often they haven’t seen each other in close to four years. L.A. Brother also has a ranch which is only 4 hours away, so my dad’s been looking for a time to meetup down there and hang out for a visit. When I say’ looking for a time’ I mean looking for the perfect time.
I was over yesterday checking in, catching up, and asked what was up with my uncle.
“Well we talked the other day and he wants us to come down to the ranch this weekend. There’s an air show on Saturday and a party in the hangar afterward…but ‘tsk,” he says looking at the floor, “I just don’t know if we’re up for that kinda thing anymore.”
“What? Going to see your brother?” I asked.
“No, well, it’s just so hard to get away…and I don’t think your mom could make the air show and the party…it’d be just too much…and I’d have to reschedule some appointments…….”
“Well, you’ve been whining about wanting to take a vacation down there and see him, this seems like a good opportunity…” I say.
“Yeah, but I kind of want to just hang out and visit…………” dad counters.
“You don’t have to go to the whole air show; or even the entire party.” I suggest.
“Well, we’d be way out at the air field, I’d have a hard time getting back to the ranch..” he digress’.
“Look, if you keep waiting for the perfect time to be at the ranch at the same time, you’re going to wait too long!”
With that he got up to get his calendar to start planning the trip. I hope he follows through.