1. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Friends,

    Just to let you know that I'm home in the UK and would really look forward to resuming our conversations. Both my parents are incredibly well and happy, thanks to the carers that lived in with them whilst I was away. I am extremely indebited to them both.
    Look forward to news from all old friends and new.
    Jude
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Welcome back and I hope you've brought some long-term good weather with you......
    :cool:
     
  3. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Bruce,

    It's not exactly tropical is it?? And the sun isn't shining too much but things could be worse - ie snow...!!

    Thanks for you reply to my other post. Am looking forward to hearing from Izzy and Em, et al.

    Thanks to the beneficience of the carers that I have for Mum and Dad, it looks like I will be able to spend 6 months in England looking after them and six months in Bali at our guest house from now on. I have seriously neglected Flamboyant, husband and our 7 staff for almost a year. It was sheer heaven to be 'home' in Indonesia with everyone there. Our carers have agreed to spend Nov-April living in with my parents later this year.

    When I left, I was concerned that it would be too much for Glyn and Carole to cope with [our carers]. However, they have managed brilliantly. My parents have been surrounded by Glyn and Carole's family, children and grandchildren and have had a whale of a time with BBQ's, outings and visits. I am feeling deficient in only being one person. The oldies keep saying how quiet it is at home now! I am busy organising visits to relatives and friends during the coming few months to keep them occupied.

    I feel a million years lighter and so refreshed and totally able to handle 6 months looking after my parents again.

    Obviously I don't want to advertise my guesthouse on this website, but I'm wondering if it might be possible for others to come over on their respite leaves to spend time in Bali. It would people a much needed break and we could discuss the problems that we all share during some of that time.

    Could be an option. I will approach the website organisers for some advice on this.

    In the meantime, many thanks for your welcome home Bruce.

    Jude
     
  4. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    How about posting a picture of the guest house and a beach - it will show us where you have been and add some tropical heat to a British summer?
     
  5. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,594
    Female
    Dundee
    Welcome back Jude - it's good to hear from you again! I think it's a great idea to put a pic of your guest house and a beach on the site. It might be the closest thing we get to a summer up here!

    Things are really good with us just now. School closed for the summer break today so am looking forward to spending time at home and on holiday with Bill.

    Izzy
     
  6. emscub

    emscub Registered User

    Dec 5, 2003
    124
    Bath
    Hi Jude,

    Just wanted to say welcome back. I enjoyed talking to you when you were last in the UK - if you remember me, so it will be lovely to have your presence in the forum again. I'm glad you've had a good time in Bali and hope the next six months in England work out for you.

    If you could post a picture of your guest house and some snaps of Bali as Bruce suggested, I'd be interested in viewing!
     
  7. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    welcome back Jude
    having sailed the world in the MN I would love to see the pictures of Bali ,but I fear that it will be as near to a holiday that we could undertake these days
    Norman
     
  8. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Jude - I don't think there would be any problem in your posting details of the guest house. After all, the distance is not insignificant nor the costs of getting there.

    And you do provide a good example of several things:
    • the benefits of respite care
    • the fact that if you get the right care plan in place, it is safe to leave the person with dementia for a time
    • there is more to life than 24 hour caring
     
  9. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear All -

    Many thanks for a great welcome back! Lovely to hear from everyone again. I am really looking forward to resuming our conversations.

    I've just taken a couple of rolls of film which are being developed at the moment as I need to organise a website for Flamboyant. Once I've done that then I'll need some advice as to how to post photos here. I am not exactly computer literate having lived in Indonesia for 15 years. [We only got ATM's a couple of years' ago and I'm not too brilliant with those either...] In fact, when I flew into Heathrow a fortnight ago I had to use a public telephone to let the carers know that I'd arrived at Terminal 3 instead of 2. I couldn't work out where the coin slot was and asked a chap to help me. It transpired that it was a 'card phone' and he asked me from which PLANET I'd just arrived....!! EEEK Hello culture shock. It always takes me a few weeks to adjust to western living again.

    I live in a small fishing village in East Bali so the cultural difference is vast. There are no social services and the extended families look after the poor, sick and elderly as a matter of course. Bali is an Hindu/Animistic society and one of their tenets is that babies and elderly people are closest to God, so they are respected and revered because they are nearest to reincarnation. There are no such things as Nursing Homes and they were quite horrified at the concept of them. My husband and staff are very happy that I am now taking time out each year to care for my parents and I would be seen as very remiss not to do so, as they view the concept of nuclear families as quite odd and totally unacceptable.

    I do agree with this. So many well meaning Social Workers have suggested that I should just put my parents in a Nursing Home and resume my life abroad, although it would mean that they would be split up. After 62 years together, this sounds to me to be totally cruel and they would surely die without each other. Of course, many do not have the luxury of a choice in this matter as families in this culture are so geographically isolated these days and so busy servicing mortgages/working that they simply cannot take the time out to care for their parents or spouses who are afflicted with Altzheimers and Dementia.

    I find it very sad that our affluent western society is unable to grant 'elderly leave' as well as maternity/paternity leave to those who need it. Why is it that retired people are seen to be 'past their use-by' date' and locked away from mainstream society here? I feel that the experience of growing older and wiser is being eroded in favour of a frivolous quest for youth, cosmetic surgery, financial greed and 'trivial pursuits' will be the demise of this now radically hedonistic society. I'm not suggesting for one minute that Asian cultures are perfect - there is corruption on a huge scale and a vast economic void between the haves and the have nots, but they do seem to somehow keep family values intact.

    Anyone care to comment?

    Kind regards, Jude
     
  10. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Nada,

    Many thanks for your offer of help re photos.

    Sri Lanka is one place that I've never been able to get into. During my travels of the world from 1974, it's always been closed due to civil war or some other dramas. I've always wanted to go there though.

    Perhaps you have some interesting stories about the culture there in terms of social values and mores, which would be of great interest not just to me, but to all others on the web I hope.

    One great point that was made by Bruce or Norm [sorry can't quite remember to whom I should attribute this] was that caring isn't the sum total of our lives. So perhaps if we are a bit 'stuck' for getting out and about now, we could share a bit of our personal histories - whether overseas or here in England - and enjoy ourselves and develop a rapport that way, as well as giving each other help with caring.

    I'm sure there are some great histories in all of us.

    Jude
     
  11. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Norman,

    I was really interested to hear that you sailed with the MN. We are living at Springbok Farm Estate in Alfold, Surrey, which is the retired quarters for the retired MN services.

    Last year after I had to move my parents, I spent absolutely ages looking for a suitable place for us. Eventually we found a wonderful bungalow within the MN grounds. It's the old manager's residence built in the 1920's and very close to the original house, which now hosts a residence for 15 single seamen, as well as a bar/restaurant/library and conservatory. Other houses on the 400 acre estate are set aside for married couples and it is a great little community. There are extensive gardens, a huge lake and loads of woodland walks.

    The residents are absolutely wonderful! All retired, but full of life and geat stories about their lives in the MN. They have lots of functions here too, to which everyone is invited.

    My parents aren't well enough to attend most of these, although I do try and get along to as many as I can. One wonderful aspect of living here is that there is always somebody dropping in for a chat and a cup of tea and well as a helping hand. I probably get more out of living here than my parents, but it's great to be able to meet people that have spent their lives travelling the world and who have so many brilliant stories to tell.

    If you'd like to find out a bit more about it then I'd be very happy to help out. You might even find some old friends of yours - who knows.

    Jude
     
  12. Geraldine

    Geraldine Registered User

    Oct 17, 2003
    143
    Nottingham
    Hi Jude

    lovely to hear from you again. While I agree with you to some extent in that it would be lovely to have extended families look after our elderly some of do not have that family. I always said I would look after Mum at home. I am an only child with a young son and was also looking after Mum with Lewy Body dementia. Mum is now immobile, doubly incontinent and suffers from delusions and paranoia, a Nursing Home was my only option. As in a different thread I cracked last summer when I became in my Mum's eye's this evil carer who did awful things to her in the night and was not looking after her, she thought I was her cousin who had lots of children who should be helping. She also started to become very agressive and did not know the difference between night and day and her type of dementia meant that the usual medication would not help and in many cases was dangersous. I physically could not lift Mum now takes two people at all times and they have special bathing equipment and hoists in the home. Alzheimers lets us cope at home for so long but unfortunately I think most of us have to let our loved one's go to care eventually.

    You are really fortunate in having such good friends who can help you in the care of your parents,

    regards

    Geraldine
     
  13. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Jude
    I do know where you are although I have not been there.
    It is run By Merchant Seamen's War Memorial Society which was established in 1920 and is a registered charity.
    They have an advertisement in our Merchant Navy Association Magazine every month.
    How did you get a bungalow there was it sold off by the society or do you have nautical connections?
    I wonder do they have any facilities for AD patients?
    best wishes
    Norman
     
  14. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Geraldine,

    Many thanks for your reply. Your own situation highlights my point about the isolation of nuclear families and I totally empathise with your situation in looking after your mother almost single handedly.

    I have one brother who lives in a remote part of the Peak District with his cat. He's a wonderfully brilliant man but a total recluse and quite unable to get to grips with the daily routine and dealing with solicitors, banks, social services, etc. We see him a couple of times a year, so it's been down to me to look after my parents really.

    They were both diagnosed as having AD back in 2000 when I arrived home from Bali on a holiday to find them totally unable to look after themselves. My three week holiday turned into an 11 month full time situation until I got things sorted. That was a horribly stressful time for me, as I had no information, no assistance and was very ignorant of how to go about seeking help, having lived o/s for over a decade at that time. I also was worried about my staff and the hotel too and wondering how they would cope with my continued absence. Neither of my parents were on medication at that time, so it was a total nightmare for me. My father was also really aggressive verbally and was continually berating me for spending money on food.

    Eventually I decided to sell our family home, along with 40 years of memories and put my parents into close care accommodation attached to a Nursing Home. It was terribly expensive as we had to pay $170,000 for a lease, as well as paying over $5500 per quarter for living expenses. Early last year the owners contacted me and told me that my parents would have to move as the Blair Govt had changed the regs and they didn't have EMI Registration. So back I came from Bali once again in April and finally located a suitable bungalow for them. I spent 2 months painting the place and cleaning up and they finally moved in during October last year. It took them until January to really settle down, but until that time I was up at least 6 times a night helping them to find the bathroom, as well as orienting them to a new living environment during the day, initially without any help at all.

    Fortunately for me, the lady that used to come in to their previous accommodation to do the cleaning, agreed to come in a couple of hours a day to help out from the end of last year. Ater that, her husband also came in 2 days a week to take Mum and Dad out on day trips, which is how I came to have 2 wonderful carers who were willing to move in full time and look after the oldies whilst I returned home to Bali. I was able to fly back to Indonesia in Feb this year knowing that my parents would be totally safe. They have been an absolute Godsend and I know I couldn't have coped long term without their care and support, both for my parents and for myself too! They are very special and have become great friends and the 'extended family' that we so desperately needed.

    I do realise that ultimately my parents - one or both - will need full time care in a Nursing Home. Such is the nature of this disease. I just hope that we can keep them in a secure family environment for as long as possible before then. In the meantime, we take every day as it comes and hope for their continued good health physically and a fairly stable mental state of mind.

    I really hope that you don't think that I was in any way being critical of people who decide to put their parents or spouses in Nursing Homes. That was certainly not my intention. I was only making a comparison between extended and nuclear families. I sincerely apologies if I sounded judgemental in any way - it wasn't intended.

    Best wishes Jude
     
  15. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Norman,

    My father was in the Army, so we have no nautical connections. [Well I actually do, as I'm adopted and my father was in the MN - whoever he was!] I was just incredibly lucky to be able to rent this bungalow, as it's the Estate Manager's Cottage. Trevor decided to live in one of the other houses on the farm and offer this one for rent.

    All of the people living here are retired MN couples or singles. No AD registration or facilities for same unfortunately. We are totally autonomous, although we are invited to participate in functions when we can. It's a real community with a wonderful spirit.

    It's really great for my father to be able to chat to men of his age rather than being surrounded by women all the time. He does enjoy that.

    Also if I have a small problem - for example a table leg fell off last week - then there is always somebody willing to come and fix it for the price of a cup of tea and a cake and a chat. Nobody ever wants to accept any money for help here - they are so kind.

    The residents are all wonderful and very friendly. It's a brilliant place to live. They have an extensive camping ground for visitors as well. Well worth a visit and to find out about accommodation later on.

    Jude
     
  16. Geraldine

    Geraldine Registered User

    Oct 17, 2003
    143
    Nottingham
    Hi Jude
    I was really interedted in what you had to say about people in Bali being sceptical about Alzheimers not being a disease. Not sure what life expectancy is like on Bali or indeed diet perhaps it is not as prevelant. I too loved the idea of 3 generations living together infortunately the consquences of the Alzheimers meant the house was no longer a suitable place for both a 10 year old and my Mum. Its a real shame becuase I am sure that many of my son's best characteristics come from having shared his life with his mama. Your situation semms a logistical noghtmare! I had trouble dealing with everything on my doorstep, let alone from halfway acreoss the world with a business to run as well,

    best wishes Geraldine
     

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