Episode-1626- Do It Now – A Special Edition of TSP — 22 Comments

  1. Excellent episode, Jack. Hit a bit close to home, as 7 years ago I went through a similar experience as your friend. The girl I was dating at the time suffered a fatal aneurysm. She had even visited various doctors for an ongoing , abnormal migraine she’d been suffering for the month preceding.

    The night before was one of the high points in my life, as my band was chosen to open for Coldplay at the Verizon Center in DC. The next day, however, she didn’t show up to work and we had to get the police to open her apartment, where they found her.

    I moved out of the DC beltway out to Leesburg on a dirt road for a few years and set about rebuildling my life.

    It’s amazing things that seemed so important were irrelevant after that event. Over time I was able to find love again and am now blessed with an amazing wife and two young sons. But I still deal with a fear and worry that every time I see them will be the last. It never goes away, but I can keep it from ruling me.

  2. I’m a registered nurse in long term care. Finding a good home like you described is wonderful because it’s not that easy to find one. I’ve worked with Alzheimer’s for 20 years and my best advice to you is to try your best to stay in his reality when you visit him. And when he doesn’t remember your name any more don’t take it personal and don’t test his memory. His memory is what it is. Get him to tell stories about the things on his mind. Record them. Prayers for your family Jack.

  3. Why am I a prepper? My father died of a brain aneurysm at age 33. The world doesn’t have to come to an end for you to experience a personal SHTF.

  4. Powerful stuff, thank you for sharing. Alzheimer’s is sometimes called “the long goodbye” – I watched it take my grandmother, and watched my mother act as her primary caregiver for years. Caregiving for a parent with memory loss is deeply, exhaustingly, emotionally hard. My thoughts are with you and Dorothy as you move forward.

  5. It’s been 2 1/2 yrs now since I was told I only had 12-24 hours to live. & have had a few set backs during that time. HA guess I called bull shit on that. Yes I was more worried about my critters and family than I was about myself. Even other people in the hospital I would visit them when I was allowed. I just kept thinking No not yet I have to much stuff to do. I have had my share of crap storms injuries and such. Been told on more than one occasion that I’m done. I wont be able to do any thing. Wanna bet, watch me.

    Yeah watch me. Some days it’s all I can do to get dressed or so it seems. Some days the pain seems to be more than I can handle. One long look at that sofa I could lay down, OH HELL NO. Lay there and rot? That’s where I was when I found TSP. NEVER AGAIN.

    Last week was a good reminder of how easy I could go down and not get back up. The tears. The moans. The funky old lady chicken shuffle walk. I still cleaned out one cupboard. I rotated food. Took inventory. Did a budget plan to cut another 5% off spending. Hubby bless his heart wants me to take it easy. He worries. I get that. But ya know I say I PROMISE I will ask for help when I need it. So get the hell out of my way. Cuz I am building this place.

    My fire is burning hot. I lost my very best friend last year in a freak accident. Jump starting a quad. He had done it a million times. This time something went horridly wrong. Ya know, me and all his friends, all we could say was we were so glad that his dump truck didn’t take him. He HATED that job. Just HATED it. At least he went helping a friend and doing something he loved. But oh man how many times had we talked about the dream? One he will never get to experience. That is sad.

    So I may have to shuffle or some times I might wince but I will keep going. If there is a will there is a way. Some days I can dig post holes and hang a 12′ metal gate or install a 3′ steel door all by my self Other days may be more like last week. That don’t matter none. I’m still doing it. Each task that I can complete is my own personal victory my own MT Everest. I will build this dream. I am building it bit by bit each day. Even though some times it feels like 3 steps forward 10 back.

    Why do I tell this story simple because if I can do it, so can you. If you can’t or wont get your own ass in gear, then get the hell out of the way of others.


  6. Jack,

    I took care of my step-father, 24-hrs a day for the last year of the 3 years I took care of him after my Mom died. It is really hard, you are very lucky to have found such a place for him.

    God bless your wife Dorothy for her courage. God bless you and your family.

  7. Hi Jack.

    I only wanted to pass my sympathies to you and your wife on your current situation. My father lost his faculties for the last few weeks of his life, but I was lucky in that he was alert throughout his illness up to that point.

    You’re absolutely darn right this is a survival topic, this is how the stuff hits the fan for most people most of the time. A personal, not community-wide crisis.

    God bless you, your wife and everyone else who is doing everything they can to make his final days as comfortable as possible.

  8. About three years ago I called in a question about prepping for older people. At the time I was 1000 miles away from my mother who was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. It was a struggle and challenge working with health professionals from that distance, but over the course of two years, I got the house sold and her in a facility. It was exhausting for me since I have no other siblings to help and I am a single guy. Thanks for sharing Jack

  9. We went through the same thing with my great-grandmother Jack. In he last year my grandmother was able to put her up in a great place all because of preparation on both their parts.

    This was a lady who when my great-grandfather had two heart attacks in his 40s went back to school and got her GED and her nursing degree. She then worked almost 40 years at a nursing home and teaching nurses aid classes (till she was almost 80 years old.)

    Because she squeezed every penny and because my grandmother saved, they were able to put her in a good place for her last year of life. So yes, it’s definitely a survival topic.

    Kudos to you and and Dorothy for taking the best care of him.

  10. Hi Jack and Thank You

    Two years ago I had to make this decision for my Mother because my older sister declined to do so. My husband and I visited her 2000 miles away and wer shocked by what we saw. We got her life back together and informed my sister. A month later she calls to tell me Mom is in the hospital because she fell and could not get up. I told my sister it was assisted living time and to find a place. I, alone, spent the next 2+ weeks packing her up and clearing out the house to get it on the market. The whole time everybody hated me. These were the hardest days of my life.
    Mom has progressed to nursing care, the dementia is progressing. She is living 1500 miles away near my sister, as was Mom’s desire. Her physical health is now pretty good, better than it was. There is always someone around to insist she use her walker. She gets 3 squares a day and has someone to talk to.
    I might not have believed she would have been alive a year before the change. At 85 I believe she has a fair number of years left.
    My heart and prayers are with you and your wife, these are hard times but they will be better.

  11. Great show, wife worked in senior care industry glad you found a good place my wife always has said if you want them well cared for visit often.
    Also hammered out a deal last night for out 2nd home with the land to start our Perma-farm. Nothing huge a few acre but it fit everyone’s needs and a lot more then the suburb home we own now.
    Was inspired on the way home listening to this to get that deal done and get busy living.
    Thanks Jack

  12. Jack, so sorry to hear of the challenges you guys have been going through and the position you are in now having to place your father in law into full time care. God bless you and your wife for taking the time and care to find such an amazing care facility for him, and God bless you for harnessing your challenges to encourage others. You both are a blessing to so very many. Thank you.


  13. Jack, my wife and I pray for your father-in-law. God bless you and Dorothy and her father. Thank him for his service. Thank you for all that you do; you are indeed a blessing!

    Thank you also for this podcast. I felt that it could have been recorded for me, except I turned 39 today instead of 40! Thank you! I really needed to hear this!

  14. So many of us have lost such great people to this merciless disease! There are fewer things that are harder to do, than watch prolific people we love and honor succumb to a mindlessness we are unable to prevent. For me it was my grandfather, one of the best men I ever knew. I pray for all of us here who have lost or are in the process of losing someone to dementia. It truly is a tragic way to leave this world

  15. I just buried my mother Wednesday. She had Alzheimer’s disease for 8 years. I brought her into my home in March. She required 24 hour care at that point. I work nights as a RN. My daughter cared for her when I worked. I had the knowledge to deal with the severe decline that was to happen over the next few months. Still, the strain of 24 hr care with no relief was nearly unbearable. I don’t know how people deal with that type of care for years, especially if they have no medical training. After 2 months or do, it became apparent to me mom was in a terminal spiral downhill. I tried to get my sister, the power of attorney for mom, to release mom’s money to pay for a nursing home. Even though mom had plenty of money, my sister refused. Why that would be 90 thousand dollars a year, she said. My sister said that my father made her promise to not let the government get the money he had set aside for our mother. Evidently, my sister equated paying for nursing home care with giving money to the government. So my sister retained an attorney…at the cost of $10,000, to try to get mom on Medicaid. My husband, my other sister, who is also a nurse, and I were furious. Mom was approaching a semi-comatose state and required 3 hours a day just to give her food and water. Desperate for some kind of break, I enlisted the help of hospice to get some respite care. The approval for a week of respite care came at the same time the attorney recommended we just go ahead and put mom in a nursing home because she had to spend down her assets…no big surprise there. So mom was finally placed in a nursing home. She lasted 2 weeks and 4 days. I had predicted 2 weeks. Hospice was absolutely wonderful. Please consider it for a loved one with a terminal illness. I don’t know the lesson if my story. Perhaps be really clear in your living will on what you want your assets spent on. My relationship with my older sister is forever strained over pettiness and greed. I bet she spent more on the lawyer than 2 1/2 weeks of nursing home care.

  16. Tough times. My mom cared for her mother-in-law when I was a teenager. Eventually she went into a nursing home 2 blocks away. It was ok for a while, Grandma told some crazy stories, believing them to be true. As her health got worse she needed someone with her 24/7, bed pan, lots of care. If only they had home health care, elderly sitters and such then. Mom regretted the football games and other activities she missed with us kids. I helped much with my younger siblings, and cooking. At 16 she gave me the car keys and a blank check to pick up groceries, not even a grocery list. You know what we need, just pick it up. Mom made us promise if any of us end up taking care of her to put her in a nursing home when things get tough.

    I watch 2 neighbors forced by their kids into nursing homes. The first one would fall outside and not seek medical care, afraid she’d end up in a home. She could not remember to take her meds on time, not take them at all, other times overdose. Her daughter left me her number, call me.

    One day my elderly neighbor called me not feeling well. I went over and she wasn’t doing well at all. Could barely stand with her walker, house smelled horrible, good food in the trash, spoiled food in the fridge. She would not let anyone come into the home to help her on a regular basis. (She’d call me to drive her and her dogs to the vet, store, etc) She trusted me, didn’t want me to call her daughter. I went home looking for her daughter’s number when the daughter gave me a call.

    They put her in a nice home against her wishes. As bad as her memory was she never forgot which daughter put her in an assisted living home, they took care of food, meds and cleaning. Her health improved within a week, walking without a walker, telling jokes with others (repeated jokes and new to both each time). It had some rooms with small fenced yards for dogs. She would have loved to have her dogs, could have arranged for such a room if she’d planned ahead, but no openings when she had to go asap.

    Another neighbor would come out and walk with me whatever time of day I decided to walk. Sweetest lady you’d ever meet. One time she was very upset, her kids were taking her and her husband to court, she didn’t know what it was about. Her car window was broken, so was her hand. Why would her kids break her window with a baseball bat and smash her hand? (She broke the window and messed up her hand in the process). Her husband wanted her to stay in their home, kids felt she needed more care. After the incident with the hand, he agreed that maybe such was for the best. He sold his home and got an apartment next to her nursing home so he could spend every remaining minute with her that he could.

  17. There is good cause for not holding assets personally and long term care is one of them. My father in law has been in long term care for almost 7 years, with the family privately paying 85-90 k per year of care. The transfer of assets at the onset allows the government to look back for 5 years to claim most assets for care – a dependent spouse is allowed to keep minimal pension and social security amounts, a house and a car. Transferring assets has given the family a ‘nest egg’ so to speak to provide for my mother in law if and when the time arises. If the transfer had not taken place, care costs would have consumed almost the entire estate. Personal assets are what they look for and they are very good at it. It’s also a good way to protect what we have built in our lives from predatory lawsuits as well. Enjoy the good days with your father in law, mine no longer knows who I am.

  18. Thanks Jack. Admire your Dad in law and his WWII service and experiences.
    Do your best to record/document what happened to him in WWII.