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Family history

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone who was doing research into our family tree, or rather, my father's family tree. I mailed him a a few bits of information a couple of days ago, and received some info back in turn. For the moment, the tree goes back to ca. 1570, but that's not what struck me most.

Years ago, my father's brother took his family and moved them some 200 kms away from us. Since my father resented the fact that his brother's wife insisted on a phone call before a visit, we basically never saw them or their 3 sons again. I must have been about 10 when I last trudged the meadows with my cousins on my father's side, and somehow, in all the intervening years, whenever their existence crossed my mind, I pictured them as little boys. I remember how I went hunting for frogs with S., and how M. insisted on rescuing a baby bird that had fallen out of the nest when it was clear to both S. and myself that it would be better off having its neck snapped; and as to A., well, I only remember him in nappies...Now I have it here in black and white, that those litte boys have families of their own. And I'm strangely confused by that. If I met them in the street tomorrow, I wouldn't recognize them.

But then, I almost didn't recognize my own father this afternoon. I'm not happy with the level of care he receives in the home he's in. I know they're short-staffed and all that, but is that any reason to put his clothes on back to front? There were several unwashed cups and plates littered around his room, and his bed hadn't been made. They charge us 1200 euros a month, and they can't even find the time to comb his hair? It's a bleeding disgrace.

Also, the hot water isn't working, and according to my Dad, the hot water has been off for over a week now. He's complained about it, but nothing has been done to correct the problem.

I've made an appointment to see the manager next week, because this is simply not on.


( 21 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
Dec. 5th, 2004 12:27 pm (UTC)
i understand completely what you mean about your family. i have so many relatives that live her ein the city that i don't even know.

and as for the care of your father, omg! i would be irate as well. that's just ridiculous!
Dec. 5th, 2004 02:37 pm (UTC)
We've always been much closer to my mother's side of the family - she and her sisters have always maintained a close contact and as a result, my sister and I have far more truck with that side of the family than with any of my father's relatives.

As to my father's situation -- it's only recently that the staff's started slacking off, but I have been wrrying about it for sometime now. I wish I coul dget him to agree to move, but he says he's settled there now and he doesn't want to go through all that sort of upheaval anymore. So what is there left for me to do, other than give that manager a piece of my mind, and hope it'll help improve things?
Dec. 5th, 2004 04:46 pm (UTC)
i'm sure it's a frustrating situation. i really hope everything works out for the best. ::hugs::
Dec. 5th, 2004 12:33 pm (UTC)
You're paying for care, what do they think they're doing?!

My mother has the family tree bug at the moment, but we haven't got very far (about 1890).
Dec. 5th, 2004 02:45 pm (UTC)
My mother has the family tree bug at the moment

Has she now? Has it anything to do, perhaps, with that BBC programme in which marginally famous people get to travel all over the world on your license fee money to piece together their family history?

Apparently, the person that's doing the genealogical research into our family, only took it up as a hobby when he retired about 10 years ago; so he's had some time to go back as far as he has. But the funny thing is: he's put all this time and effort in, but he's not even a member of the family himself. It's his wife who is, and she's not nearly as interested! ;-)
Dec. 5th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC)

The program is a motivating force (read kick up the bum), for something she's wanted to do for a long time. Why she couldn't have done it while her parents generation were still alive and could tell us about their parents I don't know, because we can't find a trace of them. It doesn't help that none of the family is talking anymore.
Dec. 5th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, I can see that that would be a complicating factor.

I suppose that we're lucky really in that stories on the family history have always circulated on both my mother's and father's side. They may not have been particularly interested, but they did know certain things about their parents, grandparents and greatgrandparents to make it possible for someone of my generation., e.g. to go back in tim eto the mid-1800s without any difficulty. I was 10 when my paternal greatgrandfather died, and he'd told me about his father, and the story he'd been told about the family's origins. I never really thought about it, but it's come as quite a surprise to see how much of this oral tradition can actually be substantiated by documents this amateur genealogist has unearthed.
Dec. 5th, 2004 03:44 pm (UTC)
I've learnt a lot already, like the suspicions that my grandfather was fatally injured in a fight and a great-uncle died in a plane crash etc, so that at least is something. But there seems to be a brick wall we can't get past. Very frustrating.
Dec. 5th, 2004 12:43 pm (UTC)
It's weird, the family thing. I have an older sister who I last saw - blimey, over 20 years ago. I don't think I'd know her if I met her. I haven't seen her two kids since they were young teenagers and they each have families of their own now. Sometimes I think life is too short and we should all let bygones be bygones. But stuff happened, you know? Not sure we can go back.

Jump on the home hard. Your father is there to be cared for. No excuses. Ggood luck.
Dec. 5th, 2004 02:50 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, I do intend to jump on the home hard. Ever since it's come under new management last year, standards have been falling steadily and I now have quite a list of things I want action taken on.

Also, I wonder if other relatives have also notices the decline in the care of their elderly - maybe we can unite!
Dec. 5th, 2004 02:56 pm (UTC)
Have to say, we've been very lucky with himself's mum. She's pretty much lost it to dementia most of the time and is an absolute bitca with the nursing staff, but they seem to deal with it really well. I couldn't do it, I'm afaid. She's never been physically fitter, and certainly hadn't been looking after herself to that standard for many a year.

But the whole increasingly elderly population thing and what to do with them isn't being faced up to. Fills you with dread, really.
Dec. 5th, 2004 03:05 pm (UTC)
Fills you with dread, really.

Oh it does! I shudder to think that one day I may have to sit in my own filth and eat mashed potatoes for days on end, too -- okay, things aren't nearly that bad in Dad's home, but one hears stories...
Dec. 5th, 2004 12:48 pm (UTC)
Do you have an agency there that licenses and regulates nursing homes? If you do, you should contact them right away. If I found a member of my family in those conditions, I can guarantee you the home would make corrections or be shut down within days.

Dec. 5th, 2004 02:52 pm (UTC)
Ooh, you can be quite scary when you're angry, can't you? Wish I could take you into that meeting with me!
Dec. 6th, 2004 10:29 am (UTC)
I was going to give you the same advice, but I see it's already been said. Here you could have the place inspected to make sure it is up to par, is there anything along those lines that can be done?
Dec. 6th, 2004 11:09 am (UTC)
I'm sure there must be such an option here, too, but it's probably a long drawn-out process. I do know though, that all homes are regularly checked and vetted by the appropriate health authorities, including this one.

I spoke to someone about the hot water supply, and they promised to look into it straight away. I'll go round there again tomorrow and see that it's been fixed.
Dec. 5th, 2004 01:43 pm (UTC)
Even the best homes are understaffed and overworked and some of the employees are just doing the minimum. I discovered all this when my folks were in a nursing home.

Sometimes things are justified in weird ways. (is your father incontinent? It's easier to change people when stuff does up loosely in the back or when clothes are backless. I'm not saying it's anything other than carelessness on the Home's part. Just saying that the more info you have, the better you'll be able to cope and help him. In my case, regular clothing WAS a problem. I ended up buying my folks special clothing appropriate for people in their condition. Made it easier for the staff to keep them clean and groomed, and made the cleaning and grooming easier on my folks).

There's no excuse for the hot water being off for a week.

You are an active involved relative. Absolutely the best thing for your father.

Good luck, sweetheart.
Dec. 5th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, my father is incontinent and wears nappies. Because he soils himself regularly, we got him a huge stack of sweats to wear around the home, keeping his presentable clothes presentable for when he needs to go to the doctor or when we want to take him out for dinner or a family outing.

But in this case, the way his jumper was put on back to front was nothing to do with ease of access; it restricted him in his movements and irritated him, and was totally due to carelessness.

The thing that most concerns me now though, is the hot water situation. If that isn't back on tomorrow, heads will roll.
Dec. 5th, 2004 03:42 pm (UTC)
If that isn't back on tomorrow, heads will roll.

Damn right.
Dec. 6th, 2004 12:12 am (UTC)
You're right. It isn't on. Your father deserves better care than that.
Dec. 6th, 2004 12:19 am (UTC)
Your father deserves better care than that.

Well, I think so, yes! ;-)

And it's nothing to do with the fact that we pay for care, either; it's that you don't treat people in this way. My father's always been a proud man who take care in his appearance; why should that have to change just because he can't dress himself anymore?
( 21 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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