Monday, October 26, 2015

In which Primo tries to bring up the Tough Subjects but Sly adroitly dodges

I am in Sly's rehab room now with Primo. It is hard to be angry with a feeble old man who can hardly move and whose room smells of urine.

Primo: Do you have a goal of going back to the house to live by yourself?

Sly: I have a goal of going back to the house to live by myself for a limited time. I have also thought of starting up a group of people who live alone and once a week, each cook a meal and have a meal together.

(lots of strained, indirect conversation about what it would take for Sly to move home)

Primo: A question we have to answer before I go home next week is who will do your laundry?

Sly: I have more clothes!

Primo: Yes, but a lot of the t-shirts at home have stains on them.

We have been in here an hour. So far, Sly thinks that his grandchildren or the housekeeper should take care of the cats while Primo is gone (for no money). He does not think he should go home until he can get around easily. I have suggested that if he goes through chemo, living alone might not be practical.

Primo: But Dad, you couldn't get around easily before your surgery.

Sly: Yes I could.

Primo: Dad, it was an effort for you to go to the store and you weren't eating well at all. You were eating those awful burritos.

Sly: I am of the philosophy that I should not waste food.

Primo: Me, too, but I have not been able to bring myself to eat any of those burritos. You eat a lot of fast food.

Sly: I don't cook.

Primo: I know.

So nobody has said yet, "You really should think about assisted living." And it sure isn't my place to say it. At least Primo has said out loud, "I want to go home next Saturday" and "We still hope to go on our vacation in the second half of July."

I forgot to mention - when we arrived, Ted and Ted's Wife were here. She had just trimmed Sly's toenails.

She really does think he walks on water.


  1. when I read that he wanted to have a group of people cooking and going around to one another's homes, my first thought was, "Sly doesn't cook! What the heck?" Then he actually admitted that he can't cook just a little bit later in the conversation. his idea really that he organizes a group of people who cook, and then he'll go to their homes each day and eat their food without reciprocating? And they'll be okay with that because, what? he came up with the idea? That's so confusing...

    1. Jessica, I pointed this out to Primo. "Were we just too deep into to this pick up on that?"

      He answered, "My dad can grill really well."

      But man does not live on meat alone. I don't know what the plan was!

    2. Maybe he was willing to hire and put up with someone enough to cook a side dish once per week...? Or I'm sure the granddaughters would do it! :D

    3. Jessica, maybe! Or he would throw some of the awful processed stuff in the freezer into the microwave. I would not go to someone's house for that! I could do that by myself!

  2. I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but aging-in-place (modifying your home and paying for additional services required for your activities of daily living) can be cheaper than assisted living. The problem is that assisted living facilities basically plan and organize all the services FOR you, and at the risk of making so massive an understatement that it will collapse into a singularity: planning does not seem to be Sly's strong suit.

    It might be moot now, but a geriatric care manager can help arrange care and services for older people, though.

    1. Yes, CA, I agree. I had done some math and looked up some services - just getting someone in once a day or every other day to do light housekeeping, grocery shopping, cooking - could be done for under $20 an hour.

      But - as you point out - Sly would have to plan. That is not his thing.

  3. Sly is not in touch with reality. I've had relatives who were super planners in their day who "lost it" at a certain point when they grew old and thought the most incredible blue sky things would just happen. No one wants to give up their independence. I hope I am more realistic one day, but I probably won't be. It's hard...Poor Primo, he has to do the heavy lifting...and Ted and Ted's Wife can console Sly...

    1. I hope I am realistic, too, emma. My mom has her act together - long-term care insurance, all her financial documents together, health care POA, financial POA, etc. She even has her gravesite, although that's only because she bought a double plot when my dad died. Still, I hope I have inherited my mom's organizational ability!