No Retirement

Mom’s situation is worsening all on fronts. Not only is the disease rapidly causing more of her cognitive skills to erode, she’s also constantly being messed with by Dad, and on top of that the company just effectively burned her out of her retirement. After working here for 20+ years with less than a year to go to age 55 her supervisor in MTA completely fucked her over. This is really bad.

What happened at work was this: Mom’s boss clearly stated that she cannot return to work unless her doctor writes a legal letter saying she is healthy and can perform her job duties normally. That would be impossible since there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. There are a few risky drugs with multiple negative side effects that may help slow her mental deterioration down a bit but that’s it. Feeling like she was being backed into a corner, Mom panicked and snuck into work late on a Sunday night to collect her personal belongings. My father isn’t very bright at times and he went along with this goofy scheme. Apparently one of Mom’s coworkers was there when they crept in, saw her clearing out her locker and desk then reported it via voicemail to their line manager. The reaction from her supervisor that week was predictable. She called it “Job Abandonment.” Honestly I don’t know what else Mom could have done. Nobody was willing to help her out with this understandable and difficult personal situation.

I suspect her manager is terrified of being laid off so she’s following company policies to a ridiculous degree. She’ll end up being laid off anyway, regardless of how she handles this.

It’s rather sickening that our company is treating one of it’s longtime employees this way. Bill and Dave used to take care of their own, especially when they contracted terminal illnesses. Right now it looks like Dad is going to have to sue the company for her medical benefits and retirement. They don’t need this on top of all their other problems.

My father isn’t the best person to have around as a caregiver. In fact, he is downright worthless. There are only two things Dad seems particularly concerned with in this world and those are 1) himself and 2) his bank account. So far he has shown little ability for dealing with Mom’s disease. He’s not treating her very well. She frequently becomes confused over real simple stuff and instead of Dad helping her out he gets all angry and starts yelling at her. Yelling only makes her more upset and confused. It’s cruel. I’ve asked him a number of times to stop acting that way towards her, then I’ve told him to stop and now we’re getting to the point where I’m threatening him with violence if he doesn’t stop. I swear he’s such a fucking asshole. And he wonders why I rarely ever talk to him or visit.

See, Dad has this aggressive obnoxious Type A personality. He’s real weird about everything in the house always being spotless and in perfect order. As a kid I used to call him “Mr. White Gloves” behind his back. If I had dared to make fun of him to his face I would have got the daylights beat out of me. He’s obsessed with little pieces of fluff on the carpet or crumbs on the dining room floor. Everything is always spotless. With an Alzheimer’s patient around they do stuff like going to place a pen on the counter, but a few feet away from it just drop the pen on the floor. In their mind they put it on the counter like usual but in reality it’s lying on the ground. Any person who had even a small shred of compassion or understanding would know you pick the pen up for them and put it away without complaining, or yelling, or having an angry meltdown. In the grand scheme of things shit like that doesn’t matter. Well, in my father’s fucked up little world an incident like that is cause for a total freakout. Similar petty problems are coming up all the time every damn day. He just can’t handle it. I wish he’d shut up for a change.

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~ by factorypeasant on July 27, 2006.

2 Responses to “No Retirement”

  1. I’ve heard that we have little support for people that get Alzheimers or any kind of mental disease. Basically, you’re screwed. Lot’s of folks end up in prison because they inadvertantly fall afoul of the law while being completely checked out mentally. If a society can be judged by how well it takes care of those who need the most help, we’re fucking animals.

  2. you’ve made an excellent observation Wad. so, try to remember this point later on with my mom’s story AND this will really hit home when i start to write about Jacinda again.

    stay tuned intrepid editor type guy…

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