Biblitz delivers advise

ASK Biblitz about Seniors.

'Sophie who always rallied us after a beating, who bound our wounds, who built our pride back up from shambles and never faltered a step. The iron she had!'


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How do I get Gma to let me driver her car?

Dear Biblitz,

Here's my issue: FIRST I AM STATING THAT SHE SAYS ANYONE CAN DRIVE HER CAR WHEN SHE ISN'T USING IT. SECOND I AM STATING IF SHE LETS ME DRIVE THE CAR OCCASIONALLY SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO CHANGE HER INSURANCE. Anyway here's the problem my grandma has a car that she barely uses and she claims that me her granddaughter can't drive her car because her insurance policy states that I can't drive her car because I'm not 21. She is old and doesn't have the insurance policy anymore and both my mom and dad think that being 21 is not a thing you can put on the insurance and in my opinion that's not true, if it is someone let me know lol. But what I really want to know is how to approach her on the issue. How do I try to talk to her about calling the insurance company and finding out what the insurance is? I'd like to drive the car when she isn't using it and she says it okay for anyone else to, I have a huge commute to get back and forth from university, and she says anyone can use her car when shes not using it but I can't because of what she claims the insurance is. She is the hardest person to talk to I already tried and got in a huge fight with her she is set in her ways.

Biblitz replies:
teaman90
Start with an apology for such waggish presumptuousness! Tut-tut! Above all, civility when asking anyone including a beloved, respected elder for a favor. Once relations are repaired, call the ins provider that covers you while driving pop's car and ask what the ins requirements would be to drive Gma's, too. Present the info to Gma as a fait accompli along with a cheque for the amt of any added fees AND a promise to keep the car filled with gas. If still no joy, ask if there is anything you've done to cause her to single you out in this manner then await your lumps.

She won't let us see my dying uncle! What can we do to persuade her otherwise?

I am 27, I live in Toronto, my uncle lives in L.A., I saw him about 3 months ago. When he went back to L.A., it was revealed that he had several inoperable brain tumors, and was given 6-12 months. His wife, who is messed up already, never worked a day in her life, managed to improperly raise 2 kids; both of whom developed mental issues...anyways, besides the point. When we try to see him, she won't let us, or will finally relent, letting us only see him for 10 minutes. She says it's because he gets all emotional, and she has to deal with it the rest of the day. This women is nuts, they've been married for 20 years, and even those living in LA have only seen her a few times, she's very recluse....

Am I wrong in thinking that my uncle would want to see his family in his dying days? WTF, I just want to smack her, and I volunteer at a women's shelter!!!

Biblitz replies:
teaman90
Regardless of your feelings for auntie, uncle picked her and has stayed with her for 20 years. She is now his primary caregiver and unless you have GOOD REASON to question her competence you would be well advised to respect her wishes regarding visits. Dealing with all the hell-hounds threatening your shelter has no doubt toughened you. No doubt you have little patience for the blanc manges of the world. No doubt all this serves you in your role at the shelter. Here, however, an olive branch gently proffered is the preferred response. Offer empathy for her caretaking of beloved relative and ask what you might do, if anything, to assist. One gets farther with honey than vinegar, oh, acidic one.

Should I spend more time with sugar granddaddy or keep doing what I enjoy?

There is 13 year difference in age with my spouse. He is 74 and seems depressed about aging. What can we do.? We are always arguing about my time away from home and that we don't do anything together. I get bored sitting at home. He likes it.

Biblitz replies:

You need to keep doing all the things you enjoy, incuding spouse in a few activities if possible, if he chooses. Of course he's anxious/depressed about aging. Who isn't? Life extracts far too much from us in the fragile, flawed little shells we're given. Also, priorities change as we get older, mercifully, in my view.

The aging process goes better for those who realize that marriage isn't a jail but a partnership btwn fairly like-minded negotiators each with her/his own set of interests, feelings and issues. In other words, if he's unhappy/depressed, he's not allowed to take prisoners. He must experience and resolve his own feelings. Happily, there is plenty of good therapy/counselling available to do just that with a particular focus on seniors' issues. He may even benefit from a round of antidepressants.

The important thing is for him to understand his problems are not YOUR problem. You can be sympathetic/sensitive and listen/consider/choose if there is something you do or fail to do that injures him/would injure a reasonable person in his circumstances, but he should not compel to do anything that feels to you like prison. Women tend to be far more gregarious - probably as a result of all the roles they play in the course of their lives. You do two-thirds of the work on a planet and you diversify or die, basically. That's what makes women more flexible/adaptable generally.
teaman90
If he's got some old crock of a doctor he's known a million years, he might want to visit a walk-in clinic to discuss the problem. Younger docs are more likely to be aware of the bonuses in treating older patients for depression.

How do I show support for a grandparent unhappy in a nursing home?

So, I now have a grandparent in a nursing home. I know she doesn't want to be there. No one wants to take care of her though. She needs someone there for her 24/7. But this place she's in is so depressing and she's unhappy. I have visited and written letters, but just knowing she is stuck in there without her friends and family around her, all day everyday is so heartbreaking. She gets regular letters and visits, but like I said, just knowing she is very unhappy to be there breaks my heart.

Legally, I don't have the clout to pull her out of there, nor could I care for her if I could. So what can I do to ease my guilt and pain and what can I do to help her?

I'd especially like to hear from anyone who's been in this situation.

Biblitz replies:

This is the other pound of flesh the culture extracts from women just as the whelps reach maturity. There is not much you can do except to tell the truth when you write to her and acknowledge her grief:

'I understand the move to Hell House has been a veritable earthquake for you and I grieve daily that we do not live in a culture that honors our elders as we do in our family. I grieve daily that we do not yet have the quality of home care available that would have allowed you to remain at home. But I so love you and admire you and want so badly to keep you here in the world with me that I ask you in your hour of need for still more patience at Hell House. I will do anything I can to make the place more bearable. Please send along any requests and do, of course, feel free to complain as bitterly as I would, no doubt, in your place. I'm always glad to hear from you even if the news isn't always glad. Keep your eyes and open, too, for the names of other facilities that might be an affordable improvement. Now that you're in the loop, you might have access to better info.'
teaman90
This will assure her you take her seriously and that she is still in a position of at least some control. Very affirming! Buy a bunch of collage picture frames at the dollar store, too, and fill them with her favorite photos. Send them at intervals to ensure regular communication and things to look forward to. Have flowers delivered to the front desk of the facility so that staff have to make a big show of bringing them to her. Most important, make a collage of photos for her bedside that show her as a young and capable woman. It will help her self-esteem to remember that she is still a competent adult with an interesting history AND it will show the staff, who may forget that vulnerable clients had and indeed have lives. Sending things also tells staff Gma has relatives looking out for her who won't stand for any nonsense!

band

Rupert Garcia

Prints and Posters Grabados y Afiches 1967-1990

Paperback

Rupert Garcia first became known for his political posters during the late sixties and early seventies when he was active in student and Mexican American/Latino cultural movements. Working primarily with silkscreen technique, he developed a bold style, appropriating many of the pictorial devices and premises of Pop Art, but subverting them from a Mexican American and Third World perspective to serve his own aesthetic and ideological ends. (From the Directors'Forward, p. 7)

A man of sound artistic principles, Biblitz feels!

Whatever you do, don't patronize elders. Try to follow up on their best efforts:



The Anarchists' Convention

Hardcover

By John Sayles

"So you haven't quit yet, Leo."

I tell them it's a matter of hours and look for Sophie. She's by Baker, the Committee Chairman this year. Always the Committee Chairman, he's the only one with such a streak of masochism. Sophie's by Baker and there's no sign of her Mr. Gillis.
redWire90
There's another one makes the hip act up. Two or three times I've seen the man since he set up housekeeping with Sophie, and every time I'm in pain. Like an allergy, only bone-deep. It's not just he's CP from the word go - we all had our fling with the Party, and they have their point of view. But Gillis is the sort that didn't hop off of Joe Stalin's bandwagon till after it nose-dived into the sewer. The deal with Berlin wasn't enough for Gillis, or the Purges, no, nor any of the other tidbits that started coming out from reliable sources. Not till the Party announced officially that Joe was off the Sainted list did Gillis catch a whiff.

Maybe he's a good cook.
mother90
She lights up when she sees me. That smile, after all these years, that smile and my knees are water. She hasn't gone the Mother Jones route, Sophie, no shawls and spectacles, she's nobody's granny on the candy box. She's thin, a strong thin, not like Diamond, and her eyes, they still stop your breath from across the room. Always there was a such a crowd, such a crowd around Sophie. And always she made each one think he was at the head of the line.
workers90
"Leo, you came! I was afraid you'd be shy again." She hugs me, tells Baker I'm like a brother.

Sophie who always rallied us after a beating, who bound our wounds, who built our pride back up from shambles and never faltered a step. The iron she had! In Portland they're shaving her head, but no wig for Sophie, she wore it like a badge. And the fire! Toe-to-toe with a fat Biloxi deputy, head-to-head with a Hoboken wharf boss, starting a near-riot from her soapbox in Columbus Circle, but shaping it, turning it, stampeding all that anger and energy in the right direction.

Still the iron, still the fire, and still it's Leo you're like a brother. (-- pgs. 25-26)

When You are Old, a poem by W.B. Yeats, one his best!

Can they make us leave our home in a California trailer park?

My wife and I are 79 and live in a mobilehome park. Some people got reported for not meeting state license rules for vehicles. A guy blamed me. The park had a lawyer write me a letter threatening evictiopn for questioning those that will not license their vehicles in calif. One guy was told that i reported him to dm. Ity was the woman manager. He assulted me. Kn ocked off my can they throw us out of our home over that?glasses and stomped on them. Can they throw us out of our home over that?

Biblitz replies:
teaman90
No, they certainly can't. You're being bullied by these characters, assaulted and battered by one, and, happily, all of it is actionable. I'm guessing you're not rolling in it. If not, visit the local law school to see if they have a student advice program. Even if the advice program does not allow them to advise you on the law of torts, you can probably find a keener to help you word a good email to a civil litigator who might act for you pro bono. Students should know if there is an elder law advocacy outfit with special expertise in this area. Do also ask police for any tips on how to feel safe when you're being threatened in this manner. They'd be interested in the assault certainly and the stomped glasses as would atty. Cops may even do a little intimidating of their own on your behalf! Be as charming and formal with them as you can and let them know in no uncertain terms that you are afraid for your safety.