View Full Version : A Letter to My Friends and Customers on UU

09-22-2012, 10:58 AM
Hey everyone,
I am way behind in my orders. While I dislike airing my problems in public, I feel I owe many of you an explanation of what is going on, so here it is.

First, some background information. I retired from my real career in early 2005. At that time, my wife's mother was seriously ill and under hospice care. My wife decided she should continue to work in Seattle, live with her parents and help her father care for her mother and join me in Cannon Beach on the weekends. That actually worked out well because my former employer kept calling me back to work so I was up in Seattle with my wife, helping her with her parents most of the time. My wife's mother passed away three years later. Then her father had medical issues of his own and we decided to continue with this living arrangement to help him.

Last spring, my father in law became ill and went to the hospital. When he left the hospital, it was determined that he should have 24 hour care at home. My wife and her sister could provide much of that, and two home health care aides were hired for the rest. My father in law's health has been declining, his heart is in Afib and he has been having a number of small strokes and TIA's. As his mental capacity has been declining, he has been increasingly more difficult to deal with, which has stressed my wife greatly, which stresses me. I have had to spend more and more time in Seattle helping as best I can.

If this was not enough grief, in his most recent trip to the hospital we learned that one of the home health care aides we had hired is a predator. She has been spending a great deal of time and energy poisoning his mind against his family and setting herself up in a cushy situation. She is also no doubt the primary reason my wife has been having a very hard time dealing with her father.

During all of this, my ukulele building has dwindled to very little. I am very sorry about this and it was certainly not my intention to keep my customers waiting long after their due dates, but under the circumstances, I have not been able to get a lot of building done.

The good news is the situation has improved. My father in law in a moment of mental clarity fired the predatory aide and so far we have been able to keep her away from him, although she persists in trying to contact him. We have hired two new aides from a reputable and very expensive agency that have been working out well, so hopefully we can move on and I can start building ukuleles again and get my back orders down.

Thank you,

Ronnie Aloha
09-22-2012, 11:14 AM
No problem Brad. Take care of your family first.

09-22-2012, 11:30 AM
Your ukes are very much worth the wait.

Your family and their well being come first. My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care Brad.

09-22-2012, 11:36 AM
No problem at all. Best wishes to you and your family. As gyosh says, it will be worth the wait.

09-22-2012, 11:49 AM
Brad, that has been a heavy burden for you and wife to go through. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Take care of you and your family, ukes can wait.

09-22-2012, 12:12 PM
Best wishes to you and your family, Brad.

And don't worry about us -- the longer we wait the higher your street cred rises :cool:

09-22-2012, 12:46 PM
Family definitely comes first. All the best to you and your family during these difficult times.

09-22-2012, 12:53 PM
Brad, thanks for sharing. Most of us have had to (or will have to) deal with our parents' (or parents-in-laws') health issues at one time or another. I'm learning through my own experiences with my parents that there are few institutional support systems for older people with health issues and their caregiver children. Your priorities are in the right place, and I hope that those waiting for one of your beautiful ukuleles will understand this.

09-22-2012, 01:26 PM
They would like to hear about that caregiver. Might keep something worse from happening to the next person she works with.

Wishing you all the best and sounds like you and your family are doing what is best.

09-22-2012, 02:21 PM
Our thoughts are with you and your wife. Mom was grandpa's caregiver and even with the help of wonderful hospice nurses, it was a hellish situation. Having a situation like your wife's on top of that... it's all just too much. I'm sure your customers will understand.

09-22-2012, 03:09 PM
Family comes first...period. End. Of. Story. I'm not on your waiting list, and I can kind of sympathize with those who are if they have a tendency to feel a bit concerned, but at the end of the day people matter way more than things. This was a lesson I learned far too late in life and, since I was a late and unexpected child, long after my parents were both gone.

I hope things improve for you and yours. Until they do, take care of the people that matter most and your own health...everything else is secondary.

09-22-2012, 03:18 PM
Thanks everyone for your very kind thoughts. One of the reasons I wrote this was to warn anyone in similar circumstances, that they need to be very vigilant and careful. Elder abuse by home health care workers is much more common than I would have thought. We have gone online and looked at the websites of the various government agencies, and these websites are encouraging. The reality has been when we have talked to someone from the various agencies, they have been less than helpful. The main message has been that as long as the elder in question has any mental capacity left at all, they can do what they want. If, as in this case, a predatory aide can convince the elder that only she has his best interests in mind and to disregard the family, you are hosed. We were very lucky that in a moment of lucidity, my wife's father fired this aide, which left us the opening we needed to change the care and hopefully eliminate her from the picture.


09-22-2012, 03:35 PM
What a disturbing story Brad. I am sorry you and your family are having to deal with this. Thanks for letting us know. I noticed that you were not on UU much and have been worried about you so the update is appreciated.


09-22-2012, 03:52 PM
When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's my siblings and I met with a good family lawyer, who guided us into getting the appropriate and necessary legal documents. Legal power of attorney, health care power of attorney, living will, and will. Brad, if your wife can get her father to agree to her or a sibling having the power of attorney and health care power of attorney, it will be easier for her to manage his health and safety. Hang in there. There are some very good and kind folks in elder care, too.

09-22-2012, 04:03 PM
Wow Brad, so sorry to hear you are dealing with such a terrible situation.

09-22-2012, 04:47 PM
Totally understand. My mother was taken advantage of by a predator as well. They took everything she had. I do wish she could understand how lucky she is though. She's got us kids, were not going anywhere. Hope your troubles lighten soon.

09-22-2012, 05:16 PM
What a wonderful son-in-law you are. Praying all goes as well as it can for you and your family. Been through some of that with my in-laws, w/out the predator though.
Good luck.

mm stan
09-22-2012, 05:35 PM
Aloha Brad,
While I am not one of your clients...I understand your position...family first...While many kids neglect and abandon their parents these days, I am happy to hear your wife and sister are
doing the best to take care of her mother before and father....I lost both of mine and I am disabled and did the best I could..my father in stayed in the care home less that 10 days before
he passed and a feeding tube installed...Yes I would have it no other way taking care of my father and mother...Yes I hope you and your wife, her father and her family the best...Sending
you all the very best of God's Blessings... and enjoy your time with him, I'd have it no other way..it warms the heart man...I am glad you fired that predator and hired two good ones and
yes you gotta keep a viligant look on everything and get your papers and docoments in order...Take Care, I know it can be overwhelming at times it can be, but it right thing to do..3 cheers for supporting
your wife...
PS On a better note....I just met a real nice girl taking care of her grandmother for 10 years because she had a stroke and lost her physical capabilities(walking) and mental capacities..
I was very impressed by her and offered her one of my chinese made ukes and Kvehe contributed a brand new snark...wow she gave up her school and career when no family member
stood forward to take care of her granny....I only wish I could have given her a better ukulele...she had played the guitar before and she lost intrest so I asked if she would like to learn the
ukulele and it was easier..her granny played the violin before and I thought the uke would benefit them both...and Granny would enjoy her playing..gee my heart is warm doing nice right things..
Here is a picture of her and her Grandma when I gave her the ukulele..http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad222/ukestan/NewArrivals92012004_zpsf3d410a4.jpg
One day when things get better for you..I would want a uke from you....Take Care and God's Blessings and hope your FIL fairs better ....Stan

09-22-2012, 05:54 PM
Many blessings to you and your family Bradford.. I too would love one of your ukes in my collection, family first always!

09-22-2012, 07:23 PM
Nothing more to add, Bradford. Family is always first; the rest of us can wait for as long as it takes.

Best wishes, and good thoughts for you, your wife, Father-in-Law, and the rest of the family.


09-22-2012, 09:05 PM
Brad, well wishes to you and your family. They are what matters most in the end.

09-23-2012, 03:50 AM
Hi Brad,

Not your customer (yet) but still wish you and your family do well, and get better soon.

09-23-2012, 05:01 AM
Hi Brad,
I have not (yet) bought a uke from you but I just wanted to say hang in there. You are doing a very precious, difficult thing to take care of an elderly loved one, and it is not always easy. Ten years ago, after more then 20 years in New York, I moved back to California to take care of my Mother who was in Hospice. I took care of her for three years before she died, and she lived in her home. In some ways it was one of the hardest things I had to do, and yet I was so grateful to be able to be with her on and accompany her on her journey. She died at home and I will never regret those three years we had together. Brad, one thing I would advise is you and your wife also have to take care of your self...eat well and don't get run down. It can be very stressful taking care of a loved one, and so you need to be good to yourselves as well.

09-23-2012, 05:29 AM
Hello Brad,

Just sending best wishes.



09-23-2012, 11:43 AM
Best wishes to you and yours, Brad.

ukuLily Mars
09-23-2012, 12:36 PM
Aloha, Brad,

Nothing to say which hasn't already been said -- keeping you and your family in my thoughts. But add my +1 to the advice for you and your wife to take care of yourselves while all of this is going on!


Scott S.
09-23-2012, 06:59 PM
Hi Brad,

Thanks for letting us know. I hope that the situation continues to improve for you and your wife.

Dan Uke
09-23-2012, 08:41 PM

I know you have been through much but keep strong as there are people praying for you and your family.


09-23-2012, 09:36 PM
As others have said, your family comes first and everything else takes a back seat..

Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and you are being thought of often...

09-23-2012, 10:41 PM

Sorry to learn about your travails, glad that the situation has improved.

take care,

09-24-2012, 08:28 AM

If you haven't done so already, check out a caregiver support group. Here's (http://www.caregiver.com/regionalresources/states/WA/support/king.htm)what a quick Google search pulled up. My mom went to a group when my grandmom started going downhill. Talking to other people going through the same thing really helped her.

Keeping you in my thoughts.


09-24-2012, 09:28 AM
A support group is a great idea... but the problem is that care givers don't have time to show up for the meetings. Maybe if there are online groups though.

09-24-2012, 10:05 AM
A support group is a great idea... but the problem is that care givers don't have time to show up for the meetings. Maybe if there are online groups though.

True. It's important that caregivers make time for themselves, and make sure that they are okay too. You can't take care of someone else without taking care of yourself too.

I work at a nursing home that houses a support group once a month. I've never heard anyone say they regret going. I've heard many people say they wish they'd found the group sooner.

09-24-2012, 01:11 PM
But by the same token, it's no slur on those overworked, frantic, and falling apart caregivers who simply do not have enough hours in the day to leave and go talk about how tough it is being a caregiver. And when they can get away, perhaps choose to spend that time not dwelling on what they have to face back home.

I'm sure the group is a wonderful concept for those that can make it though. I agree it's important to make some me time, but not all caregivers can. For those, it falls to family for support, as Brad knows all too well.

09-24-2012, 03:33 PM
Sounds like things are improving from when we last talked.
You've got a lot of friends here on UU.
Here's to things getting even better in the coming weeks and months.