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Saturday, March 30, 2013

And Today

Today, Dad is fighting the move.  The bedroom will be too small, he won't like the food, he will be a minority, the staff won't be friendly, etc.  I will have him talk tomorrow to my sister who chose the place.

But it won't relieve his fears entirely.  He fears the change, and I understand that.  He is happy here.  Too happy.  I attend to his every needs.  What he doesn't really understand is that his needs are growing greater each month.

He doesn't realize that he is reducing his routine every week,  He used to watch any of 5 channels, now he he wants only 2.  His food preferences are diminishing.  He is struggling to get to the bathroom "on time".  He talks bizarrely, but he doesn't realize it. 

Last night, he said that being in an ALF (assisted living facility) in a town 10 miles away from other family was good because he "could bicycle or walk to visit them".  It doesn't get much crazier than that.  He couldn't "bicycle" away from a starving crippled alligator.

And he thinks the move is "too complicated".  OK, it isn't.  My brother and sister will drive down here and my brother will transport the bedroom furniture in his truck and sister will transport Dad.  He can't understand how simple that is to us.

He thinks none of us understand his investments.  I have been filing his investment papers for a year and arranged for his income taxes twice now.   I know them by heart better than he does.  He insists I can't possibly know "that stuff".  Well, of course I do.  10 years ago, he did too.  But not now.

This is going to be harder than I thought. 

I am reluctant to have him visit the place.  Yes, he might think it wonderful. But he is more likely to find trivial faults.

So, drive him 2 hours up to visit the place and 2 hours back, or not?  Pros and cons... 


Katnip Lounge said...

I say go, but if you can, choose a day when he's more lucid. Chances are he may not remember that he was there, but you will be able to see how he likes it "in the moment".

Good luck--and I'm totally sincere about that. Scott agonized over his Mom going into an ALF so I truly empathize with you. You ARE (and have been) doing the right thing.

Derby, Ducky said...

Not sure the visit would help. Like Katnip Lounge said, he may or may not remember it. Also finding minor faults that might make it harder for him to accept. No place is perfect, but we do the best we can to find the best we can for our parents.

I do like it that he will have multiple family members close by. People to come in, visit and stimulate him, beyond just you. That can help.

My dad was lucid the day he went into ALF, he handed me his check book and told me I was now in charge of his money. Thankfully over the years, he kept me fully informed of what he was doing and why. Asking my opinion on things, sitting in on his tax return prep with the tax person.

This next month will be one of transition, but it will be for the best.

Tina T-P said...

Perhaps your sister or brother could go and take a whole bunch of pictures and/or a video of his new place - maybe some of the staff, etc. would he be able to watch a slide show on your computer? That might be a lot easier than a 4 hour car ride...Just a thought... T.

Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

The slide show Tina suggested sounds great. Then you still have the pictures when he doesn't remember something right.
A friend of mine needed to put her sister in law in an ALF and even though they took her on a tour, she insisted that she couldn't possibly live there since it didn't have a bedroom. Of course it did, but she forgot that. It didn't matter that they told her, she had to see it again. Pictures would have helped. Luckily their drive wasn't hours.
If four hours is too long in a car, what about a few days at sister's house? He can tour the place, stay with her for a bit and visit, then come home the next day or so? A little break for everyone tossed in.

Mariodacatsmom said...

I say make the visit too. Even if he doesn't remember it, something might click in a corner of his brain that tells him he has been there before. No matter how you handle it, he's probably going to raise a rukus over it, but things will settle down once he knows someone will come to visit with him every so often - whatever kind of pattern you set up. Good luck and know that you are doing the right thing for him and you.

Megan said...

I'm 'voting' for no visit. Given the decline your father is experiencing, it sounds as though four hours in the car would be stressful for you both. And, you and your siblings have reviewed the options and weighed up pros and cons and chosen what you believe is the best place available. The decision has been made. I think your time and thoughts are better spent on supporting him and encouraging him to ease the transition.

Sydney, Australia

The Cat From Hell said...

I am going to be a dissenting voice and say No! When we had to deal with this with my Mother, when we took her to visit, she obsessed about all the things she was unsure of. She was very upset and did not want to go. And made mountains out of mole hills.
When we finally had to move her, she was quite happy (and did not remember her previous visit).