A Daughter’s Journey with Her Father’s Alzheimers

2016 has arrived. Although I love Christmas, it can be a wonderful and also crazy time of year. 2015 was no exception. My husband had shoulder replacement surgery on Dec. 7. And on Dec. 8, my older brother, younger sister and myself moved our Dad into long term care. He did not want to go and it was not easy to convince him to do so. My siblings spoke to him the evening before the scheduled move. And they talked to him again the next morning. No way, no how was he going to move and that was that! So lucky me had the task of going to talk to him.

I said to him that we had a “situation” and that his family Dr. and the specialist had decided that he should no longer be living on his own and that a place had been found for him. Otherwise, adult protection was going to happen. Dad was adamant about not moving. I then asked him to at least go and look at the place and the room. “Okay” he said and proceeded to get ready.

I quickly sent my brother a text when Dad was in the bathroom. Unknowing to Dad my brother and sister were parked nearby his apartment. Dad and I went out the door, I got him settled in the truck and off we went following my brother. It was a good hour’s drive and believe me when I say it was a very long hour! Dad continued to say that it was a waste of time and gas and that it was not necessary. He kept saying that the Drs. must think he was crazy and I tried my best to assure him that he was not crazy and that no one had said so.

Finally we got there, just in time. We had been expected at 10/10:30 a.m. and it was now around 2 p.m.! I had phoned earlier to say that we were delayed. Dad was not going to get out of the vehicle but he did so when I got out. I had mentioned to him that maybe they would have a cup of tea and a cookie.

The staff was very welcoming and not overwhelming. Dad was taken to his room and shown around. He went to have a cup of tea and some bannock. When that was over, he asked to leave. I had to tell him that I was not able to take him. And I warned my brother not to take him either. At that point, if my brother took him back to his apartment we would never ever get him to move and I would have to step away from the situation entirely. And since I am the only child that currently lives here…

Anyway it turned out that Dad was asked by the head nurse if he would stay for a month and be assessed and we were asked to quickly leave before he could notice. So we did. There was some paperwork to do in the office and then we left.

Fast forward a few weeks. Dad was a little upset at first but then he quickly settled in. He asked to have a bath and certainly enjoys the “big chair that lifts you up and puts you down”. My siblings went to visit him a few days after the move. They had dropped off some belongings for him and a new t.v. the day after the move but had not visited him on that day.

Dad was not exactly sure just where he was and how he got there but he liked the place. He enjoys the hot meals and not having to worry about asking us for groceries or laundry. The place is wonderful! Staff are friendly. They let him settle in on his own. One of the staff, a male worker, has suggested that they just let Dad be and it was the correct thing to do.

Near the end of 2015, my husband was able to go with me to visit Dad and we had a great visit. Bob got to show off his scar from his recent surgery. My Dad always enjoys having Bob around so it was perfect. On Sunday, I was not working so I went again to visit Dad. I called ahead of time and he was certainly happy to hear that I was coming.

The main concern that Dad has is that we will forget about him and that we won’t visit. So I definitely don’t want that to happen. Once Bob is able to drive on his own again, he can go and visit without me. And I plan on taking our female pug to visit as well. Once spring and summer come, both of our pugs can go and visit as then we can be outside.

So a new year is here! And I must say I love a new beginning. I worked over Christmas time and have just had the past 5 days off. I’m back to work this evening but then have a couple of days off again before doing a stretch of night shifts.

With being so busy prior to Christmas with my husband’s surgery and moving Dad, I’ve had lots to catch up on around the house. My sister had been here for 20 days and we were both busy at Dad’s apartment packing and cleaning, etc. Now the items that are left will be dealt with by my brother or brother(s). I still have to wash floors. It was certainly loads of work and it never would have happened without my sister’s help for sure.

So onward I go. I’ve been thinking of blogging again. At the very least I wanted to post an update.

Happy New Year 2016 !









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