All posts by islandanne

A Daughter’s Journey With Her Dad’s Alzheimers

Spoke with Home Care today. Needed to touch base, give an update on my father and clarify a few items.

So it’s waiting for a call on a bed this summer. And wondering what will happen first, a phone call or a crisis. Waiting for another assessment in June by the geriatrician. Waiting for brother #1 to advise me that he is going to be here this summer, which means he is taking leave from work, to be spending time with Dad.

Yesterday, was back to work for me which is full time hours, although a temporary position, in a long term care setting, on a dementia unit. Some of you readers will know this. New readers will now know this.

Waiting seems to be becoming a theme. My husband and I took Dad for his appointment at the eye surgeon. There was one turn around back home as he didn’t have his hearing aid in. I had checked that he was wearing his glasses and had his health card and wallet. After the appointment, Dad remarked that he thought he was having the actual cataract surgery that day. This made sense to me at that point because he had made a comment when heading out that he was glad it was the last time or the last trip.

That same day we had got a few grocery requests for him which we brought before the appointment. On the way home we made a stop at Tims for drinks for us and some chilli and a bun for him. It was for him to eat once home. Dad offered to take us out for lunch. He said he wasn’t hungry and I know that he prefers to eat at home.

Lobster season has opened so Dad is requesting a “feed” of lobster. Not really sure how many lobsters that translates to. Hubby has assured him that we will get some and deliver. This request will be easy to fill.

Today I stopped by to deliver his laundry. Checked his fridge and reminded him to cook the trout soon. He seems to be using an electric frying pan these days as well as the stove.

I also re-ordered his newspaper for another three months. As I write this, it has been another busy week.

Blessings,

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A Daughter’s Journey With Her Dad’s Alzheimer’s

The Serenity Prayer is one that I’ve been thinking of over the last few weeks.

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.

The first paragraph is all that I am familiar with. I’ve only heard the complete prayer said once.

Another thought has been to “Let go and let God”. Not sure where that comes from but learned it from a friend. Thanks, to Judy  T. My understanding is that the Serenity Prayer originates from A. A., Alcoholics Anonymous, and perhaps the other statement does as well. It doesn’t really matter although I like to know that I’m posting correct information.

I’m pleased that I’ve been blogging this journey of mine. It is beneficial for me to be journaling. And I know that others are reading my posts. Yesterday, I figured out how to print all of my previous posts. Being old school, I want to look at hard copies and review the information I’ve provided. My aim is to provide a timeline without overly repeating information. Having something interesting to read is a goal as well.

Recently needed to purchase a new pack of printer paper. Last night’s discovery was running out of black ink. Thanks to hubby, there is now both replacement black and colour ink cartridges in the printer. So can review my print copies and make a few corrections. For me there is nothing like printing a copy in order to find errors.

This past week had some bad days for my Dad. He hasn’t been eating properly. Therefore he ended up with stomach pain and being gassy. That turned into having vomiting and diarrhoea. Then he had a better day to be followed with another day of diarrhoea. On that particular day, he had forgotten about the previous day of both vomiting and diarrhoea. So having some memory loss does have some benefits! He did cook potatoes and pork chops one day after that. And went outside with his compost and to the mailbox so that was a good day.

Today I walked over to deliver his jeans that I had washed and a library book that I had picked out for him. He was just getting up and surprised to find that it was already 1:40 p.m. Of course, he had been up early to get the bed which he takes back to bed to read. My two pugs were with me and they behaved themselves and he enjoyed seeing them.

Last Saturday, my husband and I had stopped by some groceries he wanted. Dad was sorting through some mail and made a discovery  that he had missed an appointment with the eye surgeon. He wants to have surgery for a cataract. Has already had one eye done, as they say. So I rebooked that appointment for this coming week. My name is listed as a contact as well but no message was left on my answering machine. Dad is also getting confused thinking he already has an appointment in a few months time. However, that appointment is with the optometrist not the ophthalmologist.

Another week is nearing the end. According to one FaceBook post, it’s Grey’s eve! Tomorrow is Friday. Hubby and I are heading “off island”. Jann Arden is playing in Truro, Nova Scotia. It’s Mother’s Day weekend. Our 17th wedding anniversary is on Saturday.

I feel I’m in a countdown mode. My return to work is scheduled for Wednesday, May 13. I had mistakenly thought it was May 12. So it will be an adjustment after time off to get back to speed. Looking forward to being back at my workplace though.

Crossing my fingers that my #1 brother and girlfriend come over to visit. They were unable to do so last weekend. We need a little getaway.

Blessings,

A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad’s Alzheimers

Last night I was questioning when I last posted. Time has been moving fast lately. I’ve been off work on medical leave. That alone can confuse me with dates. Plus with the delayed weather, it is doubled.

I’m returning to work on May 12. Excited and nervous about going back. Have missed the residents and my co-workers. Realize that I’m going to feel a little lost and will have to get up to speed as quickly as possible. It is time to return though.

My Dad is continuing to decline. Yesterday was not a good day for him. I brought over some heated stew for his supper. His stomach was bothering him. He said he didn’t have an appetite. He did sit down and attempt to eat. He had made himself some coffee prior to me getting there.

His hearing aid needed a new battery. Trying to remember, think it was Sunday, that I was there and it needed a new battery that day. I went to his bedroom and got a new pack of batteries He was able to replaced it. First though he put an old battery in and I had to point out the new package. I found myself picking up the paper to distract myself so he could be independent.  The little tab that you pull off ended up on the floor. So he was standing up and trying to pick it up. It ended up under the chair. Once I told him where it was, he was able to get it. In the meantime, I’m looking at the paper and trying to remain patient and not jump in to help. And crossing my fingers mentally that he is not going to fall.

Dad had mentioned that his next door neighbour had been in to visit and had been looking at his plants. Yesterday, he continued on with this storyline and said that she had just walked in without knocking. I know his neighbour and it didn’t seem like something she would do. Plus he usually has his door locked, and sometimes even the storm door.

I wen over to the neighbour’s door to chat with her. She is just a sweet woman. I’ve gotten to know her a little since my Dad moved to these apartments two and and half years ago. I haven’t spoken with her over the winter months. So she told me that she had rescued Dad’s paper off his lawn and put it between his doors. She had also phoned him to tell him what she had done. She looks out for my Dad a little. Has my phone number in case of emergency. And I live just five minutes away. I’ve never actually timed it! Sometimes say just a hop, skip and a jump.

When I left, Dad was still wondering about who the woman was that entered his apartment. His confusion is increasing. I had given him a fern last fall that my neighbour needed a home for. She had it outside last summer on her patio. Dad was mixing up that plant thinking it was his neighbour’s plant.

As I ramble on about the plant, I think I’m sounding like a person with dementia. For those of you reading, and know the type of conversations that you can have with the elderly who are confused, you will understand. And if there is no one reading, then it doesn’t really matter.

Dad mentioned his memory yesterday and how poor it is. It was one of the first things he said. Another topic was his stomach pain and lack of appetite. Plus the plants and his female visitor. He had the news on and was mentioning a guy who my younger brother knows who is a pig farmer. I got a glimpse later of that and learned that the fellow is running in the upcoming election.

Before leaving, we had a shouting match. My Dad didn’t like me talking to the neighbour about him and the plants. He told me to keep my mouth shut or something along those lines. And actually did the zippering of his mouth action. I argued back which wasn’t wise. I pointed out to him that I loved him but that I was not going to change who I was for him. I continued on to say that he does things that I don’t like but……

Brother, #1, is sick with a bad cold so he is not able to be here this weekend as he had planned. My hubby will go to Dad’s today to remove one of three lightbulbs from his bathroom fixture. He had replaced bulbs but Dad finds the light too bright. I’ve been thinking this is because of his cataract but now think it is his dementia.

it is so sad to see him declining. He is struggling to maintain a connection with his world. He is trying to make sense out of what is happening. He comments on not being able to hear when the hearing aid is in but the battery is dead. Other times, he is making statements of apathy in regards to his meals, what he ate and when he ate last.

He appreciates my being there. He does thank me. He clings to me when I go to leave most of the time. Not physically but it is the “one more thing” like Peter Falk in his Columbo character. Yesterday, I said I had to leave as my husband was waiting for me to have our supper together. He calmly replied that Bob could wait.

I guess having him be like I mention above is better than him yelling, cursing, and criticizing me. And instructing me to “go on”. I’d like to refrain from engaging in a shouting match and having the last word. When I do leave and not engage he gets to have the “last word” but commenting on my action. I remember I used to leave the living room in his former apartment and go to the bathroom. Then he would make a statement to my husband about my action.

And so it goes.

Looking at my word count, I think I’ve set a new record.  I’ll save a few other updates for coming blogs.

Blessings,

A Daughter’s Journey With Her Dad’s Alzheimers

Wow, almost a week since I last posted. Where does the time go. April is flying by. Snow is melting. Finally! My flowers are coming up in my front flower beds. Seeing more robins and geese all the time. Spring has sprung.

Nothing new to report. Had my appointment with the Alzheimers Society last week. It helped to review all that has been happening and to know that I have things on track. And it was wonderful to get some validation of all that my husband and I have done for my father. It actually has been a lot over the past few years.

It was also emotionally draining to have this appointment. And to think of so many people who are dealing with a parent or spouse with this Alzheimers disease. It seems that a person can get so involved in dealing with issues that there is very little opportunity to reach out and get support from others at times.

However, the support is there for sure. I’ve nothing but positive to say about Home Care and my dealings with them. Also my hubby is a tremendous support to me. And I couldn’t do this without him. Neighbors, friends, co-workers are also helpful in asking how things are going and in offering support. I’m thankful for email and social media. So helpful to have Facebook to reach out to good friends who do not live handy.

Still battling my cold. Still spring cleaning. Still hanging in. Hubby has gone to get our pugs nails trimmed at the vet college. We actually can do our female ourselves but our male pug needs experienced staff so we end up getting both of them done at the same time. I did their baths yesterday so decided that I’d stay home and do some housework. And I’m making corn chowder, biscuits and maybe some muffins for supper.

Thanks for reading.

Blessings,

A Daughter’s Journey With Her Dad’s Alzheimer’s

Well, it is now noon. Leaving home soon for my appointment with Alzheimer’s Society. Definitely need to talk with someone and today is the day.

Earlier this a.m., Home Care was here. We spoke re my Dad and his current needs. And now the process is in place for him to be going into long term care in the coming months. Paperwork, etc. is all done.

Next steps will be to notify my siblings re above and for them to wrap their heads around the situation. As I’ve said before, I work in long term care, government facility and I work on the dementia unit which I love. And yet, this is still a difficult but I realize necessary step.

Moving Dad needs to be done. As of the end of June, I am no longer available or able to continue with the care that I have been doing. Hubby is awaiting surgery and will have a sling on his arm for 4 to 6 weeks. Plus with two small dogs, a house and two vehicles, etc., etc…… Life is busy.

So busy days are ahead. Just realizing that RN didn’t talk about having to visit my Dad in the near future. So maybe that doesn’t need to happen just yet. Guess I will email her and inquire.

Well, time to leave. My cold is still hanging on. But seems to be getting better. A nap would be in order later today. And its Thursday so its Greys Anatomy. And of course, hockey playoffs are happening. Winnipeg Jets are playing Anaheim.

Stay tuned. Thanks for reading.

Blessings on this gorgeous spring day. My flowers are starting to appear.

A Daughter’s Journey With Her Dad’s Azheimer’s

Wow. We were having an early supper and phone was ringing. I said to hubby to “let the machine pick up”. It was already after 4 p.m. so didn’t think it would be Home Care. How wrong I was! Checked the message and phoned them back right away.

So tomorrow will be having a meeting here to discuss my Dad. After that. they will have a visit with him. But that will be another day. Can only do so much as once.

Relieved to see that action is happening. Distressing that this is what the situation calls for but still need and want to make arrangements. Feel validated that my thoughts on the matter seem fairly accurate although the situation is serious.

Seems like we are on our way to having Dad’s name on a list for long term care. Also was told that 30 beds have opened up in one area here on the island. And that there are various options available. Although, I have my choice in mind for a final living place, it is good to know that there is a short term alternative.

At this point, I feel that I have a handle on the issue and everything is as up-to-date as can be.

Feeling blessed that progress is happening. Hopefully will sleep better tonight and tomorrow night.

Blessings,

A Daughter’s Journey With Her Dad’s Alzheimer’s

Wednesday already. I have a cold so have not been doing much. Having said that, I had a chiropractor appointment on Monday and came home with my rotator cuff taped on my right shoulder. Seems to be helping. And I also went to a Dr.’s appointment on Monday afternoon. So looking after some health issues.

And yesterday I had a massage in the afternoon! Thank goodness for having benefits. Might as well use them.The massage was excellent as per usual.

Was out last night for supper with co-workers celebrating one of the girls turning 40! it was a great time. Glad I went despite not feeling great. This is my second cold in 6 weeks. Not usual for me.

In terms of my Dad, I’m waiting for the next phone call from Home Care. They will be going to his place to assess him. This is a follow-up to my phone call with them last week. Had supper with brother #1 and his girlfriend in Halifax on Saturday evening, so filled him in on the latest. My brother wants to have a look at what a long term care room would be like. Offered to show him my workplace at any time.

Also called brother #2 but both he and his daughter were sick so didn’t visit them. Probably won’t see them until summertime. And stopped to visit sister #1 and brother-in-law on the way home. Got to meet their new dog, a little cutie. I don’t believe my sister mentioned a word about my Dad. Not unusual but…..

Hubby called my Dad last evening to check on him. Phone was busy so maybe off the hook. And there was no answer earlier this a.m. I’m thinking  that Dad probably needs milk, bread, etc. Will call again later. Dad is probably still in bed.

So think I will continue to rest and shake this cold of mine. Sun is shining. Blue skies. Did see quite a few robins yesterday. And lots of geese in the farmer’s fields as well. Snow is melting. Feels so awesome to say that!

Talk later. And blessings to those who are dealing with parents or spouses with this disease of Azheimer’s.