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

Friday a.m. and hubby and I are heading out for a weekend off island. Thinking I already wrote about this yesterday.

Home Care intake worker phoned me yesterday. Spent one hour talking with her. It was a very detailed, honest conversation. They sure cover all the bases. We discussed hearing, vision, eating, mobility, etc. And I filled her in on my fear that my Dad’s verbal outbursts will escalate.

I had stopped by yesterday afternoon to drop off a pair of jeans that I had taken to be shortened. He had been okay with that. But then didn’t want me taking a second pair of cords. When he looked at the pants, he asked where they had come from and why I had them. And that he hadn’t wanted them shortened. He was yelling and carrying on. I had to say to him that he had to stop and that he had approved getting that pair done. That was when he took a closer look and stated that he was thinking about the other pair.

For Easter, I had bought him a short sleeve polo shirt for summertime. When I gave that to him, he said that he didn’t need it and that he has lots of clothing and doesn’t go anywhere anyway. He went on to say that I was wasting my money. My Dad has clothing that needs to be replaced!

I then said that I had to head home because I had groceries in the car. It was only a couple items but I sure was not going to stay and visit. Actually Dad was heading back from the mailbox when I arrived there. And he had planned on going for a bit more of a walk, he said.

I was upset and muttering to myself when I left. And came home and said to my husband that it is getting harder and harder to be with my Dad at times. I did tell Dad that we were heading to Halifax today to visit my Aunt Rita, his sister. Hopefully he understood. He is okay for groceries. My brother checked that out last weekend.

Sleep last night was very disruptive. A change of scenery should be helpful.

Thanks to those of you reading. Putting words to paper does help me.

Blessings,

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A Daughter’ Journey With Her Dad’s Alzheimers

Well, here it is Thursday. Every week goes faster than the last. Still waiting for spring to arrive. Slow and steady.

Made some phone calls yesterday. Spoke to Home Care re the current situation with my Dad. Will be getting a phone call back from them. And then see what happens after that. Not sure what the next step will be.

Also phoned the Alzheimer’s Society. Going to speak to someone there. Not for another couple of weeks though. Wish I had called them sooner but…..

Wondering what else I could be doing at the moment. Find that I am not sleeping well. This whole situation with my Dad and his future is weighing heavy on my mind. After speaking with my older brother on the weekend, his thought is that we need to convince my Dad that he needs to go into community care. His wish is that my Dad does not go into long term care against his will. So he wants to look into places that are available. He needs to see what is here. Not working in health care, he really has no idea of the different types of facilities.

Working in long term care and on a locked dementia unit, I am quite familiar! It will be 5 years this fall that I have done so. And I truly enjoy my work and the residents that I care for and the awesome co-workers that I work with. It is a rewarding and challenging type of work.

Still need to contact my younger sister and fill her in on the current situation. So an email is in order plus a follow=up phone call. I did call my older sister and fill her in. She is not heavily involved in the situation. Seems prepared to let whatever happens, happen.

Perhaps for clarification purposes, I will state that I am the middle of 5 children. So older sister, sister #1 is the one who will go with what is decided among other siblings. Older brother, is the one who visits on a regular basis and is actively involved so he will be referred to as brother #1. Then there is me! And next is sister #2 who is very involved although she lives several provinces away. So that leaves brother #2 who is prepared to go with the flow. That’s the line-up.

So need to get my day started. Have some errands to run. Also plan on leaving the province tomorrow. Going to visit an elderly Aunt, who is in long term care. She is my Dad’s younger sister and she has Alzheimers as well. Hubby and I try to visit her on a regular basis. Last time was in November of last year when she celebrated her 85 birthday.

And a visit to Dad is in order today. Didn’t see him on the weekend as my brother and his girlfriend visited him. But did send over some food. Dad was not feeling up to coming over for Easter dinner. Spoke with him last evening. My brother had visited him on Sunday and Monday. That gave Dad Tuesday as a recovery day.

Will also let him know that we will be away this weekend. Dad is very close to this sister. They are the only 2 siblings that are left also. I know that he would dearly love to visit with her but is unavailable to travel to see her. And my Aunt is no longer available to travel as well.

And so it goes. Here’s to better and sunnier days ahead.

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

Well, it’s Saturday of Easter Weekend. Getting off to a late start today. it’s almost noon. Was up earlier for awhile. Ate breakfast, etc. but ended up crawling back into bed for a couple more hours.

My brother and his girlfriend are arriving later today. Think that we might end up going out for supper. April is Burger love month here so a local restaurant has one featured on their menu. The other evening, hubby and I went into town and had a delicious burger at the race track and then went to a movie. It was a great date night and long overdue.

My sister, has sent me an email. Asking about my brother and I discussing Dad’s situation this weekend. She lives in Ottawa so is too far away to visit at the moment. After getting new information from the geriatric specialist the beginning of the week, I am eager to share with the siblings. They are probably still thinking that it is only a matter of finding a community care spot for my Dad and then moving him. Little do they know, that community care is no longer an option. It seems that my Dad will have to go into long term care in a locked unit.

This coming week, I will be contacting Home Care. Have done so in the past so actually it will be a reconnecting. I know that this is the help that is needed to get my Dad on his way to moving into long term care. As I have already decided, and my husband agrees, come the end of June, I will no longer be doing groceries, or laundry for my Dad. Things have changed for him and he is in need of more help than I can provide. The tough part is knowing that he is not going to agree to this and that is when the entire situation gets more complicated.

Well, onward with my day. Tomorrow is Easter and we will be having a seafood stew, some rolls or biscuits and other items. I’m thinking of making some muffins, some fudge and also some cookies. Plus see what our guests may bring along.

Thanks for reading!

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

It is with a heavy heart that I start this post.

Yesterday my husband and I went over to my Dad’s as he was being seen by a geriatric specialist. This is an ongoing event. So the Dr. came and did his mini mental testing. My Dad surprising did okay, better than in the past. When the Dr. went on to ask some questions related to reasoning, my Dad did not so great in that aspect.

Dr. N. proceeded to ask my Dad if he felt that he should be moving into community care. My Dad replied ‘No”. When asked what he would do, once my husband and I sell our home, which is a future plan, and leave the province, My Dad said he would deal with that when he had to but not at this point. Dr. N. did advise him that plans don’t happen overnight and that my Dad should do some serious thinking of his future.

Dr. N. is aware that it is my husband and myself who assist my Dad and that he has no other supports in place. My father has refused meals on wheels, even just to give them a try. One reason was he did not want his main meal to be delivered at noon. Plus I suspect that he would not like to answer his door several times a week. To say that my Dad is not social is an understatement.

Dr. N. is also aware that my father has refused Home Care for bathing and also refused to have a Rx filled for medication that could perhaps help him with his Alzheimer’s. It was recommended on a trail basis but……. So after checking blood pressure, my Dad’s mobility, and a few other items, that was the end of the visit. Dr. N. told Dad that he would be back again to check on him in a few months time.

I stepped outside to speak to the Dr. He stated that Dad is “community care” needs but actually no longer qualifies for “community care” at this point because my Dad would not go willingly into that type of care. Therefore, he would have to go into long term care, and be on a “locked unit”. That type of unit I am all too familiar with as that is where I currently work.

As I mentioned in my first post, I work a government facility, long term care, on the dementia unit which is a locked unit. I love my work, enjoy my co-workers and the residents that I care for. However, dealing with my Dad on top of that, becomes too much, to say the least.

However there was more to the discussion which I shall leave until another post. I have some research to do and also need to reconnect with Home Care for further assistance. Plus my brother and his girlfriend are staying here at Easter so we need to talk. And then continue that conversation with my sister in Ottawa. This situation is more complicated that I thought it would be. I was hoping that Dad would grudging agree to community care and it would “just” entail finding a spot in a place that I have in mind and arranging a move. But as my mother used to say, “you know what thought did, thought thought wrong” or something to that nature. So the plot has thickened.

Today I spent a quiet day at home and decided to do some spring cleaning in the kitchen. Maybe as I continue to spring clean, spring will actually come. Although more snow is in the forecast for part of the province. I truly believe 16 feet plus is more than enough for this winter!

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

So I got this blog started. This is post #2. Lots to explore and decisions to make. But it is a beginning.

It’s Friday evening. Hubby and I just had supper. Easy since it was leftovers. Doing laundry. Going to head out tomorrow for a weekend getaway. Just an overnight. So need to get the pugs ready, get packed, etc.

My older brother should be coming here this weekend to visit with my Dad. So that is great! Really appreciate him doing so. Monday afternoon, my Dad will have another assessment done by a geriatric specialist. This gets done at his apartment which is so convenient. It’s hard to get him out to appointments, especially this winter.

Recently he had trips to the dentist. First one, he had X-rays done and a couple of teeth pulled. Next appointment, 2 weeks later, was to take impressions in order to get work done on his partial plate. Then there was a second trip to redo those impressions. Finally, several weeks later, he went back to pick up the completed partial.

So glad that is all over. My Dad did not like not having his partial gone. And it was for his front teeth. Guess he found it hard to eat but ….what else could have been done. Last summer he said there was a problem with the partial and the fit. Guess that was when he broke the first tooth. Then in the New Year he broke a front tooth. So that prompted the dental visit. Luckily both my husband and I go to the local dentist, just around the corner here in town. He is a young guy, married, just a new dad and is one of the best dentists I’ve ever had. So it was not a problem to get an appointment for my Dad on an emergency basis. And he only charged 80% of his regular fee since my Dad has no benefits. Very decent of him, I think.

So now I know that my Dad has his teeth in order. And his hearing aid he got a year ago. That was after his old one fell on the floor and shattered into many pieces. In that case, I had taken him 6 months earlier for testing, etc. but he had decided not to purchase at that time. At least the leg work had already been done so it was just a matter of placing the order.

Now if Dad would only wear the hearing aid. He lives alone so why bother I guess. When there is a visit, it necessities a little walk to get the hearing aid, check the battery and put it in his ear. And he wants to know how ┬álong I’m staying in order to determine if it is worth putting in his ear!

He wants to not waste his batteries. He only got 5 years worth with his purchase although not sure if we took all 5 years worth home with us. The hearing place recommends changing the battery once a week. Of course, working in a long term care facility, I did know that. However my father, in his wisdom, figures that can not be accurate so he aims for two weeks or longer.

Well folks, thanks for reading and listening to my ramblings. Time to continue on with my evening. And to call my father so he knows that we will be away for a couple days but that my brother is coming. Of course, all is weather permitting.

A daughter’s journey with her Dad’s Alzheimer’s

Okay, here I go! Been wanting or should say needing to do this for some time now.

So will give you a bit of background. My father is now 87. Was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, mild to moderate, with a vascular component a couple of years ago. My mother is no longer living. She passed away two days after my Dad turned 65. But that is another story.

Myself, I work in long term care, at a government facility. I love my job and the place where I work. And wouldn’t you know it, I work on the dementia unit! Used to work in another province in a teaching hospital and never thought that I’d work in a long term care setting. Today, I wouldn’t change a thing.

So the point of my blog is to document my experience. And to get so many thoughts out of my head and on to paper. Maybe they will make more sense that way. And also I want to reach out and connect with others who are in the same or a similar situation. I do realize that we each have our own unique circumstances but overall feel there is a need for support.

This blog will share the issue of moving my Dad from living on his own to move into a community care place. That is my next hurdle that I face with him. I’m the middle of 5 siblings. I’m the only one living in this province. My husband, God love him, and I moved here almost 6 years ago. My goal then was to support my father in his old age. ┬áMy Dad does not have a support system. This is by choice. He is a loner and values his independence. However, being alone and having Alzheimer’s does not bode well with wanting to lead a solitary life.

Well, that seems easy enough. Just did a preview. Now should I save as a draft or hit the publish button.