Well, it’s been about 6 1/2 months since I’ve posted here, and it’s time to catch up a bit. I had a reprieve, working mostly in the background handling the finances, while Sister mostly handled the in-person things, like shopping for meals, etc. I really needed that break to heal some from the trauma of fighting for Mom’s care and her passing.
In the last months, Dad has become more debilitated from his Parkinson’s, and had fallen several times. At the end of February he was down for 24 hours. We took that opportunity to get him to the ER, with the hope of then moving him to a facility, since it was LONG overdue.
The hospital is a funny place. Sister told me that the doctor said only one heart enzyme was slightly elevated from the fall (falls in elderly, when they are down a long time, cause muscle breakdown called rhabdomyolysis and can be fatal), so I didn’t track down the doctor and get all the specifics, we had been through this before with Mom. However, when I ordered copies of all the reports and bloodwork after the hospital visit, there were all sorts of things out of wack. It’s always so disturbing when the doctors don’t tell us the whole truth, but I digress…
We have found a wonderful Board and Care for Dad. They have a 24 hour wake staff, there are only 6 residents there at one time, they have hospice waivers, and there is a warm, home feeling to it. We found the place through a free agency that knew there was an opening in the facility. We are fortunate that Dad has a bit of money for this, and we have to start working on selling the house. The amount of things that need to be done is daunting and I walk around with a pit in my stomach almost all the time right now. That will get better as more of the business side of this gets handled, I hope. Ironically, I’m sure that Sister has exactly the opposite feeling, she was nearing a breaking point with most of the burden for caring for Dad resting on her these past months.
The extra expense of this particular B&C now is worth it, while he is still mobile enough to cause difficulties. As much as he is pushing to get home, he has admitted that the place feels a bit like home – the people are caring, the food is good. Mom needed skilled care, and we are fortunate that Dad is able to be in a Board and Care, for now at least. If he didn’t like the place, he would raise hell and either get kicked out, or have to be drugged 24/7.
Dad has been accepted into hospice. I am confused by this. His qualifying disease is advanced Parkinson’s, though nothing else seems to be really wrong with him (well, except for a huge abdominal aneurysm). I don’t know if there is something they aren’t telling us. I don’t know whether to expect months or years.
I hadn’t seen Dad in quite some time due to his abuse after Mom died, the worst directed towards me. I knew this was from his disease process, but since I triggered him, and there was no benefit to either of us for me to be near him, I stayed away. We made amends when he was in the hospital. There were tears from both of us.
Not having seen Dad, I was surprised to see how far his dementia had progressed, and he is mostly gone forever. I thought maybe it was hospital delirium, but now I see it’s not. It’s a funny dementia, and it’s probably the case that this is a Lewy Body thing that goes with Parkinson’s. He knows who we all are, he remembers a lot of things, but he has severe hallucinations and delusions, and they are dark, and he often feels in danger. It makes me very very sad. I miss my Dad.
Dad is still insistent about going home and being able to care for himself, and I’m not sure how we are going to address this long term, but, it’s clear, it’s time. It’s time that he is being taken care of properly.