Rough times

Mom and I are trying to find a facility that can handle my father and his demmentia.

Well, I’m assisting but Mom’s the one stuck doing the legwork. Who has to find the right place and the money to pay for it and deal with it when it doesn’t work out. But we both share the guilt, the trepidation about putting him in a home, a facilty, an institution, forever.

It’s a little like shopping for children’s daycare — with a much higher price tag. Only teh questions aren’t: do you. Instead we ask: how secure is your facility? What will you do when he wanders in someone else’s room? Can you handle belligerent patients?

We thought we foudn the right place for him last week, close to my mom’s house, and sort of homey, and non-institutional. but non-institutational also means less secure, and more freedome to act out.

Teh place was nice but i was still shocked when we dropped dad there. he’s so much younger than everyone else. Several decades younger in a facility filled with white haired 90-something grannies corraled in walkers.

but in otehr ways those grannies were higher functioning than dad. they responded to visitors with a smile, they comingled with one anotehr, tehy crowded around the tv to watch jeopardy.

dad is introverted adn antisocial. ignoring the welcomign smiles.

as expected he was angry when deposited there. the first night i sat with him from 7 to 9 to make sure that he didn’t try to skip out whiel the nurses wre attending to otehr patients.

In two hours he must have asked me 50 times why he was there. I stuck to the script: mom was traveling, he had to stay there.

the second night i found a list of history questions — multiple choice — that my father could not only answer as a child, but half of tehm he lived. (lke ww2 questions). he coudn’t answer one. It was teh litmus test that choked me up.

instead of settling in , he only got worse, scaring other patietns when he wandered into their rooms, dismantling the smoke detector sensor, theatening the staff with a great escape.

He didnt’ even last 5 days before he returned home and going bakc to his habit fo dricig mom crazy, goign in adn out fo the house, askign teh same question over adn over.

He teared up when he told him that he’s can’t stay. mom reminded me that when he wasn’t so sick, dad said he wanted to be put somehwere. he never wanted to put us through this, he wanted to go somewhere. This emotion isn’t coming from the person we know but by the disease that’s taken over and filters adn forgets what wants.

mom wavered about keeping dad home, it’s the guilt of putting him away. i reasured her it’s time. it’s likethe ancient old lady who can’t see over the steering wheel and drives a dent ridden car: you pul her license, you don’t wait for her to hit someone. Sure, dad’s happier at home, but life has become too unpredictable for him.

Still, i think about dad being in a secured ward, in an institution, something clean with kind nurses. still it’s a locked ward, an insitution, with no return.

the kids are thriving in their daycare institution, and eventually move up and move on. for dad, there’s no progress. it’s only down.