Well, how is it going to feel to read a post of mine that is not whining or bitching? Bwahahaha!
So we went to the doc's on Monday, I left frustrated, daddy left not knowing where we went, and then we went to the store. I needed milk, and we went to our local grocery store, and I got dad in one of the motorized carts, showed him again how to rotate the handle toward himself to go forward, (he has done this exercise a million times) and this time, he looked at me like I was trying to explain quantum physics. No one home. Could NOT understand how to do this. So I walked along side, making the cart go myself, and got the milk and came home.
Yesterday, I was taking out daddy's trash, when into his driveway pulls a car. Great. Another campaigner, thinks I. And out steps an angel. A man named "Gary", who was with visiting nurses program, who had been sent by none other than dad's doctor! I could not believe what I was seeing! I introduced myself, we chatted outside a little, and in we went.
I had just given daddy his lunch, and he was sitting at the table with his stew and biscuits and coffee. Gary was patient, and kind and took all the time I needed. He took dad's bp, pulse, temp...and then, just talked with me. He asked daddy if he was going to vote, and of course, all you could hear were crickets in the silence. How old are you? Crickets. Sir, do you know what day it is? Crickets. Sir, who is SHE? (pointing at me) Finally dad spoke. "Hell, I don't know." That was all Gary needed to hear. From then on, he spoke with ME. Yes, ME!!! He validated all my fears. Asked questions I have never been asked (Have you thrown the breakers for the stove to off? I never thought of that...), checked out daddy's house, told me it was sure clean, and sure smelled good (ohmygosh, i nearly cried), and said it was clear that I was quite in love with my daddy, and he was a lucky man. He then told me that it was a matter of time before I found daddy in a heap because he was gonna fall. His gait is terrible.
Gary is sending a social worker to me early next week. He took my info and wrote it down, and said they would be in constant touch. He feels that dad is headed to a facility, and daggoned quick, too. His shuffling gait makes him a "fall" candidate. His angry outburst was no good, he is clearly a solid stage 6 headed into a stage 7 dementia patient, and the fact that he is at home now is a miracle.
The social worker will work with me as far as money is concerned for placement as dad only has enough for 3 or 4 months. He and the social worker and I will work hand in hand for dad's best interest.
You guys, I am so happy I could bawl. It's all about being fair to DAD, and makings sure he is getting what HE needs. It's not all about me. It's all about DAD, and finally - someone is listening. Finally.
!!!!Jumps up and down and throw confettii!!!! I am so very happy for you.
Bless Gary!!!! He is the angel you have been searching for. He is right. It is a miracle tht your Dad is still at home and that miracle is you. He validated all that you have done and is standing with you for where you need to go now. He is an angel.
I am so pleased for you. I am sure you feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders... ok just the weight of caring for your Dad alone. But what a relief
You are right.... it is about what is right for your Dad. You have and are doing what is right for your Dad. The ball is rolling... ride it
I am glad you found some help for your dad, most people don't know how much help we caregivers need. I'll take all I can get. Do you know if your Dad is eligible for Medicaid, it may be worthwhile to check into Medicaid, your local or area Alzheimer's Association may be able to help you find this information.
My wife is moving into Stage 5, she has become very unsteady on her feet and is having more and more difficulty getting around. My insurance company (not Medicare) sent me a letter asking if she needed help and gave me the number of a caseworker to contact, I'm going to call them and see what kind of help they can provide.
I had this image in my head of dad being put in a place like my DH's grandmother was in. 2 to a room, rooms leading to a hall, one social room/dining room, and $6 an hr aides tolerating the old folks. Smelling like Pine Sol, listening to people yelling in thier dementia.
This is no longer the case, I see. Dad can actually have some kind of life in a facility, and with 24/7 care. I do worry when I am home and he is in his house. Even when he is allegedly "asleep" - he can get up and into stuff. This morning, at 8am, I found that he had gone to the fridge, gottent the OJ, and carefully poured himself a glass, then just as carefully, put the pitcher in the wastecan in his bedroom. Half full of juice. I no longer ask him about such anomolies. I just sigh.
But Deb, you were right. Today a juice pitcher, tomorrow the stove. Today he strips all the sheets off his bed, tomorrow he takes a little trip on foot. I cannot be all he needs me to be.
It will be a slow trip, I think. A thoughtful one, at least. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I can forsee a day when I can go on a trip with my daughter. I can forsee a day when dad has had a proper shower, not just my sponge bath. I can forsee a day when my morning will not begin with making sure dad made it through the night.
And you are quite right Deb - I feel a ton lighter. Thank God for Gary. Thank God for all of you that made me carry on. And thank God that you will all still be here during this transition time.
Awww l'il Deb....
Sooo happy for you that you are getting some well deserved help for both you and dad. Thank Goodness for Gary. It must feel wonderful to have someone validate your feelings, and to want to help with what's best for your dad, that's all that matters to you. It's so nice to hear you sounding so upbeat.....and all it took was someone to reach out and offer help to ensure dad is going to get everything he needs, and so will you. Oh how I wish my uncle could also be visited by such an angel......sigh.
But I am so happy for you and Daddy......you are such a wonderful daughter L'il Deb....
Love, Caroline xo
It looks like things have taken a turn in the right direction for you and your Dad. I am certain things will all come together nicely for him and yourself. The social worker will work closely with you and help you get your Dad into the right facility that will help to keep him safe. It will be a place that you will look forward to going to and spending some time relaxing and visiting with your dad.
It will be a place that you will relie on to keep your dad safe, clean and happy just like you were doing when he was at home. I am so glad that things have opened up in the right direction for you. Keep us posted after you meet with the social worker.
Thank God lil' deb. I'm jumping for joy. For you and your Dad. I'm so glad you've finally got some help. I really do know how you feel when you realise that your not going to have to do this all alone anymore. Its like you can breathe again.
At least now you know that your Dad will get all of the care he needs and you will be there to still care for him. Where ever that road leads you. I'm so glad for you. I really am.
We will definitely be here for the transition little deb. I can tell you one thing... the first night Mom and Dad were safely in AL.... I slept like a baby!!! I really did not realize how much sleep the stress and anxiety of not knowing they were ok was robbing from me. Keep us updated on the progress.....
I'm so happy for you! Gary was an angel indeed, for both your dad and for you. He recognized all you've done for him, and he clearly saw how hard it's been for you and how dedicated you've been. He's no doubt seen lots of people at this stage, and most of them probably don't have clean, nice-smelling houses anymore!
I know it's hard to see him reach the stage of needing to move on to a new living situation, but like others have said, you'll still be able to see him and love him, but the stress of physically caring for him will be gone. You'll be a much better help to him when that stress is gone and you're able to sleep well and plan your day around things other than his care and safety.
Bless you as you move ahead to a new phase! You've been an angel all this time. Now you've got another angel at your side!
Hi lil' deb...this is wonderful news! You've gone above and beyond for far too long...you realized it was time...and now you know he'll be in a safe and stable environment. You'll see many changes here...and know that you've made the only choice you could.
There still will be challenges, but most will be adjustments that he'll quickly make...and there will come a time that he believes this to be where he's always been. Good for you....Pam
Good for you!
When my time comes, which will be fairly soon I HOPE you gals will be there for me with KING SIZE towels! I prefer soft ones. Lil Deb you are in my daily prayers for a smooth transition for all.
dear deb; first congradultions, As I sit here and read that you have crossed the road to something better for your dad, I wish my mom and dad could be settled. I cried with joy for you and I hope the transition will go smoothly.... you go girl!!!!!!!!!
Deb, you can let go of the littl deb's towel now...we don't need to snap her!
Deb...girl, boy it sometimes takes an angel to get you to let go doesn't it? I am so thankful that your father will finally be able to have 24/7 care and you will be able to rest also.
Honey you have done your best, now it is time for someone else to step in and take over..it is over dear. It is hard to let go, but you msut for your daddy sake! Don't let him trip or fall or set fire to something or flush the dog down the john! (There's a picture) You need to open your hands and let someone else take over for change. If only you weren't such a control freak! LOL....I am so happy for you and your dad and you son and your hubby and your daughter and your life that you are going to regain....
Repeat after me: Hi, I'm Little Deb-Not my father's keeper!
Uh oh. What about that fat, stupid dog? Will he have a new home right next door? Too bad the plumbing couldn't handle a good plump flush! (Oops, sorry all you dog lovers. Just kidding.) I hope you can give the dog to some family who will love him.
It looks like Mitzi (fat stupid dog) will be coming to live with us. No, I am not kidding. See, here's what happened: My DH does not like pets. Never has. He's always been a bit of a curmudgeon on that topic. Then I went down to the Cat Care Society and got our son a cat. No one wanted Minga - she was 7 yrs old, and no one wants black cats (according to the powers that be)...so I brought home a midnight black cat. The son loved the cat. Till he got tired of the cat. Then Minga decided it was my DH she loved best. And she became my DH's cat. I feed, water, brush, change the litter box, but the cat was adamant. It was DH for her, all the way. He began to soften.
Now, DH goes with me a couple times a week next door to daddy's house. He does it for me, as it is hard for him to see daddy like that. But you will never guess what's happened! Mitzi has decided that DH is her long lost master. Stupid dog has even started coming over to our house every morning, just to see DH and get a good scratch. So DH says to me, "I think we'll keep her. She's smart. Fat, but she can be trained. Yes. We're gonna keep her." *sigh*
Thank you all for your good wishes. We are not in the home stretch quite yet, but by gosh, we have our feet in the starting blocks. And I don't know what I will feel when it is a done deal. All I do know is that at least we are headed in the right direction, and I feel myself trying to detach my emotions from the situation. The last thing I want is for daddy to get hurt. Or start a rip roaring fire. So we must do what we must do.
Thanks again, y'all. And if ya' love me at all, you will wish with me that some stranger comes to my door and asks me if that darling fat stupid black dog needs a home as their 6 yr old just LOVES him and would give ANYTHING to have a doggie like that...
Maybe you can give the dog to ...... Gary!! Oh well... I had a feeling that you would somehow end up with the fat stupid dog.
No you are not on the home stretch yet but you are closer than you have been. At least you have the road map that will get your there..... and with a little help from your friends you will make it to the end!!
keep us updates on the latest and I will keep you and your Dad in my thoughts and prayers....
The biggest emotion I had after my Dad was in a NH was relief. I felt guilty because I felt relieved, it was like a huge load was lifted - and I wasn't responsible for his care 24/7 as you are for your Dad.
We could all see it coming with the fat stupid dog (F S D) and yes, the PP is right - in a few years you will look at F S D, think about your Dad and smile.