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Keysey 01-23-2012 12:00 AM

At Dad's
My brother and I arrived late tonight. Dad was beaming. I have much to do in 3 short days but thanks to those of you who gave me input, I have a battle plan. Can't wait til morning so I can spend time with him. Hope this post finds you all doing well. I found a plaque on a wall here tonight that says, "A man is at his tallest when he stoops to help another". Here's to my tall friends. :)

Gabriel 01-23-2012 12:34 PM

Re: At Dad's
Know we are all there with you cheering you on.... and only a post away if you need support. Be sure to look deep in the back of drawers for hidden signs. Can't wait to hear of the outcome!

Love, deb

jagsmu 01-23-2012 09:25 PM

Re: At Dad's
Cheering you on......hugs to you and your brother


Keysey 02-07-2012 10:39 AM

Re: At Dad's
Thank you both for the support. Our visit was really good. I got a LOT done. Still have a ton to do. Thought I would update you all on a very scary incident that occurred while we were there. We knew my dad had at least two guns and determined that we would remove them. So one day, my little brother says, "Hey Dad, where's your gun?" My dad tells him it's in a bag by his recliner and asks my brother to hand it to him. I was sitting about 2-3 feet from my dad on the floor sorting through papers from his safe deposit box. My dad pulled out a 40 cal Smith and Wesson. I asked if it was loaded and he said no so I asked him to check and make sure. I heard the slide being pulled back, glanced up, saw no bullet and leaned my head down to continue sorting. What happened next will probably bother all of us for some time to come. Just as I began to sort again, I heard my dad release the slide. And immediately, there was a very loud POP. He hadn't taken the magazine out of the gun and when he pulled the trigger to finish checking to see if it was loaded, it fired a hole into the floor. Thank God I didn't ask him about the gun over the phone. I would have had a heart attack if I had heard a gunshot over the phone. My brother took the gun, unloaded it, and put it in his bedroom. I told my dad I didn't think he needed it and that my husband had been searching for a handgun for some time and offered to buy it from him. He agreed. Next we needed to know what other guns he owned. Turns out he was carrying a loaded rifle in the toolbox in the bed of his truck. After finally getting the jammed bullet out we decided to tell him that I had messed it up getting the bullet out and that my brother would take it to his friend to "fix" my mistake. So no more guns. I don't think I could ever stress enough how scary that was and would encourage anyone with a relative suffering from dementia to get the guns away. Thankfully, only the floor suffered. But anything could have happened.
I talked to my dad today and he was having a lot of trouble conversing and paying attention. The attention thing is new. At least this was the first time I had noticed it. My little brother pointed out that I fill in words for my dad a lot.
I do feel better after my visit. Feel like I got some important things going. Now I'm just praying that until the time comes to move him he will remain safe and happy.
On another note, I called him last night and he answered the phone, "I heard the phone ringing and I knew it would be you. Not many people call me but I know you will call me a lot." It warmed my heart that he knows I love him but saddened me that either other people aren't calling (like my siblings) or he doesn't remember their calls. Maybe he remembers mine because I do call a lot.
Anyways, I hope this post finds you all happy, healthy, and as sane as you can be.
Love, Lee

TC08 02-07-2012 12:14 PM

Re: At Dad's
Keysey -

Just catching up with your post. About the gun......OH MY :eek::eek:. I would use stronger language, but don't want to get in trouble here on the board. Sounds like you are doing a great job. Soooo happy it was only the floor that was injured, and that all guns are safely away from your dad.

This is all really tough. Hang in there!!! We're all here for YOU!!!!!

ninamarc 02-07-2012 02:03 PM

Re: At Dad's
I am glad you guys took care of the guns. Well it was scary!!

It is true the more you call, the more he is aware of you. He remembers voice if you call a lot. if you call him once a month, he would forget you. If we don't visit my FIL for 1 month or 2, I bet he will forget my husband but we see him more. Unfortunately some of my FIL's old friends don't want to call him anymore. Only one friend tried to call him long-distanced and she said my FIL is also dropping a bit not talking too much this time.

If the family sees the person everyday, he will remember it until very late stage. Dad would also hold on to one person as his security blanket. If you are this person, then moving him can help him a lot but make sure you have more time for your own family and kids.

It is natural but many people don't make the time to do it anymore due to many factors. I don't blame people for that. It is a sad situation.


debbie g 02-07-2012 03:55 PM

Re: At Dad's
OMG so glad you were there. make sure their really any more guns so scary. good for you.

Gabriel 02-07-2012 09:09 PM

Re: At Dad's
Keysey, I can relate so very well. After taking the firing pin out of Dad's gun he did crouch behind the car with the gun aimed at a neighbor thinking he was a prowler. Mom called me on the phone. DUH! What could I do 4 hours away? I told her to take it away from him so they struggled over it a bit as I listened. My only salvation was that I knew it was inoperable! I can not stress enough the importance of removing all firearms, or making them inoperable as soon as you know something is amiss.

It is sad, but friends do tend to wander away when someone begins to develop dementia. The don't understand what is happening, or they don't know how to deal with it, or they don't want to face the reality... but for whatever reason most will vanish. Friends and family are the same. Mom and Dad's list of friends were whittled from many to a few. Since Mom has been in the locked unit she has had very few visitors. One friend still comes occasionally. Dad's sister came for a while but it is "too much for her" now. Her sister has never been to see her. It's sad but true :(

On the flip side they don't remember who calls and who doesn't, who has been there and who has not. There were times Mom said she had not heard from something in a long time when I knew she had just talked to them. In AL she would tell me nobody had checked on them all day. I heard the voice of a care manager at the beginning of the conversation on one occasion.

I have to laugh when I think about it. I ask Mom to write down who called and who came by in a journal I gave her. The next time I checked the book nothing was there. I ask her about it again and she said...."I will write down what I forget!" :dizzy: Needless to say the journey didn't work out well :)

Love, deb

Keysey 02-07-2012 09:49 PM

Re: At Dad's
I was so worried about the whole hallucination thing and so glad to get the weapons out. I warned the sheriff that my dad wanted to purchase a 22 and I would do what I could to make sure that didn't happen but if they had cause to go in they should use caution. I hate telling people that my dad has Alz because a lot of them know him and I don't want them to look at him differently but the logical part of me knows I couldn't live with myself if something happened and I refrained from warning them.
My dad had difficulty paying attention twice today. Not sure if this is a progression but will call the doctor tomorrow to let him know.
Pray, pray, pray! That is what I do for now. I would love for him to be here. My kids would benefit and be such a help, too. I want them to see that when a loved one is in trouble you should do what you can. Not to say that anyone else is wrong because circumstance certainly leads decisions.
Love, Lee

Gabriel 02-07-2012 11:38 PM

Re: At Dad's
You have already done what I mentioned in my last post. You hate to do it but you have to let those that need to know what is going on. It is for your Dad's safety.

Today might have been a down day. There is no telling except to talk to him tomorrow and the next day. I burned up the phones when Mom and Dad were at home. I did my share of praying as well. I had neighbors that could go check on them and a few times I sent in Mom's sister or her best friend. After Mom's diagnosis I did have a lady coming in 5 days a week for 8 hours. Mom hated it! Dad loved it! But it Mom's not happy nobody is happy. You can not imagine how much turmoil having two with dementia in the same house can cause! Memory loss on both sides gives you two very different stories and neither one of them are right!

You said a mouth full when you said circumstances lead to decisions. It's when that moment of crisis comes that everything turns upside down. That is why I try to express the importance of knowing what is available if you need it. You can be cruising along, everything is ok, and it suddenly blows up without giving you time to do the leg work necessary. That's basically what happened when Mom and Dad moved from home to AL. It was not the best placement! So I hope somebody else can benefit from my experiences :)

Love, deb

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