Saturday, March 29, 2014

They think I complain too much

Can someone tell me how to feel less? Care less?

They think I complain too much. All I care about is that Dad and the other residents at the home are taken care of with dignity and respect. At $5000-plus a month, is that too much too ask?

Apparently it is.

So, tell me, how do I learn to not care when:

  • his hair is sticking out in a million directions because it doesn't get combed
  • they don't shave him below the chin
  • they put oversized furniture in a common walkway that impedes wheelchairs and residents who use the hand rails to keep from falling
  • staff is constantly changing so the residents are deprived of one of the most important things dementia patients need: stability

I could go on but you get my point.

When I emailed my concerns about that large hutch in the hallway, they couldn't be bothered to acknowledge my email. Obviously, they do not share my concerns.

So, which of the others is also not important to my father's well being or safety? Which of those should I *not* be complaining about? I'm serious. Tell me. Because obviously I don't know: I think they're *all* important, to my Dad and to every other resident that is affected.

But . . . they think I complain too much.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Holding Hands

Dad's still looking pale and a bit gaunt to me, but he is eating well. Staff at the home say he's been getting more and more agitated lately, so it may be time to check his meds again. I hate it every time this happens, as I don't want to see him over-medicated. By the same token, I don't want him to unintentionally hurt himself or a staff member in a fit of anger. It's walking a very, very fine line.

I took him some lemon poppy seed loaf that I had made and he declared it "mighty fine." That and a glass of chocolate milk made him happy.

*Anything* with chocolate milk will make him happy. ;)

The other residents were "bowling" for their afternoon activity, but Dad declined an invitation to join in. He was content to just sit with me and occasionally hold my hand. I always take the opportunity to pass along some healing and loving Reiki energy to him when he does.

If you know an elderly person in a home, please, go and visit them. You don't have to say anything. Just hold their hand for a little while.

It will be enough, I promise.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Then there are these moments

On my last visit:

"Dad, can I get you anything?"

"No, thank you. You're enough."

Slayed, right through the heart.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Braving the Arctic Weather

I've mentioned before that Dad is having a hard time staying warm this winter. Since he can't have a heating pad or hot water bottle (it's too easy for sensitive, elderly skin to burn), I bought him a beanie, hoping that it might keep his head warm.

Took it to him on Friday and the reaction was mixed. At first, he wanted no part of it. But after I explained that it might keep him warmer, and he could even wear it to bed if he wanted, he seemed to reconsider. We'll see. Keep your fingers crossed!

Treading carefully, we are *not*
in the best of moods.

Dad wasn't in a good mood when I arrived on Friday. He was talking up a storm -- to no one in particular -- in the dining room. He was refusing to eat his lunch and seemed angry at someone, or perhaps the whole world, in general.

I let him know I was there and went to put my things away in his room. As I was walking away, I saw him lean towards the resident sitting next to him and say, "Mame {my Mother's nickname}, did you hear that? Cindy's here."

It made me smile and tear up at the same time.

But then, when I got back to his table and tried to encourage him to eat "just one more bite", he pushed me away and said, "I'll crush you right into the ground if you don't leave me alone." I believe he thought I was one of the aides at that point, but still, it stung a little bit. (And yes, I know "it's the disease talking, not him." Still, when it's *your* loved one, it stings.Trust me on that.)

I managed to get him to settle down and by the end of my visit that afternoon he was in a much better place. Even ate part of his lunch, though reluctantly. They tell me he ate a large breakfast, plus insisted on a snack and chocolate milk before lunch, so I'm guessing he just wasn't hungry.

When I left, I told him I'd see him soon.

"I sure hope so," he said.

"Wear your new hat, okay?" I said.

"We'll see if we can put that on the agenda," he said.

Any day you can leave laughing is a good day.

Nanook of the North, trying to  get warm.

Will he or won't he? He looks quite
dapper, though, doesn't he?