Dad’s Week


Last time I wrote, dad had a fat lip and puffy cheeks and I was a bit concerned about it.  Luckily after the nurse practitioner on call had prescribed antibiotics, antihistamines and an ice pack, dad made a fairly quick recovery.  By the third day after he was treated, his face was back to normal and I was much relieved to hear that.

This past week has been a fairly uneventful week, which is the way I like it.

Monday dad’s companion brought her husband along with her. She had surgery recently and couldn’t drive herself. It turned out well that way though as dad had a nice long conversation with the companion’s husband.

Often I feel like dad doesn’t relate to the men at his ALF very well. In fact, he has been in conflict with two of them. One was the man why didn’t want dad to be near his lady friend, Mary, before she moved to memory care. That man has moved out also. Then recently dad had the altercation with another man, whom I don’t know. Thankfully, they don’t seem to have been in contact since then.

So I think it is good for dad to relate well to the companion’s husband. Dad always had several good male friends when he was living with mom in the mobile home community. One by one, they passed away and since then, dad hasn’t had any close male friends.

Dad’s Tuesday companion brought him his snacks and stuff he had requested. She came at a good time to take him to Happy Hour, but he didn’t want to go that day. He said he had been dizzy earlier and didn’t want a drink. His dizziness has been an occasional problem for many years, so is not a new concern.

Instead dad and his companion played cards in his room and she also straightened out his kitchen. She also checked his bottle of scotch and found it is still nearly full. It is good to know he isn’t really drinking a lot from it. He just likes to know he has access to it when he wants it.

His Wednesday companion is a very outgoing lady. She has some land in a rural/suburban area nearby and keeps small animals like chickens, goats and sheep. She told dad about all the new “babies” she had, for they just had new baby goats and lambs. She is a very cheerful woman and soon found the ladies in the lounge were joining in their conversation. In fact, the ladies were so interested; his companion lingered with them for awhile after her visit with dad.

All in all, I think dad had a very good week. And I am relieved to see he is still happy and healthy and I am able to stay far from home without too much worry. (I always worry a little, just seeing the weather forecast there!)

Their weather continues to be unseasonably cold and nasty, but thankfully dad doesn’t have to worry about it. He is mostly unaware of the cold, ice and snow as he rarely leaves the confines of his ALF. I am lucky the companions have been able to get out through the nasty weather to visit with dad most of the time, for I sure wouldn’t want to be out there myself!

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About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and the primary caregiver for my father. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with others who are also trying to care for a family member and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues around the care of my father and the relationship with other family members.
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8 Responses to Dad’s Week

  1. boomer98053 says:

    It certainly sounds as though you have the right caregiving/companionship team in place. Delightful.

    • Thank you Irene. I am very happy with the Companions I have visiting dad this year. Dad seems to be satisfied too. I worried in December whether all would be available but in the end, I have a very good team!

  2. A quiet week is a good week. My mom is settling in to her ALF, but still insists she’s going home when she improves. I do understand her desire to go home. After all, home is home. But she was so isolated there after my dad died. Too bad she can’t combine the social aspects of the ALF with home. But her mobility is limited, so I doubt she’d get out much. I think she’s there for the long haul. The expense is a big concern, though. It’s a shame to have to calculate whether she’ll outlive her money. If mom lives to be X, she’ll make it. If she lives to be Y, we’ll have to figure out how to pay for it. Despite the cost, she too has a companion to visit and help her with tasks I’m not there to take care of. It surely makes it easier to know someone is there to let me know what’s happening. My mom is not very good at reporting when something’s gone amok. It sounds like your dad has a really nice companion. I, too, would love hearing about their babies!

    • Yes, we are pretty much in the same situation. And I agree the quiet weeks are the best for anything else means I have to figure out what is happening and how to respond to it.

      Mom also wanted to “go home” from the first day they moved into Assisted Living 3 1/2 years ago. She continued to express that wish for months though after awhile she realized she was too confused and needed the help available at their assisted living. It was only after mom was hospitalized that she expressed gratitude that they were in an ALF. She was worried about leaving dad home alone while she was in the hospital and then she realized he had someone to cook for him and care for him in their assisted living suite. She then said that God must have been watching over her to have gotten her into assisted living prior to breaking her hip.

      I noticed also that mom wasn’t sure where “home” was after her first few weeks in the ALF. Although she wanted to “go home” she wasn’t sure where that would be. I think over time she came to be more comfortable in the ALF. Unfortunately, she passed away after she broke her hip, only 4 months after moving to assisted living.

      Dad, on the other hand, is very content in assisted living. He knows he needs help with his activities of daily living as well as bill paying, etc. But, like you, I worry about how long the money will last. I do calculations all the time and try to determine what I would do if he ran out of funds. Still, he owns a home, and at some point I have to kick my brother out of dad’s home so I can sell it to fund dad’s care. Since my brother will not willingly move out, I have not pushed on this issue yet. But this might be the year that I have to.

      Right now I have 4 –actually 5 –companions for dad. Other years I had 3. But one was to be on vacation, so I got another to fill in for her, and have just kept both of them. Another from last year couldn’t care for dad again this year. In her place, I found a mother/daughter pair who care for dad — usually the daughter, but this week the mother came in. It gives me the overlap to be sure someone is available even when one or two companions might have an illness or something.

      Good luck with your mom. I hope someday soon she starts to think of her ALF as her home now.

  3. Joy Johnston says:

    It is interesting about the comments of loved ones wanting to go home from the facility … my mom was actually bothered by the fact that Dad never asked to go home! I think because she was always the homemaker, she took great pride in maintaining a nice home for him and even though she knew he had dementia it was difficult for her to accept that Dad no longer remembered his life with her for the past 40 years. Having heard the horror stories about those who do not adjust to living in a care center, I was secretly relieved that Dad seemed to accept his new fate without an ugly fight.

    • Dad’s doctor had anticipated that. He said “Your father is not your problem.” When referring to convincing them to go to assisted living. He said with dad’s Alzheimer’s, it would make it easier for dad to adjust to the move. Mom, on the other hand, felt a need to keep control of everything and wasn’t ready to move. I am happy to see dad adjusted so fast though.

      When I asked dad if he would prefer the assisted living, he just said :”I just want whatever your mother wants.” He just wanted to keep mom happy.

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