Ok… a week of bliss for us away but to amuse I will share the catalogue of being a carer during a break…
So this is dad aka dementia dad as I call him between friends… alcohol does help which is why this picture taken only 6 weeks ago picture him with a drink! A womaniser back in the day. A successful business man and hotel owner… a party starter and a great maker of drinks. A sun worshiper and a lovely of travel food and drink. He used to say that if all the money he had spent on food and drink had gone in the bank he would be a millionaire!
So we go away on a Saturday… dad is fine as we spoke on the phone. Sunday goes well too… we had a carer go in everyday whilst I was away. Remember 2 days so far going well.
Now dad has no concept of time and dates anymore… and time difference? Er nope! Monday morning around 6am Antigua time… he calls. Why had I not switched the phone off? Because I have kids…. anyway 6am he calls to see where I am. He’s not in a good place and is in bed….I can start to see that things may start to slide.
Tuesday… he calls again; I have lost my bank card (again!) he says. So several calls from Antigua trying to get him to search his flat result in my calling the bank to cancel the card. Now I left him with £30. Meals delivered everyday and more yoghurts and fruit than a family of 4 need for a week… but he’s beyond distressed because he’s lost his card. We speak again later that day but he’s already on the road to depression… and I can’t get him a drink!
Wednesday… he calls wishing me a happy birthday… a day early but it would appear that my brother called to remind him. He then asks why I am ignoring him… because I am back home? No concept that I am still away. He’s not good….his tv has stoped working. Both TVs! So the English freeview in the bedroom is not receiving and the Portuguese one in the lounge? That’s dead too! He tells me he wants to die….
Thursday … he has a ding dong with the carer! His word against hers’ bank card still missing he being under the illusion that I am still away… you get the picture! He asks if he can die…
Friday he calls and is in bed again! Later that day I call him…. why? Because meals on wheels call and he’s not home! They have a duty of care… so no food is left! He calls me 6-10 times that afternoon with each call he leaves a lengthy silent yet expensive message.. we are still in Antigua! One message does ask if I can help him die…?!
Just remember I have thick skin and a good sense of humour but you can’t help but think how awful his week has been. The problem fixer taxi driver care giver cook cleaner washing person sound board translator sentence finisher advice giver tv repair lady (I do hard other skills) has been gone for 6 days….
Saturday I call him and he’s in a real state this time! He’s lost his bloody keys. Now he doesn’t lock his door but to gain entry to the block? You need a fob… which is attached to the keys that he has lost! Calls again from Antigua to arrange … drum roll… a locksmith! So another talent to add; google searcher and key cock up fixer. We will leave Saturday here because I may have almost killed him! We totalled over 10 calls that day…:(
Sunday we are home….and dad? Oh he’s a different man. He cried when he saw me. I didn’t because that would mean that I can’t be strong for him. So I fixed his tv (the Portuguese one and the other is above my pay grade and requires an aerial man) tidied his flat which looked like a jumble sale… and found his keys. They were on the kitchen table. I got him a large glass of red and left him to sleep knowing that his anxiety and depression had been altered but his dementia after this week? Oh that’s gone downhill….