Sorry for the radio silence.. it’s been a faught couple of weeks. I have added another day at work too and it has made my dad PA skills remiss….so here goes.
I thought moving dad would be ok.
I was wrong. Very wrong. Even his last flat would not accept his notice letter because his signature doesn’t match!? I mean he does have DEMENTIA!??? This is still an ongoing battle and thank god I have my wits about me. I mean I could be his 90 year old lady friend trying to sort it all out!
Anyway I have a POA (power of attorney) but they didn’t like that either.. it’s been a little old battle fought alone with my lot in the the wings backing me all the way. You beaver on…Don’t you? My current battle is his blue badge but I won’t bore you with that current bollocks!
Back to the move.
It was horrendous on my own I won’t lie but I didn’t even stop for a poo! I worked like a Trojan and got it done in a day in-between ferrying the youngest about and flitting between his old and new flat. I also discovered that my dad had a very large collection of plastic bags too.. something I was very much unaware of and frankly I can’t imagine that he has paid for them either!
So on the Friday I settled him and fed him and his lady friend (yes the 90 year old one!!) and left him for the night and went to the pub for a well earned drink or 2…
Then the calls from dad started early on the Saturday morning.
I went straight in only to find that the medication he is to be given was wrong. One of the tablets can have very very serious side effects; death. Not only that but they had not got him up, nor dressed him let alone washed him.
Joking aside it was drummed into to me all those years ago that this is why someone with dementia cannot dispense their own meds. So in comes a ‘tipper’. Lets just say that taking care of someone with dementia is a mindfield as are all the products and gadgets to enable them and you to make their life easier.
Back to tipper. It looks very much like an old portable CD player except it dispenses tablets and no music! Like a tipper or dumper truck when the alarm sounds that bastard noise doesn’t stop until you literally tip out the tablets. It repeats a loud bell like beep for around 15 minutes and I was responsible for said machine and once a month I filled it, checked the batteries etc and off we go. Every day a guaranteed required dose of happy pills given without too much issue.
In dads’ new place no tipper is allowed. They, the nurses, have to dispense them. Imagine my horror when I went to see the nurse only to be told that he takes tablets 4 times a day?! I then did a slight mental flip yet remained calm and explained that 5 of the dementia ones and it’s bye bye daddy!
That’s when mumma bear kicked in. Anyone with kids will know if their little ones ever have any issues at school and so forth you come out fighting. Sadly the nurse got my wrath. I was backed into a literal corner and I let go with both barrels. Dad cannot explain himself properly and has no comprehension of his meds let alone his own welfare. I am his mumma bear. He is akin to my cub.
I then asked about his care plan. To those who know nothing about these I will try to explain.
Imagine that the worst thing has happened and you as the primary carer and you had a terrible car accident and were then unable to assist him anymore; a care plan is put together with you and the help of social services and doctors so as to avoid this ever happening. This plan is then handed to the manager of the wardened flats/doctor/you and so forth.. you get the idea? So you can understand why I lost my literal shit when the care plan clearly states what I do for dad. It covers everything from showering to meds to getting about to getting dressed.
They had 4 times meds, no wake up and no up shower and dress! I was then informed that dad had not chosen his lunch!? I mean I try to be honest but the poor chap doesn’t even know how old he fucking is! How in Christs’ name would he choose something when he can’t even remember what it tastes like?! Every meal that dad has is the best he has ever had! Once again I explained that if dad can’t choose then choose something for him! I would not mind if we had not been over this several times in the weeks leading up to the move.
So the day after he moved I went to his new flat not once but 4 times. Yet again the next day three times after he called me to complain about the young girl who helped wash him. I will be totally honest with you. I did tell him that he was an ungrateful sod and that in years gone by he would have paid a lady good money for such a service…. but there is light at the end of this tunnel! Light in that I found some condoms and that the next day they were gone? Maybe for the first time in his life he is practising safe sex?
But better still is that everyday on my way back from work this week I have been in to see dad.
I see beautiful sunlight coming in through the large window in his south facing lounge which can only be described as a green house and he seems quite happy. His Portuguese TV is now up and running and once again he seems genuinely happy! In the pit of my stomach over the weekend I began to question my reasons and own sanity for moving him and I am very reassured in what I see. His neighbours were in yesterday and there was laughter a plenty to say the least.
This can only mean one thing for me now…. writing and sharing because only today another friend with a parent who has dementia told me that last night that thanks to the power of needing a wee in the night and the parents having a camera and her foresight to check it when peeing it she found the smoke alarm going off… off she goes at 2am to find all 4 rings on the hob on and a loaf of sliced bread still in its packet smoking away… and no one had woken to the smoke alarm. This is the same person that also went AWOL for 5 hours late last year when she had a car accident!
This my friends is the crazy world of dementia…