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Fighting for Justice ~ Back to Memory Care

In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.
Albert Einstein

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 came and dad didn't recall any of what was said or done the night before I'm pretty sure. I didn't ask him about any of it because I knew better, it was all the disease talking. I really hate Alzheimer's/dementia, you really are grieving for your loved one while they are here just to go through a different grieving process when they are gone.

This was the day dad would be heading out of the hospital and back to memory care. We went through our "normal hospital routine" of breakfast and watching TV and casual talking and walking the hallway some. During dad's lunch time, instead of me running down to grab my lunch, I ran over to Franklin Park and grabbed dad's shoes since he didn't have them on when he came in to the ER four (4) days earlier and I was pretty confident he would be discharged that day. I talked to the staff there and put them on alert that he was coming back and that I would give them a call when we were headed that way. The head chef there asked if I had eaten lunch yet and since I hadn't he was going to make up something for me and send it over to the hospital with the former memory care director who happened to be there visiting and was going to come by and see dad in the hospital as well. I really love the majority of the staff at Franklin Park because they took such good care of my dad and they care about the family of their residents as well!

As I was headed back to the hospital I got a call from the nurses station, dad was a little agitated and they were wanting me to get there to help calm him down. As soon as I got up there and he saw me, I could see the tension in his face and body relax and he was much better. We went back into his room and he got back on the bed and we sat there and talked some more. Then finally the doctor came by and gave me the report that dad was pretty much at what was to be considered his "baseline" and would be discharged. Honestly, I could've told them that hours earlier and we could have left sooner! Just as we were getting dad ready to head out and were waiting on the discharge papers, the former memory care director came in to see dad. I'm not sure if he actually remembered who she was or not but he played along really well. She visited for a little bit, helped finish getting him ready to go while I went and pulled my car up to the curb and then helped him into the car. She said that while she may not be at Franklin Park any longer, just let her know if I ever need her help with anything and she would be there for me! I gave her a hug then got in the driver's seat and headed on the short drive over to memory care. I had texted to let them know that we were on our way so they were ready and waiting for dad when we got there.

As we pulled up to Franklin Park and parked in front of the building I got out of the car and went around to the passenger side and opened dad's door for him. He got out and asked me where we were. I told him the "therapeutic fib" that I had been relying on for a while, that he was staying at this place while the busted pipe and related repairs were being made to his house. I never said it was assisted living or memory care because I knew he wouldn't go for that but he was okay with it being a place where he was staying while repairs were done to his home. When we walked through the front door he was greeted with smiles and hugs from the director and caregivers and then we walked him to his room to get him settled. They definitely knew how to win him over right away, by offering him a bowl of ice cream. There are a few things in life that dad could not resist and that was coffee, snickers candy bars and ice cream!

I stayed there with him for a while even though I had just spent four very long days at the hospital with him. It was hard to leave him and head home. I knew he would be ok and that he was well taken care of but it was still hard knowing what had happened less than a week prior. People would tell me over and over that I need to let others help me out with him and that he is in a place where he has caregivers to take care of him but I felt that he was my dad so he was my responsibility. I felt that way as soon as I found my mom dead that October morning. I became the one responsible for whatever happened to my father and I had to make sure he was safe and okay. It wasn't anyone else's burden to bear but mine.

When I finally decided it was okay for me to leave I made sure that his TV was on and tuned to a channel that he liked. I also laid out his pajamas for the night and hung clothes for the next day on the outside of his armoire like I did most every other time I came to see him. I made sure he was comfortable in his recliner and then gave him a hug and kiss and told him I would be back after I got off work the next afternoon but until then he was in good hands there and everyone was going to take great care of him and make sure he got what he needed.

It was hard to walk out his door and down the hall but I did. I stopped to talk to the caregivers that were on duty to let them know I was heading out and that he was settled in his recliner when I left. I told them that I was just a phone call and a 20 minute drive away if they needed me and then I headed to my car. I was worried about how dad was going adjust to being back at memory care but he fared better than I did that night, I still didn't sleep well. It was like being a parent of a small child all over again, I was checking in on him through the camera feed off and on throughout the evening and then first thing when I got up the next morning before I got ready for work.

This became the routine every morning, get up with the alarm and check the camera feed to make sure all was ok. I wasn't expecting anything to be done to him but I just wanted to make sure all was well, and as I've said before...

To be continued...