Life Goes On...part 2
Mom was gone, we had her memorial service and now we had to try to do our best to get dad into memory care. There was no way that he could be on his own and moving to my home wasn't an option. They had their long term care insurance for just this type of situation. I had made the arrangements to move dad on Friday, October 25th. We were moving some of his furniture to make his room more like his own and the movers were scheduled to be there early that afternoon. Megan was going to come pick dad up and go for a drive while Kevin and I packed him up and did the move. The movers were delayed so that put us behind schedule some, I forgot about getting a shower curtain rod so I had to run in to IKEA for that and it seemed like we'd never get it done. Megan & dad met me at BJ's for an early dinner and then we went over to Franklin Park. Megan didn't stay very long so it was left to me to really get him settled in. I was expecting that, and all along I felt it was all my responsibility since he was my dad.
Dad was a little confused about what was going on and why he wasn't going home, he thought he was staying in a hotel for some reason. I stayed with him for a while and passed on his care to one of the caregivers on duty at that time, but let him know that I would be by in the morning. I let him know that they had all his meds and knew when they needed to take them and would let him know when breakfast was ready and he was in great hands but if he really needed anything from me they knew how to get in touch with me. He asked about a room key since he thought he was in a hotel and I quickly came up with a biometric solution! He was really involved in getting technology into schools in Austin so I knew in the depths of his mind he would believe this so I told him that his fingerprints and palm prints were his key into his room. The caregivers said they had been asked about a room key by residents before and had never thought about that as a way around not having a key!. It was actually easier to leave there than I thought it would be since at the time he thought he was in a hotel for the night. It was not going to be a restful night though.
I received a phone call from one of the night caregivers about 3:00-3:30 in the morning saying that dad was up and had torn a paper towel dispenser off the wall, was threatening the staff and they couldn't calm him down. I immediately headed over there and found him pacing in the dining area. I got him to calm down and go back to his room with me. We sat and talked for a little while, he asked about mom and I told him at that point that she was in Montana because she had to take care of Uncle Brien. It was not the right time to tell him once again that she had passed away even though he had said he did not want us to lie to him about her death. I was there with him for about an hour and then was able to head back home again.
That first weekend of dad being in memory care was not near as restful as I had hoped for me. I was not able to sleep as soundly as I thought I would, I guess I was expecting a phone call every night like the first night. After that weekend though, we started to settle into a routine. I would head over there when I got off work, spend a couple of hours with him and then head home. I wouldn't go every day but I was there at least every other day.
It may not be the same but life does go on.