Mom went to see Dad today. She found him in his wheel chair, in the Rec room with his lunch sitting in front of him. Mom noticed everyone else had only one chicken burrito, but Dad had two. She cut them up for Dad, and he closed his eyes, opening his mouth like a baby bird, waiting for Mom to feed him. He polished off the burritos, beans, corn, a banana, vanilla ice creams and a big glass of milk. When Dad reached for his cup of coffee, Mom pulled two freshly baked cookies, still hot from the front lobby out of her purse. Dad asked Mom to tell the cook how good the food was.
When Dad had finished, Mom asked if he wanted anything else, and Dad said he would prefer more hanger space...then he went on a tangent about President Obama and how dangerous things were and how we all best be careful. Dad asked several times where the boys were, forgetting Mom told Dad they were working. She had to keep asking him to open his eyes so she knew he wanted to talk with her. With his eyes closed, Dad told Mom, The gold in her hair and a life of prayer...
Mom was exhausted because the nursing home is having it's parking lot repaved, so Mom had to park over two blocks away and walk over in the heat. Mom is no spring chicken at age 82, and the heat really does get to her.
My second to the oldest brother and his family just returned from vacation. My youngest brother and his girlfriend leave for Palm Springs this weekend. My second to the youngest brother is knee deep in on line classwork with two sick teenagers. Both Mom and my sister are working long hours and are miserable in the hot weather.
Now with the repaving going on...no one will be visiting until the beginning of next week. I have been trying to get hold of Dad's Psychiatrist since this past Monday. I called the office again today inquiring as to why I have not heard from the doctor. The receptionist told me, "It is our responsibility to give the message to the doctor, whether or not he calls is not within our control." Nice...
I want to find out if this continual closing of his eyes, and talking in such fragmented, non-related sentences, is normal for whichever stage of Dementia or Alzheimer's Dad is in. I'm just trying to get some answers. It sounds to me, from my family's reports, that Dad is being absorbed into his own little bubble. He told Mom he knows he has four sons, he just can't remember their names.
Today, Dad asked where the boys were, but said nothing about my sister and I. That's like a punch in the gut, despite knowing it is not Dad's fault and it is all about the disease. I have a sense that Dad is starting down that slippery path of no return.
The therapist told Mom Dad can feed himself, shaves with an electric shaver, picks out his clothes, but needs help dressing. She said she takes him to the shower room, but he can shower alone. Mom warned her how we are concerned about Dad falling. The therapist said there are bars in the shower and they keep a close eye on Dad.
Dad has his new glasses, but only wears them to read. He has taken to spontaneously singing. The therapist asked Dad to sing Amazing Grace. Dad got the first line correct, but made up the rest of it from various other hymns he knows or could remember. A fellow patient came over and complimented Dad on what a nice voice he had and how beautiful his hymn was.
When I call Dad, I can hear his voice, but we're really not visiting. He is talking non-stop, about things that make little sense. It is frustrating and heart breaking... The thought of Dad dwindling away mentally, sucks me in like a vacuum. What quality of life is that??
My sister and I spoke last night about Dad. She talked with a client friend of hers who also had a parent with Alzheimer's. She was telling him how difficult it is to visit when Dad communicates less and less, mostly rambles on about nothing pertaining to what we are trying to talk with him about. He highly suggested calling in Hospice.
I have suggested Hospice before. No one seems to feel the need now. As Mom said today, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". She feels Dad is adjusted to his medication, taking his medication, not trying to escape, and seems happy where he is.
I don't like it. Just because he is eating well, does not mean he has quality of life. He could go on for years eating and being oblivious. I know this is the way it goes with this disease...but I still don't like it. I HATE IT!!