This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's All About Dad...

Today was Dad's Care Conference.  Mom attended in person, and I, via speaker phone.  Mom thanked the head chef for all the good food he prepares and told him how much Dad enjoys it.  She related a few funny stories about the "salty sailor' who cusses while woofing down his food, and the other day, when Dad thought the strawberry ice cream on his spoon was lipstick and belly laughing when Mom had explained what it was. 

I was asked to confirm I still wanted to be the first person contacted regarding Dad and I told them yes.  They asked if I was being contacted first and I let them know it has really improved.  They mentioned the BIG NOTE IN BLACK MARKER on his chart, which I had asked them to do.  The social worker explained their procedure to call the "responsible person" first.  They asked if I wanted to be listed as the responsible person.  Mom and I both agreed she would remain the responsible person and I would be the first contact.

I asked how the therapy is affected when Dad's 100 days of Medicare coverage expires after his hospital stay last May.  Mom had found out that morning with the financial manager, but had not had a chance to explain it to me.  After 100 days following a hospital stay, Medi-Cal kicks in and does a maintenance program to keep up all the progress Dad has made.  On Medicare, Dad gets newer exercise and more intensified therapy.

Mom wanted to know how Dad is doing with his mobility.  The therapist said they always have someone walking with Dad for safety sake.  Dad uses a walker when he walks.  He can stand by himself, but to keep him steady, someone is always beside him.

I asked how often his wrist alarm is checked and discovered they check it every day. 

We went over emergency response and life saving procedures.  We confirmed we wanted Dad to be revived by all available methods and kept alive or on machines only until all family members who would want to see Dad for a final good bye, could be present.  I know myself and my brother in Ohio would appreciate this option. We agreed and made it clear, Dad did not want to be kept alive by machines.  His sister was basically a vegetable living on machines, and it really bothered and shook him up.  He told us he did not ever want that for himself.

We had discussions about Dad having a hearing aid kept at the nurses locked medicine cart. Dad has new glasses on order that will go better with his cataracts.  He will have a podiatrist appointment, and daily showers and regular trimming of his facial hair.  The psychiatrist had been to see Dad and felt he was doing as well as expected.  His primary is due to see him the first of September.

I asked them to please continue to offer him water and to always make sure he has a pitcher of cold water with ice on his bed stand. 

We shared Mom and Dad's 65th wedding anniversary had been August 4th.  Dad did not remember this year, and Mom did not remind him.  Dad will celebrate his 90th birthday in November.  The staff were so excited to hear it and told us they would make a huge party for him to celebrate. They reminded us about their Halloween carnival on October 22nd and told us we all were invited.  Last year, Dad was afraid of some of the costumes.  Mom and I plan on attending this year, so Dad can enjoy it more.

I commented on how Dad has always been so reserved, introverted, shy, and quiet and how his personality has changed to being more extroverted, vocal, joyful, happier and how he seems so free.  We all have commented on him laughing more than we ever remember and enjoy his impromptu singing hymns.

The activities director told us she was developing a gardening class and wanted to see if Dad would help her again.  Last Spring, Dad planted flowers and herbs in the window boxes.  She told us they have huge sunflowers growing now, and wanted to bring Dad out to enjoy them.  Both Mom and I told them he would LOVE it!!!

They read the list of all of his medications and told us Dad had a small rash on his abdomen. Dad has very sensitive skin, so this is not surprising. Dad is getting a lot of vitamins to insure wound healing, skin health and to supplement mental health.

Mom and I thanked them for being the Angels they all are and told them how much we appreciate the care they give Dad and for all they do.


Mari said...

Well, that sounds like a wonderful conference - for all involved!

Jeanie said...

It sounds like all in all things are going quite well. I hope you are as pleased with the conference as your post sounds like your are.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Beautiful post, Donna. The facts you choose to share are so telling. You have a real talent in identifying the details that really tell the story. Love it, love you!

That corgi :) said...

wow, your parents being married for 65 years, Donna! that is such a big accomplishment these years. I'm sorry though that health prevents them from living together and your dad forgot it this year. My inlaws will be married 63 years in October and I wonder if my MIL will remember.....

sounds like it was a great conference and that the place is trying to stay on top of things, especially with checking the wrist alarm daily! I know that must be a relief for you and your mom


Chatty Crone said...

Sounds like he is in a good place that cares. I'm glad. sandie

gayle said...

I am so glad you were able to be there via phone!!