Friday, January 13, 2012

The More Things Change...

I set up a meeting with Dad's caregiver the other day because he told me there were some new issues that needed to be discussed. I had planned to go over and visit Dad anyway, so we arranged to meet after I had spent some time with Dad. I thought Dad might like to see our wedding pictures, so I brought them over. I did try to show them to him, but he doesn't look at anything very long anymore, so I didn't spend too long with them.

I was a little apprehensive about what the caregiver would have to tell me, considering Dad's care and needs had continued unchanged for quite a while-or, at least I thought they had. I was dismayed to learn that some of the agitation and aggression that had caused us to move him in the first place had returned. The behavior wasn't nearly as bad as it had been at the big facility, but when he got confused or felt too managed, the stubbornness and anger emerged. Apparently, a chair had even been thrown. I couldn't help being curious, so I asked what kind of chair, curious to know how strong he still was. It was a dining room chair, evidently.

Hearing this caused the old fears to resurface that he wouldn't be welcome here anymore-or anywhere- and that I would be left with no choices about where to house him. I was reassured to hear from the caregiver how much they loved Dad, that they were familiar with his modes of behavior and were committed to getting him through without drugging him up too much, something I have very strong feelings about. In the end, the fee for Dad's care was raised, and we came up with a few other solutions that would help make things easier for the caregivers, but there was no question of him remaining in what had now become his home.

I guess it may have been naive to imagine all the bad behavior had gone for good. I was hoping that we had solved the problem, and I think we did for a while, it's just the way his disease is affecting him. So while I am grateful every day to his caregivers for their compassion and care of my father, I can't help being apprehensive about what feels like a new phase we're moving into. It hasn't exactly been easy going so far, but it feels like things might be about to get even harder

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