Monday, May 17, 2010

Run Away! Run Away!

Before nine this morning I had three phone calls. The nurse from the dementia ward called to report that my father bit someone and would be medicated and in restraints. The head of the agency providing private aides called to inform me that they are terminating our contract in 48 hours due to "failure to meet the unreasonable expectations" of my mother. My mother called to say that the nurses/aides/staff don't know how to handle my father. She was en route to the home at the time, letter of complaint in hand, unaware for the moment of the above developments.

I am running away from home.

1 comment:

  1. Mom was already at her wits end Friday so I don't know how the Hell she will deal with this. At this point, I would have no solution to offer other than to see if you could possibly get him back to Hopkins.

    Mom is trying to walk a tightrope between as little meds as possible versus the dangers of an eruption. It seemed to be working somewhat for quite a while.

    Possible benefits of "back to Hopkins" is for an educated dose of reality for everyone. And I say this knowing that everyone, even the specialists, are really guessing, AND knowing that they are guessing w.r.t. the life of someone who is dearest to your Mother.

    I sense that Mom tend to feel sometimes that everyone has given up on ever getting Dad back. This may seem cruel, but I also sense that the three of you may have a better view of the realities of the situation.

    Mom is right that he is, perhaps more often than not, somewhat aware of his surroundings and actually able to understand some of what is said to him. But this does not seem to translate into a consistent behavioral pattern. At least, when there are capable nurses there with him they seem to be able to keep a lid on things. But then the damn nurses changed -- and who knows what you get when this happens -- and who knows how much training and preparation the place provides.

    The variation in nursing staff is probably huge. In theory, I don't think your Mom's expectations are unrealistic; but unless the place is going to make some special exceptions in how they handle your Dad, they surely will not meet her expectations.

    This seems like a critical time for Mom. I know you want to run away -- I would also. But more than your Dad, I think Mom needs some specialized help -- someone she can talk to who can listen, and who can at least offer some practical alternatives and maybe help her prioritize things in her own life. The last thing anyone needs now is for Dad's problems to drag Mom so low she can't cope any more.

    All my love to all of you!

    I don't do blogs. I only did this one because Shelley sent me the link. I DO read email -- and I do answer my phone and I do return calls.