Bittersweet

Just had the annual care conference for my father’s care and condition. It is bittersweet. He’s more stabalized now, compared to last year, but his condition has changed quite a bit. Last year he had onset delusional dementia and minor alzheimers. Now both are strong, with Alzheimers taking over, and he also has T.I.A., a bothersome lower back (after his injury), and Atrial Fibrilation. He can no longer hold a conversation much, tho he can still express his unhappiness and tell others that he waits for my visits (he chooses not to interact with anyone else much, so unlike the dad I know). I have also been advised to lessen the degree of intervention from 4 to 3, request for DNR, since if they did so, it would likely break a lot of his porous bones and not help at all 🙁 It is hard to make the judgement calls for another person’s life, even though knowing it is what is best for him.

I visited dad yesterday, and for the first time in my life, of what I can remember, he held my hand, like that of a child, uncertain of their own steps, or direction, just wanting to be guided. I felt overwhelmed a bit with this change, it means yet another new chapter.

I still struggle with whether or not to move him into another care facility, esp. with him wanting to see me more often, with nurses telling me he often waits by the elevator, and how much basic enjoyment he gets out of eating Chinese food, familiar comfort food, in my opinion. He eats it with more gusto when compared to regular Western fare, so that’s the only way I can tell. The downside is the unknown amount of stress it may affect him in the short term, ore would it be long term? One of the nurses (the most caring and competant one) at the current facilitly recommended to me another facilitly that her mother just got into. It sounds better than all the options I had known prior, it’s a mixed population 50/50 Chinese/Caucasian, which means workers that speak both languages and 3 days a week they get Chinese meals. They have a double door system so even the Dementia/Alzheimer patients gets to go downstairs to the communal garden on their own, so more place to wander, less cooped up. The bonus is that it’s within Vancouver, nearer, so I can visit more often at any time, as well as other family members that he would enjoy seeing.  I think I’ll make the appointment for a tour at the least and get the motions started. There are usually very long waiting lists, so I will have time to decide…

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