Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Adult Day Care......Sad, and Tired

I took my Dad to the adult day care center today. It is very close to his house, which is handy. It is a program for people with dementia. He just went for an hour today. They try to ease them into it and see if the program is a good fit.

While he was in the music program I spoke to the woman who runs the program. Her name is Ann and she is an RN with special training in dementia care. She went to nursing school at Mary Immaculate which is where my stepmother Betty went. They are about the same age and should have a lot in common.

She was discussing the progression of the disease and how we need to start planning for the future. I found it overwhelmingly sad and it just made me cry. My Dad was such a brilliant man and this disease is so heartbreaking.

My sister Alice Anne and I have been taking turns staying with my Dad. He really can't be left alone. It is not too hard to be there with just my Dad but it is extremely difficult to so it with Julianna and my Dad. He is going down stairs to look at things in the basement so I would run down there to make sure he is ok. While I was down there with him Julianna got into a bottle of nail polish and got it all over herself and other things. Its pretty hard to keep them both contained in the same area. Also, my Dad gets up a lot during the night and each time it wakes Julianna up so I don't get any sleep at all.

My neighbors have been taking care of my dog Smudge while I was over at my Dad's house. He has a torn ACL and is on herbs we got from the holistic vet. I am hoping we can treat him without surgery. The herbs have given him some diarrhea. That is not a problem when I am home because he wakes me up to let him out. But, when no one is there its a problem. When I got home with my nail polish covered child I saw that Smudge, who seems to turn in circles when he poops, did diarrhea spin art all over my rug. I cleaned all that up and went next door to get something. When I got back ( 5 min tops) I saw that Julianna was covered in poop from head to toe. It seems she found a spot I missed and was having a great time playing with it. So, into the tub with her. Nail polish remover, soap and water solved her problem but all the clothes were trashed.Uggghhh.

Betty is getting better everyday, thank God! She is in the rehabilitation center and is doing physical therapy and occupational therapy. They are teaching her the best way to get in the tub, car and up and down stairs. She is able to walk without the walker but they want her to use it so she doesn't hurt herself. I have some calls into friends to put some railings on her walk and stoop as well as the other sides of the staircases. There is also a company coming to put grab rails in their shower and a few other places. She sounds great and is very motivated. She is due to go home on Friday.

People keep telling me how tired I look. It is true, I am somewhat exhausted. I was before all of this. I am busy with work, Julianna, my Dad and Betty. I am trying to do tons of paperwork to get some services for my Dad to take some of the burden off Betty.

I am so lucky to have such great friends who have been helping me and for my sister Alice Anne who has been helping so much with my Dad. Thanks everyone!!!

1 comment:

  1. Mary Ellen, my win-millions fantasies now include getting live-in help for your dad and Betty, and for you and Julianna (and for me, frankly!). I wish I were closer by, but I know that you have earned the friends that do support you and J. Use them!
    xo Nancy