Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Daddy

I think it would be a lot less enjoyable visiting Dad if we didn't just love the place he is living. Yesterday they were celebrating two birthdays and the staff had baked two cakes decorated with colored sprinkles. Everyone was gathered in the activities room waiting for the cakes to arrive. In the meantime, music was playing and one of the newest patients wanted to dance. Now, this woman can command a room. She was dancing with a staff member and talking loudly trying to get people to dance. When she made her way over to Dad, he introduced us as his daughters and the lady responded, "These are your daughters? They are beautiful." I told her, "Well, I think you're my new favorite." And she whispered to me, "Don't tell my daughters that. They think I'm goofy." Then Dad mumbled, "Yeah, you got that right." She went back to dancing and then Dad and I got up and started dancing as well.

Once the cakes arrived, the staff put hats on the birthday girls, took pictures, and we all sang Happy Birthday. It was the sweetest thing. One woman responded, "I didn't even know it was my birthday." Before blowing out the candles, they were supposed to make a wish, and while the lady was thinking of her wish, the new patient yells from the corner of the room, "A wish to get rich!" She was cracking us up all day. Megan and I have a feeling that Dad is going to get along with the newbie very well!

Dad was in an extremely good mood all day and was so delighted that we were there with him. He kept looking at us like he couldn't believe we were his daughters and there was so much love in his face. Some days he's more like a child, but yesterday he was more like a father and it was a nice change. Walking down the hallways, Dad is all smiles and says hello to all the staff. Oh, and there are the cutest pictures of Dad on the Bulletin Board gardening, dancing, and on what looks to be Cinco De Mayo he is smiling at the camera wearing a huge sombrero and holding a virgin margarita! Ole!

Earlier in the morning, Megan and I had a small meeting with the head of the Memory Care to discuss Dad's assessment. She decided to reassess Dad and take off the charges for 'status checks' every hour since he isn't trying to escape anymore (that was costing about $500/month). On the other hand, Dad is having issues with using the Bathroom. We're pretty sure at this point that he pees in his closet daily. It's even worse when there are clothes on the floor because he'll pee on them and then a couple hours later hang them back up. He also peed right in the corner of the hallway outside of the office a couple of days ago. I'm not sure if he thinks he sees a toilet, or thinks he's outside, or just sees a corner or dark area and wants to pee there. Putting him in diapers wouldn't solve the problem because he's not wetting his pants, he still knows how to go to the bathroom.

Whittier has decided to do the following: On laundry day, they are going to wash ALL his clothes no matter if they are hanging in the closet or laying on the floor. They're also going to do a small cleaning every day of his closet and room. Lastly, the staff is going to ask him throughout the day if he needs to use the restroom and then gently prompt him on where to do it. Dad's very independent so they may not always catch him peeing, but at least now they can try to monitor the situation a little bit better. Consequently, the $500/month they took off his assessment from trying to escape is basically back on because of the new services added. At this point, I can't blame them.
They've done every thing they can to accommodate us and Dad, so it's our turn to help them out. Dad's room and bathroom got make-overs recently and a lot of THEIR money was poured into making the pee smell disappear. It's like Dad is trying to recreate the smell. Maybe he misses it, but I certainly do not.

We're still worried about how thin Dad is and the staff has began to notice as well, so they're going to monitor his eating habits. In the meantime, Megan and I are trying to fatten him up a little when we take him out for lunch or snacks. Next time we see the doctor we'll mention the weight loss again and see what they say.

The Scabies is almost gone. Still there, but less red and less itchy. We see the Dermatologist for the check-up appointment next week.

Below is a video of me and Dad dancing in the Activities Room! He's still got the moves...


video

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