Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The NONEXISTENT upside to dementia

Well, we didn't have to wait long for something to go wrong.  Dad's new home kicked him out after only three and a half days.  While there is nothing funny about this situation, I couldn't help but crack a smile when I told my Mom and her response was, "What!?!?  Already?".

Yesterday morning I came to pick him up for a Podiatry Appointment.  The Marketing/Admissions lady said she wanted to speak to me, but we were just barely on time for the appointment, so I asked if I could talk to her after.  She agreed but quickly told me that Dad has been acting up...  (Now in the past, I have glossed over some of the more embarrassing or odd behaviors for the sake of keeping my Dad's dignity intact, but now I feel compelled to share them a little more honestly with my readers because these behaviors are not who my Dad is...  He is basically a walking and sometimes talking version of a disease called Alzheimer's and that's it.  So I am going to share the good, bad, and ugly.)

She said he was publicly disrobing, he was masturbating in the lobby, he crawled into a man's bed, he took his shoe off during dinner and threw it on the table, he stole a butter knife from the dining room and was apparently brandishing it as a weapon, and he had been aggressive.  Well, of course none of this is news to me.  He has done all this before and there is obviously an adjustment period that he would go through being in a new home.

When we came back from the Doctor, the managing director was gone, so I figured I would speak to her later in the day.  I returned at 4:00 and was asked to come into the office whereupon they basically told me that he needs to leave and if I would not take him then they would have an ambulance come take him to the ER.  "His behaviors are putting people in danger and are inappropriate for the facility."  That was it.  There was no discussion.  It was a very cold conversation that left me feeling like they were blaming me for his behaviors.

I was just sitting there with a baby in my lap who was ready to eat and had a wet diaper all while trying to figure out my next move.  I ended up calling Valley View Gardens (Dad's old home) and through my tears, begged for them to let me bring him back there.  Their response, "He's our family.  Bring him back home."  Blake arrived shortly after to pick up Emry and we had my Dad out of there within the hour.

The worst part is that we are out $500.  We paid for the four days Dad was at the new home plus a non-refundable community fee of $250.  And, we are still going to be paying Valley View Gardens for October which is $700 over Dad's budget.  A total of $1300 that we don't really have.  We're screwed.

I'm working on a few things to get Dad's behaviors under control.  This cannot happen when he eventually moves into the new VA home.  More info to come on that ....

Why can't my Dad just be that 'normal' Alzheimer's patient who stares at the floor and sits quietly by himself?  And why is this my life?  Why can't anything go smoothly?  And my biggest complaint is... DON'T CALL YOURSELF AN ALZHEIMER'S HOME IF YOU CAN'T DEAL WITH AN ALZHEIMER'S PATIENT!!!!!!

(below is a picture of Dad in a jumpsuit that fastens up the back so he can't pee or disrobe in public... I took this as we were leaving the home for good.)

I call this photo "Dejected & Rejected"


  1. There is no typical Alzheimers patient and how terrible that you have to go through this. Throughout this journey with my mom, I have seen the full continuum of behaviors and the obvious lack of empathy and knowledge from facilities that supposedly understand this disease. Best of luck to you.

  2. Do they have the legal right to keep the $$ you have paid and to charge your for the remaining days of the month since it is THEM who is responsible for his departure? Did you sign something saying that, under these circumstances, you would still pay? Seems fishy to me... I'd fight it.