Maybe I could have done better

the-old-lady-in-a-red-coat-1334311747Q1LIt’s been a tumultuous few days.  The stress level at my house has been intense.  On a good note, my mother is doing better health wise due to the new medication she takes.  It seems to have stabilized her feelings of “dying” all the time.  But mentally,  she continues to be agitated due to being half blind, diabetic and very unstable on her feet.  I can’t say I blame her.  She’s also getting very short tempered with my father.  You can tell by the tone of her voice she is tired of repeating herself over and over.  I think she really see’s what is going on with him now.

My father seems to be slipping deeper into dementia daily.  He can’t remember anything we speak about even a few hours later.  You can’t reason with him as his comprehension is out the window.  Most of the information that I’ve read says to expect the worst personality traits  of an individual to come to the forefront as dementia progresses.  That is certainly true.

My father has never been a very polite person, and he’s always had a very crude sense of humor.  The difference now is he won’t bother to curb it in public.  It can be hard to stay calm when he has a tantrum in the supermarket when you tell him “we already have that at home.”  Somehow he must think I’m trying to deprive him of something.  When he comments on a young woman’s breasts, and you know she heard it, it’s really embarrassing.  He treats me like I’m his collage drinking buddy instead of his son.

8690Sign-Language-Stressed-Out-PostersI thought I could handle whatever happens, but I think I’ve reached my breaking point.  Cooking the meals, washing dishes and mopping floors are part of everyday life that I don’t mind doing.  Dealing with the increased pressure of my father’s belligerent attitude, and the toll it’s taking on my mother and I is almost to much.  I find in myself something I don’t like.  I’m slowly disassociating  myself from the people I care about.  All I think about now is just getting away.  I think it’s just a normal reaction to the environment I’m living in right now, but I don’t like it.

I have talked to my fathers doctors about the state of his mental health, and we have come to the conclusion it may be time for him to move up in his care.  There is a chance he could be placed in a home care setting with another veteran.  The woman running the household is well trained in dealing with dementia, and he would get some needed socializing with people other than family.  The problem is, one day he was fine with the idea, the next day he can’t remember the conversation.  My mother tried to talk to him again about it, but all he wants is to be away from me and back living in an apartment alone with her.  I think she would like the same, but she knows it’s not possible anymore.

After speaking with my siblings about the situation, I feel relived that they are in agreement with me.  My father needs to be in a better situation than the present one.  It’s becoming more than I can handle.  When the day comes for him to move, I have a feeling it’s not going to go well.  Even though it may be only temporary until I can get them together at a nursing home, I’m sure he’s going to focus all of his hate on me.  He told my brother recently that I made him so mad, he wishes he had a gun so he could shoot me.  I’m sure most of that is bluster, but it does show allot of anger towards me.

My sister has taken on the responsibility of my mother when the time comes, and that is a great relief.  She will be well cared for in her home.  She lives in a nice area, and my mother will have an area to sit outdoors.  My mother says she won’t mind being separated from my father, and I believe that is at least partially true.  Also, her and I are so similar in personality that we tend to clash allot.  Maybe she could use a break from me.  I think I’ve done my best, but I can’t help but have a nagging thought.  Maybe I could have done better.


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