Magic Roundabout

My Dad has officially been certified with dementia. But he’s fine now. In hospital but fine, coherent, trying to remember things and succeeding. Then he gets pneumonia or an infection and his moods change. He’s waffling, talking about things that may or may not have happened. When he forgets his thread, he improvises with weird fill ins.

I love him. He is the most gentle man ever. When he got violent, after he’d not taken his medication properly, he came at me with his sticks so I gently threw him to the floor and he couldn’t get up and it’s almost impossible to get him up. Then he pressed his emergency button and the wonderful first responders came and got him up. During the time he was on the floor, we had a conversation. He called me some names, accused me of some things but never, ever swore. He has never even said “bloody” in his whole life, never mind the F word.

He didn’t associate that I had deliberately “disabled” him by placing him on the floor, didn’t bear a grudge and never ever has, even for my indiscretions as a teenager.

He should be coming out of hospital tomorrow and my Mum is clinging forlornly to the hope that he’ll be ok. He won’t, he’ll need care, care to get dressed, washed, undressed, washed and he will need all his meals provided and everything doing for him and my Mum thinks wrongly she can do all this.

The most likely outcome will be, he will get another infection, become totally disoriented
again, end up in hospital and it will all start all over again. Like a magic roundabout.
We need to book him into respite care, it’s heartbreaking, he loves his house, the familiarity of it all, the home he has lived in since 1962. We need to place him in a home for at least 6 weeks when my Mum has her hip operation.

It’s the end of the road and it upsets me. I knew it had to come one day but it’s heart rending. I can’t cope with it, how my Mum is coping with it is anyone’s guess.

Then there is the finance. Someone will profit from our family’s grief. I want to kill them. Parasites. Two honest working people graft, scrimp and save all their lives and now some bastard will freely take all their money off them. How can a care home justify £500 a week to look after one person? Tell me? Because I can’t see anything except profiteering on the backs of the ill and elderly.

When you go in these care homes, you very often see half a dozen people in uniforms stood outside smoking whilst inside it stinks of piss and fish and chips. We’re trying to find one that doesn’t smell. Where the staff are friendly and where they will be gentle and understanding. Because woe betide anyone who mistreats my Dad, I’ll kick the living daylights out of them.

Here are two images of Berlin, The Palace of Tears where families said goodbye to their grandparents whom were allowed out of the DDR because they were too old to be productive and a burden on the country’s resources. My parents simply retired and until this Govt. got in, the country made sure they lived their lives out in comfort and free of worry.
The second one is on Oranienburgerstrasse where the restaurants throw old rice out for the wild birds. The Hungarians are throwing bread to refugees in a similar fashion.

palaceoftears pigeonrice

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6 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this Mick. Tragic….not merely sad to see/experience this stage of Life…..Yes! Immensely tragic that hard-earned savings can so easily be drained away….Cynics may quip, ‘What point in Saving’? Thinking about you Matey. 😇

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  2. My younger brother looked after our Mum for years, even built a flat on top of his garage, Had an inside and outside stairway. She had some independence for a while, but the Alzheimers worsened and she had to go into a nursing home. My brother had problems with the home and had to transfer her. She contracted pneumonia and was admitted to a geriatric hospital. She lived in Christchurch, but I flew there from Wellington 200 miles away and saw her before she died. A very sad state of affairs.

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    • It’s tough to talk about when it’s happening, maybe this is my way of easing myself and Astrid through such a difficult time in our lives. Thanks for your response.

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  3. Hello Mick,

    I read this earlier in the week and wanted to reflect on the post. Your emotions are understandable and palpable. We have been through similar roller coasters, also the mixed feelings that go with the care support field. As for the costs and the recouping of them, it caused immense additional and unwanted complications at a time when our feelings were at their most vulnerable.

    These days, £500 per week is cheap. Several years ago we were having to find higher amounts, and in one instance, there were regular financial demands. it was in a locality where there was little or no competition for facilities. You just could not financially plan. After all the assessments that have to be gone through, demands for increased payments were sometimes arriving every couple of months. We felt like there was a money grab. There is no doubt that those who self-fund from, or, those who pay a substantial amount of their hard earned savings, are subsidising those who are funded by local authorities at a much lower cost. Public bodies will only consider cost changes once a year. They may not pay them as they are strapped for cash. The families of others residents who pay can be leant upon at various times. It left an unpleasant taste. The saving grace in the home was the staff. They were friendly and caring. The other home we came into contact with elsewhere, had great facilities, sent through invoice increases once a year (that was at least honourable), but I had concerns about daily care issues, the anarchic behaviour of some staff and how it spilled over to the residents.

    My sister-in-law and her sister searched for, and found a residential home for their demented 92+ mum, which they are comfortable , it was a second home, following a hospital admission and eventual discharge. Mum is given appropriate care and dignity. You are right to spend time seeking out what you are comfortable with.

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    • Thanks for this feedback. I really appreciate it. He cried yesterday when we visited him in his own home. I’d never seen my Dad cry before, ever. It’s probably a combination of relief, confusion and frustration at his own helplessness in almost every situation he finds himself in.

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