I spent the last four days in Texas preparing for and then moving Dad from the nursing home back to the apartment with Mom. (He’s been away from her since June, 2010.) Preparations actually began earlier – discussions, phone calls, paperwork, going down earlier with younger daughter to move and arrange furniture, more phone calls, paperwork.
We had to do something because their savings had been used up and there was no longer enough money to pay for Dad in nursing home and Mom in her residence. And the Veterans Administration keeps dragging their heels (Grrrrr!) When discussing alternatives, Mom suggested that maybe Dad could move back with her since he is doing much better with the medications to control mood, etc. with his dementia. Our concern was that it would be too much for Mom to help care for him. She wanted to try – and this way they will be together again even if it’s just a little while.
Thursday was spent in driving the 3 ½ hour trip, checking into hotel, then doctor appointment for Dad with neurologist for final approval for move. The doctor appointment didn’t take long, but we had to sit for an hour and a half waiting for Dad’s ride back to the nursing home. I arranged for them to pick him up instead of driving him back myself so I could spend as much time as possible on final arrangements. As it turned out, I could have driven him back and forth a couple of times in that hour and a half. Ah well – just another reason to get him out of there. Thursday night and Friday were spent rearranging clothes and other things to make room for Dad in the smaller apartment, meeting with nursing service at retirement complex to make final arrangements for Dad, shopping for necessities, etc.
Then – Saturday morning – moving day! It began with some disappointment. I had stressed to the social worker at the nursing home that we didn’t want Dad to know ahead of time about the move – for one thing, he would think it should happen right away because of his idea of time is somewhat skewed. Also, Mom wanted to tell him herself. Well, that didn’t work out. Dad started calling Mom Saturday morning because he had been told that he was moving and he didn’t understand it. His calls took time and Mom’s energy, and she cried with the disappointment of professionals not doing what they said they would – ah well, just another reason to get him out of there.
10:00 AM – at the nursing home to move Dad. My sister and I packed up his stuff, and packed up his stuff, and packed up his stuff – It is amazing how much had been moved there with change of seasons, holidays, etc. Whew!! My sister’s husband and a grandson moved Dad’s recliner and TV.
Dad said he might have to take a nap before he could leave because he was worn out just watching us work. We all laughed – he still has that quirky sense of humor!
The actual moving went fairly smoothly – then check-in with nursing service. Dad was tired and weak. We expected that – but then we discovered that he evidently hadn’t received his medications that morning (his patch had Friday’s date on it) – Grrrrrrr!
Dad rested, we unpacked, meals, etc. Then as it began to get dark, Dad wondered if someone was going to take him back to his place. It will take a few days for him to get used to being at the apartment. Change is difficult for someone with dementia.
Wait! Change is difficult for me!! What does that mean?!?!? Hmmmmmm. . .
Yesterday (Sunday), Dad seemed to be settling in better, he seemed to have regained strength, and he was making little jokes. I drove back to Oklahoma late yesterday afternoon. Exhausted! But hopeful! I think this will be a very positive move.
Welcome home, Daddy!