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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dearly Demented Dad

Dad wants to go to alf and I feel guilty.
He even has one picked out-- the one we saw that was affordable.
He is visiting us because he has a neurology appointment tomorrow.
He wants to visit the alf AGAIN tomorrow.
He doesn't know when he wants to move in yet but he clearly wants to live there in his own room on the second floor-- it's a coupla miles from our home.

Dad had five accidents in five months and thus quit driving in May (car got wrecked) and I feel guilty.
I'd tried to get Dad to quit driving a couple of years ago but failed. His wife/now ex-wife felt unable to get rid of the car. I told the state of New Jersey that he had dementia and sent them copies of his records and of his failed driving evaluation-- so they gave him his license back.
And so he had his five accidents in five months this year (thankfully no one was hurt. The last one was the worst-- he plowed into a parked car and then drove to the police station to tell them that he had an accident).
He still has his license. He says he won't "give that up."
But at least the car is gone.

Dad wants to stay with ex-wife "for as long as she has bills that she cannot pay alone" and I feel guilty.
She says she tells him to think about himself and his own needs. He says she doesn't talk to him at home or that she is "mean." He wants to get a part-time job once he moves to the alf-- whenever that is.

Dad won't take any medicine for his dementia, copd, or atrial fib and I feel guilty.
When he lived with us for several months a couple of years ago, after a very long time I had gotten him to take meds and he had even agreed to see a neurodoc up here. But the ex-wife was still his wife then and she wanted him back home so he went. Now it is two years later, he's deteriorated further and he still has no dementia meds.
His walking is worse this week than it was two weeks ago when he was here last.
The only meds he will take now are Rogaine, Robitussin, and an over the counter anti-constipation pill. He says he is taking the cough medicine and the anti-constipation pill for his copd.
His a-fib puts him at high risk for a debilitating or deadly stroke (yes I just saw that commercial on teevee. Dad didn't see it-- he is sleeping in his chair). My primary care doc told him that and he didn't seem to care. There was no reaction to that news. He says his brother takes the meds and his brother had a stroke anyways. (The brother mostly recovered from it).
Can the once again untreated a-fib have caused the dementia or worsened it??? (No, there have not been any mini-strokes). He has the neurology appointment up here tomorrow and I am afraid of the answer for that one.

Dad is here alive and I feel guilty. I have tried to protect him and failed.
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