Monday, January 25, 2010

My father's been moved to a dementia facility

The news came via "relay" last night--my Israeli brother called my sister to let her know that, yesterday, he'd moved our father into a residential facility for patients with senile dementia. Dad will be able to remain there as his condition continues to deteriorate. This news is, well, as good as it's going to get. Dad's condition has deteriorated so much in recent months that he now has the common sense--or lack thereof--of a two-year-old. All four of us kids have been concerned that he could easily get into life-threatening trouble while his home attendant was in another room. He needed to be in a facility in which his ability to harm himself by accident would be reduced as much as humanly possible.

I'm very glad that I took my brother's advice and went to see my parents while my father still remembered me. Leaving them was hard, since I knew there was a good chance that I'd never see either of them again. Now, my mother's gone, and there's little point in visiting my father, since he doesn't even remember the name of the son who visits him two-three times every week, much less mine. I feel as if I got two deceased parents for the price of one--it's just a matter of receiving the official notice. :(


Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

There's really nothing to say at this point except I'm sorry for your loss. You'll be in my thoughts.

Mon Jan 25, 10:45:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Jendeis said...

I'm so sorry. Thinking of you and yours.

Mon Jan 25, 12:08:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I hope my post didn't confuse my readers--my father is still alive, it's just his memory that isn't. I'm just depressed about the fact that the man who drove me to college, stood under our chuppah, and bounced my baby boy on his knee has no idea who any of us are anymore.

Mon Jan 25, 04:44:00 PM 2010  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Unfortunately, this is often how things go, especially after the loss of a spouse.

Auf simchos

Mon Jan 25, 06:44:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Mark/PT, that's often the sad truth--one spouse often takes the other with him/her, literally or, as in my father's case, figuratively. I do, indeed, hope to have nothing but simchas (happy occasions) in the future. Thanks for your good wishes.

Larry and Jendeis, thank you for your kind thoughts.

Mon Jan 25, 07:18:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Miami Al said...

Sorry, thinking of your family's struggles. The situation with your father is worse, because you can't mourn the living, but can't live with the demented.

You are in my thoughts (such that I have time for them with 3 small children).

Mon Jan 25, 10:44:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

" . . . you can't mourn the living, but can't live with the demented." Sadly true. Thanks for your kind words, Al.

Tue Jan 26, 12:37:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also offering my sympathy for your father's condition. Working with the elderly for all my career, it truly is heartbreaking for families.
As a music therapist, I saw how music can be one of the few remaining connections with those with dementia.
Hope there are recordings of your dad and mom's favorite pieces of music to play for him.

Tue Jan 26, 05:03:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Dad was always a fan of classical and Big Band music. But he seems to have lost interest in listening to music in the past few years, I'm sorry to say. It's really sad to know that he's losing so much of the person that he used to be.

Tue Jan 26, 06:27:00 PM 2010  

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