2007-09-11

To my Sister:
If you read this itís not an attempt at manipulation. Itís just me blowing steam. Thatís what this diary is for .. me. Weíre all exhausted emotionally and this is where I dump it all. You and Mom are the only ones that read it anymore anyhow now that the Ex and his drama is over. Just as an aside I think itís pretty funny how a lot of readers moved on when I found a happy situation. Happy is boring I guess.


Okee Dokee. I have lost the war on what kind of facility to put our Dad in. I put it to a vote and 4 of the 5 have answered. I was the only one who voted for independent living so even if the remaining child votes with me Iím out voted.

They voted for Assisted Living, even the sister who told me about Independent living. I can understand wanting more services rather than fewer and making do and then just refusing the unneeded ones for a father you love and despite his occasionally being a horror show we all do love him. But I don't think they understand the differences in privacy and control, maybe because they donít feel the issue deeply or maybe they havenít interviewed and visited some of these places and envisioned their father in them while there.

Basically Assisted living is like being in a college dorm room. A guard might limit access to the rooms but itís not you controlling who enters your space. You might have your own room but the whole place is treated as communal space by the staff. The nurses and staff can wander in and out as needed. All medications are taken from the inmate patient and with them all control over when he takes them. They even make them swallow in their presence and then open your mouth and wiggle your tongue to be sure you took them. I understand with things like eye drops he will be handed a bottle and told to do it himself and then the bottle is taken from him until next time. Meals are cooked for him and he can eat in the communal dining room. Although a microwave and a very small fridge are in the room itís not set up for real cooking, just simple stuff he wouldnít do anyways so itís the communal dining room for him and they are serving at specific hours and even have a sitting that you are assigned to and an hour to complete your eating. Itís all very controlled and regimented. It has to be they have taken custody and can be sued if they screw up plus they are dealing with a lot of people and they need order.

Independent living gets you your own apartment but you get a monitor or intercom to allow you to see who wants to visit you then you grant access to the building and they come to your door. Itís a lot like an apartment where you do things in your own time including being responsible for your own food, dress and meds. The apartment has safety features in case of an emergency or the need for help. Someone does your linens once a week. Itís a safe environment where the tenant has control and has to ask for help when needed.

Anyway Iíd sure as hell like to be a fly on the wall when the nurse tries to baby talk him into getting nakie and take an assisted shower or when he loses rights to his bags of medicines and they want him to take that pill NOW or put in his drops NOW and stand there over him like heís an idiot. Same with him and a feeding schedule.

My siblings have dreams that our very solitary and private father is going to go where they have a pool .. across a street he is totally unable to cross by himself. He wonít ask for help and the pool itself isnít included in dadís room price, itís for some cottages that are for independent living, but my brother thinks he can negotiate the use of it. They also think heíll make friends with the other inmates at the Pub which probably is just a community center and doesnít even have beer or wine nevermind real booze. Heíll be having his nightly martooni (his word) in his room as he has for as far back as I can remember while watching TV. Yes, he went to a bar when we were young but that was to get away from US! Children are loud and chaotic and Dad hates that. Heís an extreme introvert who isnít being lonely when heís alone. He sees enough people at the shop. If he wanted a Pub he would have gone to one before this and it isnít lack of opportunity because he didnít go when he was healthy and could see. Thereís a reason he doesnít have any friends he hangs with. He doesnít need or want them. He has the shop. Oh and thatís another thing they think the activities director will be able to divert his interest away from the shop .. hahahahahahaha! When Pigs fly!

He likes self control, self destination, a little socialization at work and a heaping helping of peace and quiet. I never wanted Dad in a place like assisted living. I wonít be party to it. He will HATE IT! This makes me cry. I donít want my Dad being controlled and told what to do and when to do it. I want him to have his solitude and his privacy.

My brother says that it settles him now so we donít go through this again in a few years when he actually might need it and there is that point but what to do about a man with an active mind who will know whatís happening to him? Heís not ready and Iím not ready too. Where was the transition? You donít fail overnite unless you break something or get seriously ill. He isnít! Just two weeks ago he was climbing the stairs and had been for YEARS. Now he looks unsteady so letís get him on a single floor, thatís all. This is overkill when an alternative is available. Iíd rather have him dirty and free. I had no idea wanting services for him like house cleaning would end up like this.

Sorry siblings but I will fight you if he wants out after a fair trial and thatís only if you get him in. Weíll see about that. Heís not incompetent yet. He can flat out refuse and what will he think of you trying to put him out to pasture then? Hmmm?


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