Alzheimer’s and Assisted Living

file0001583930521[1]Alzheimer’s and Assisted Living – It is now time to move my dad into an assisted living facility. He is 90 years old, and he has Alzheimer’s.

He has always been active, independent, and proud. And he doesn’t think he needs help.  But he does.

He wanders off, he forgets important things, and he gets confused.  He mixes up his medication, he has no idea what day it is, and he has difficulty walking.  He blew up his microwave and almost started a fire in the house.  He tries to walk to a barber shop or a coffee shop but he can’t quite make it, and security then picks him up and brings him home.

file0001911591111[1]We have an aide coming in to help him, but that’s not full time, and it’s just not enough any longer.  It’s becoming too difficult to care for him and make sure he is safe when he’s living alone in a big house.

So against his wishes, he will be moved to an assisted living facility.  It is clean and well run, and staff and residents all look happy.  They will serve all his meals in a beautiful dining room, they will clean his room and do his laundry, and they will oversee his medication.  It is such a beautiful facility, I would move there myself if I could.  There are so many activities scheduled every day, it’s like living on a cruise ship – a permanent vacation.  And it’s only ten minutes from my house, so I could easily visit him every day.

Sunbeams_+1_-1_tonemapped[1]But he wants to stay in his own home. However, because I love him and care about him and want him safe and well cared for, difficult but necessary decisions must be made.  I hope there’s a part of him that understands this so that deep down he doesn’t feel like I’m doing something awful to him.

And my job is to do it with as much love, compassion, and kindness as possible to make the transition easier. Patience is not my strong suit – but when I let go and open into a space of love, patience becomes timeless, and the empathy, support, and tenderness are there.

So why does my stomach hurt? I have now booked the movers for him and scheduled the doctor’s appointment.  I am filling out the forms, and I will help him pack.  And my stomach is in knots.

WhiteRose[1]Dad, I love you, and that’s why I am placing you in a loving and caring environment, surrounded by caring people, music, and fun activities. You will be well cared for, and you won’t have to worry about anything.  And I will visit you all the time.

Dad, please trust me and know that I love you and am doing what is best for you. Just like you loved me and did what was best for me when I was your little girl.  And now I’m still your little girl, and it’s now time for me to return the favor and take care of you.  It’s your turn to be on the receiving end and be well cared for.

I hope I make your remaining years happy and safe, Dad. And whether or not you are aware of it, I am here for you and I love you.

Copyright © 2014 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

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About Lynn Miclea

LYNN MICLEA grew up in New York and moved to California while in her twenties. A certified hypnotherapist, Reiki Master practitioner, and EFT (tapping) practitioner, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she spent many years working in the medical field and in various offices in an administrative capacity. She is also an accomplished musician and plays the piano at various senior facilities, where her music touches those who need it the most. After retiring in 2013, Lynn discovered a passion for writing, and she has become a successful author with ten books published. Two of her books are powerful memoirs, and eight are uplifting and fun children’s animal stories about kindness, believing in yourself, seeing the best in those around you, and helping others. Lynn believes that the best thing we can do in this world is to help each other. She hopes that through her writing, she can help encourage people to show more kindness and compassion to everyone around them. She asks everyone to be kind to each other as we all share this journey through life together. Lynn currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and two dogs. For more information - please check out her website at www.lynnmiclea.com - thank you!
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12 Responses to Alzheimer’s and Assisted Living

  1. Lynn, So not easy to do even with all the items in the pro column. There is a woman in my church that put her husband in a facility because he was becoming a danger to himself. It was very hard for her even to talk about it at first. I feel like she needed to grieve for the loss of her husband as she knew him. The move cemented the fact that he was no longer the same. She says she can sleep at night now since she no longer has to keep one ear open for him. I don’t think it is meant to be easy, sorry to say. So hugs to you and your Dad. Pam

    • Lynn Miclea says:

      Pam, thank you so much for your comment. I agree – this is such a difficult thing, and I think even harder if it’s your husband. My heart goes out to the woman in your church. Yes, there is a huge grieving process with this – such a loss of the person he used to be. I also will feel much better once my dad is in the facility and I don’t have to worry about him as much, but I know he doesn’t want to go there, and it breaks my heart. Life is full of difficult decisions, and we just need to move forward one step at a time and do our best every step of the way. Thank you – I appreciate your input!

  2. RenataB says:

    So heart wrenchingly beautiful Lynn. My heart goes out to you and your dad. I can help but wonder when the day will come if I have to write something similar, but your love and the depth of your caring for your dad is beautiful to read and I’m sure on some level he knows how much you love him. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing. Much love to you. ❤

    • Lynn Miclea says:

      Thank you so much, Renata, that is so kind of you. Yeah, it’s a difficult time and I’m just trying to handle it one step at a time. Today I ordered a stamp to imprint his name in his clothes so that when the facility does his laundry, he can get his own clothes back. And I wonder if the day will come when I will need this myself. If so, I will willingly go to one of these places. This place, in fact – I really like it. Thank you, Renata. ❤

  3. ukkatie says:

    Lynn, that was so beautiful and poignant. Your thoughts and feelings really resonated with me having had to do the same thing for my father almost 6 years ago (he had vascular dementia). He fought the decision but he was well-cared for; it is so hard to love someone and do something you know they absolutely don’t want to do while knowing they will be safe – heartbreaking, really. I am so happy for you that you will be able to visit him so often (my father was back in the UK and it was not possible to visit very often). It is so obvious that you love your father very much as I am sure he does you. Thinking of you often at this difficult time! Hugs and love, Katie ❤

    • Lynn Miclea says:

      Katie, thank you so much for your kind comment. My heart goes out to you with your father also – I hope your father knew how much you loved him as well. I know, all of this is so difficult. I am handling just one step at a time. Hopefully it will be easier once he’s in the facility. Thank you – I really appreciate your understanding, love, and support. ❤

  4. athling2001 says:

    We just had to put my Mom in respite care because my Dad is in the hospital. It was one of the hardest things my sister and I have had to do. Thank you for such a beautiful post that reminds us why we do these things.

  5. sonworshiper says:

    So sorry to hear of your painful situation and the decision you had to make. At least you know you made it out of love and desiring the best option. Wishing you and yours well.

  6. greyzoned/angelsbark says:

    Oh Lynn, my heart breaks for you. Your post made me cry. As I face witnessing my own parents getting older and needing help, it’s just so gut-wrenching to think about the position you now find yourself in. As my cousin says, “Getting old ain’t for sissies.” Ain’t that the truth? I know you are raw with emotion and I pray your heart’s sorrow eases with the knowledge and belief that you are doing the most loving thing a daughter can do for her ailing father: you are caring for him with an open heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your dad. ❤

    • Lynn Miclea says:

      Michele, thank you so much for your heart-felt comment. It is actually getting easier for me now – I have been speaking positively about the move for a while now, and my dad is beginning to look forward to it, so that is good. But I also know that the actual move will be very disorienting and difficult for him, he will be in a new place where he knows no one, and he will feel like a fish out of water. It will be a difficult adjustment – but I know he will be well cared for. One week to go – he moves on 10/18. Thank you for your kind words. And my heart goes out to you as well. ❤

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