6 Comments

If you don’t show up, we will just walk home.

As I’m about to walk into a work event last night, my mom calls. “Kay, our brains are bad and we don’t know how to get food. Can you come pick us up and take us to the club for dinner?”

Dread, sadness and frustration hit me all at once. My parents told me they were going to stay in the retirement community because they recognized they were struggling.  However, they  recently reported to me they again broke back into their town house, and my siblings report they got a letter saying they are living at their town house now.

I’m sad because I know they must be frightened and I miss my parents.

I’m frustrated because I can’t help people who refuse to accept help beyond the emergencies they create.

I’m filled with dread because I know the only way to move forward is to sue my parents for guardianship and conservatorship.

I offer to have food delivered. She then shouts to my father who says he has money for a cab. She then tells me “If you don’t show up, we will just walk home.”  I remind her they have a credit card but that if she needs a ride I will come pick them up. I feel manipulated.

The toughest period in supporting someone with dementia seems to be this transitional period. They want independence, while we crave for them safety. We sometimes get to spend wonderful moments with our loved ones, and other times face a person in our loved ones skin that is foreign to us. Confounded.

6 comments on “If you don’t show up, we will just walk home.

  1. Yes…*heavy sigh*…This.
    Every single day.
    This.

    Thank you for writing this post…so many of your posts may me cry.

    • I don’t mean to spread the sadness but hope my lessons can help others.

      Thanks for reading – it makes me know I’m not alone in this struggle.

      • Oh Kay, you ARE helping. At times it’s just so emotionally overwhelming to read what I’m feeling, through your words (if that makes sense). It’s a feeling of “OMG, someone else GETS it!”

        And it’s silly for me to feel this way, because for years I’ve heard about what it’s like to deal with parents who got dementia, even watched my own mother struggle through it with her mother. And yet now that I’m in the trenches…it’s like I’m the only one in the world who’s ever experienced this. My brain knows differently, of course, but my heart feels so isolated in dealing with this.

        Your blog helps more than you may know. I don’t comment often, because I almost always read through my RSS reader on my phone, but I do read and am very thankful for your words. I’m just sorry you, or any one else, has to go through this. It seems so different for our generation, and it’s not just because we’re the ones dealing with it.

        I wonder if dementia isn’t more prevalent now than in the past.

      • Sadly — our medicine seems to have mmoved us in a direction where our bodies are outliving our brains. Hopefully, we will find a balance so we can have purpose and meaning in our lives until the end.

      • I think that’s a big part of it, yes. What I hold onto is that out of 4 grandparents I had, 3 were perfectly normal and coherent, right up to their dying day. Sure, they showed signs of aging and slowing down….but no dementia. Only my mom’s mother, who was always mentally ill and “eccentric.”

        Same with my mom…the dementia has exacerbated her behavior, but she’s never been all there. And now with her dementia and short-term memory loss getting worse each day…it gets more and more difficult to deal with her, be around her, have a normal conversation. I avoid talking about anything more complicated than the weather. 🙂

        Thank you again for your blog, and for “keeping it real.” I admire your strength and determination, all the while not letting your parents manipulate you (as much as can be reasonably avoided).

        Some of my family want to pretend “there’s nothing wrong” with my mom, because when you only talk to someone for 15 minutes a day on the phone, it’s easy to fool them. It has me doubting my own sanity at times.

  2. […] guardianship. Because they both moved into dementia together, they really didn’t recognize how much difficulty they were having managing on a day-to-day basis. I’m thankful we never had to pursue this option. My parents would have recognized and been […]

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