I’m such a horrible person*

Dad returned to Red Rose yesterday. First, know that every time you move someone with dementia, the confusion increases. He had to be moved back and forth from the psychiatric unit to the medical unit to the surgical unit several times over the past couple weeks while he was in Branson’s hospital and now he’s moved back to Red Rose. I do know just how difficult that is for someone with dementia. Doesn’t make it easier.

I talked with him on the phone last night while he was really upset and angry about being there. And just now, I tried to calm him down over the phone. He doesn’t remember that he has been in Red Rose since January. He doesn’t work there, he says. He has a good job up north and he wants to get back to that. He can’t tell me where, of course, or what he does. He knows that I visited him when he was in the hospital but it has transformed in his mind as some kind of job. He knows he had some medical problems but is sure that I don’t know what really happened and apparently I’m making things up. This morning he says that I am making him upset and when he’s upset he doesn’t remember as well.

He thought he could count on me. Why am I not taking his side? He feels so hurt, like he’s never been before and he’s disappointed in me.

It’s so hard. I know I’m doing what needs to be done. We all know he’s not safe at home but it doesn’t make it easier to hear the accusations. I know this seems like reality to him. He can’t even hear right now that he might not be remembering right – it’s me that doesn’t know, that doesn’t remember. His reality is real and mine is ……well it beats the hell out of me. It’s just that he thought he could count on me to take his side.

There are always times that I wonder if I’m doing the right thing for him. I question myself and try to figure out a way that he could be safely at home. I just don’t see it. He’s so far from being aware of reality that even with a live-in aide I can’t see how he could be safe at home.

My best hope, at the moment, is that he will re-adjust to being in the nursing home and be able to move back into a regular room. Usually these delusions don’t last that long so perhaps in a few days?

I am so tired.

*title has tongue firmly in cheek. This is a difficult and painful situation but I do not really believe I am a horrible person.


9 thoughts on “I’m such a horrible person*”

  1. My takeaway from dealing w/ elderly relatives is: never second guess yourself. You do what you do in each moment knowing that you love them & will make the right decisions because you are doing your best. Which means that you are not a horrible person, just a tired one.


    1. Very, very tired Ally. The thing is that no matter how much I tell myself I’m making the best decisions I can in order to protect him, it doesn’t change how it feels to sit there with him telling me how disappointed he is in me. He’s never been disappointed in me, he says. Which is patently untrue because nothing I’ve ever done has been good enough.

      Wait till I tell the rest of the story… 🙂


  2. Zaz, you are not taking his side because it is unsafe and irresponsible. Just blow it out the other ear.
    We went through the same thing when my mom transitioned to assisted living. She wanted to come and live with one of her kids. When we started entertaining that notion, she changed her mind and said she wanted to remain in Litchfield where her friends and church were.
    Each time we’d visit she’d say, “please, get me out of here” and cry and then my 10 yr old niece would start to cry and there’d be a big commotion.
    Then we got the “other people’s kids would never let them stay here”. Yes, we were all bad too. But I think that now she has forgiven us.


    1. When Mom went into the nursing home, it was hard. She was sad and depressed about it and wanted to go home. I’m just having a much harder time dealing with my dad. I wish I saw the possibility of a different ending but really, he is going downhill so fast there really aren’t any magical solutions.

      It’s sad, but kind of comforting, that you all have had similar experiences. I never expected this.


  3. You are NOT a horrible person, you’re a stressed one. It’s impossible to know whether what we’re doing is right, but we have to make decisions for those we love who can’t. And you are making those decisions from that love and from the knowledge of what is best for him.


    1. I know, my friend. It’s just what Dad is essentially saying and it’s a little hard not to take it personally. I know you understand how hard it is to make these decisions and to wish things could be different.

      I have, by the way, tacked on a little note to the post as the title was really intended to be tongue in cheek.


  4. I think wherever your Dad was he would feel this way, so for him to be in the nursing home is at least keeping him safe while these delusions run. Not easy to hear all the things he is saying but at least you know that he isn’t himself. This is the horrible thing about dementia, I think. The person you knew fades long before their actual body does, so they look like someone you know, but don’t sound like them. Very distressing.


    1. Agreed. The current scary part is if he can’t settle into Red Rose, he’ll have to go to a more secure nursing home for “difficult” patients and there are none near here. He’s not going to be able to understand the threat.

      Watching them slowly become someone else is really sad. This recent change has been so fast I don’t know what will happen next.


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