Trapped in the Waiting Room

I can’t yet report on Step 2. My goal is to be able to document how to manage through this, although I feel like I’m struggling to get out of the paper bag I’m currently trapped within.

I’m at a loss on this one. The follow-up appointment didn’t happen. In our first meeting, my dad handed over his car keys like he understood Dr. J’s concern. That lasted a total of about 8 hours. He has verbally reaffirmed that he is not interested in giving up driving and doesn’t believe he needs too.

My parents accepted the follow-up appointment with Dr. J., but were unwilling to fulfill the requests to bring a 3rd party to take notes as well as drive them. When the medical team found out they were planning on driving themselves, they canceled the meeting. They can’t approve of them driving and know that no meeting will be remembered if someone isn’t there with them to understand what is going on and discuss possible options.

The community keeps showing up with sleeves rolled up and ready to help. Sometimes they are gracious, sometimes not so much. We are working on how to manage through this roadblock they have effectively set up to avoid any changes.

If you have run into a similar situation – I’d love to hear your solutions. Requested.

4 thoughts on “Trapped in the Waiting Room

  1. I’m sure you’ve done this, but here goes. They need to be sat down and reminded that your concern for their safety is exactly like theirs was for you at an earlier point in your life. They would have done anything to protect you out of love, right? You are doing the same. Best of luck.

  2. Hi Butch – We have done this so many times we lost count. We have done it when all 4 of us were there united telling them and then individually. For 2 years my siblings (when not in town) send letters expressing their concern. They dismiss it and typically don’t remember — or wash it from there brain because they don’t like what they are hearing. They both have dementia so we have learned to accept who they have become.

    Thanks for the note

  3. Hello Kay

    Someone on the Alzheimer’s Society forum here in the UK once wrote “When you’ve met one person with dementia … you’ve met one person with dementia”. With that in mind I can only tell you how I’VE managed to work things out with my Mum who at 87 years of age has had dementia now for about 12 years.

    My Mum will only hear what she wants to hear. Anything else causes huge upset to her and then, by extension, to me. So, I’ve learned to lie. Small white lies and huge whoppers and I’m OK with that because I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her happy and calm. If she complains because I haven’t told her something (despite having told her 60 times in the previous hour – OK a slight exaggeration, but only slight 🙂 ) then I tell her I’m sorry and that I won’t do it again.

    If I have to get her from point A to point B and she’s not keen then I lie and tell her that the authorities are insisting that it be done their way and if it isn’t then, I’m the one that gets into trouble with them. I know that, despite her behaviour sometimes, my Mum loves me and that she wouldn’t want me to get into trouble. She goes along with it and we make it a day out with tea and a cake somewhere afterwards.

    My Mum has never driven but if driving was an issue with her then I think I would probably arrange for someone to disable the car and then “deal” with getting it fixed saying “but in the meantime, can I take you wherever you need to go” or “oh, I’m going that way myself. Can we make a day of it? I’d really like that”.

    I really feel for you – a daughter who so obviously loves her parents and wants to help but seems to be thwarted at every turn. I’ve been there myself and every day highlights what a full-on and exhausting task it is. But we do it just the same. All you can do it take each day as it comes and Kay, you are doing a marvellous job.


    1. Thanks for you note. It’s always nice to hear what others have done — which helps me keep my courage up and face the fact that I may need to warp the truth a bit. We have tried some of your suggestions, but with two of them, they are still ready to battle the “authorities” — which they will actually have to really do shortly.

      I’ve worked very hard to not refute the stuff my mom says — I usually just respond by smiling like an idiot in hopes of keeping the words in brain and mouth! I do know they feed on the emotion so I like the suggestion to just bow to the accusation and ask for forgiveness.

      Thank you for the wisdom and encouragement.

      Best, Kay

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