For more than a year, my siblings and I have been communicating and working on how together, we help my parents. While my brothers are in town helping transition my parents, I am visiting my in-laws. Remarkably, I haven’t gotten one call from my parents during the progression of events.
My sister however is getting phone calls. My mom called her late afternoon and tells her she “needs” to get to their townhouse. She proceeded to complain that she had not seen my brothers all day and says they took their cars and then “abandoned them” at retirement community without transportation. We know my brothers spent most of the day with my parents.
My sister repeats the message we all agreed and that she used when my mom called before – they were now “living” at the retirement community per doctor’s orders. Their sons were in town to help them with their transportation and other needs. My mom just wanted to argue. She said that she and dad had an appointment with the psychologist in two days and this would all be straightened out. They expect to get back their licenses and their cars.
On top of our concern for our parents, we are also struggling with the emotion we feel as our parents say things we know are not true. We try to view their behavior as that of individuals with head injuries — so much of what they say is out of character.
While my sister is filling in my brother, my dad calls and leaves her a message to call him back. When she calls my dad back, he is now emphatic that he has to get to the townhouse. My dad doesn’t usually offer up the variety of stories, but he tells her they have to get back to the townhouse by tomorrow morning so he can play racquetball, someone is expecting him.
For more than ten years, they have never spent this day at their townhouse because my mom plays bridge at the retirement community. We wonder if my dad is now confabulating or if my mom is demanding that he join in her chorus? Saddened.