The retirement community handoff

handoffThe move was emotional for everyone. We would have preferred to not have to orchestrate this move to comply with the mandate by the retirement community, but all of our attempts leading up to this action failed. Our parents did not understand or were unable to accept the changes that needed to happen. For all of their promises that they would never put us in the position their parent’s placed them, we wish it had been as tame as the situations they faced with their parents. Their dual dementia’s made this situation so much worse.

Now that they are in Assisted Living, for the next few days, my siblings and I planned on going radio silent. We were facing the need to clean up and dispose of my parent’s townhouse, and their apartment in the retirement community. We needed to let the retirement community pick up where we left off.

For the past year, I received many phone calls from my parents. They always felt like a cry for help, and when I would show up to help I would typically be dismissed. My mom would never remember why she called and what she said on the phone call. I would cycle through periods where I just stopped answering the phone. Our test if this is working is to see how many calls I will receive (or not).

Within the first few days I have not heard  from my parents or the retirement community. I’m actually looking forward to visiting my parents in a few days. Liberated.


7 thoughts on “The retirement community handoff

  1. The day we moved Mom it was against her will and she yelled at both my husband and me, but the head nurse asked us to get lost for 2 weeks, and assured us Mom would love it at the end of 2 weeks. Mom called me at night wanting to know why I was doing this to her, but I stayed away. At the end of the 2 weeks when I went over, she was happy and saying how much better this apartment was than her independent one. It was a good move; just wish it had lasted, but 5 months later she fell against the headboard of her bed trying to get something from behind it and ended up with a head injury, in the hospital for a week where we got the vascular dementia diagnosis, rehab and then told she had to go to a nursing home. We moved her to a nursing home first week of June onto a dementia wing, and 2 weeks later she fell in her apartment and broker her hip, another hospital visit and another rehab and now she’s been back in the dementia wing for 6 months. She absolutely HATES it. This has been one horrific year. I started my blog in July which chronicles each and every step in detail, gives Mom’s life history and summarizes many books that I have studied about dementia and alzheimer’s. I’ve started taking supplements and eating healthier, losing 11 pounds, getting my brain revved back up and doing art and remembering names better. I do NOT plan to ever put my kids through this if I can prevent it with a lifestyle change.

    I too had my first child at 33, then one at 37 and one at 39, then divorced and now remarried. I’m glad my kids were all grown before I had to handle this situation, as it has required a change in occupations 3 years ago, as the many doctor visits had become too cumbersome for an 8 to 5 office job; I’m now a realtor.

    I’ve spent the last 6 hours reading your whole blog, and one thing I was struke with; why didn’t you close the townhome and store everything and turn off the utilities when you needed them to move permanently and that would have stopped those visits.

    Secondly, reading what you’ve been through with 2 demented parents makes me thankful that my Dad knew when his time was up and refused a feeding tube. Although at that time 7 years ago I was angry with him for it as it was a death sentence, but I cannot imagine doing what I do for my Mom if dad had been here with his diabetes that was so brittle and possibly demented too. You are an awesome daughter and sister, and thanks for sharing your story. I want to get into your blog more deepely by checking into the highighted places, but my priority tonight was to get through the story.

    Thanks for sharing, and prepare for things to continue downhill. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but I see it at the dementia wing every single day. I’ve read many books by caregivers and blogs, and it only gets worse. Im thankful mom has vascular and not alzheimer’s because what I see in the dementia wing of the AD patients is so much worse than my Mom’s vascular dementia.

    Well its late and I must close,, but again thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to travel on my journey. There are many things I don’t discuss or go into to much detail on because the moment passed or the pain was still blinding. What amazed us was the ability for my parents to undo MANY, MANY roadblocks we put in place to stop them. They failed to pay the water bill many times and it got turned off — but they eventually were able to get it back on. We disabled the cars and they got one “fixed” — temporarily.

      I felt a deep sense of honoring my parents and avoiding disrespect and doing what needed to be done. It took me a while to change so that I could finally do all the sneaky things I had to do to get my parents where they needed to be. I let many things run their course. We were faced with having to sue for guardianship — which would have been VERY EXPENSIVE as well as humiliating for my parents.

      During the process we toured the dementia wing. That is where they wanted to initially place my parents. I willed myself not to burst into tears in the midst of the tour.

      This is a marathon and I know I still have many more miles uphill.

      Best, Kay

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