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.