Mom finally realized that it was time. For more than a year we have talked to Mom about putting Dad into a nursing home, because at 88 years old, she was no longer able to take care of Dad and herself. This summer Dad’s Alzheimer’s advanced too far and taking care of Dad was no longer something she could do.
The biggest issue, I think, was Dad’s sleep pattern. There were many times when I talked to Mom during the day and she sounded just worn out. She would say – “Dad didn’t sleep again last night”. I came to realize that what Mom meant was that Dad was awake all night, and she probably got to sleep around 4 am. Dad would constantly ask her questions, get out of bed, and worry about everything from wondering if they had enough money to where the car was parked. Then he would be awake most of the next day, and constantly be at Mom’s side, asking her questions, wanting to do something, constant prodding. Mom finally had enough.
Honestly I’m sure Dad didn’t know what he was doing. His constant pressuring of Mom was out of a childlike neediness. Mom was Dad’s lifeline, and he stuck to her like glue.
So today we took Dad to a nursing home. It’s nice enough. The people are very kind and treated Dad great. It’s clean. But it’s a nursing home.
A long time ago when Dad and I were sitting in his den one Saturday morning, just talking, he told me that he never wanted to be in a nursing home. He didn’t want to be cared for that way, with him being reliant on someone for his every need. Now it is the only option, and I couldn’t help but thinking about that this morning as we walked around the nursing home. If Dad were in his right mind, he would have rather been dead than be there.
But this is what happens with Alzheimer’s. You don’t get a choice – you just have to deal with it.
When we were done signing the papers we went to say our goodbye’s to Dad. He was sound asleep on his new bed. I guess he doesn’t care, now.