Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dad's Old Self

My dad isn't the easiest person to deal with sometimes. He's better, easier than he used to be, of course, since he's been treated for bipolar disorder (among other things), but he still can be stubborn, delusional, manipulative, and just plain difficult. Lately he has many complaints about the place where he lives. I think that some are completely legitimate. The food isn't as good as it was. And there is less of it. I have complained to the owner about that, with little result. Another thing, they are finding it hard to get qualified people. When the regular caregiver, Susie, goes on a day off or sometimes a vacation, they put doubtful people in her place. Lately, they have have a rather sullen and threatening person who is very large and silent and obviously dislikes all of us because we make demands of him. I don't trust him with my frail parents, and want him gone, but at the same time, I know they find it hard to get people to work for the wages they want to pay. Mostly they find other members of their own community who are desperate for a place to stay. Quite often they are not qualified or even unable to carry out the duties the job entails. It after all requires enormous strength (sometimes physical, always mental), patience, and compassion. It is hard not to get angry sometimes at the unreasonable nature of the behavior one must regularly confront, but they must not lose their tempers or react harshly.
At the same time, I know that for what we can afford to pay, we could do much worse. And also if we leave, we are trading a known quantity for an unknown one. If we could conceivably afford the Jewish assisted living, I would not hesitate, but I believe that once all the extra charges for care were tacked on, it would be way way beyond anything we could pay. My parents cannot wash or dress themselves anymore. Mom needs diapers, and both are labor intensive, although they feed themselves. I would like them to stay where they are, if this man who is there now leaves. If he doesn't, I may be forced to look for another place. That is not something I am looking forward to. It is tremendously difficult and time-consuming.
I only know I cannot live with my parents and be their 24-hours-per day caregiver myself. I would not be able to keep their medications straight. I would go insane. I would be very very unhappy. It wouldn't be a good idea, even though this would solve the problem of a downpayment for a house. It is not something I want to undertake.


Lou said...

I so sympathize with your struggle, Robbi.

Robbi said...

I knew you would, having gone through similar ones.

Anonymous said...

Is the man dressing and bathing your Mom?


Robbi said...

Yes. That's what worries me. Susie put out the meds, so he won't make a mistake, but he clearly doesn't give a crap.