jmgoyder

wings and things

The dilemma

on September 13, 2015

One of Anthony’s favourite nephews visited on Father’s day last week and wanted very much to take us for a drive. He already knew how difficult this could be and that I had decided, months ago, to stop trying to do this by myself.

Of course, with the nephew there, Anthony rose to the occasion with alacrity and, with only a little bit of help from me, was able to walk up the hallway and outside using his walker. Another ‘plus’ was that it was morning and Ants is almost always more mobile in the mornings. Getting him into M’s 4WD vehicle proved to be a ‘two-person’ challenge but we did it!

It was a chilly but sunny day so M drove us around town and eventually to a cafe where I zipped in to get coffees and cake that we could eat in the car. Over the last few years, we have done this several times, and I have by myself of course, but M’s determination to make this work, to get Anthony out and about, has been such a blessing to me. I hate to ask for help but I am always happy to say yes if a tangible plan is offered and M always does this.

On the way back to the nursing home, M suggested that we park near the restaurant where Ming works – Corners on King – in the hope that Ming might be able to come out and say ‘Happy Father’s Day’ to Ants. This was a great success and then, on returning to the nursing home (just before lunch) Ants was still mobile enough to use his walker to get back to his room, with us by his side.

So what is the dilemma?

Okay, it is this: It is a very long time since I have brought Anthony home to the farm. Often he will ask me to take him home to his childhood home; sometimes he will ask me to light the fire in his nursing home room (thinking that we are home), and I will simulate doing so. His fantastic nephew, M, and his younger brother, J, want me to bring Anthony home and solicit their help.

These gestures are wonderful but what many people don’t realise is that Anthony now has his own Parkinson’s disease dementia. This means that he only occasionally remembers home.

I am doing my best, but it is a daily dilemma.


19 responses to “The dilemma

  1. susanpoozan says:

    So glad you managed the outing with the nephew’s help but I can see the problems for actually going back home. Good luck with whatever befalls.

  2. Always a challenge to find and maintain that precarious balance; you do navigate it with such grace and sensitivity Jules, you are an inspiration. Hugs xxoo

  3. You know best though – Lovely of them to offer but in the end your gut has given you the answer.. plus the anxiety he would experience on once more LEAVING his childhood home.. what a lovely family you have gathered about.. the drive sounded perfect though i bet you were holding your breath often! c

  4. Judy says:

    Your dilemma is related to guilt, Julie. If you can let go of guilt and worry – all decisions will become clear to you. That is a big challenge. I remember it so well. What helped me was gentleness and love. Turn the love you feel toward Anthony toward yourself. That love will guide you through.

  5. tersiaburger says:

    People just don’t realize that “home” could be his childhood home…Jules it is so hard. I salute you!

  6. This may sound like a ‘negative’ response but as I see it there are two possibilities by taking Anthony home.. one is that he will just be confused and two is the possibility that he will want to stay there and then be quite unhappy that he can’t… just my thoughts.. Diane

  7. tootlepedal says:

    I am glad that the day out went well but the dilemma is a real problem.

  8. Tiny says:

    That sounds like a good Father’s Day! I think you’ll find a solution to the dilemma with your own intuition.

  9. The outing sounds great, nice that you all had a good day and Ants was mobile enough to get to the car and back inside after his outing taking him home is another matter it might be a bigger effort and I don’t know about you but I would be worried that once home he either wouldn’t want to leave and return to the nursing home or worse would as were he was not remembering it was his home that would be heartbreaking

  10. Anonymous says:

    The remarkable thing that you have done, and which these people don’t understand, because they don’t see him so often, is that you have created the farm right there In Anthiny’s room at the Lodge, and he thinks he IS at home, especially when you are there, which is most of the time. I even feel I’m arriving for a visit in the kitchen where we spent so many lovely afternoons chatting and visiting exactly as we do now. Your ability to have made this haven for Anthony, an oasis of love in a nursing home room, is inspiring and every time I visit, I’m blessed.

  11. Vicki says:

    Good to hear that you and M were able to take Anthony out and about for a change.

    As to taking him home, well, not really sure that the current ‘home’ is a memory that Anthony still comprehends and while the generosity of family in helping is always appreciated, it may well not be feasible or memorable for him.

    I think taking him outside in the fresh air, regular visitors and photos from the good old days or of new family events, or small treats might be more welcome to Anthony. Seems to me that your daily visits and companionship have not only been productive (in terms of better cognitive function), but more do-able as a daily routine. I’m sure regular visits from family and friends also adds in a positive way.

    I suspect taking Anthony home via nephew and/or family is more to comfort the family and make them feel more useful (than anything for Anthony). It may well be that visits to Anthony in the Home, from family and friends, are starting to be a little tedious and frustrating for the family members. They may feel they are running out of conversation or ability to ‘entertain’ Anthony, hence the suggestion of taking him home.

    Forgive me if I’m wrong or have spoken out of place, but I genuinely feel your own efforts and ideas have been more appropriate for Anthony in his health/life journey. And to be honest, I sense that you enjoy the hours spent at the nursing home more because you don’t have to strain or overdo the physical job of lifting/transporting. The Staff take care of all the tiring and tedious care and you (and family/visitors) get the pleasure of one-on-one time quality time in Anthony’s new home.

    Surely it’s about quality time, not location.

  12. Your best is beautiful Julie. ❀
    Diana xo

  13. I’m so glad you all had such a wonderful outing! I admire your determination in caring for Anthony, Julie. And whatever you decide, it will be okay.

  14. My Heartsong says:

    I am remembering the time that I totally broke the rules and used a hoist in the garage( with help from the client’s friend) to lower a woman into her motorcycle. She had a grin from ear to ear for the rest of the day and I have no regrets.Neither did she. πŸ˜‰

  15. Trisha says:

    I’m so glad the outing went well. What wonderful nephews you have!

  16. arlene says:

    You have a lovely family and I am glad to know that you were able to have that wonderful outing with your nephew and Anthony.

  17. I am so glad that you were able to have such a happy father’s day. What a wonderful nephew you have!

  18. it truly is wonderful that you and ants were able to get out and even see ming on this special day. as for taking him home? only you know how plausible or not that is. please don’t let others talk you into something that may be harmful (physically and emotionally) to you, ants or ming. sometimes those that offer mean well without knowing the unintended consequences. sending you much love and hugs.

  19. paulaacton says:

    I have to agree with the general consensus but also throw an extra reason into the mix, your decluttering. Ants is already confused and to bring him back to the house and for him to possibly fixate upon something not being there or in it’s right place would add extra stress, if they want to help you take him out that would be great but I would keep it to a drive out, maybe a picnic if the weather is nice or a drive to other local attractions that Ant might recognise or relate to but home would be too much of a risk for further upset πŸ˜€

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