Alzheimer’s Progresses

It’s been a while since I’ve updated our situation here and it’s been a busy few weeks.  Dad has progressed into a more severe stage of his Alzheimer’s disease.  It’s hard.

We met with the psychiatrist last week and he told us what we already knew.  He said it’s time to move my folks into an assisted living facility that has a locked unit.  Even writing that is painful.  Who dreams of the day when they have to lock a parent up like a criminal?  I certainly never thought I would be thinking that at my age.  I know it’s the right thing to do but I won’t pretend that the news went down like a sip of fine wine.  In fact, I almost choked on it.

Dad has had more frequent outbursts of anger and has begun pounding his fist into the wall when he gets mad.  That…is not my Dad.  My Dad is a peaceful, kind, and loving man.  This man, is a stranger.  The psychiatrist says we have reached the place where safety has to rule.  We can’t trust Dad not to hurt my Mom when he gets angry.  After 62 years of marriage my Mom has to accept that the man she adored can’t be trusted not to hurt her.  I can’t imagine how that feels.

The psychiatrist has put Dad on a new medicine to help temper his temper.  We’re starting with a 50mg dose of generic Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate).  He says we can increase the dose as needed up to about 1200 mg.  It’s only been a few days but I do think it has helped.  It could be because we moved his car too which had been the catalyst for much of his frustration.  Dad wasn’t happy that he had a car in the driveway that we wouldn’t let him drive.  What an experience this Alzheimer’s beast is.  It tells us how to adjust and live and leaves no room for argument.

So, we are embarking on a new journey.  I am trying to wrap my brain around how to find the right facility and, how to condense 62 years of memories into a few boxes that Mom and Dad can take with them when they go.  Some days I feel like my heart is breaking into a million pieces and then I remember.  My precious parents must have felt the same when I left home to start my new life as an adult in the world.  If they handled it, I will too.  It’s the least I can do for them.

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