It seems that things are changing fast. Too fast. Or, maybe not fast enough. I guess it depends on the moment and he emotions.
Two weeks ago we moved my Dad to a secure memory care unit. He barely noticed and things appeared to be going well. Mom was getting the break she needed but could spend as much or as little time with him as she wanted. We were relieved to know he was safe and that Mom did not appear too traumatized.
During a visit two days ago, Mom was alarmed that her normally well-mannered, proper husband seemed to be obsessed with sex. After 20 minutes of trying to redirect him, she gave up and ended the visit. She observed that Dad thought he was back in the Navy and his behavior was befitting any sailor on leave for the weekend.
Early this morning the phone rang and the Clinical Director of the memory care unit informed me that Dad needed to move to a smaller unit due to his blatant and new sex drive. She said that for 48 hours, Dad has been making inappropriate remarks to both staff and other residents. But hold on, it gets worse. Dad was found in his underwear in the bed of a female resident. Needless to say, that can’t be tolerated so…he’s moving again. This time he will be in a smaller unit where it will be easier to keep an eye on him.
I could be embarrassed but I refuse to be. This isn’t my Dad; it’s the disease. I despise this disease. I hate what it has done to my Dad and I hate what it has done to our family. I hate that it is robbing my Dad of his dignity and I hate that the staff didn’t get to know him like we do. For a few minutes, I questioned whether I should or could even tell this story. But then I thought, why not? Why not tell it. We aren’t the first family to experience this and we won’t be the last. It’s part of living with Alzheimer’s disease and it’s real. No o family should ever be embarrassed by what they cannot control.
So there. I’ve told it. Is my story familiar?