More changes are happening in my parents’ lives this week. My dad is convinced he has days, rather than weeks or months to live and this has altered his behaviour. This is the flip side of ‘living for the day’. Instead of embracing each day and making the most of it, dad is (understandably) working on the assumption that whatever he does will not be a problem for very long. The tensions and pressures in the house are being alleviated by a fine team of carers who are now coming in to help him. Essentially though he has taken to his bed to die but may be there longer than he had anticipated.
Bring in a hospital bed, to make him more comfortable and help the carers, has been quite an adventure in itself. As soon as the word ‘hospital’ was uttered dad bridled and decided there was no way this was going to happen. Thanks to some short term memory loss on his part I was able to have another go an explaining what we wanted to do. Desperately trying to avoid the H word I called it an electric bed (which, now I write it down sounds scarier) and described how he could sit up or lay down at the press of a button. He was happier with this but still didn’t want any change in his room. So, on the third attempt I just told him it was coming. Yes, I took away some choice, but at the same time I made things better for him, my mum and the backs of the carers, so I’m not that bothered.
I’m writing this before visiting the house and finding out how the arrival of the new bed went. It’s entirely possible I’ll post again tomorrow with a stories of dad fighting off the care team with a cut-throat razor. We’ll see.
We’re in the process of making my mum and dad’s place more secure and getting them an alarm system for emergencies. Hopefully all these things will combine to make dad’s final days less stressful. I just hope the stress of fitting them all in doesn’t do more damage.