A Gentle Ambush

Today.  Alzheimer’s.

My father-in-law does not realize it, does not know what has been lost even though he has been told.  There is no explaining that can lead to comprehension when the mind can no longer do its job.

We moved back to Arizona for many reasons.  One of the big ones was to be closer to help my Husband’s dad.  And we have – bringing him food, taking him places, sorting our the financial tangle and clutter his life has become, making and attending doctor’s appointments – most of this additional responsibility falls to Husband.  I can not even start to describe how gracefully Husband has handled what is a heart wrenching situation.  He is a rock in the lives of so many people and I worry about him, the weight he must feel.

It is over due and has not been safe for a long time.  But he does not want to go.

Today.  In a gentle ambush, two people will arrive at his house and inform him that he needs some therapy.  They will take him to a house in a neighborhood, a place with staff and others.  A place he can be cared for, where he will be safe.

He has seen this house before when Husband and he visited several of these places – when he was willing to go.  He was excited about no longer having to making meals.  He talked about some of the other residents with interest.  But then he realized that he could not take everything with him.  We told him we would not change a thing about his house, it would still be there.  We would clean it and tend to it and he could go there with us whenever he wished.  He became stubborn.  No, he would not go.

Today.  He will go.  Or not.

And if he does not…

Then what?

Today.  Alzheimer’s.

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About shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
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14 Responses to A Gentle Ambush

  1. been there–it is a bad place to be–my thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband–hope things go smoothly

    • shoes says:

      Thank you. Yesterday there were glimmers of hope and he almost went, but then changed his mind at the last minute. There are plans for another try, another fabricated story to get him out of his house. If that doesn’t work there are not many happy choices moving forward.

  2. Kevin says:

    Best wishes for your situation there. My grandmother has Alzheimers and has been in a residential home now for 7 years, unable to speak properly or recognise anyone. It is a horrendous disease for all involved

    • shoes says:

      It is an awful disease, you are so right. I lost my dad from it almost three years ago. I am sorry to hear about your grandmother. Thank you for your well wishes.

  3. LivingsTheDream says:

    That’s so poignant; I feel for you, your husband and father-in-law. Good luck with the gentle ambush so that he can get the care needed x

    • shoes says:

      Thank you. Our first attempt did not work. There are fewer “happy” options as we move forward but we are going to give the gentle ambush approach another try before it comes to that.

  4. Sad…Hope it will turn best for you all! Take care!

  5. Beautifully written. Such a horribly difficult thing to go through (we went through a similar situation with my grandmother a few years ago). Sending hugs to all of you.

  6. Kris says:

    My grandfather had alzheimers… its such a rough disease. He didn’t go on his own. I’ll never forget the day he went… hugs to you.

    • shoes says:

      Kris – Thank you for your comment. It is truly an awful disease. With much deception and some medical help, we were able to get him to the home. He has been there three days and two nights (although time for him is confusing and I don’t think he really knows how long he has been there). He seems to like it but did insist on calling Husband today and left a message wanting to know when he is coming back for him and asking him why he left him there. My poor husband feels just horrible about it all.
      One day at a time…

  7. Heather W says:

    It’s so difficult, isn’t it? I am reading this some time after it was posted, so no doubt things have changed since then. I wish you all all the best.

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