Reflecting on Dad’s Move:
Its been four months since my dad moved into his new apartment, an independent living/extra care development, as described in my recent post.
The settling in period has been filled with anxiety, uncertainty and confusion, which has been upsetting at times, to say the least!
Dementia. . This has been the biggest cause of anxiety as my dad has not fully come to terms with this move and I wonder if he ever will. . .
Dad has good days when he talks about how lucky he feels to have been selected for a new apartment (being 1 of over 800 people who registered their interest and only 57 properties were available) However, there have been bad days when my dad has become confused about where he is, wanting to know when he’s going home. Sometimes he’ll look around and comment on how nice it is, but then say, “it’s not my home though” even when I point out all his familiar furniture and family pictures, I can see him trying to recognise them in his own way.
I knew it was important to make sure dad’s new place was kept as familiar as possible, setting out the lounge and the bedroom as it was in his previous home. He had the same bed, wardrobes and accessories in the same position in the bedroom, his lounge was set out as close as possible to what he was used to, with the armchairs and furniture in similar positions, hanging family pictures and placing lamps in similar places to his last home. As much as I have tried to keep dads place familiar with his belongings around him, sometimes it doesn’t seem to be enough.
It’s important for people with dementia to feel safe and secure and I wanted this to be the case with my dad. I want him to be happy here.
spend a lot of time worrying about my dad, worrying about this move, worrying about the impact it has had on my dad.
- Was it the right move?
- Is dad happy?
- Does dad understand where he is?
I know deep down that dad is a lot safer here, as he had started to struggle getting up and down the stairs in his previous home and he wasn’t a good candidate for a stairlift (after assessment) due to the dementia, but this is such a big change for a man who had been so independent and had never relied on anyone for anything.
He was the head of our family, he was the one we all went to for advice, he had all the answers, he was always there for us.
Now as a family we have to be there for him