HELP! I don't speak dementia.
So, as typical with dementia patients, my Dad gets easily confused and exaggerates / makes up things in his head. I can't tell you how much time, energy and money I've wasted on a wild goose chase on something he THINKS is happening. His most recent meltdown is over his portable oxygen concentrator that he wears to the Adult Day Center three days a week. According to him, it shuts off before he arrives to the center (a 20 minute drive at most). IF that is the case, it could be that it's not charging properly at night. He INSISTS on plugging the unit in himself, and with his sight (legally blind) and the dementia. It could very well be an issue of him not plugging it in properly. I've asked him to have his favorite nurse check the machine (waste of time to ask him anything) and I've placed a sign ON HIS DOOR asking the staff to verify that his concentrator and motorized scooter are plugged in when they give him his PM meds. I have no idea if this is happening, and they have shared with me that he won't let them plug it in. He wants to do it himself. So... if that's the case, he's getting in his own way (again). I called the Adult Day Center and they said that his machine is working fine when he arrives, so it could just be that Dad doesn't FEEL the machine working and assumes that it has shut off, but this causes a LOT of problems. He gets upset thinking that the machine isn't working which exacerbates his breathing even more. Then comes the repetition. He calls and calls about it and I just want to tell him to let it go. There's no way to tactfully say... it's in your head, but I think it is. However, if it's NOT in his head, this could be serious because it IS oxygen. I've tried to call the ALF staff myself just to get them to run up and check the machine, but 1) It's hard to get through at night and 2) I'm getting in trouble at my second job for being on the phone trying to handle this. I hear the advice loud and clear that Dad may be at NH stage, but I'm not so sure. They say he is a "highly functioning" dementia patient, and compared to what I've seen in NH's, Dad is not THAT sick. Besides, I can't afford NH's or a Boarding Home (non Medicaid). I can barely afford where he is now. I think this all comes down to "I don't have the patience to deal with him" and it makes me feel AWFUL. I'm starting to HATE every single minute of this process which is pretty sad because I'm sure when the inevitable happens, I'll miss these times (at least that's what everyone tells me). Please tell me that I'm not the only one that sometimes just wants all of this to be over!!!