Dad's health is declining, and he's a heavy smoker. We are not sure what to do anymore.
Dad lives in a retirement facility. He does no cleaning and leaves soiled diapers, dirty dishes, cigarette butts around. My sister and I had the place thoroughly cleaned recently so we could set up to have the housekeeping staff come 2X/week to do light cleaning, but the apartment stinks so badly of cigarettes even after the cleaning that the staff are refusing to come.
He is starting to confuse his medications so we set up for staff to come daily and help with his meds, but even those people are refusing to come now due to the smell.
The other day, Dad left all 4 gas burners on his stove on overnight so the facility unhooked the stove. He doesn't know how to use the microwave though we've taught him many times, and refuses to get a hot plate because he thinks they’ll hook up the stove again. He has always had a bit of an anorexic mindset, but now he is hardly eating anything. He says he still goes to the dinner at the facility, but other than that one meal I think he is eating a few cookies a day.
He is not washing himself much, which adds to the unpleasant smells. He is good about wearing his diapers and telling me when I need to re-order them.
But he is at the point where it would be nice to have people wash him and have all meals prepared for him. The place he is now is 25 minutes from my sister and husband and I and we all work more than 40 hour weeks and have families. We would love to move him to an assisted living place closer to us so we could spend more time with him (now each of us picks him up ~1x/week) but so far he is adamantly opposed to moving. But if he has to move to assisted living anyway….?
I know how devastating it can be for a person with dementia to move but I don’t know what else we can do as we can’t get help to go in his apartment. It truly stinks to high heaven and in one way I don’t blame them, on the other hand aren’t we paying them to deal with disgusting situations?
If he goes to assisted living in his current facility I’m sure they don’t allow smoking, and I guess we could just not take him to buy cigarettes but something tells me he’d find a way to get them, smoke them in his new apartment, and get thrown out.
I’ll confess, I took Dad shopping today and did all this stuff for him, and when I got back from getting him food and found him smoking in my car, when he knows that is absolutely forbidden, I unloaded on him. I’ve been begging him since I was 10 years old to stop smoking. When my beloved mom was dying of COPD and could no longer leave the house his idea of chivalry was to bring her cigarettes. She told me many times that if Dad didn’t get her smokes, she’d quit because she’d have no choice. I firmly believe she’d have lasted a few more years without that and that dad’s addiction killed her. So I’m kind of out of patience.
One last thing. I feel terribly guilty for moving my dad from the apartment he shared with my mom in the city he loved, to this retirement place in the state where my sister and I live. So I don’t want to force him to move again, even though I think he'd prefer living closer to us once he was used to it. If he ever got used to it.
Thanks for letting me vent.