Both of my parents have dementia and are in memory care (as of last summer). As I have posted many times my family has pretty much turned their backs on them and me. As a result, I really do not look forward to holidays. Most of the higher functioning residents at the memory care get to go out for the day during most holidays. I do not take my parents out but instead go to the facility and visit them there. I have a lot of guilt about not taking them out but I am afraid I won’t be able to handle them both by myself. Yesterday I was the only family member there spending time at the memory care... all the other residents went out for the day or were left and had no family visiting.
Anyway, my brother is the only sibling (of the 3 ) who even bothers to occasionally call. He hadn’t called in over a month but will call for holidays. I brought my IMAC Pro laptop so that he could facetime with them. He decides to facetime in the car while he is going to look at some land that he is buying to build his retirement house on. So all kinds of talk about buying land, building a house, beautiful sunny day where my brother lives... cloudy here where we live. My brother speaks to my parents as if they do not have dementia... and it all sounds pretty good... my parents say ... wow.. is that a tree?, why are you buying land, where do you live now? I can feel the tension building as the conversation goes on... the picture is crystal clear on my IMAC… I know my brother is talking about things that are triggering my Dad (who is inexplicably having a very lucid day).
So when they hang up the call we are sitting outside and both parents start in on me. Why are we here? Why can’t we go with your brother? Does he know we are stuck in this place? Where are the keys to the car? Will our car make it to where my brother lives? Lets go! I want to buy land like that …. Etc etc etc. This is the hardest time I have had with them since they moved into memory care. I panicked and I just left and ran towards the door. I went out in the car and cried…. It hurts to know all the life they have sucked out of me and they think my brother will treat them better. I was the only family member that was willing to spend any time with them on Easter! My brother has no intention of them visiting… yet on the call he said.. come on down! I knew when the call was going on there was going to be trouble. There is a reason I only talk about certain things with them.. no major life events.
I want him to call them.. yet I don’t think I want to go through that again. He has called on facetime before and I didn’t get that result…. I think it was a combo of the IMAC PRO screen that looked very real time, my Dad having a very lucid day, and my brother cluelessly talking about buying this land, building this house.. look how beautiful it is out here in the country .. etc etc. It really really triggered both of them.. and they turned on me big time.
I just needed to vent and get it out… I guess this too shall pass. I am grateful at least they are in memory care and I could just leave when things got really hard.. I imagine how that would have gone if they still lived in their apartment.. ugh!