I just realized yesterday that my father is laying one heck of a guilt trip on me. All this time, he's been telling me how unhappy he is, how he just wants to go home, the food is horrible, this place is horrible, you get the idea...
On my way up to his room yesterday, one of his CNAs got on the elevator with me and began telling me how great he's doing - participating in activities, going to the dayroom, playing dominoes with others, interacting and engaging with other people! When I get to his floor, I see him out in the dayroom, playing dominoes and seeming to be enjoying himself UNTIL he sees that I am there. Almost immediately I see his attitude change, he starts getting pissy with his playing partner and with me. So I take him downstairs to see my uncle and within two minutes, he's saying he wants to go back upstairs. As we are going to and fro, he's telling me how much he hates this place, etc. By this time I've realized what he is doing and I start to become a little detached and when he clams up and won't pay attention to me, I decide it's time to go. So, as I'm leaving, I run into another CNA and she begins telling me the same thing - about how he's engaging and going to activities...and it really begins to sink in that he's putting a guilt trip on me because he knows how I feel about him being there. I am the one that cries when it's time to go cause I don't want to leave my father someplace he's not happy.
So as this realization came to me, I begin to get angered that he is taking advantage of me like this! So do I say something about it to him or just let it ride and just keep in mind what he's doing? I feel so stupid for not seeing this earlier!
I guess we're all doing the best we can, huh?
But thank you all for coming to my aid, it means a lot to have such a group care enough to explain things to me in this new world I'm dealing with.
Try accept the situation you can't change it. Try to change your thought patterns. You know his ok safe and engaging with others, this is all positive. Put your hard hat on, take the guilt trips on visits them put them into a virtual bin in your head when you leave and get on with your life.
I have been dragged down by my mother's manipulation for years and now I'm seriously ill. I wish I could have changed the way I dealt with it and let it affect my health a lot sooner.
Good luck x
We do what we have to. He is 83. Why is there more Dementia? Because people are living longer. When I graduated 50 yrs ago the life expectancy was 65 to 70. Its now Seniors caring for Seniors. In ur situation, u probably work.
You did the right thing. I heard an aide say "they brought him too late". This was concerning a man who was brought to the AL in his later stage of Dementia. All he wanted to do was get out. Maybe if they had placed him in an earlier stage, he would have adjusted and as he worsened more likely to except the place as home.
In a perfect world it would be nice to have a parent in our homes. TV always pictured people with senility as just sitting quietly. Where in reality, they have to be watched like a child. Bathed, toileted, and messes cleaned up. Always on ur toes. The minute u sit down, ur needed for something. It takes a special person to caregive. I was not one of them.
But I am so glad that you have!
I doubt if your father is consciously or deliberately doing anything to make you feel bad. Maybe, I don't know, the two of you got into a sort of negative feedback loop - your caring about him is important to him, he gives you these little yelps of dissatisfaction, you respond, he continues the yelps. But actually - he's fine! He just wouldn't want you to think he no longer needs you at all, or that he hasn't noticed that *you* have anxieties about how he's doing; and of course he can't admit that you and everyone else were right all along, and he was wrong, and he should have made this move years ago..!
Say nothing to him, just nod and smile or look concerned, as applicable, and be glad to know that (at least when you're not looking) he is thriving. It's all good!
I wouldn't bring it up as the conversation probably won't get you anywhere and it'd be just a circle of frustration for you both. The important thing is that he is happy there...when you're not there to trigger his petty side (we all have that side). More than the aides telling you he's happy, you have witnessed it for yourself.