Dad is 96, has dementia. Our father/daughter relationship has always been tense and so I have embarked on the most difficult, puzzling job I've ever experienced in being one of his two live-in, 24/7 caregivers since 2012 (my husband is Caregiver #2).
I have witnessed dad deteriorate by slow-slow-slow increments over the past 4 years and this is the worst he has been. He refuses to get out of bed no matter how he is coaxed. He will barely eat most days. We give him Pedialyte with 100% juice and water to drink, as that is all he will accept that will not further dehydrate him (he was a big coffee and Pepsi drinker).
Last month I came home from my part time job (I work 4:30am-noon 4 days a week & absolutely MUST, as my job covers health insurance coverage for my husband, daughter and myself) to find dad had ventured out of bed and fallen. There was dried blood clotted on his head and some blood in the area where he lay. Paramedics came, took him to the closest ER. Fifteen stitches in his head, 2 CT scans, 3 x-rays and 8 hours later he was released, sundowning and nearly impossible to manage.
Since then, his behavior has been as above: 22 hrs in bed, barely eating, barely drinking. It is an ordeal to get him out of the house for anything and fortunately we don't have the worry that he will wander. I discovered an agency, Visiting Physicians, that will make house calls and through the grace of God he qualifies for their care. I am waiting for their initial visit to our home as I write this.
I am burnt out, discouraged, filled with sadness and anger. And this is despite seeing a psychiatrist regularly, taking antidepressant meds, seeing a therapist biweekly for an hour session and belonging to a support group.
Is there anything, anything at all that one can do in this situation? I feel like I'm witnessing dad fade away by increments so painfully slow that my spirit is being taken away just as slowly.
Is there anyone who is in, or who has experienced this type of situation?