Dad has dementia. Mom is very frail and has health issues but keeps track of Dad's needs very well. She still drives him to doctor visits, keeps on top of his meds, helps him with meal selection, tells him everything he needs to do with regard to hygiene, etc. He is completely dependent on her for these things.
The other day a caregiver saw an incident where it appeared to her that Dad was about to strike Mom. Dad and Mom had just gotten into the elevator to leave for an appointment when another resident appeared down the hall. Mom attempted to press the "open" button to give them time to get there, but Dad was very anxious that they would be late. He tried to press the "close" button, and in the tussle that followed, it appeared to the caregiver that he was going to strike Mom. Mom says that was not the case at all. For some background here, Dad has always had anger issues, and there have been a couple of incidences in the past year or so when he grabbed her arm because she was trying to do something he didn't like. He is on antidepressants and they've recently been adjusted (again) and he's been doing well recently. It is a situation that I monitor closely, however, because while he is high-functioning in many ways, with my mother's frailty and their interpersonal dynamics added to the mix - their situation could demand a change at any time. Mom knows this, but I think we all know that it is going to tear her apart when she is no longer able to take care of Dad.
I received a call from the retirement home after this happened telling me that I needed to either bring my father home with me that night or come and stay in my parents' little unit because they could not be allowed to stay there alone together. I was not able to do that. They ended up taking my father to the Alzheimer's section to spend the night which was terribly distressing for my mother. They scheduled a meeting for the very next morning to discuss my parents' situation in which I presented my case that my father was not such a danger to my mother as to warrant his removal from their apartment. The upshot of it was that my father was "released" and able to come back for the time being.
I am confused as to whose "responsibility" it is to protect my mother. The staff there claimed that they moved my father that night because they have a "responsibility". Had they been willing to talk with me on the phone, that drastic step of removing my father from their apartment that night could have been avoided. It was very traumatic for my mother. She feels they are trying to "get him" into the memory care section. She, of course, is trying very hard to keep him out. I always felt that ours was a collaborative effort, in which I would stay in touch with them and talk with Mom and make sure she was doing OK etc etc. But this "responsibility" talk by the retirement home makes me wonder who DOES get to make the final call. And I'm not sure I trust them after what happened the other night.