Mom and I decided the other day that we were going to cut down on the nursing home visits. Today would be the first day we didn't go to see Daddy. Then at about 10:15 I got a call from one of the nurses. She told me that Daddy had been combative during the morning and had struck out at her. (She assured me that this happens with dementia patients all the time, though I felt bad that it happened with Daddy). This is the second time this has happened in about a week. Last Sunday evening we got a call about the same thing and we headed over there to sit with him for a few hours because the evening nurse thought it might help calm him down. It did, but we obviously can't run to the nursing home every time something like this happens. The nurse this morning told me that they ended up giving him some medication and had him stretched out on his bed to hopefully sleep. She didn't think it would be a good idea for my Mom to see him like this and was relieved when I told her we hadn't planned to come for a visit today.
This type of thing has never happened with Dad before. While he was still at home he would occasionally become agitated and shake his fists when he was unable to get a thought out, or would get irritated about something. But for the last week or so he has become noticeably more irritated and grouchy.
I apologized to the nurse (a really great girl) but she brushed it aside, saying that this is just a part of certain types of dementia, and told her to call me if she needed anything. I told her that I really didn't know what was going on with Daddy, that he'd never done this type of thing before, and that I didn't know if something was bothering him or if it was just the progression of the dementia. She felt that it is just his dementia progressing, that individuals get this way as they go along, and that she was afraid of him hurting himself, not someone else.
This is distressing. I'm not sure whether I should burden my Mom with this, as the nurse didn't seem to want to. But it just hurts very deep inside me that Dad is going through this. Yesterday when we visited he didn't want to talk, was very restless, sat staring into space with no expression on his face, told Mom to leave him alone when she rubbed his shoulder, didn't want the hospice aide to shower him.
Is anyone else going through this with their loved one? I'd really like to know that we're not the only ones going through this (though I know we're not). Things just seem to be piling up at a more rapid rate suddenly. Its difficult to know which way to turn and what to do....