Dad is 78. He has been divorced from my mom for 45 years, never remarried, and basically has lived alone ever since. He’s a nice guy but has never been social. Back in the day, a beer or 2 would help dad be more social and sometimes the life of the party, but those days are gone (although there are times I think both he and I could use a cold one!) For most of my life, my relationship with dad has been somewhat distant. I saw him on weekends growing up and then as a married adult, he’d come to visit my husband and I on a Saturday or Sunday every weekend.
Since January, dad has been in a LTC facility. He has bladder cancer that was diagnosed in January, and according to the ct scan 2 weeks ago, may have spread. Since January, I’ve been with dad just about every day. Most of the time I stay 3-4 hrs but it’s not that I have to - its more that I do it to keep him somewhat social and talking to someone! ME!
Every morning for the past 9 months dad calls me (sometimes 2 or 3 times) until I get there to see him. He doesn’t demand that I come.... he just beats around the bush and tries like heck to think of any reason under the sun to get me there. People tell me I go too much, but I feel so guilty - plus if I don’t go to visit him, he gets very anxious which usually spirals into confusion and just mayhem. It’s so sad and I feel terrible for him. How do I help him to feel comfortable when I’m not there so I can take off? (I’ve tried to ask them to get him involved in things but he refuses.) He constantly asks if I have any vacations planned because he’s already stressing about me leaving (I moved my daughter into college and then went back for parents weekend and he was a basket case). I can’t believe he’s like this now. My parents divorced 45 years ago and I only ever saw him on weekends growing up. He’s never been a dependent sort of person but now he’s like a kid that is thinking of every excuse to get his parents to come get him from summer camp! Ahhhhh! Help!