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I've REALLY been working on learning to detach from Dad's drama, but still struggle not to worry when I have strange conversations with him. I had a missed call from his room at 1:25 AM, and I didn't physically respond to it like normal, but emotionally these always tear me apart. I can't help thinking "What's wrong... is this THE call," etc. Anywho, when I called Dad this morning, he started talking about how he spilled some pills on the bathroom floor last night, but he picked them up and took them, and now he feels better. I tried not to get worried, but I did because I can't tell if this is dementia talking or if he may have some pills in his room that we don't know about. I made the mistake of trying to investigate by asking where he got the pills, what they looked like, etc. BAD MOVE, it just made him agitated because he didn't know the answer. When I saw that trying to get clarification from him was like pulling teeth, I called his Hospice nurse to inform him of the situation as well as the AL staff just to give them a heads up, but now my workday is completely ruined. My hands are shaking as I type this because I am SO worried. I'm also angry. WHY does this have to be so hard? Why can't Dad's freaking brain work? Why is Dad suffering? Why am I suffering because Dad is suffering? And the meanest internal question of all... How much longer is this going to go on? So... does anyone have any tips on how I can NOT be as effected by these "dementia" calls? ...and yes, we have considered taking the phone out of his room, but Dad's old fishing buddy calls him quite frequently, and we want to keep the line open for that.

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Thanks everyone. Of course, Dad completely forgot about the whole incident within a few hours.

I'm working on not feeling guilty about the "SHOULDS". I recognize that I'm doing more than most, but sometimes can't shake that I'm still the bad daughter for not caring for Dad on my own or having the patience to do it.

This week, I've been doing the "check in" call on my way home from work to keep my anxiety down and focus up. However, I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that on the days that he's in his room more (Wednesdays and Fridays).

As for the fishing buddy, he's 6 hours away and not in the best health himself, so all he can do is call.

...and just hearing that I can't control when the END happens or whether I will be there or not really resonated with me. I just don't want him to suffer. Seeing Daddy so out of breath breaks my heart (when I'm not inwardly screaming at him for smoking so long despite his doctor's warnings).

...one day at a time...
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Tiny, you can't help worrying. But, you have to consider that most dementia patients are pretty unreliable reporters.

The first time mom announced that she'd been told she had leprosy, we all panicked. Also when she told us about the terrible floods in the facility. And how it had been sold, again.

We learned to say " I'll look into that mom" and check with staff.

Staff is there for a reason.
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Tinyblu, you are doing all you can for your dad, and more than you should. Rely more on the staff at his facility. You know if Dad took a bunch of pills, he’d probably be in the ER. I think I mentioned before that my mom had fantastic delusions that she firmly, 100% believed were real.

If I hadn’t turned my phone off at night, I never would have gotten any sleep. Mom had her days and nights switched. I did finally pull her phone. She passed at 3:30 AM. My phone was off and I didn’t get the news until 7AM. But, when she died, she was nearly comatose, had stopped eating and was just a shell. She would not have known I was there. I showed her how much I loved her while she was still alive by handling all her affairs and before that, being at her beck and call.

Can Dad’s fishing buddy come visit him instead of calling?

Peace to you, Tinyblu. You deserve it.
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Tinyblu, when my Dad started to venture off in his brain back to the 1940's, at first it really rattled me. Then I learned to just go along with his stories. That way it doesn't upset Dad thinking his mind is off kilter.... but for me, it really did rattle me, yep the hand shakes while typing, I know that well.

For your Dad, being that he is in Assisted Living, he wouldn't have any pills, not even aspirin, in his room. So this was all a dream, even though it felt so real to him.
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I don't know if you can just turn the worry off. This is your father. He is dying. I assume that you are not worried that he will die. That is happening. And if it doesn't happen soon, it will still definitely happen..

So I suppose what we worry about is whether we will be with him when the time comes, whether there are some things left unresolved in our relationship, whether he is in pain, and especially that there is so little we can do for him at this time.

Don't be hard on yourself for worrying. That seems perfectly nature. Please do not add guilt feelings to this worry. None of this is your fault! Take the best care of yourself that you can, including some relaxing, and that will put you in the best state to cope and to continue to relate to Dad.
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My Mom was allowed no medication in her room. I would have them check first. Hospice Nurses are not there everyday. Or r u talking about the aide they send in. Even so, aides are not there all the time either.
Yes, Dad could have dreamt that this. Reality, TV and dreams all become one. The person can no longer differentiate between the three. Mom told me one day that Dick Van Dyke (Diagnosis Murder) wanted to talk to me. She was screaming one day the house was on fire. She had been watching Emergency. I am so glad Mom didn't have a phone. She had forgotten how to use it.
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