Trying to hold on to Dad

In many ways, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be like tending to a toddler going through the “terrible two’s.” The caregiver has to keep track of them at all times, 24/7, because you never know what they might get into next.

Recently, in the town where my mom now resides alone, a man who had Alzheimer’s wandered off while his wife, his primary caregiver, was getting a shower. He ended up getting caught in debris in a ravine and died of exposure. I always feared my dad would end up like this when he still lived at home.

I took the photo seen here for a a MedicAlert device I bought for dad that had GPS built in so it could track a wandering Alzheimer’s patient. You can see the confusion, that constant state of being startled, that my dad was going through at the time. He was beginning to wander and it scared my mom to death. But shortly after getting the device, and before even having time to try it out on dad, he suffered a physical health crisis that landed him in the hospital for two weeks to have a kidney stone removed.

Following the hospital stay, he went to live in an an assisted living facility that had a secure dementia ward. We didn’t have to worry about him wandering anymore, but he also never returned home.


Filed under Memories

2 responses to “Trying to hold on to Dad

  1. FundeMental

    My F i L has starting getting lost and just this week forgot (within a hour) that I was going to take him to his Doctors appointment, so he set off before I got to him in the ice, snow and dark with his walking stick! It’s terrifying.

  2. It is a difficult and frightening phase that many with dementia go through. In fact, in the town where my parents retired, a man with Alzheimer’s wandered off while his wife was taking a shower. He got trapped by some debris in a ravine and died of exposure. So sad.

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