And so much has happened…
I had to wave the white flag. I simply could not bear dealing with the gormless bureaucrats at My Aged Care. I had a difficult conversation with Dear Old Dad, and he agreed that it was time to move to
a Nursing Home an Aged Care Facility.
Having investigated about 10 different places for residential respite for a holiday I was taking with my sister, I accidentally fell upon a relatively new ACF near the city, which also took respite care people in. It was not yet 12 months old – beautifully appointed rooms, some of which large enough to accommodate a desk, lots of lounge and common areas, lovely outlook. All of this of course is just ‘frosting’, as we discovered when he first went in for respite. I was in the UK with my sister – and every day woke to a message that the paper had not arrived that day. This was a combination of ineptitude by Queensland Newspapers, the newsagent and the ACF. DOD has his routine. At 96 (now 97) he is entitled to that routine. He can cope with regimented meal times, but woe betide his paper not being delivered before breakfast. There is the cryptic crossword and Sudoku to be done before breakfast, along with the latest news to be read.
Anyhow – he stayed on, coming home for a week, then returning permanently. It was not easy by any stretch, but he accepted it and went willingly. The facility is practically perfect in every way. Five minutes from his church; close to the city, enabling lots of visitors, room for his desk. There is a shopping centre just a lift ride away, so that if he needs something I can go to the chemist, grocery store, wine merchant (that is mainly for me to be fair). It is only 15 minutes from the airport so even if my siblings are just passing through, they can manage a trip to see him. If they are staying in the city, it is easy to visit. However, most importantly:
- there is excellent nursing care (that pesky ulcer has healed – happy days)
- the staff are lovely and helpful
- the food is generally good (can’t please all the people all the time)
- administrative issues are dealt with
Oscar the Prince of Cats is now living with me, and while it took a few months, is settled,
getting on with tolerating his brother George, and giving my dog a wide berth.
Of course, I am still ‘Looking After Dad’ but in a different way. I am more daughter than carer and have had time to develop a love (well, enjoyment) of scrabble. He wins, usually, but that is not unusual. He has not found a ‘worthy’ scrabble opponent at the facility yet. My visits are not flying ones but I have time to just spend with him and enjoy each others’ company.
That is not to say that it has been all smooth sailing – the house had to be sold and most of his possessions disposed of, which was a stressful time for all involved.
He is happy and settled in his new home – and we are all very grateful for his resilience and acceptance. Here he is playing cribbage with his brother, visiting from the UK.