It has been almost two years now since Dad has been at Mountain Valley, a rehab and skilled nursing facility. During that time I have tried numerous ways to make life easier or more pleasant for him. Often I have been successful. The best things have been his birthday parties and going out to eat. On the other hand, there are quite a few little things that have failed. Early on he found he was unable to see the TV; so I bought him a table-top radio with a cd player. I found he couldn’t see well enough to work the controls. In a short time he had knocked it off the table and broken it. After that I tried a small transistor radio that was a real gem. I got ear buds so that he could listen to anything without disturbing anybody. That failed quickly as well. He could never work the controls and then broke the antenna.
There is no need to attempt a recitation of the many other things I’ have tried, but this week I found another issue. Dad got a new upper plate in the past 30-45 days. He complained that they wouldn’t stay in properly while he was eating which made it difficult for him to eat. I bought him some Fixodent and have been using it each afternoon when I visit him. He had mentioned, however, that he didn’t know where it was kept; so he was unable to use it at other times when I was not there. I put it in his top drawer and, unfortunately, assumed that either a nurse or CNA would help him. Yesterday afternoon when I arrived, he reported that his teeth were hurting him, specifically the roof of his mouth. He wanted to take his teeth out, but I said we were going down to the dining hall and thought he should wait until after eating. When we got to the dining hall, he complained again and I took out his teeth. When I did, I discovered that there was an enormous amount of Fixodent in the roof of his mouth. It turns out that he had applied the Fixodent himself and got too much. After that he didn’t feel like eating; so he didn’t touch anything except the soup I had brought him.
About 15 minutes ago he called to say that the roof of his mouth was very sore and that he couldn’t even eat a banana that I had left with him yesterday.
The point of all this is to express the feeling that many times I (and I assume other caregivers) can’t win. In fact, Dad is like a bull in a china closet. He can break almost anything around him. He is regularly losing things and always blames the staff. I am sure the staff is sometimes to blame, especially in the loss of things like his teeth and cell phone. At least twice his cell phone has been taken to the laundry. The same with his upper plate. On the other hand, Dad in his condition is hard on things.