Toil and Trouble – Worries about Dad Double

I thought the worst was behind me but I had no clue how things would go once Dad was placed in a memory care facility where he would finally get 24/7 care. See my previous blog: What to do for Dad?

Lots of meetings with staff, and trying to solve all of Dad’s adjustment issues have been so much work and worry since his placement. I am satisfied that it is a good place, with good intentions and that Dad just has to accept his fate and transition in.  

Dad kept his phone and he uses it approximately 15 times a day to call me. I am also going there as often as possible.

First issue solved was his evening protocol being followed and making sure caretakers were doing the washing and undressing, etc. I wanted to make sure he knew them by name and they knew him. 

Second issue was the TV service. Gary did the following this past week to get Dad Astros games: (this could be a husband follies blog but I cannot summon up a teasing tone with all the work involved)

1. Gary discovered WI-FI was involved for the TV service. Dad did not have a smart TV with apps.

2. Gary went out and bought a smart tv, hauled it in, set it up and hauled his old tv back to us

3. Gary signed up for the MLB package($600 spent this far)

4. Gary connected Dad to our YouTube TV account

5. Gary found out MLB blacks out Astros. Only available on two other subscription services.

6. Gary returns new tv- Dad doesn’t need a smart tv for the subscription we had to order

7. Gary hauls back Dad’s old TV and sets it up, pays for new streaming service and sets it up on a Roku device

8. We suspend current service and sign up for family package for one of the two that gets Astros games.

9. Gary calls and cancels MLB package.

10. Dad unable to use dual remotes or figure them out

11. Gary has to train caregivers to help Dad with remote

12. Dad gets Astros game yesterday and today

13. Dad not happy today because other guys wanted to watch Astros in his room (word got out quick) and Dad wanted to nap after two hours of the game

The above is a true story. 

The other biggest complaint is food. Dad is used to choices on a menu like a restaurant at his independent living place. He does not like not having a choice and institution-type food. Food is his whole world.
“Arlene, this place isn’t for me. The food is terrible. I want steak and salad.” 

I promised and I followed through on bringing in from his favorite restaurants a few times a week if he behaved.

He has made a few friends but calls when he feels lonely or frightened or disgruntled. I am going to be his most unfavorite person soon as I make him stay there.

They are trying hard for Dad and it is a decent, clean place.

When I visited today (during my Drew’s nap while Gary stayed behind as we were Bubbie-sitting for the weekend) and brought him one of his favorite restaurant dishes, he was eating with a friend and seemed fine and happy. He said they had the Astros tuned in to watch after lunch. I left there singing Hallelujah- but then the phone calls started midway through the baseball game.

My wise friend Dina who is an RN and gone through this with her in-laws told me to block incoming calls – and just call him a few times a week. After years there- her in-laws still are not happy at theirs. (my original first choice). 
I guess I have to come to acceptance that Dad may never be happy about this change. He had 95 years to eat what he wanted, and do what he wanted, but his freedom of choice is over. He may never accept that. 

He is manipulating me like my toddlers do as they know I am a soft touch. (and he is like having an adult toddler but less capable).
Yet, the more Gary and I have been there with him, we have realized he is less capable than ever of any self care and needs 24/7 care more than ever. 

So Dad is safe, cared for, and that is the best I can do now. We will visit him (all of my family including toddlers) regularly and hope he doesn’t suffer. We are monitoring. 

Exhausted here on my end. Just mind and brain over-loaded exhausted. Hope my friends show some patience for me as I have already forgotten a few plans made. I will try to rally and become myself doing my birthday month and planned festivities. My friends call me Superwoman but I think the gift I am giving myself this year is hanging up that cape.

Oh by the way-your birthday gift to me would be perfect if you purchased my new book – available at Amazon on this link- it’s a great read and you will find it a gift to you – for only $14.99!


  • Gloria Etnire

    Arlene, I love reading what you write. I’m not on any kind of blog’s, not even sure what they are . Just read about your dad. 95 is amazing. It’s hard being old and can’t make your own decision’s. Happy he has you and your husband and family. Went thru same with my mom. She was a stroke victim, 6 months after she retired. Lost her in 1992, she was 78. I just ordered your Hot Flash book from Amazon. Looking forward to reading it. I miss you from sing a long. Still participating and still can’t sing, but I enjoy it. Was looking forward to cruise and meeting you but we cancelled due to Fred’s health. Maybe one day. Keep writing and smiling.

    • Hi Gloria, I did not see this until I wrote to you today to share my book link. Now I see you’ve ordered. I miss you too. SOOO busy with book but I will return to sing-along.
      Sending hugs and THANKS! Arlene

  • Love you . Sending support vibes. Your book is an extraordinary example of stress relief through sharing.

  • My dad, of blessed memory, called my sister who was on the bench at the time to tell her his coffee was cold and it was a disgrace. Hang in there.

  • Midge Wische

    I know u to be strong & not allow yourself to be manipulated. Your Dad will never be satisfied with the food. Thank goodness he loves ur cooking. Gary is a treasure; u are a role model. Stay the course! Patience! Read some Sondheim! Admiration from so many should bouy u.

  • Leigh Rheuban

    Your Dad is fortunate to have you guys….the tv issue is great that he can see what he wants..i know this is frustrating…

  • Sherry Lassin

    The back and forth about Gary and the TV was really funny. I feel really bad for your dad that he has no choices whatsoever when it comes to his meals.

  • Wow, Arlene!! My mother is heading for memory care very soon, so this was helpful to read. It’s heartbreaking to see them get this way. Hang in there!! You’re a wonderful daughter!!

  • JOANIE murland

    My heart goes out to you and your husband. Your love runs DEEP ❤️ and it’s only normal for you to agonize over your Dad’s well being and his happiness during the ever changing pivotal years. It’s heart wrenching to go against your Dad’s wishes vs what is BEST for him. Although my parent’s died young, I feel relieved that I did not have to make these excruciating decisions. I watched my Dad suffer and vegetate from cancer. That was unspeakable pain. It is not natural to see our parent’s lose any semblance of independence; it’s painful to see. Continue your plan of frequent visitations from you snd the great grands especially!! Try not to kill your self on food deliveries. Know that he is being fed nutritious meals. Maybe a portable refrigerator and a small microwave will suffice. The more you do, the more he will expect. Like you said, he is an adult toddler. They only think of themselves. Just like you did as a mother, you will definitely have to set boundaries for you and Dad. You
    have a life. Don’t stop reveling in what makes you happy. Making Dad happy might be the impossible dream. You’re superwoman! Don’t turn in your title too soon. Continue being the living daughter that you are. Please don’t block his calls; just don’t answer all of them. Do what’s good for you as you are loved by many and must take care of YOU

    • Your response was so heartwarming and just the tonic I needed to salve my soul – thank you so much for taking the time to write all of this to me. It is SO appreciated! Arlene

  • Sorry you are going through this. It is very hard to watch and know that nothing you do will be right in their eyes. We beat ourselves up no matter what is said or done. Their freedom to do what they want and how they want when taken away is hard on them. Hang in there, it may get worse. Just keep talking to people and let out your frustrations to them and not you Dad. I know it is very difficult. Take care and love you lots.

  • Anita G Mattis

    Where did you end up placing your dad? I am looking for some options. Thanks.

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