The long awaited visit was a bit of a wash.
Almost a week after i moved my so-sick darling to a different care home, and after glowing accounts of how well he was doing, well, the social visit today was … not good.
He had, according to the phone reports, been up on his own for 4 days! extraordinary, and usually that means he needs to sleep for many many hours, because it is exhausting for him. I would not have been surprised if he slept all day and night. I would have been very disappointed to not see him, but not surprised.
But the rec people said they saw him at lunch so he was up.
After some wait, a very unemotive efficient young guy delivered him to the visiting room. He was in a wheelchair, as all the visited were, legs sticking out and diaper (i copped a feel) kind of weird.
Mostly asleep, head hanging out of the back of the wheelchair badly, and then raving, …. gently…, out of it. Even for him who is to be honest, actually always out of it. There are degrees of out of it.
At one point threw back his head and sang, gloriously. Had a lot to say, between naps, but so disoriented.
Without being able to hold and hug him, caress him, i could not reassure him and slowly ground him.
Not to judge this place, because i have not been able to do this crucial body language mostly for months now, due to the Covid imprisonment of elders.
We always knew care homes had big problems, but who ever imagined society would happily make them into prisons, pretending it was for the elders’ good.
He knows me, or knew me 2 weeks ago, with body language and a full body hug. And then he had that glorious smile.
Not allowed in this new situation. Not allowed to stand up and walk around, and then when it is right, hug properly.
That is how we communicate in his particular dementia, walk around a bit until he centres (well, as he can), hold hands, and then hug, touch, love for few minute or two, until it all passes out of his memory again. Or does it?
And the, even more worrying, 3 messages on the ward answering machine, unanswered. Very frightening.
I think he likes this new place, answered Yes! loudly when i asked, but whether he understood is a conundrum.
Tonight, fearful, i wonder, What kind of mistake did i make? Or did i? Is there any good place for dementia?