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My Age'd Parent (TW dementia) (Update)

My dad has always been forgetful. Absent minded. Distracted. Hard of hearing. A terrible driver. The past few years these thing have gotten worse. He’s having more and more short term memory problems. When we talk on the phone he keeps losing the word he’s thinking of, and not finding it, even for relatively common terms. He’s had several minor single car accidents. He’s scaled back the workload for his small business considerably because he knows he’s slowing down. Apparently he’s been missing doctor’s appointments to the degree that the doctor’s office called his brother and told them he NEEDED to bring my dad in for an appointment today. So they went. They did a CT scan and/or a Doppler and found that some of his arteries are occluded and those occlusions are restricting blood flow to his brain. The doctor forbade him to drive any more (thank god). None of this is a surprise for me. I’ve been expecting for the past few years to get a phone call from either the local hospital or the Highway Patrol saying that he’d had a stroke or been in an accident bad enough for 911 to be called. Except that today instead of getting an official call, I’m getting 3rd or 4th hand information from one of my cousins. The uncle who went to the doctor with him this morning has his “turn” to take care of my grandmother (who is sharp as a whip at age 94), so I can’t call him directly right away for more info. I will call my dad, but he’s not really what you’d call a “reliable narrator” right now. I don’t know if they’re considering catheterization for the deposits in his arteries, and I’m doubtful about the ability of the local hospital to perform that type of procedure anyways. My dad has had his small business for over 30 years, and even though he’s only working very part time, his customers are quite loyal to him. Sadly we’ll probably either have to close the business, or my brother will have to move home and take it over. Tomorrow night is supposed to be his “turn” to take care of my grandma, I’m not sure who is going to take his place. Oh, and my mostly-manic bipolar homeless aunt who is very nice but very undependable is living in his back yard. I’m not at all sure what to do about that. She lives in one of his old cars, and so far has refused to move in to his house, a homeless shelter, group home, or other supportive living environment. So there’s that. So yeah. I might just have to drop everything and fly to California this week and sort everything out. Whee!

(Update): Talked to my awesome uncle, who said my gossip cousin is blowing things out of proportion. They haven’t actually taken his drivers license yet, and he has an EEG, blood draw, and some other labs scheduled for July 1st. So, if they’re going to do a catheterization or stenting, it’ll probably be in July or August. I doubt it will actually improve his current cognitive function, but at least hopefully slow the progression down significantly.


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