I always knew the day would come when my Dad might have to move in with me. I had discussed the possibility with my now ex-wife and tried to prepare her for the day. My mistake was thinking that the day would happen gradually. My mistake was thinking that I would have months and months to plan the day.
It happened quickly because of a simple promise that you may have made to your own parent. Dad asked me to promise him that I would never put him into a facility of any kind. I promised.
In April of 2014, I got a phone call from a doctor in Colorado. He said he was treating Dad and they were going to put him into an assisted-living facility. He said that Dad insisted he call me. I told him about my promise and asked him to put Dad on the phone. Dad was crying when he said, “Vic, please come get me.” He asked me to not put him into the facility. I told the doctor I would leave for Colorado as quickly as possible and please do not put Dad into the facility. I left a few hours later and arrived in Palisade, Colorado about 13 hours later. We spent several days packing Dad’s house and selling items he didn’t need. A few days later, Dad and I were driving home with a U-Haul trailer behind my truck.
We spent the next several months learning how to be roommates. Learning how to respect each other as we are both adults. It was not unlike a new dating relationship in some ways. It was unlike any relationship ever in other ways.
I’m writing this blog to help you in your own path to become a caregiver. One of the first things I learned was how little information there was available to me about care giving. Soon after, I learned how much I needed an occasional respite. I needed time during the day when I could give all of my concentration to my business and know that someone else was looking after Dad.
These are my Caregiver Tales; I hope sharing them will help you in your own role as caregiver.