In the End, There is Tea

The past few months have been hard and stressful in so many ways, I can't count. I'm also leery of sharing too many details because of privacy. But I will say that, this week, my father went into an assisted care home so he can remain safe and comfortable while he lives with dementia. I am amazed at how quickly this has come on, although if I'm honest with myself, the signs had been building for a while. Still, back at Christmas, my father was well enough to drive over to have breakfast with us. Now I'm paying all his bills, and he's never driving again.

And while it's hard to admit, we have been very, very lucky these past four months. We were warned by a friend who had to deal with a similar situation before to secure a Power of Attorney while my father was capable of giving it, because (for obvious reasons) it becomes a lot, lot harder once someone progresses to the point where they can't give it. Then he had a stroke which we caught and called the ambulance on early thanks to Wayfinder's quick thinking. Then we had another need for hospitalization that occurred while we were at a follow-up appointment in a hospital. That routed my father to a hospital that he wouldn't normally have been sent to, and they recommended an assisted care facility that wouldn't normally have been on our radar. And thanks to our healthcare system, these multiple hospital interventions have cost us almost nothing out-of-pocket. A pox on any politician that tries to take that away from us (and should that send you to hospital, may you receive as good quality of care as you intend for the rest of us).

Best of all, my father accepted this. We'd been worried that this would be a terrible fight. But after being told by a doctor that he had dementia, he agreed to assisted care, and now he is safe and cared for, receiving three meals a day and laundry service, medicine reminders, just steps away from the help of qualified nurses should he need it. It is a tremendous load off our shoulders that had been pressing us flat for weeks.

But it's still a time of change. We now have a house we have to settle, bills to pay, services to shift or delete. A lot of work is ahead, and although it comes with less stress and deadlines, it's still a melancholy task.

However, I'm still visiting my father -- this time in his private room -- and we share a tea every second evening. We've been doing that for a while, since my mother passed away, and that's not going to change anytime soon. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, give thanks for these quiet moments of relative normalacy. Be thankful that, in the end, there is tea.

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