08:51 – Barbara had to leave work yesterday afternoon and head over to her parents’ apartment because her mom was very upset. Frances got over there in time to relieve Barbara so that Barbara could go to dinner with her friends as planned, albeit a little late. Barbara then headed back over to her parents’ apartment. She and Frances eventually got their mom calmed down enough for Barbara to come back home to spend the night. They have a sitter coming in to cover today and then Barbara has duty tonight and all day tomorrow.
Sankie’s main doctor tells them that it’s essential that Barbara’s mom and dad remain together rather than separating them and putting Sankie in a mental facility. I’m sure he’s right that that’s best for Sankie, but I’m afraid the stress on Barbara, Frances, and Dutch is going to be more than they can handle. From what Barbara has said of her mother’s behavior–confusion, sun-downing, paranoia, repeating things over and over and over, forgetting recent events while remembering those from years or decades ago, and so on–it’s pretty clear than Sankie is suffering from moderate senile dementia. That’s particularly bad because it means Sankie may not understand what Barbara and Frances are telling her, and even if she does she may well forget about it.
Barbara and Frances told their parents last night that they (Barbara and Frances) are both near the breaking point, that they (Barbara and Frances) can’t continue to do this day after day and night after night, and that it’s essential that their parents co-operate if they want to remain together at their apartment. They have hired a company’s services to put someone in the apartment with their parents during the day, but their parents are going to have to get along by themselves at night. If that works out, great. If it doesn’t, they’re going to have to move their mother to a mental care facility.
Barbara said she’d stay with her parents tonight and tomorrow night, with Frances on duty Saturday night and then Barbara again for Sunday night. After that, their parents would be on their own nights. If something happens at night, they have pull chains to summon someone from the facility to help them. They also have fell-and-can’t-get-up pendants that call 911 directly. I suggested to Barbara that she talk to Frances about making tonight the last night, and leaving their parents on their own from Friday night on. That way, if an early crisis is going to occur, it’d probably be over the weekend, when it’s easier for Barbara and Frances to deal with it.