For close to two hours, my mom had stubbornly resisted our cajoling, pleading and arguing as we tried to get her out of the vehicle and into Villa Caritas, a geriatric psychiatric hospital and the only place in Edmonton that could handle her.
She has aggressive Alzheimer’s. And it’s a hard thing to admit, but like many Canadian families trying to care for older relatives, we reached the point where our family couldn’t handle the swearing, hitting and other behaviour anymore.
At Villa Caritas, the health-care team — a psychiatrist, nurse and orderly — were patiently standing by to admit my mom but it took the hospital’s security guard to convince her to get out of the car. I missed that because I was anxiously pacing and sobbing uncontrollably in the hospital’s foyer.
What kind of evil, terrible daughter was I?
My father had dementia and I was his caregiver. Here’s what I wish I had known
In 2007, I was suddenly plunged into the role of caregiver for my then 75-year-old father, who had vascular dementia. His short-term memory was...