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?
She said she had something to tell me but that she was afraid. I reached for her trembling hand, telling her sweetly, naïvely, that it would be...