Gary Hilbert | CaringBridge

Gary Hilbert Days with Dad

First post: 1/27/2017 Latest post: 3/22/2017
Welcome to our CaringBridge website.  During this latest  and most challenging  endeavor yet with dad, I've been thinking, and searching for something cathartic. A good friend of mine introduced me to this site and it seems fitting.   I will try my best to provide you with perspective and facts. Prayers are so appreciated and your support in even joining this site would mean the world to Dad.  


About Dad.  It was discovered years ago that he had been suffering from strokes to the brain.  A diagnosis of brain atrophy followed with Early Onset Dementia. His symptoms that we see now are those of a lost needy soul. I've referred to Alzheimer's.org for stages of loss in brain function and it seems to be spot on with what we have seen.  He has had care giving help at home , been a member of an Adult Day Care program, and had my mom being there for each grueling step. 


Significant changes were observed monthly and recently more weekly.   Predicting walking and balance would be problems, provisions were made from the VA hospital to secure safe options for him to be home. On Jan 20 this all changed.  After receiving his nightly cocktail of sleeping doses, when all was thought to be safe and secure for the night, he got up and walked about.  Roaming and eventually falling down two steps alarming my unsuspecting mom.  My brother Jeff was called and able to help him up. He looked no worse for the wear actually had a good night sleep and all seemed fine.  Saturday morning proved to be a different story. After some assessment from his caregiver and mom, they called an ambulance. Sedation helped him comply with X-ray directions and within an hour we had a diagnosis. Broken left hip bone needing 3 pins.  Surgery on Jan 22 went well.  I soon learned that dementia patients do not wake up quickly after anesthesia.  Days in Glenbrook Hopstial ensued with him still reeling out of it and us staying bedside to help facilitate communication and his comfort. We settled on a memory care unit with the ability to rehabilitate his walking.  For those of you reading this last sentence with feelings of experience of your own loved ones know that this is never easy.  It has its good and bad points. But we focus on good. Care and safety. Care and safety....


So this is my induction with you all on my Days with Dad. 

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