Well, it's been 4 days now since Dad left. Brother has visited once and Sister a couple of times. They say he is settling in well and talking to the other residents.
The Washington Post newspaper had a good series of articles about elder dementia. Things like (paraphrased) my elderly mother said she saw giraffes in the yard and when we suggested maybe she saw some deer, said I know what giraffes look like. Then they pointed out that asking detailed question sometimes helps the false memory fade quickly. Like "which way were they going, what were they eating, etc". Not "no. you didn't see any giraffes". Which is what I was doing. I sure wish I'd known that a few months ago.
But one of the articles was about a lady visiting her elder mom and the Mom recognized her name and even introduced her to some other residents by full name and even nickname, whish reassured the daughter that she was recognized. They went outside and were joined by another resident. They talked awhile and the daughter got up to look at the flowers. She overheard the other resident ask her mom who she (daughter) was. The mom said "some lady from church".
That's when you know it really doesn't matter if you don't visit anymore...
The lady in the article mentioned that if your elder has a bad hip, the Dr hands you a pamphlet; if your elder needs a walker, they hand you a pamphlet; but if your elder is demented, they don't have a pamphlet. She said she sure could have used a pamphlet! I sure could have used a pamphlet too. But you all helped, and there WAS the internet for some research. Your help mattered more.
So when Sister visited Dad yesterday and she mentioned how I had provided his favorite snacks and such, and he couldn't remember being here, I wasn't completely caught by surprise. I thought it might be a month before he forgot being here, but 4 days? Wow.
I don't think there is any need for me to visit Dad in the future. I don't mean it as annoyed that he doesn't remember me, I just recognize that his memory of his time here (and me) is out of his memory now and that it is a natural progression of his dementia. His life will be moment-to-moment from here on out to his end. I accept that and it does not make me feel badly about him or myself. I am just glad that we got him into professional care at literally the Exact Right Day. There is something to be said for the random events in the universe acting in your favor occasionally.
OK, well, with all that past, I had a good day in the yard! But I think I will save that for tomorrow. I'll just end this with pictures of Dad...
His place in FL, completely forgotten after a few months.
I guess I'm pretty much saying goodbye to him now. If I visited him now, he would probably think I was "some guy from the hardware store" and I probably don't need to drive 90 miles to hear that. I will love him as he was years ago, and with the best parts of the last year when his memory temporarily worked, and the memory that I did my part in his final year or so. I have formally passed Dad off to the care of Sister and the assisted living care facility.
Sister will let me know how his days go and when his final days approach. I will be there at the end if there is at least 2 hours notice. I expect that, one of these days, he simply won't wake up. That's sure not the worst way to go.
Tomorrow, I get back to reporting on yard and house projects, and I'm already on my way! I got some good things done today and will report on them tomorrow.