email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Friday, April 25, 2014

Dad's Birthday

Dad is 92 today.  He doesn't know it (he thinks he is over a 100 now).  I'm pretty sure he doesn't know who *I* am most times.  I sent him a hand made card.  And a letter.  About all I can do these days.

He moved in with me 2 years ago.  I was able to take care of him for a year.  It was good in some ways, not so good in others, but I did what I could.  It was the first time I took care of another person in that way.

I got used to making traditional meals (separate meats and standard vegetables every day precisely at 6 pm and sandwiches at Noon).  Going to bed at traditional times.  Watching traditional TV.  We watched more of his favorite old 1960's TV shows than I knew were available.  And he complained about THOSE!

It was horrible...  But it was only a year.  Still, it was a loooooong year.  I'm glad I did it.  Its the kind of thing you only have to do once (and should) and once is enough.  I wouldn't want to do it again though.  I hope you understand.

Dad was not too bad at first, but fell apart fast.  The first month, he could walk around the yard looking at the flowers and the garden.  The last month, he saw "things" in the yard and people wandering around in it and he wasn't sure where he was.  I know that, sometimes, he wasn't sure who *I* was. 

Today he is being cared for by professionals who guide him to his meals, get him in front of a TV, change his 'depends' and probably do more things for him than I want to know about. 

Happy Birthday Dad, where ever you think you are and whatever you can remember...  I hope you think that Mom is in the next room and you will be talking to her soon.  I can only hope you have some good memory of the day...


Megan said...

I hope his mind is in a pleasant place Mark.

Sydney, Australia

Katnip Lounge said...

Happy Birthday to your Dad, Mark...wherever he may be...Scott and I can relate.

Katie Isabella said...

I too hope his mind is in a pleasant place. He deserves that as does anyone in that position. Blessings.

Fuzzy Tales said...

Belated happy birthday to your dad.

I have a couple of co-workers whose parents have forms of and degrees of dementia, and my mom's hubby also does, though his isn't Alzheimer's but a slow mental (and physical) decline. He's at the point where he can't really be left alone for long, but isn't bad enough to require nursing care.

One of our TV stations did a full hour special on dementia over the weekend, profiling a village in the Netherlands and a "home" in Thailand that have quite a progressive and humane approach to care.

If you're interested, the link is here:

It's 45 minutes long, though.