My visit with Dad

I spent much of the MLK, Jr weekend in Delaware, visiting Dad.  Cadbury is a lovely facility, and the staff seem very caring and capable.

I arrived mid-day on Saturday and stayed through lunch on Monday.  The first 2 days were tough on me – he didn’t seem to know who I was.  He seemed comfortable with me, and a couple of times called me Pat, his sister’s name, so at least I was a familiar face.  It just broke my heart a little that he didn’t recognize me or light up when I would walk in the room.  He was also very tired both days, dozing off frequently, so we had very little active interaction.  I took him out to the main dining room for dinner Saturday and brunch on Sunday, but it was difficult to keep him alert.

By Sunday afternoon, I was convinced that seeing him this way was too hard, and I wasn’t sure I could handle visiting again.  I even spent some time on my own Sunday afternoon and evening, shopping and taking myself out to dinner.

Fortunately, Monday was better!  He knew I was his daughter, called me by name several times, and was awake and engaged the whole morning.  Unfortunately, that made it very difficult to leave.  But I had a plane to catch, so I left promising him I would come back as soon as I could.

Although I can’t visit as often as I did when he was in Memphis, I will try to get there as often as I can afford to (airfare isn’t cheap!) and will cherish the time we do spend together.  Even if he does sleep through it.

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4 responses to “My visit with Dad

  1. It is a cruel matter to see our loved ones evaporate like this before our eyes. You are doing what you can. God and I will have a very heated discussion about this matter when the time comes, I assure you.

  2. Please remember you are not alone on this road! My father had dementia, I just came across this montessori blog http://www.countingcoconuts.blogspot.com she has “sensory tubs” and “smell jars” even though these are meant for children I think these are awesome and thought it would have been helpful for my dad, maybe your dad might like these and they might be helpful. Sending you a filled “hug bank” for whenever you need it 🙂 michelle

    • I love the idea of “smell jars” – they say that the sense of smell is most closely tied to memory! I can see having him sniff a jar and then tell me what it makes him think of. Food scents, perfume-y scents, wood chips, tobacco… I wish I lived closer – I could go do that this weekend! It will have to wait til I see him this summer. Thanks for stopping by, and for the “hug bank”! I will be making withdrawals as needed!

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