An Unusual Sunday


Last Sunday when I went to visit dad, I brought along some items for him.  I met dad in the lounge and told him I was there but that I would be putting some things in his room first before I sat down to visit with him.

I brought a grocery bag with me as I went to dad’s room.  I opened the door and was surprised to find a man in dad’s Lazy Boy chair.  I had seen him before in the halls and in the lunchroom but we never had talked.  This man is younger than most of the Assisted Living residents but has mobility issues.

He uses a motorized scooter/chair to get around.  He is also developmentally disabled and doesn’t usually have conversations with the other residents.  He can talk and I believe he lived independently for many years, but now has been at the same ALF as dad for at least a year or two.

I asked him why he was in dad’s chair and he said he didn’t know and then he tried to get up.  However, his motorized chair was in dad’s bedroom and I didn’t think he could stand up and walk over to it.  I have no idea how he got to dad’s chair.  I tried to move his motorized scooter to him but couldn’t figure how to get it turned on.  I almost tried to help him get up but realized I couldn’t because he was bigger and heavier than I.

Instead I went to the wellness center and asked for an aide to help him. One of the aides went to dad’s room and soon got him back into his scooter and he was independently coming out the door.

Unfortunately, as I approached the wellness center, dad was coming towards me with his walker.  He had decided to return to his room.  I told him to wait as I didn’t want him to go into his room with the walker while the other man was trying to get out on his scooter.

Dad was annoyed, but waited and soon we were able to enter his room.  Then dad settled down in his Lazy Boy but he made some comments about the other man.  The other man had a room about 2 doors down from dad’s, but apparently he just got confused and went into the wrong room.  Since each resident brings his own furniture, I’m surprised that he didn’t realize he was in the wrong room.

After that episode, dad settled down and soon we heard voices as my son and grandson approached.  They usually come to visit dad on Sundays and it was a good time for them to arrive.  Dad got distracted from his annoyance with the other man in his room, and my grandson was happy to talk and play.

After that we had a more normal visit and hopefully dad forgot about the stranger in his room.  My grandson chatted a lot and played with my iPad.  He has favorite apps he likes to use and dad just likes to watch my grandson play.

At the end of that visit, we walked with dad to the dining room for lunch as we usually do.  By the time I saw dad again 2 days later, dad didn’t mention anything about his unexpected visitor.  I am glad that dad is able to forget about some events so he won’t worry about them.

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About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and the primary caregiver for my father. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with others who are also trying to care for a family member and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues around the care of my father and the relationship with other family members.
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living Facility, Dementia, Elder Care, Eldercare and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to An Unusual Sunday

  1. boomer98053 says:

    It’s a double-edged sword, isn’t it? We want our loved one to have perfect memory/recall but when incidents occur where we hope our loved one will forget, we are rewarded with his/her forgetfulness. Can’t tell you how many times that occurred for my dad. Case in point: one time, or several times if I’m being honest, I would get impatient and/or frustrated and would raise my voice. (You and I both know that raising one’s voice doesn’t help in the least.) Anyway, in one particular instance, the next morning I apologized to dad for raising my voice and being impatient with him the night before. He had no idea what I was talking about. Rest in peace dad: October 13, 2007.

    • Yes, it is hard to be patient all the time when caring for an Alzheimer’s family member (or a child). It is good that these momentary lapses are usually forgotten. We need to not feel too guilty because we are doing a difficult job for ur family members.

      • boomer98053 says:

        And I ALWAYS felt so guilty, even when there was nothing about which to feel guilty. Sometimes, after coming home from a visit, I was inconsolable. My poor hubby was also doing a job-in-training, supporting me during my father’s dementia journey. We both succeeded – eventually.

      • The problem with guilt in these situations is that it doesn’t accomplish anything. Give yourself a pat on the back for the difficult job that you did.

  2. Terry says:

    not having a perfect memory can be a blessing. i often wish Al didn’t remember every single thing

  3. jmgoyder says:

    The man in the room next to Anthony’s does this all the time – very hard.

    • Yes, it was a bit disconcerting. Dad wasn’t very understanding either. I hope it doesn’t happen again. I have heard that wondering could be one reason to move a person from assisted living to memory care. I suspect that happened to dad’s former lady friend. I just hope he continues to remember which is his room and not go into others.

      Good luck with Anthony’s wondering “freind”.

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