Should Dad Visit former Lady Friend with Memory Problems?


I hope you all had a very nice Thanksgiving yesterday.

When I visited dad for Thanksgiving he was dressed up and sitting in the lounge.  We went back to his room and talked for awhile.  He asked about Mary, the “Lady Friend” he had been with a lot in the last year, though not in the last few months.

Dad showed me a picture of Mary sitting with him that had been taken a few months ago.  He asked if I knew who she was and I said yes.  He asked me where she was because she has been gone from his living facility for over 2 months.

I told him Mary is living in another building now.  She is in a “Memory Care Center” because her family thought it would be better for her there.  He asked: “Can I see her?”  I told him I didn’t know.  I know her family was uncomfortable with the way she was getting familiar with the men in his facility.

And I know she tended to get the men upset because she would start with one and then move to sit by a different man.  I told dad I would have to ask the director if it was possible for him to go visit Mary.

Before I left yesterday I stopped at the aides office to ask about Mary.  They told me that Mary didn’t remember dad anymore.  She had come to visit one day because they had the pet visits scheduled.  Apparently she saw dad that day and didn’t remember who he was.  They said some residents do take the little facility van over to the Memory Care building to visit friends or family members and he might be able to do that.

They suggested I ask the director when I come in on a weekday.  (The administrative staff were not there on Thanksgiving nor were many others.)

So now I plan to talk to the director next week.   I am not sure whether it would be a good idea for dad to visit Mary or not.  If she doesn’t recognize him, how will that affect him?  If she has other male visitors, etc., how will that play out?  (Remember there was an incident  over Mary one day in the lounge when another male suitor threatened dad.)  See “An Incident Report – Assisted Living” for a historical account of this relationship.

I would appreciate any feedback from my readers.

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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, Caregiving, Companionship, Dementia, Eldercare, Friends, Lady Friend, relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Should Dad Visit former Lady Friend with Memory Problems?

  1. Terry says:

    It may be due to memory issues that your dad seeing her and she not remembering him will put a stop to the relationship

    • I guess I am afraid dad will be hurt, and/or forget and want to see her again and again. His memory isn’t great for recent events, but apparently better than hers. He keeps mom’s picture and “Mary’s” picture on a table by his bed, so apparently having her around brought him comfort. He still misses mom terribly too.

  2. SwittersB says:

    Seems problematic from either direction. If he persists in the weeks ahead it may have to be dealt with. But, doesn’t seem it will benefit either.

  3. JodiMelsness says:

    As a nurse, I think it would be appropriate to take your Dad over there one more time. If she doesn’t remember him again, then I would quit. She might be having a good day and it would be good for both of them. You know how memory comes and goes.
    If your Dad asked about her, I think its great he himself remembered, but I would assume the picture also triggers the memory.
    This disease is such that it also makes us questions what we should do. Just my two cents. Good luck and let us know.
    Jodi

    • Thanks Jodi, It is good to have suggestions from those of you with more experience than I have. I hadn’t thought about the picture being a trigger to the memory of his friend, but then I do often use pictures to help him retain other memories.

  4. jmgoyder says:

    I can’t see the harm but it would be awful for your dad to have his feelings hurt. I wonder what the director will suggest. Keep us posted.

  5. This is a tough one. I would start by talking with the Director who would have a better understanding of Mary’s current status. Good luck!

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