While I was away, dad continually asked one of his companions to bring him a cat to keep him company. I told her to just tell him to discuss it with me when I got home. Before I even went home, I ordered Pete, the talking Parrot, online at that big book-toy-everything store. Pete is a toy parrot that repeats back anything you say. According to Bob DeMarco of the “Alzheimer’s Reading Room” , an Alzheimer’s patient was reported to enjoy talking to Pete.
Pete arrived at my house before I did. As I unpacked I determined I had to locate 4 batteries for Pete. I finally got the batteries installed in time to bring Pete with me when I visited dad on Sunday.
My son and his little son, George, were visiting dad when I arrived on Sunday. Dad asked what I had in the grocery bag. I pulled out Pete and turned on the switch. George loved Pete and laughed when he began to move his beak, flap his wings and speak. My son laughed as George laughed and dad was laughing too. It seemed that Pete was a big hit.
But soon I determined that Pete made conversation difficult. The repeated words that Pete spoke were muffled and there was some static. The bird seemed very noisy and dad couldn’t hear the conversation very well. After about 20 minutes, I turned off the switch so we could talk amongst ourselves.
George soon got bored. He liked to be the center of attention in the lounge of the Assisted Living Facility. He didn’t like it as well when grandpa was in his room when they got there. Within 30 minutes, George wanted to go home. I was left with Grandpa and Pete the parrot. By then, Pete had lost his allure.
Dad hasn’t asked me for a cat yet since I got home. But when he does, I can see that Pete would not make a good substitute. Today when I visited dad, I didn’t notice Pete on the end table where I had left him. In fact, I forgot all about Pete as I was taking dad to lunch. Only tonight did I remember that I didn’t see Pete at all today. I will have to check again next time I am there. I hope Pete didn’t fly the coop!