An Unexpected Outing

I often wondered how much dad “got” out of the newspaper he read each day.  Today I learned it was more than I thought.  I arrived an hour before lunch as I usually do and brought dad some snacks to keep in his refrigerator.

Dad pulled out his note pad that he keeps in his pocket.  He writes down things he wants to remember to ask me.  Today his note said “Garage Sale, June 1st and 2nd, and the address of a nearby church”.  I asked him where he learned that but he didn’t remember.  I think it must be the newspaper as he doesn’t watch television and I don’t know who would have told him.

At first I wasn’t enthusiastic about going out because traffic had been so bad on the way over.  Then I decided dad didn’t get out very much and it wouldn’t be that difficult to get him to the address listed.  I told him to get ready and we would go.

We drove to the church and it didn’t look busy at all.  If there weren’t a sign out front, I would have believed nothing was going on there.  I got out dad’s walker and we went inside.  We took the elevator to the lower level and there were ladies set up at a table.  The room was literally full of items for sale.

From the conversations I overheard we missed the large crowds by coming on the 2nd day.  That was fine by me as we didn’t need anything.  It is easier for dad to get around in his walker if there are not too many people nearby.  While we were there, others came and went, so there was a steady flow of customers.

Dad went right to the computer section, forgetting perhaps that he no longer has a computer in his apartment and he doesn’t remember how to use it.  I made a mental note to let him get whatever he wants even if he can’t use it.  Dad looked at the books and then went back and looked again.  He picked up “Spanish for Dummies” and I wondered if he wanted to buy it.  He doesn’t speak Spanish and he rarely reads books any more, but I didn’t say anything.  Eventually he put it back.    In the end he spent about an hour looking at all the items but didn’t make any purchases.

I did purchase a small folding walker that would fit more easily in my car.  From now on I will leave dad’s bulky walker at his assisted living facility and just take the small one when we go out.  I have a hard time getting his bulky walker in my car and it doesn’t fit in my trunk — only on the back seat.

Afterwards I took dad out to lunch again.  We had been out on Thursday as well.  This time we went a bit further from home and the menu was so extensive dad couldn’t decide what to get.  I reminded him that the last time we were there he had shrimp.  He looked it all over and decided on the shrimp again.  He ate well but as usual I asked for a box to take home our leftovers.

I usually think that dad doesn’t remember much, but he reminded me twice – as we got out of the car and as I was leaving his apartment – that we had taken a “doggy bag” and asked where it was.  It seems he remembers some things very well – even though he never eats leftovers as he gets all his meals at the ALF dining room.

All in all it was a nice time out.  I didn’t plan on going out but it didn’t conflict with any other plans either.  Dad was tired when he got home and ready to rest.  I was tired too!


About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers 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 and my relationship with other family members.
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4 Responses to An Unexpected Outing

  1. Teresa Cleveland Wendel says:

    What a nice memory you’ll have of a day out with Dad.

  2. Yes, it is. And I just expected a quiet visit since he is often sleepy when I am there. Today he was totally awake and aware. It was very nice.

  3. terry1954 says:

    if i didn’t know better, i would say you peeked into one of our days. I also, often wonder if Al gets anything out of the newspapers. He glances at the front page, in a couple of seconds, and glances at the sports pages. He is done with the paper in five minutes or less, but many times he will point out a sale he saw or an outing he would like to go to. We use a walker when we go out, but not often as Al can only stand without buckling about five minutes. Al doesn’t have the dementia or alheizmers that your dad does. His memory is still sharp from the past, but he can’t remember what I told him a few minutes ago. Our family members are quite similar. Al also wants to get things or look at things to buy that he can no longer use because of his tremors.

  4. Dad spends at least 30 minutes with the paper, sometimes a lot more, as he goes through every section. But sometimes if I asked if he got a paper today, he doesn’t remember if he did or not. He looks at the same things at garage sales that he looked at in the past when he was living independently and did have his own computer and could use it. He just forgets that he doesn’t need that stuff any more. As long as he enjoys the trips to garage sales and thrift stores though, I will continue to take him.

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