I wrote before in “Dad, Alzheimer’s disease and the Thrift Store” about how dad forgot he didn’t have his computer and decided he needs it again. For over 2 weeks, I have been hoping dad would forget about the computer again as he never used it for the whole 8 months it was set up in his room. It will take a huge effort on my part to get it up and running again and I just don’t want to do it, knowing especially that he will never use it.
So, each time I visit dad, I hope he won’t bring up the topic of his computer. And almost every time I see him he does ask exactly that. Where is my computer? I told him it was in my garage. Why? He wanted it back in his room. I explained that we spent a lot of time and money last year getting it set up and running and then he never used it. He seemed to be listening but then he said: “But I miss it.”
He asked again the next day I saw him. What had we decided about a computer? I said the computer was in my garage but the printer didn’t work. My old printer had died and I put the new one (that I had given dad to use last year) in my office to replace the one that didn’t work. Again, he pointed out that he missed it.
I told him I would discuss the topic with my son, and hoped to put him off. But of course, he asked each time I came in. I told him he didn’t have the right kind of telephone as he needed one he could use for dial-up. His telephone was a cable phone which was why he had to have cable internet last year. He hadn’t ever gotten the cable internet to work for his email before when my brother set up such a system in dad’s house. And he didn’t ever get his email here in his ALF. I didn’t know if it was just the cable that confused him or if he was just not that into it anymore. He spends almost all his time just sitting in his Lazy-boy.
Anyway, I told him I had to have a new phone system installed first. I wanted a new phone for 2 reasons. First, the cable phone didn’t work with the jacks in the room. He had to keep his telephone attached to the cable modem which was by his television and not convenient to his chair or his bed. To answer his phone he had to stand up and stand by the television.
I had tried to get him cordless phones to go by his chair. But he seemed confused how to turn it on to talk and off when he was done talking. After a few months of that, I decided I was going to have to bite the bullet and get him an analog corded telephone that would work with his telephone jacks. Then the phone could be right by his chair and an extension could be by his bed. The added benefit is that it would maybe work with dial-up if I gave in on the computer installation.
Yesterday was my day to sit in dad’s room and wait up to 8 hours for the telephone company to hook up the telephone. I was told I might have to be there but maybe not since it depended on what they found when they went to his ALF. I just went there and waited from 8 through 12.
When I got there I found he had written a note on his notepad by his bed. It said “Goodwill – Computer and printer”. I groaned. He thinks about that computer all the time now and makes notes so he won’t forget to ask me about it.
He asked again, naturally, while I was sitting all morning in his room. “What about my computer?” I said; “I will have [son] help me bring it in. I am having the phone put in today so maybe you can do dial-up. But I don’t think it will work.” “Why? He asked. “Because you had it for 8 months on the desk and never used it.” I responded. “I did?” he replied. “Yes,” I said. “I don’t remember,” he said. “I know,” I replied.
While waiting for the installer to come, I called the telephone company twice to see if they could give me a clue as to when he was coming. At 9:45 they said they couldn’t reach the installer so they didn’t know. When I called at 11:45 the lady said the computer indicated that the “programming has been done” and maybe I could just plug it in and get a dial tone. I did and it worked! I was set free from the room at the ALF.
I had been there so long the assisted living facility even brought me lunch! That was very nice and I appreciated their efforts. Still, when I finished eating, I plugged 2 phones for dad – one in the living room by his chair and one in the bedroom on the nightstand. Then I left for home while dad was at lunch. (I did go in the dining room and told him I was leaving.).
When I got home I did a couple of chores and then sat down on my comfortable chair. And I fell asleep – for 3 hours! This whole process is wearing me out.
By now I have decided the path of least resistance would be to simply bring the computer back in to dad’s room and try to set it up on his desk (without a printer). I will find out the telephone number for dial-up again and even try to get that working. But, I don’t expect it to work. I get frustrated even thinking about working on that computer. I know it will give all kinds of error messages from not being used for almost a year. It will want the Windows updates put in and the virus checker run. And I can’t do that with dial-up. I refuse to pay to take it in and have it all upgraded again because it will take too much of my time and dad’s money. So, I am frustrated before I even begin.
I will ask my son to help me load the computer and monitor, etc. into my car on Saturday and to take it all out on Sunday. Then I will leave it on dad’s desk for awhile and see if he pushes for more. I would give anything to find a free senior volunteer who would just either work on dad’s computer or talk to dad about his computer and help him muddle through. I paid $85 per hour for over 5 hours last time to try to get dad’s old computer cleaned up and working on the wireless system. I just don’t want to do it again!