Dad’s Computer is now Ready With Printer and Print Cartridges

I have written before about dad’s computer in “Finding Dad a Printer” and other previous posts.  The last time I wrote I was waiting for his printer cartridges to arrive.

A week after we installed dad’s computer printer, the cartridges arrived and were placed in the printer.  My son printed out a few test pages and it was working fine.  When we left that afternoon, over a week ago, dad said: “So my printer works now?”  and I said yes, you now have a working computer and printer.

In my visits the following week, dad never mentioned the computer at all.  I have to note that I didn’t mention it either.  I didn’t want him to ask me to install the software he had purchased because I thought we would run into problems.  The computer is not connected to the internet and most of the time software attempts to connect to the internet to register and complete setup.

Saturday when I visited dad, we spoke a little.  He seemed a bit more alert than usual and didn’t nap during my visit.  About 15 minutes before I planned to leave, he picked up his software and looked at it.  He looked at me, and I didn’t say anything.  I had plans for the hour after I left him and didn’t want to get involved in installing software.  It was also almost lunch time.

I felt like dad was unsure about installing that software.  I don’t know if he is going to end up asking me to install it or if he will do it himself.

In the past – up until 2 years ago – dad was an active user of his computer tasks.  He purchased used computers, took them apart, added hard drivers and video cards, formatted drives, etc.  But in the latter years, he had problems even getting his email to work.

Using dial-up service the queue filled up with large spam and nothing came down to his computer.  He didn’t seem to notice the difference.  Though sometimes he would ask me for help if he had some problems getting things to print.  Sometimes I could help and sometimes I couldn’t.  I’m not a techie but I have been using my own computer for many years and have learned to do many routine tasks.  (I never open the computer though to install hardware.  Dad wasn’t afraid to do that, but I was!)

Today when I visited dad, he didn’t mention the computer nor did he pick up the software package.  He talked to my brother on the telephone and he talked to me about other things.  He took a short nap and then he went to lunch.

Although it took an effort on my part to get dad set up with a working computer again, I am just as happy if he doesn’t try to use it.  He had it set up for most of last year and never used it at all.  Therefore I was surprised this summer when he insisted that I set up his computer again.  It seemed like a lot of work for nothing.  However he asked so many times I gave in.

I hate the fact that Alzheimer’s disease has taken away so many of dad’s abilities.  However, I now realize that I can’t turn back the clock and make him able to do the things he used to do.  If dad asks me to install the software for him, I will try.  But I will not offer to do so if he doesn’t ask.  He used to do that all himself and maybe he still wants to do it.  I continue to try to take each day one at a time.

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.
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiving, Computer, Dementia, Eldercare, Family and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Dad’s Computer is now Ready With Printer and Print Cartridges

  1. terry1954 says:

    his memory remembers that he had a computer complete and running. now he has it, and it makes him happy knowing he has something familiar to cling to. don’t be surprised if he uses it or barely uses it. it is his comfort that is more important to him, the comfort zone of memories………..

  2. Teresa Cleveland Wendel says:

    “I will not offer to do so if he doesn’t ask.”
    Good plan! No point in making more work for yourself.

  3. Terre Mirsch says:

    I admire all of your efforts in ensuring your Dad’s dignity as he faces loss of memory and function. While it might be easier to ignore his requests knowing he will likely forget, you honor his personhood by providing options and choices. This is not easy to do so kudos to you. You seem to have discovered a nice balance that meets his needs while also recognizing your limitations and need to care for yourself.

    • Thank you, Terre. It is the idea that he is still my dad and I want everyone to remember who he is that is so important to me. Yet, I have to step back sometimes and remind myself that there are limits as to what I can do. And he doesn’t complain if I don’t get to everything or if it takes me awhile to remember to buy him Pepsi or whatever he asked for.

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