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.