Sunday with Dad, my Son and Grandson

As usual, I went to visit dad at his Assisted Living Facility today.  They had the ALF all decorated for Christmas and it looked very nice.  When I commented on the decorations, dad looked at me like he hadn’t noticed at all.  Still, I think it helps the residents remember what time of year it is.

This week dad had signed up to go to the Steakhouse with the ALF on their regular luncheon outing trip.  He told me they went to a different place but he wasn’t sure why.  (It turns out that the first place didn’t open until 4 and they went for lunch).

I was impressed that dad signed himself up to go, that he went and remembered he had gone, and that he was anxious to go again.  The new activity director told me dad is much more likely to sign himself up for these outings now and that he really enjoys going out with the group.

Dad has been in the lounge most days when I went to visit him.  He is generally by himself watching (or not watching) the television which runs constantly in the small lounge.  Today he was in his room as he had just returned there to use the bathroom.

This worked out well as my son and grandson also went to visit dad today.  For some reason, my grandson has decided he is more comfortable visiting dad in his own room than in the lounge.  He also starts out shy and refuses to greet his great-grandfather.

My son solves this problem with bribes.  If George wants to play with the smart phone in his dad’s pocket, he must first greet his great-grandfather with a “high five”.  This works and starts George towards a better mood as well.

Today was mostly a smart phone and iPad day as little George played with these modern “toys”.  Although he has just turned 3, he can choose his own game and begin to play.  Today he was playing cards on the iPad and told my son he “had a spade!” which he did.  George is learning the cards in the deck with his dad as he has started playing “Hearts” at home.

Dad does more watching than talking, but he does smile at the appropriate times and he loves to have the company in his room.  He asked me to bring him more Pepsi and snacks and I told him I had brought some today and would bring more next time.

I didn’t see the newspaper in the room today.  I asked dad if it had come.  He said “I never get the newspaper”.  Well, actually I pay for him to get it 7 days a week and he had been getting it.  I asked at the front desk but since it was a weekend they weren’t sure if he had gotten one or not.  I will ask tomorrow.

I know dad doesn’t remember after he read the paper, but he does enjoy reading it when it is in the room.  And since we are now paying 40% more for the paper (price hike!) I want to be sure he is at least getting what we have paid for.  So again, I am tracing payments and newspapers.  At least dad isn’t worried about it, even though I am frustrated that it wasn’t there.

Dad has pretty well settled into a routine now.  I am a bit nervous about going away next month for fear it will change dad’s expected routine.  On the other hand, he is much more active with activities both in his ALF and on trips outside the ALF than he was last year.  I am very hopeful that dad will continue to do well.

It does seem odd though that as dad is reaching his mid-90’s his health is getting better rather than worse.  I hope he can stay well over the winter and not catch the inevitable bugs that go through the assisted living facility.

This coming week I will call the companions that visited him last winter.  They have already expressed an interest in working with dad again this year.  Now is time to set the day of the week that each will visit.  I need to tell them that this year dad has other activities so they might find him out rather than in his room.  They will have to schedule around dad’s outings, but I don’t think this will be a problem.  I am glad that dad will have so much stimulation both from his contracted companions and also from the activities in his ALF.


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 Assisted Living Facility, Caregiving, Elder Care, Eldercare, great-grandson and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Sunday with Dad, my Son and Grandson

  1. Kathy says:

    I think it’s great that your dad is more active, especially in his mid-90s. That’s wonderful. My grandfather was very active and that’s what I think keep him going and healthy. Unfortunately, at age 91, he lost his balance reaching for something on a shelf and broke 3 vertebrae in his back. He ended up in the care wing of the retirement home and never returned to the apartment he shared with my grandmother. His injuries healed, but he never had the same stamina and vigor, and then ended up developing other health problems. He was less than a month shy of 93 when he died and had lived a full life. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for your comment, Kathy. I really didn’t expect my dad to live longer than mom as he has had some memory problems for over 10 years now. But as his doctor said, his is a very slow progression type and as long as I handle his finances and other business issues, he can just enjoy each day as it comes. He has a nice even disposition and is easy to please too.

  2. boomer98053 says:

    This article brings me back to when my father was still alive and in his assisted living facility/memory care unit. I think some residents are aware of the Holiday decorations but perhaps the staff decorates the ALF for the wonderful family members, such as you and your extended family, that visit their loved ones. It’s nice to have it be Christmas at the ALF, as well as everywhere else outside of it.
    I think the great grandson visits are wonderful. Perhaps he’d rather visit Great Grandpa in his room, rather than in the common areas, because your grandson is uncomfortable being around elderly who have outward symptoms. Some younger kids are o.k. with the older folk but many are pretty intimidated by them. Either way – you’ve certainly found the solution that works for your family.
    Please enjoy your time away and don’t worry about not visiting your dad. Chances are the passing of time has no meaning to him and when you return and start to visit him again, it’ll be as though you were just there not too long ago. I stopped telling my father when I would visit because when I did, he fretted every hour on the hour, “When will my daughter be here? She said she’d be here. Why isn’t she here? Did something happen to her?” The staff finally advised that I just pop in – which I did until his passing, and it worked like a charm.

    • Thanks, Irene. Sometimes my grandson doesn’t mind being in the lobby but other times he starts out shy and seems to prefer the room. He usually warms up after awhile and laughs with the staff and other residents on the way out. He seems to enjoy the attention after he warms up to it all again.

      I haven’t really mentioned anything to dad about my trip yet. I have another month yet. As you said, he did ask a lot last year about when I would be back. That was soon after he had been hospitalized and he wasn’t as social last year as he is now. I am hopeful that he will be more active this year and miss me less. In any case, I can’t deal with the harsh winters around here so I feel I really have to go anyway, though I would come home in an emergency.

      Thanks for your comments.

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