Shortly after the Holidays I will be leaving to go south for awhile. I did the same thing last year, using paid companions to check on dad while I was gone. Dad is in assisted living, so theoretically someone is always there to take care of him.
However, in his Assisted Living Facility (ALF), dad is only one of 45 plus people. I wanted to have someone who focused just on dad if there were any problems. For instance, last year there was a stomach bug that went through the assisted living facility on several occasions. It was bad enough that the facility quarantined itself.
While some of the companions were hesitant to go visit dad while there was a quarantine posted, the nurse companion was willing to go back several times to check on dad and reassure me that he was really fine.
I am lucky that the same 3 companions are available to visit dad again this year. I have spoken with all of them and arranged the days they will be visiting dad. This week two of the companions will be visiting dad to re-acquaint themselves with him.
The first companion, PC, visited dad this morning. She talked to him for awhile and showed him her cell phone which must have been a smart phone as he didn’t know what it was. She called me on that phone so dad could see it and had him talk to me. She told me that dad did recognize her even though she had not visited him since last March.
Frankly I was impressed! Dad’s dementia is a slow progression type but he still doesn’t remember things like what he had for lunch and what activities he did yesterday. But he did remember PC.
All of the companions have great friendly personalities and are pleasant to be with. I think their friendly personalities and the fact that they give dad their undivided attention for an hour or two each week made it easier for dad to remember them.
I am very much encouraged by this week’s visit and feel that much closer to my vacation in the sun! I still have a lot to do to get ready, but I don’t feel the great weight of concern that I felt last year at this time.