I received an email Last week from P — one of dad’s companions. (see Companions as a Support System for the Caregiver). She wanted to know if it would be OK to visit dad with a card and some something for Father’s Day. I was surprised but said it would be fine. He would enjoy it. A few days later she asked for his shirt size, so I surmised she was bringing him a shirt.
Since she usually cares for dad only in the winter while I am traveling, I was surprised she is following up now for Father’s Day. She is very sweet and dad has enjoyed her visits. I told him that she might be coming to visit him this week.
Then my daughter told me she thought P. was moving out-of-state. She thought most of P’s clients had passed away in the past few months and that P. wanted to move to be closer to her children.
I didn’t realize that P’s children were out-of-state. In fact, she doesn’t look old enough to have adult children. I imagine that is why she wants to come now to see dad. It is sort of her good-bye to dad. It makes me sad. I have enjoyed working with P. and I hate to see her leave.
This is another reminder to me about how dad’s caregivers have become like family members to us. I count on their knowledge and experience and dad enjoys having them visit. They are a lifeline for me when I have to be out of town as I know someone is watching out for dad who is not directly employed by his Assisted Living Facility.
Last evening I got another email from P. She had visited dad (and his Lady Friend) and had brought him a card and a shirt for Father’s Day. Dad had been sitting with Mary when P arrived. Dad introduced P to Mary and said P was his friend.
P is experienced in working with people and could see that Mary considered her a rival for dad’s affections. P told Mary that dad was a part of her life and she liked to visit him. She said she would visit Mary also the next time she came if Mary wanted her to. Mary smiled and said P could visit her any time. Dad told P he was very happy tho have Mary there with him. He feels like Mary keeps him company and helps make the time go by.
I asked P. if her family planned to move out-of-state and she said yes. Her husband had been in the military and they moved so often she missed her grandchildren. Now he was retired and they could move back nearer to their family. So I will probably not be able to have P care for dad next winter. In the meantime though, she will be visiting dad and saying goodbye to the clients that are still here for so many have passed away.