Tuesday I went to dad’s Assisted Living Facility to visit and take him to lunch. I brought his groceries to his room and walked to meet him in the activity room. He was coming back to his room when I met him in the hallway.
When he got back to his rooms, dad went to the bathroom. Almost immediately, the most awful loud sirens began to sound. Dad asked what it was and I said I thought it was the fire alarm. He said he had to go back in the bathroom anyway and he did.
Soon the staff came around to get all the residents to move from their rooms to the other end of the building. It was a drill but the “fire” was supposed to be in the laundry room so they had to go to the activity room.
I waited awhile for dad to finish in the bathroom and we went back to the activity room where he had just finished his previous activity. All this time the extremely loud sirens were going off and it was painful to listen. Still, I know everyone should be aware when THOSE sirens go off!
The staff gathered with residents in the activity room and I asked if we could just leave as dad was unhappy with all the noise. He seemed agitated and I wanted to get him out of there. Still they said to wait as soon the drill would be over.
I had picked up a warm jacket for dad while he was in the bathroom. When I handed it to him to put on, he commented on what a nice jacket it was, and asked where he got it. I told him I had given it to him last Christmas. He had worn it a few times, but since he rarely goes out, it looked brand new.
Finally, we could go out, and it was very cold. Dad was glad I made him wear his warm jacket. We went to the same place we have gone many times before. This time our usual table was taken and we sat at another booth away from the windows. Our view was different and it confused dad.
He asked: “Have we been here before?” Yes, I said. “We usually sit over there by the windows but today we couldn’t so we are here instead.” I handed dad the menu and turned it to the page he likes to order from.
He ordered shrimp again – what a surprise. This time he had it with soup and French Fries. Dad is pretty predictable though he reads the menu each time and makes his decision again. We had a nice lunch and returned to his Assisted Living Facility. By the time we got back there, I think he had already forgotten about the fire drill. Things were back to normal and I went on my way.
Two days later, on Halloween, I visited dad again. It was raining hard as I came in the door. Dad asked me if we were going out to lunch. I didn’t remind him that we had just gone to lunch two days earlier. I just said that it was raining hard and we would go another day. I enjoy my days with dad, but feel sad that he doesn’t remember the things we have done together.