Lunch with Dad


Lately I have been taking dad out for lunch each week.  Usually we go to the same family restaurant because they have the shrimp that he likes.  Each time he forgets that he has to choose 2 sides.  He looks at the list and it looks new to him each time.

He almost always orders French fries.  But the 2nd side dish is less of a sure thing.  Lately he has asked about the soup a few times.  This week he chose French Onion soup.  When the waiter brought it to him, he looked down at it and looked at me with a question in his eyes.

I will admit the soup looked strange as it had melted cheese on it and it looked yucky like a muddy pond.  “What the Hell is that?” he said.  I laughed and told him it was his French Onion soup.

He put in his spoon and as he lifted it to his mouth the mozzarella cheese stretched between the soup dish and his mouth.  He spun the spoon to get the cheese to stop dragging.  He had some challenges with it but he persevered.  He said the soup was hot, but he kept eating it.

All in all dad has been doing fairly well so far this year.  However, he often won’t eat the lunch they give him at his ALF.  He asks for toast instead.  But when I take him out, he always eats very well.  This week he ate most of his soup and most of his shrimp and part of his French Fries.

The only problem is that dad always wears his light jacket while indoors and it always has traces of his last meal on it.  I have started bringing his jacket home with me after each visit so I can wash it.

Finally I decided to go to eBay and find another jacket exactly like the one he wears all the time.  I found something fairly close and brought it to him this week.  Now he will have one jacket to wear while I wash the other.  (He does get his laundry done by his ALF, but they only do a basket of laundry once a week.)

I also have been cleaning dad’s kitchen and end table more than I used to.  I find he has spilled his orange juice or cola on the kitchen counter or his end table and he just leaves it there.  Then when I arrive there is this sticky spot, so I start each visit by cleaning up after him.

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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 Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiving, Dementia, Elder Care, Eldercare and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Lunch with Dad

  1. boomer98053 says:

    Getting the extra jacket for your dad is a stroke of genius. Many caregivers have a difficult time convincing their loved ones not to wear the same clothes every day … as in, “this shirt could sure use a good washing dad!” (Been there, done that.) I’ve known people who buy two or three identical outfits, e.g., khaki pants, long-sleeve plaid shirt, and lay out the fresh – but same – outfit for their loved one to put on, while they’ve absconded the soiled one to the laundry room.

  2. Terry says:

    You are doing a great job keeping up with the changes! Hugs

  3. It sounds like you have a really sweet routine with your dad. I wondered if he’d notice the new jacket was different. Very smart strategy! My mom is always bundled up these days with her ALF room so warm. I’ve told my nieces and nephews to remind me how nuts I thought this was when years from now I keep the room at 80+.

    • He noticed because for some reason the same brand and size was way too big on him today. Nevertheless, he liked it and wanted to keep wearing it. I brought the other one home and washed it. I hope to try again as my original plan was to have 3 light weight jackets to rotate with him wearing one, me washing one and a spare jacket in the closet. I hope the 3 rd that I just ordered will fit better than the 2nd! Dad has always been cold, so this is not new for him. He has several brothers and they all wore too much clothing year round. Mom was less likly to bundle up so much, so I hope I stay like her!

  4. dementedgirl says:

    Hello,

    Am a fellow Alzheimer’s caregiver (in my case to my mum-in-law) with a dementia blog and found yours through the WordPress reader – am sorry to hear you find yourself in the same position…

    Feel free to stop by at mine at http://www.dementiapoetry.com!

    DG x

  5. Janet Yano says:

    Sounds like your dad loves the lunches out. It’s great you can do this and record the memories.

  6. SwittersB says:

    Great idea on jacket…that wearing the last meal on your shirt has become my father in law’s latest trend. He doesn’t notice. Your tending to you dad’s needs in the simplest of ways is so poignantly written.

    • Thnk you, Gary. Mdad has only recently started to wear his menu on his shirt also. It doesn’t bother him, but I guess it bothers me enough to try to do something about it. At least he is happy and enjoys his meals.

  7. I would like to use the jacket story in my upcoming post…I thought it was so ingenious and would use it as an example of a daughter’s resourceful act for her elderly father. I hope I have your permission to use the example. I will reference your blog in the footnotes. Thank you, Hallie

  8. Pingback: What A Tale My Thoughts Could Tell | A Swift Current

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