Stopped by my dad’s facility last night and came to a quick conclusion that it is easier to enjoy Dad when he’s part of a normal setting (like at my house for Christmas day)…than it is to visit him in a dementia unit.
It’s a lovely facility with good caretakers and lots of activities. Preschool-ish activities scheduled throughout the day: sing-a-long, movies, ceramics, field trips.
With that sad, there were ancient, shriveled bodies draped all over sofas and in chairs. Conked out cold, snoring away. And it was nearly dinnertime!
I brought my dad some Christmas treats, and threw in a Santa lolly pop just for fun. That was the only candy he wanted. He tore into it like a 3 year old and squirreled away the rest in a paper bag, tucking it far away into his bureau.
When it was time to say good-bye, I took Dad into the dining room (always easier to say good-bye at mealtime, so he focuses on something else)…and seated him at a table next to a friend. Dad noticed a pair of spectacles on another table and wondered if they might belong to his friend. The friend said no, so Dad gave them to him anyway, and the friend wrapped them up in a tablecloth to hide them.
At another table was a woman about my age, visiting with her two parents…both of whom are in the dementia unit. Both! Weird thing was that the woman looked eerily similar to her mother, 30 years younger. I felt so sorry for her.
By the time Dad’s dinner arrived…I was ready to go.