Last week was an especially good one for Dad. He was more awake when I arrived and quite alert – not as energetic as he used to be but in good shape. I enjoyed my time with him.
Saturday while Larry was visiting for the weekend, we brought Dad to the house where we showed him a video of him that was made the morning of his 80th birthday party. He talked extensively about his life. We brought him into the bedroom where we have a larger TV so that he could see better. He couldn’t hear well; so I would tell him what he was saying. The video captured his attention even with his bad hearing. It was almost 2 full hours, and he never tired of watching. I haven’t seen anything maintain his attention like this since before his stroke over 3 years ago. It also led to his telling us more about his life experiences. He remembered a great many things. We were excited. It was a very special moment.
Starting Sunday (this is Thursday) he has been less energetic. Each day has witnessed a downward progression. Yesterday was the worst. He was just the way you picture the stereotype of a nursing home patient. He didn’t know where he was and asked his nurse to call me. He was not easy to understand, but told me he didn’t know where he was. I told him he was at Mountain Valley and that I would be there to see him in the afternoon. Even after my telling him, he continued to say that he didn’t know where he was. He ended up giving the phone back to the nurse to give me directions to where he was. She told him I knew where he was. He got back on the phone, and I tried to reassure him I would be there.