By Lisa Baker
This post is a little of this and a little of that. My family and I celebrated my Dad’s 81st birthday this month. We were able to use the family room at his facility to celebrate in. All of his remaining siblings were able to come. He did not realize that it was his birthday so it was indeed a surprise.
We all had a good time visiting with Dad. I made his favorite cake. A Japanese fruit cake. This is usually made as a layer cake. To make it easier to carry I made it in a 9 by 13 pan as a single layer cake. Dad gave me a wonderful compliment. He said it was as good as his Mom’s. Over the years I have often made this same cake for him. Always he would tell me it’s not quite as good as his Mom’s. So to me that was rewarding and a memory I’ll never forget.
Of course, during the celebration Dad kept saying that he wanted to pack up his things and go home with one of us when it was time to go. We had to keep telling him to just hold on and enjoy your party. We had to leave one at a time while whomever was left kept him busy talking. It was a good day.
Now a little of that. During the week leading up to Dads birthday we had some water issues at home. I’m living in Mom and Dad’s house now. We didn’t have hot water one night. So, there I was trying to figure out what was wrong as well as who have they called in the past for water issues. They are both at a point where if I had asked them I wouldn’t have gotten the answer. I called my neighbor which is also my cousin and ask her who she used. She was able to give me a name and number of a gentleman that proved to be honest and fair to help us out. The problem was an easy fix. But while he was here he was able to tell that we also had another issue brewing. He was able to fix that as well. It was more than we expected but keeps the second issue from becoming an emergent fix later on. Now we have the name of an excellent plumber.
I’m starting a book with names and numbers for different things that need to be serviced at the house. Just one more thing that you miss when you realize your parents both have dementia so you can’t rely on being able to ask them.
I’ve also finished reading a book that some of you may find very helpful. The 36-Hour Day. By Nancy L. Mace, MA and Peter V. Rabin’s, MD, MPH. I got my copy online. I think it cost me around $6.00 or so because it was a used copy. It’s a very good book.
Life is ever so full and ever so busy. My parents both want each of us to visit every day for several hours each day. They no longer fully understand that we also have to work and take care of our families as well. I run out of hours. I could use a 36-hour day in order to accomplish everything I need to do as well as spend time with each of them.
You start to feel very overwhelmed with everything. Even with having them both in a facility they are constantly on my mind. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not doing something involving them, from visiting with them to paying bills.
If you are dealing with dementia in any form with a loved one hang in there. You are not alone. Until next time!