Window visits for Dad

Covid19 has knocked around aged care visits.

Last week, I went with my mum to see Dad that has Alzheimer’s (Dementia) and it was a strange experience.

We had our visit through the window to protect his health as he is high risk.

Father’s Day, pre dad going to residential care

That said, the big question remains. What’s worse for their age group? The virus or no purpose/company? It’s not an easy question to answer and I’m just grateful that he has a wonderful care giver in his rest home.

What are your thoughts on the current restrictions?

Published by

Dad, it's Liam

My name is well, Liam. I setup a blog called daditsliam.com and the goal was to share my story of my Dad and his Alzheimer's, Dementia situation.

10 thoughts on “Window visits for Dad”

  1. My mom has Alzheimer’s and has been locked away since March … I miss her

    But I am happy she is safe. She is not aware of the virus – she forgets … she wears the mask because everyone else does.

    I still get to talk and laugh with her on the phone – she has no short term memory… but if you speak of the 1980’s when we grew up – she remembers everything and we laugh and laugh ❤️

    Anyway… I have to lose her anyway… but like a China doll – I want her protected… I do have to lose her – but I want to keep her as long as possible. And I want to see her and hug her etc…

    So keep her safe until I can do that!! I definitely do not want her getting sick or dying alone. That’s my mom – that would break my heart! 💔 so I don’t mind the restrictions – keep her safe until I can get to her ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Window visits….We only did a couple and they were so bad! Sun shining on the window meant I could hardly see my Husband John. He couldn’t hear what I was saying……on the second occasion he said that is my wife let her in. He kept going to the door trying to open it!!
    I felt so awful putting him through this. After not seeing him for 3 and a 1/2 months.
    Then we got Garden visits. This was better. We sat either side of a wide flowerbed and talked about the flowers. Some days he knew me others he did not. I could see he was fit and well. In fact he has put on weight. He is happy living there. He says he has lots of jobs to do!!! The care is excellent and there are lots of activities to keep the residents amused/

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Covid has really posed some tough choices and situations for people. My parents are 75 and are still both at home, but two of my grandparents passed from Alzheimer’s. I visited my grandfather inter-state quite a few times. He was in a secure facility which took some getting used to. he was 95 when he passed away, and in many ways the last 2-3 years weren’t fantastic and he slept a lot. HOwever, those years enabled him to connect with our kids who were 5 and 3 when he died and they still remember him now they’re 16 and 14.
    It was interesting because my grandfather seemed to remember our son well after he forgot other family members. There was an incredible bond between them and it literally brought him out of his shell.
    We visited him just after Christmas when our son was three. Our son had been given a kid’s Fisher Price laptop where the mouse was designed like a mouse as in squeak squeak. Now, my grandfather was quite averse to new technology and for example had rejected the electronic typewriter we gave him for his 0th birthday and stuck with his ancient manual one. Yet, when our son told him to use the mouse, he did and he was operating the laptop and interactive beautifully with out son. WE were quite surprised to see a staff member rush for the video camera to film their interaction. We had no idea of how my grandfather usually was and how he was like a stone. Indeed, there was a photo of when Santa visited and my aunt was there and my grandfather was asleep.
    I find it hard to explain. My grandfather did have a younger brother who might’ve been ten years younger than him, but there was no doubt there was a love there which transcended anyone’s understanding and logic.
    There was another interesting incident with my grandfather in the nursing home. This was again when he was towards the end and he slept most of the day and wasn’t very communicative. He had a new nurse looking after him and she’d just got some bad news and she was crying while she was caring for him. My grandfather, who was a retired Church minister, sat up and comforted the woman. It was incredble.
    I might as well give you one last story. My grandfather used to live in Ipswich in Queensland. Before he went into the nursing home, he used to go into the Commonwealth Bank, do his banking and then he’d sit in a chair and fall asleep in the bank with his wallet on his lap. The bank staff used to put his wallet behind the counter and when he woke up they gave him a cup of tea and biscuits. It was the most beautiful story and showed the kindness of people. It was also hard for us with him living interstate and we were relying on the village to care for him. He reminds me of Paddington Bear and people did take care of him.
    All of those stories point to the need for the elderly to have regular people contact, especially with their families where possible. This is particularly true of people who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and having those interactions, going over shared experiences, might keep those memories going longer. Of course, the more sensory enrichment they can have, the better.
    However, does that override the risks of catching covid and potentially dying or ending up with serious complications? I think that’s something that would ideally be made on an individual basis. However, that’s not really possible in a nursing home where the concerns of the group (or their perceived interests) prevail.
    I have an potentially acute auto-immune disease and 50% lung capacity. We decided not to go down to Sydney to see my parents for Father’s Day. There was a local case here and a local case there. We figured we could wait. However, the first thing I wanted to do when lock down ended earlier in the year, was to see them. My Dad is very pragmatic about Covid. Stick to social distancing and you’ll be right…especially if you’re outside.
    I’ve written a lot there, and I hope it helps yourself or someone else out there. These are tough and complex decisions and we’re all muddling our way through. However, ideally we can support each other through it and this more collective wisdom will make a difference.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I see this situation through two lenses. One is that of a family member. My mom was in care for the last 3.5 years of her life. She lived with Alzheimer’s for 15-years. She was able to live in assisted living, and was therefore isolated to her apartment for the last almost three months of her life. She actually handled it pretty well. My former mother-in-law is in memory care and so is not in isolation. My job for the last year has been managing a grant that places indoor therapeutic horticulture gardens in non-profit skilled nursing communities. While my job has me overseeing one state, the company is in 22-states. I watched all of my communities close (voluntarily) while all the communities across the country did the same.So, safety verses the devastating effects of isolation? Dying of Covid verses dying of depression? Opening up for distanced visits, only to have to slam the gates shut because cases cropped up in my MIL’s community? I don’t think there’s a right answer. It all sucks. For all of us. Staff at my mom’s community were visiting residents at least 6-times a day. Without family allowed in, they, as did all care staff in every community around the WORLD, soon found out just how much support family provided for their loved ones… And just exactly where those residents’ abilities really were in the absence of that family support. Imagine how overwhelmed staff is 7-months into this. I lost my mom in the middle of this to a hemorrhagic stroke. Her community shut down way before it was became law. I hadn’t seen her for months. I feel blessed and honored that the hospital let me and our family be with her for the last 16ish hours of her life. As devastating a way this was to lose my mama (not having been able to see her for so long ~ She always said the best way to go was to wake up dead, and she came close!), there are far, far, far worse stories. Then there are the residents themselves. My MIL is doing fine. She always was an introvert and dementia has increased this trait. Via my job we hear about folks, literally, dying of depression. They are losing the will to live, and this is a heartbreaker. Again, there’s no right answer, and not one person directly effected, staff, family, or resident, should beat themselves up over a situation they cannot effect. Do what you can, reach out in anyway you’re able, and give yourselves and others heaps of grace.

    Caitlin

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I guess I am one of the fortunate ones in a weird kind of way. My, Dad, who had dementia died ten years ago now and was able to be at home to the end. He simply couldn’t deal with being away from home all his life really.
    I think so much depends on each individual and their personality. The current restrictions are dire but I know I would have been a window visitor or whatever it took to keep Dad from feeling he had lost me. He just had to see my face, especially if it was smiling (he could read whether a smile was put on or not!) to feel connection and love. Also, he got great joy from music tapes he had collected over the years which seemed to ground him in familiar territories.
    All good wishes to your Dad and you. Your care about him is so evident.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. After reading your post, your commitment, your love for your father, the comments following your post, I am left with only one thing to say- I am overwhelmed!!! Praying everyday that world gets out of this pandemic soon and we all have a breather.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Had to. Your content has moved me. In a world becoming selfish to the core a compassionate heart is rare to find. And your posts are a reflection of who you are. Serving your parents with all your heart and intent is definitely appreciable and creating awareness about issues less discussed is much more commendable.

        Like

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