Dad has Alzheimer (Dementia) and can barely see! I try to take him with me when I run errands, go to church, go shopping, and visit other people. Can you imagine me weighing in at one hundred and twenty six pounds, five foot seven inches tall and lean in stature? Dad is tall also but losing weight, yet he is still heavier and bigger than me. I have to lead him as he walks with his cane or he has to hold onto my forearm and walk along side me. This in itself is very difficult. I am energetic and somewhat hyper. Dad is slow and more laid-back. So on many occasions, I must remember to slow down for my father so that he does not trip, stumble or fall while walking when we are out and about.
This disease must play tricks on the mind and dad tricks me on many occasions. When I drive I always ask dad if he can see certain things. I ask this to keep him talking, thinking and engaged. Sometimes daddy will say, “I can’t see that” and sometimes dad says “yes, I see that”. Now, I am truly confused. Does this disease effect the person off and on with various things or have the person able sometime and not able another time? Does the vision come and go? Does the memory also come and go? I am not sure at this point.
Dad and I have been out and I will ask dad if he wants to come into the store with me. Dad sometimes goes along but a lot of the times, dad refuses to get out of the vehicle. Sometimes he is calm, nice and polite when he says, “you go on in, I will be here in the car when you get back”. Dad will go in the store on most occasions. It is so risky to leave dad in the car by himself. I am afraid that he may forget why he is in the car and decide to get out of the car? Dad could wonder around lost. Dad could get hurt. Someone might steal my daddy.
Twice my dad has disappeared from the car in my presence. Once I had to go to Staples and dad had refused to get out of the car. I couldn’t have been in the store too long but when I came out, the car alarm was sounding off and dad said he did not know anything about it. Well, I had locked dad in the car for safety and dad obviously had attempted to open the car doors. This triggered the car alarm. The other time I had to go to the UPS Store to mail some letters out. Again, I couldn’t have been in the store long. When I returned back to the car, dad was gone. I looked over the parking lot area and spotted dad walking blindly about. I ran over to dad and asked where are you going? Dad simply and calmly replied, “to the bathroom”.