We were both there to take care of issues which had arisen overnight with our dads. It seems Rex's frames had snapped in half. My dad had been wearing his backup pair of glasses for weeks before an aide miraculously found the missing lens in Dad's chair. The clerk at the shop was, thankfully, able to bend Dad's frames back into shape and snap the lens in place. Follow me closely here, because this is where it gets tricky! You have to stay on your toes to keep up with these guys.
Unfortunately, Rex's glasses were not an easy fix and Brenda was sent to a jewelry repair shop which could not help her either. It never ceases to amaze me how these lovely individuals whose lives have been compressed into a simplified package- folks who hardly ever venture past the safety of the front door of their Memory Care home - can generate endless errands and issues to be resolved by their devoted caregiving children and spouses.
We do it gladly and willingly - after all, they've done so much for us!
I promptly delivered Dad's glasses to Memory Care and placed them on his face - a perfect fit! Meanwhile, Brenda chased down eyeglass prescriptions and was told her dad would need an eye exam to obtain new glasses. (If you've ever sat in on such an appointment at this stage, you'll understand this is of epic proportions) She even entertained the idea of gorilla gluing his frames back together herself.
Let it be known I tried to talk her out of this idea - primarily because I had experienced an unfortunate incident with the dryer door while gorilla gluing the handle back on. Suffice it to say, when that stuff expands it seals things tight. Obviously, this puts a real damper on drying clothes when you can't get them inside the dryer. Although I stated my case convincingly, she didn't take my advice. It happens.
Wednesday morning was family support group at Memory Care so I went early to have breakfast with Dad. This is one of the sweetest moments of the day - he is fresh from the shower, most generally in a good mood, and almost without exception has a great appetite. He is a late riser and gets a shower before breakfast, so the dining room is usually cleared out by then. I met Dad as his Hospice nurse was walking him up the hall; however, my dad didn't notice me.
Primarily because his glasses were not in their usual spot perched on his nose.
I was quickly informed his glasses could not be found anywhere. After looking in all the usual spots myself, I discovered they had, indeed, vanished. All the effort I expended on getting his glasses repaired, as well as the weeks of searching for the lens leading up to that, were apparently all for naught. I grabbed Dad's backup pair and visited with him over breakfast before walking over to our lovely group of family members who assemble once a month to soak in the presence and knowing understanding of one another.
Soon Brenda came rushing through the door, breathless and excited, eager to inform us her gorilla gluing fix had worked and would suffice until her dad's new glasses could be ordered. "That's great," I said. "Dad's went missing altogether." "Oh, I know!" she said with a smile. "I swung Dad's door open just a few minutes ago and there he sat in his chair with your dad's glasses on!"
Come to find out, the evening before at dinner Rex was apparently lamenting about not having any glasses - so his buddy took his own newly repaired pair off his face and gave them away! I'm still giggling over this, yet there is a message here we must not miss. It's the reason Dad spooned bites of his own applesauce to his more than capable friend, it is the principal behind the sharing of forks and cookies, smiles and laughter.
These folks deeply care for one another.
I love my friends, but I'm not going to give them my glasses - I know I am going to need them. Dad needs his too, but he cares more about a friend in need. Let's face it, if they're willing to share their last cookie, they'll give up just about anything. It's cause for examining what is really important. I guarantee it bothers us more to see someone in Dad's cardigan or with Mom's slippers than it does them. Communal dorm living standards don't have anything on these folks.
One thing I know for certain -
This disease can't touch the heart of compassion.
#StoneBenches #TheyHaveAName #EndAlz #MemoryCare #Rex #AlzFamilies #MemoryCareSharing #AlzheimersBehaviors #CommonBehaviors