Dad had a good day yesterday having become the centre of female attention!
One of the biggest concerns facing elderly parents is isolation, both real and, in Dad’s case, believed. Dad is mostly unable to retain information for longer than an hour or so. Some days even only 10 minutes can go past and he’s forgotten a conversation.
Very often one of us will speak with him on the phone or spend time with him but hours later Dad believes that he hasn’t seen or heard from anyone for days. How to feel like a bad daughter even when you’re going out of your way not to be!
I also wonder whether the benefits of relationships, known to be so important for health and well-being, are also diminished when you forget you have them?
Anyway, back to the story, I called him yesterday morning and he was off to a new Lunch Club. One of the things we’ve noticed is that if he’s emotionally engaged with an event he will remember it for longer, so I was pleased when I called him back in the evening to hear quite some detail from a happy man.
He told me that he was picked up by a volunteer with a car who took him to the Lunch Club which is held in a local hall. On arrival he had coffee and biscuits and chatted to the other participants. Then he was offered sherry before lunch which he says he’s not partial to but couldn’t refuse! J
Next it was a freshly cooked Roast Beef meal followed by some dessert that he couldn’t recognise, which tasted like Christmas pudding but was a pie! We speculated but I still have no idea what it was. Anyway, the meal was delicious by all accounts, served with wine and then coffee to finish. He was very happy!
One of the most difficult things about Dad living on his own after nearly 60 years with Mum (who is a very good cook), has been finding him meals that he enjoys. Like many people of his age, he won’t eat pasta, rice or anything that isn’t along the lines of meat and two veg. That has made shopping for him quite a challenge, especially as he needs meals that can be cooked in less than 30 minutes; the time his carers have to prepare his lunch.
Last week he told me that the carer had cooked him spam and had over cooked it so that it tasted like old boots. I had to laugh because I’m sure that was not the case. My sister buys him M&S ready meals and they certainly don’t do spam. Is it even legal anymore? Anyway Dad said it had put him off eating for the rest of that day and I have to confess I felt guilty thinking of him there all alone as I sat down to my Mother’s Day roast.
But back to the lunch club, he was happy and I was feeling relief knowing he had eaten well and had enjoyed a social day.
This was Dad’s second time at the club. The first time he went he fell as he was moving over to the table, luckily before he had been offered any alcohol so they knew it was his condition rather than over indulgence!
This week, it seems some of the ladies came out to meet him at the car and clustered and fussed over him, making sure he got to his seat without falling. Then they fussed over him some more, making sure he was seated comfortably and was happy. Dad can be quite a charmer so I am sure he has endeared himself to them.
Whoever you are, sorry Dad has of course forgotten all of your names, thank you so much for making this a good day for him!