Thursday, October 13, 2016

Visit with Dad

Spending time with Dad today at Okutsu. As we enter the Veterans home, we are greeted by a warm and friendly receptionist. She is excited that we have come to see Dad and directs us to the second floor where he is staying.

Dad and Al
As the elevators open, we hear singing in a nearby room. We venture into the large open area where there is a karaoke machine set up and the residents are taking turns singing to their audience. Some in the audience are singing along, others clapping, and some are just enjoying the music with a smile on their faces.

We search the room for Dad and are told he is watching TV. As we approach him, a smile stretches across his face. His eyes brighten up as Al and I take turns giving him a hug and saying our hello's.

He's happy to see us, but Alzheimer's is a  relentless disease, so we aren't certain he knows exactly who we are, so we sit on the couch near him, hold his hand and start talking about our trip, the grand-kids, and other things we think might jog his memory.

Dad was anxious to get moving, so we pushed the wheelchair around the facility, Al continued holding Dad's hand as I pushed and we explored the facility together. Outside was a very nice garden area. A year ago, Dad could tell us the name of every plant in there, now he just sits and enjoys the fresh air.

We return to the second floor where his fellow residents continue to sing. This apparently doesn't sit well with Dad so he yells "AH...SHUT UP" as we pass through the large open room. We actually laugh, but are shocked at the sudden outburst, so we apologize to the lady in charge and she just gives us a reassuring smile.

Dad is a retired Naval Commander and we have never heard him say anything out of disrespect towards another person. This was new territory for him, and we are certain just a side effect of this awful disease.

We joined Dad for lunch and then said our goodbye's for the day, thanking everyone at the facility for taking such good care of Dad and promising to return the following day. Next stop, Hawaiian Paradise Park.

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