I am watching my father fade before my eyes. I moved back home to Seattle from British Columbia 3 years ago. My father had been showing some signs of memory loss, but once I moved home, his decline became much more apparent and precipitous. He has had a host of physical issues, culminating with a broken hip in January. After that, his mental decline became much more evident, to the point that the retirement home that he and my mother had lived in for 10 years refused to let him stay. He now lives in an adult family home 30 minutes away from the retirement home where my mother still lives. My oldest brother and I take shifts delivering and picking up Mom — as do our spouses. Some days are good for Dad…some days not. I have come to the philosophy that you take the good times as they come and enjoy the moments when that parent with dementia is “there” — and just ride out the difficult times as best you can. My father is nearly 80; my objective is to simply enjoy whatever time I have left with him.
Lisa McElroy Sweeten