About My Dad (and Jimi)

Update about my dad. My dad is living in a retirement home for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It was a very hard decision we had to make, especially in these Covid-19 times… He stayed one week in isolation and was tested twice for Covid-19. Thank goodness the results were negative. Since last week he can move around free in this home and have contact with other inhabitants. I moved some furniture, pictures and photographs from his apartment to his new room. It looks like he’s still living in his apartment. Right now it seems he’s happy in his new environment. The staff are wonderful and devoted people. I really believe and hope he’s going to have some good years ahead…

The evenings are very difficult for my dad, he doesn’t like darkness. I’m keeping a lot of lights on and keeps him company until it’s bedtime. We’re watching football (soccer) on tv and he really enjoys this time with me.

I know it’s a hard time for me, but I still feel like there’s a lot of good in this world. Professional people told me I need at least 3 weeks to get used to this new situation. For the first time in my life I’m having lunch and dinner alone by myself. Due to the Covid-19 measurers, I can’t invite family or friends to my home. But Jimi seems to be very happy now we’re sharing more time together. Yesterday, he was faced with a difficult choice to pick the right box.

I want to thank you with all my heart. All your heartwarming comments made me feel better and helped me get through these hard times. I sincerely apologise for not replying to your comments.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

112 responses

  1. All these changes are so hard, on all sides. But I’m glad you can still spend time with your dad, and that he is someplace safe so you don’t have to worry on that point. Don’t forget to take care of yourself (and let Jimi help) while you care for your dad. These are such tough days all around.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m glad Jimi is keeping me company right now. I would completely be lost without him. It will take a lot of time to get used to this new phase in my life.

  2. Jimi looks a bit overwhelmed, but I’m sure he’ll make the right decision.

    Herman, you are a good son. Always know that you are doing what’s best for your dad’s health and well-being. He is safe and being cared for and that alone must give you peace of mind. Enjoy the time you have with him, the soccer games and being close.

    Hugs from across the Atlantic. My roommate and I do not have people over either and I miss so many of my friends…but this will eventually pass and we’ll find the hugs and contact even more sweet when the time comes. Blessings, Herman.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment and concern, Mary! This really means a lot to me. Looking forward to better times and good working vaccines. Meanwhile we’ll stick to espresso and chocolate…

      Wishing you all the best, my dear friend!

  3. It sounds as if you have found a lovely home for your dad. I hope he settles in well. Cat Granny spent her last few years in such a place, again with the loveliest staff imaginable. Lots of love to you all. 🖤🖤🖤

  4. That is an incredibly hard decision to make. In the end, it’s usually a good one for both the caregiver and the patient. Dementia is scary for both parties, and it’s good to have people around who know how to handle it. Based on Snoops and Kommando, I’m sure Jimi is thrilled to spend more time with his human. Take care.

    • Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment! This really means a lot to me. Glad to have Jimi by my side right now.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and concern! I will need some time to get used to this new way of living. I’m glad my dad is in a very good place.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment, Jennifer! I’m very happy to have Jimi by my side right now.
      Wishing you all the best!

  5. Dear Herman….many years ago my brother and sister and I realized our Mom who had Alzheimers would be MOST safe in a place where she could be watched, cared for, and kept comfortable 24/7. She was fine there – we visited often, took her out for the day often, and tried to keep her life as happy as we could. It feels strange at first I know but your Dad will have “friends” there and people to watch over him with your company when you’re able to be there too. I’m sure Jimi is a comfort to you – they are so sensitive they really do know when we need them the most! Take time out for chocolate and smiles and hugs…..they are important too! Will be thinking of you and hoping the very best for you and your Dad (and Jimi)!

    Love and Hugs, Pam (and Teddy)

    • Hi Pam. Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment. I’m sure I did the right thing and my Dad is in a good and safe place. But I will need some time to get used to this new situation…
      I’m glad to have Jimi by my side in these hard times. It seems he feels that something’s wrong right now. Thank goodness I can also find some comfort in espressos and chocolate…

      Wishing you all the best, my dear friend!

  6. I’m glad to read that the place where your Dad’s had to move is so meticulous and professional, and that you were able to make his space so much like what he’s used to. These are rotten times to be separated from people we love; I try not to think how I’d feel if it were just me in the house at the moment, because I’d be afraid to interact with anyone else for any reason. Stay safe and keep that cat supplied with boxes.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment and concern! I really wished I could have done this in better times. But I’m glad I found a very good home for my Dad and he seems to like it there.

      There are a lot of boxes hanging around right now. I have to move stuff from the apartment to my home and also to the retirement home. Mr. Bowie would have loved all those (empty) boxes. Jimi is not really a ‘box cat’…

  7. You are a good son, Herman, and have made the best decision you can for you and your father. He knows you love him. Change can be very difficult for all involved, but your father is in a good place where he will get round the clock care, and you can spend quality time with him, too, without getting worn out. Your health is important, too. Everyone here sends love and best wishes for you both, and little Jimi cat. ❤

    • Hi Lavinia. Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment and concern. I was a hard decision to make but I know he’s now in a good and safe place. The last months were not easy for me but I’m glad I found a good home for my Dad. I know we can still have quality time together.

      Jimi sends his regards to everyone at the Farm. He’s very happy to share all that extra time with me…

  8. Herman; it’s not easy seeing a loved one who needs a life style change. I pray your dad has many great years ahead. I understand how hard this is on both of you emotionally; please know your dad’s in a :good place: right now; in that he will get round the clock care… if he were living by himself; there would be the constant worry of whether or not he’s OK. We all hope and pray this virus $#!t goes away, so some sense of normalcy can return. I’m glad you are able to visit with him. ♥♥♥

    jimi…..dood…uz tabbies say pix box number three 🙂 ♥♥

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment and concern. This means a lot to me and helps me to get through these hard times. It was a hard decision to make but I’m sure he’s in a good and safe place right now. Thank goodness I can go visit him everyday.

      Hahaha… Jimi was trying to get in the highest box! Although he’s not a real ‘box cat’ he was very fascinated by all these boxes…

  9. It’s a great comfort to know your dad will be so well looked after and we wish you both many more happy moments together. Please give sweet Jimi a gentle pat from us all 💜

  10. It takes a lot of courage to face these trials. I think you do not miss them and Jimi is there to distract you from your pain. Animals know how to bring us so much sweetness…

  11. Hello lovely friend 🥰 I’ve been thinking of you there, worried for your dad and you, facing all sorts of difficult decisions. It sounds like you’ve found the right spot and how great that you can spend time together in comfort and safety with the support you need. I think as long as you’re there, your dad will be happy. Very good to hear your dad got a negative test for Covid. Seniors in Canada, will be offered the vaccine for covid first. We’re in a situation here too where we can’t have non-family members in our home. Thank heavens for the love of our fur family. Take good care Herman, thanks for your news, hugs all around xK

    • Hi Kelly. Thank you so much for your kind and heartwarming comment. The past weeks were very hard for me; making such hard decisions and finding a good home for my dad. But I’m very happy he’s in a good and safe place right now.
      I was very lucky to have such a great furry friend by my side. I would have been lost without him…

      Stay safe and healthy, my dear friend!

  12. I know those were difficult adjustments to make Herman, and I hope everything will go smoothly for you and your dad. Best wishes to you and your dad and to Jimi.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment, Leah! I’m glad my Dad likes his new home. It was a very hard decision I had to make. But I’m looking forward to share a lot of good moments with him.

  13. In good times and bad times, we do the best we can. I am sure you have done your very best with great love and compassion for your father. It will take time for both of you to adjust. Be well, be safe, be kind to yourself.

    • Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment, my dear friend. You are so right, we will need a lot of time to get used to this new situation. But I’m happy I found a good and safe place for my Dad.
      Stay healthy and safe!

  14. This is a tough year. You did what had to be done. Your Dad has his room, and you made it look like home. He is protected. At this point, gatherings of two may be safe if both persons wear a mask. I’m glad Jimi is with you. Stay safe.

    • Hi Micheline. Thank you so much for your kind comment and support. I’m glad I found a good and safe place for my dad. We will both need some time to get used to this new situation, especially in these weird Covid-19 times…

  15. Hi Herman, I had been thinking of you, I must say that I kind of dreaded to see your post coming up, because I knew it will be about your dad. Taking of a loved one with Alzheimer is the most difficult challenge, as I know of my brother taking care of his wife. You had to overcome the most difficult decision, but I think it was the right timing as it seems that your dad is still aware of his surrounding and as you said he will have some goo times ahead if him with such good care. Now more cuddle times with Jimi, good thing you have each other. Take good of yourself you two. Hot chocolate with a shot ( or two) of espresso will help, I heard. “Paws together” from Cornelia

    • Hi Cornelia. Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment and support. I know things will eventually get better. I need some time to get used to this new situation. But I’m very happy to see my Dad’s in a good and safe place.
      I’ve also noticed Jimi enjoys the extra time with me now I’m spending more time at home. Thank goodness he doesn’t like my espressos and chocolate… 😉

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment and concern! I’m glad my Dad likes his new home so far.
      Wishing you a wonderful December!

  16. Such a hard decision and hard change in hard times, but it’s so good for you to know he is somewhere where he’ll get good care, and away from the virus threat. So much adjustment for you and him, in a world where there has already been so many other adjustments. Now you have to take good care of you! And Jimi, of course, cos he’s your good companion. Go figure that he would want the box on top, lol. Be well and safe.

    • Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment, my dear friend! I felt really bad about making such hard decision but I know it was the right thing to do. My Dad is in a good and safe place right now. We will both need some time to get used to this new situation.
      I’m so glad to have Jimi by my side. He’s a real good companion in these hard times. And he got his box on the top… 🙂

      Stay safe and healthy, my friend!

      • His safety is the most important thing. So when Jimi got the box on top, did he lay in it and enjoy it for a while? Maybe he hides and jumps out at you…..You be safe too; what I’ve come to call paranoid careful when I talk to my kids. ❤️

        • So true, the safety of my Dad is the most important issue right now. Just like you, I’m paranoid careful when I’m going outside…
          It’s so weird, Jimi is my first cat who isn’t a real ‘box cat’. Mr. Bowie would have played days with those boxes but Jimi always loses his interest after some minutes. He’s a strange little fellow… but I love him! 🙂

  17. This is a really hard time for you – made worse by the pandemic and social distancing. However, you are doing the best you can for your Dad and both of you will adjust to this new situation. Just give it time, like they say.
    Thank goodness for Jimi to give you a little normality and comfort. As long as he’s got his boxes he’s happy! 🙂

  18. I went through this with two parents. My father was the hardest to convince. It took a hefty male nurse and a large female nurse to get him in the car after he was released from the hospital. I was recovering from a major illness myself at the time, and I couldn’t get it across to my father I not only couldn’t get him out of the car, there was no way I could get him up four stairs at the house. I had to take him home and prove it! He was to weak to help me help him. I left him in the car and called the hospital to let them know our situation, they had me bring my father back to the hospital, and the same nurses managed, with difficulty, to get him out of the car and into a wheelchair. From there, they transported him in an ambulance to a care center, where he spent the rest of his life. Fortunately, though very stubborn, my Dad was mentally alert till the end. My mother was more easily convinced to enter the care center because my father was there.

    Best wishes for the best of care for your father.

    • Hi Doug. That’s totally a different story about your father… I was happy moving my Dad to the retirement home wasn’t a problem. I have to take him in a wheelchair to the hospital next Friday for a scan of his feet. He has a hard time walking around right now.

      Thank you so much for your kind comment and concern, my friend! Wishing you all the best!

  19. Being a RN I know all too well the challenges of Dementia. It really is best to find a good home with excellent staff for placement. That sounds difficult and it is, terribly. He will get used to things and settle into a routine and you will begin to relax and have acceptance. It is never ever easy but it will be something both of you can live with and move forward

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment and concern! It was a hard decision I had to make and we both will need some time to get used to this new situation. The local Covid-19 measures makes it even harder… But I’m sure my Dad’s in a good and safe place.

  20. Thinking of both you and your dear Dad. These are hard times. But he has you and he knows how much you love him … and he is in a safe environment. Much love to you both. And pats and smooches for Jimi

    • Thank you so much for your kind and heartwarming comment, Julie! Much appreciated! It was a hard decision I had to make but I’m sure my Dad is in a good and safe place.

  21. I had to put my Mom in a nursing home for the last 3 months of her life, battling Alzheimer’s. She and my Dad had lived with us for 25 years. She endured the disease for about seven years. She finally forgot “how to sleep.” Our family (six of us) were run ragged as she cried through the night wondering where everyone was. Once we had her in a nursing home, we made her DVD’s with her favourite hymns and songs and pictures of her family went with the music as a slide show. The PSW’s played it over and over and over to get her to stay calm through the day and night and every time she watched it, she thought it was the first time. She absolutely loved them and they got her through……..

    • Welcome on HoB. Thank you for visiting and following the blog. Much appreciated!

      Thank you so much for telling your moving story about your Mom. Going through such difficult period is very hard and emotional. It was a hard decision I had to make after taking care of my Dad for a long time. But I’m glad he’s in a good and safe place right now.
      I’m keeping him company during the evening and we watch football together. It helps him to keep calm and relax.

      Wishing you a wonderful, safe and healthy December!

    • Hi Liam. I’m so happy my Dad still got a lot of clear moments and we can have conversations and watch football together. But I realise this will not last forever…

        • It’s always so strange, my Dad recognises football players on the field and calls their names, but he doesn’t realise what’s happing around him in the present day…

          Thank you for following HoB. Much appreciated, Liam!

  22. I am just catching up with your blog and was so sorry to read about your dad. My own mother had dementia when she died at the age of 90 and I also worked in a Specialist dementia unit for 10 years.
    I have witnessed many carers and family members driven to distraction trying to care, at home, for their loved ones with dementia. It is very, very hard and I know many who were consumed with guilt when they eventually had to say enough was enough and agree to care home admission.
    It is my professional opinion that NO-ONE should feel any guilt about their loved one going into care.

    It is clear you have acted in the best interest of your Dad and that is so important. Please don’t beat yourself up about your decision.

    I don’t know where you are in the world or what guidance you are getting from anyone in the “dementia” world ( though you mention professionals) but here in the UK the Alzheimer’s Society have masses of information and guidance.

    https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

    The best advice I can give you, based on years of experience, is walk beside your father without trying to change things. If he says it is Thursday and really it’s Monday, don’t try to correct that because it’s his reality and he cannot change his reality. It’s so important to work with his reality as much as you possibly can. Trying to correct his reality will only cause anxiety and anxiety makes dementia worse.

    Always introduce yourself with your name and that you are his son.

    A lot of this is about feeling. Even though you may think your dad will forget that you have visited , quite quickly after you have left, he will keep a feeling of the happiness and love you will have given him for a very long time, though he may not know why.

    I have gone on a bit too much. I wish you peace.

    • Hi Helen. Thank you so much for your kind comment, support and concern. This really means a lot to me.

      I still find it very difficult to stop correcting my Dad’s thoughts. But I’m very lucky he always recognises me. I still wish I didn’t had to make this hard decision but I know he’s in a good and safe place.
      I’m keeping him company every evening and we watch tv together. He still enjoys watching football. He also remembers (sometimes) I have a cat and asks how Jimi’s doing.
      Due to the COVID-19 measures, I’m the only person allowed to visit him. This makes it even harder, it would be so beautiful if the grandchildren could pay him a visit.

      I really appreciated your comment, Helen. Wishing you a wonderful December and happy ending of the year!

      • I guessed you would be finding it hard not to correct your dad, almost everyone does this but it is quite destructive both for the carer doing it and for the person with dementia because it can cause great frustration for both.
        Your dad can only live in what is his reality, he can no longer live in your reality ( most of the time)
        It was described to me like this.
        The brain of someone is like an onion with with layers of memory. The outside layers are the newest memories and these are the ones that go first. As the layers peel off so do the years.
        So your dad might be say 80 but his memories may, for much of the time, be that of a 40 year old so his reality is 1980 not 2020.
        Of course as you know this is not set in stone because people with dementia, like your dad, have moments of great lucidity too. It isn’t a straight line.
        This was very strongly with the late mother of friends of mine. She was born in Belgium but had lived in Ireland for about 40 years so most of the time spoke English, except sometimes with her son and her husband before he died. As her dementia progressed she gradually regressed to speak only Flemish, her native language. She lost almost all her ability to speak English because, of course, she seldom spoke it when she lived in Belgium.
        As you said you father always enjoyed Football so will likely continue to do so. If you know what things he loved to do when he was young talk about them too, if you can.
        I wish you patience and love. Take care

        • A lot of people told to me to stop correcting my Dad. I’m working on it and most of the time I got it under control. Guess it’s an automatic response to help my Dad… Sometimes it’s so weird, he’s telling me stories about people he met that day, like my mother and grandmother. But they both passed away many years ago…
          Guess I need some time to get used to this new situation in my life. But it still feels so strange, having dinner and lunch without my Dad.

          Thank you so much for your kind comment and concern. Much appreciated, Helen!

          • It’s like a bereavement that’s for sure and that takes time.. take all the time you need. I don’t know if you have any dementia support groups for carers/family members near you or online ones but they can be so supportive because other people in the same, or similar situations understand where you are at.

            Take care of yourself.

  23. Me and my family just got our mom check and she is in her pre stages of both as well… It breaks my heart to hear what her and us all will go through! I’m hoping we can find all the support you have found when it starts get to bad! Thanks for sharing, it gave me hope that there are still decent people out there trying to help comfort these folks!! Prayers and blessing to your family!

    • Thank you very much for your kind comment and support. Wishing you all the best and good luck in finding the best support and help for your mom. I was very lucky to find a good and safe place for my Dad.

      Thank you so much for visiting and following HoB. Much appreciated!

  24. What a cruel world we live in. Words are not adequate. You are doing your best for your father and that in itself has to be consolation enough. So difficult to make sense of the world. If there is any!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and concern, my dear friend!
      And yes, Jimi wanted the highest box for sure… 🙂

  25. Just catching up with your posts, and just wanted to say ……So sorry about your Dad but I think he is in a good place where he can be well looked after and you are close enough to spend time with him, so it’s good for both of you. I am also sorry that you are feeling isolated at the moment due to the Covid restrictions, but know that you do have many virtual friends around the world who enjoy your posts and of course you have Jimi (and chocolate!)
    A

    • Hi Jill. Thank you so much for your kind and heartwarming comments. Reading such warm words help me to get through these difficult times.

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