Saturday, March 2, 2013

Babysitting Grampy


Grampy is the nickname the family uses for my father, because he's a grandfather of two now. Grampy is 75 now and not in the best of health. His given name is Elmer Bartelle Godbey, but over the years he has gone by Bart, EB, and sometimes Elmer. I call him dad.

Less than a year ago, dad and mom moved from what was to be their retirement house, because dad was showing signs of dementia, including wandering around (in the house) at night. He was crashing his car and not remembering the circumstances of the accidents. One time, I was visiting, and there sat a prepared salad on the island, and the television was playing loudly, that I thought dad was there.

He was not. He had left the house, allegedly to put gas in his car.

Tests confirmed a diagnosis of early onset dementia. My sister took on the task of looking for retirement villages with memory care, and selling their house. Dad was anxious about the move, both positively and negatively, so he stayed at our house on the actual moving day. I took the above picture then.

Since moving, dad's dementia has worsened. Just yesterday, he told me he had front row seats to a soccer game, and even told me he enjoyed the game. Just one problem--he didn't go to a soccer game.

Another time, I called and was talking to mom, hearing him in the background. He was talking to a friend who was not there. When mom told him that his friend wasn't there, he then guessed he was talking to my sister. She wasn't there either.

Mom doesn't want to leave him alone, because he gets anxious and feels abandoned, so my sister and I have started keeping him company on Sunday evenings, so mom can play bunko.

Dementia is a cruel wench. It can take an extremely cool, interesting individual and turns them into a helpless baby. There but for the grace of god go us all.


Anonymous said...

You are a phenomenal woman...

Eden Jones said...

How very nice of you to say so. Thanks for reading.