Today is my birthday. It was also my father’s birthday.
I wanted to make my father’s birthday special. Even though Alzheimer’s had caused him to not remember, my husband and I celebrated each of my father’s birthdays while he lived with then near us. In doing so, we also celebrated mine.
To see my father smile with the innocence of a child was worth it as he enjoyed being fed something sweet that was “easy on the teeth.” Truth is I don’t believe he remembered what it meant to have an 88th, 89th, or 90th birthday. He just loved the attention of people who smiled as they cared for him.
And who wouldn’t?
If my father lived the last dozen years, he’d be
113 [oops, I meant 103], today.
In commemoration of this day and the legacy he’s left by helping tens of thousands with his story, I share an interview Caring.com recently did with me after reading “Where’s my shoes?” My Father’s Walk through Alzheimer’s. Yes, it’s a grammatically incorrect question, but that’s the way my father asked it repeatedly while living with dementia.
The Obstacles of Alzheimer’s Caregiving: Caring.com Interviews Brenda Avadian
When caring for a parent with dementia, it’s hard to know what to expect. Caring.com interviewed me after reading, “Where’s My Shoes?” My Father’s Walk through Alzheimer’s, to understand what I learned while caring for my father.
I admit I was unprepared to care for an 87-year old who needed to be cared for as you might care for a 3-year old. There were moments when he acted his age followed by my cleaning up after him because he couldn’t tell the difference between the toilet and the washing machine.
Caring.com’s interview includes:
- what I found most uncharacteristic of my father’s normally temperate behavior,
- that caring for cats does not adequately prepare one to be a caregiver,
- what I found most challenging while acting as my father’s power of attorney,
- what I found most rewarding and difficult,
- concluding with the two pieces of advice I’d give to someone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
Read the complete interview by clicking on The Obstacles of Alzheimer’s Caregiving: An Interview with Brenda Avadian