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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pawpaw Has a Roommate

Pawpaw has been at the nursing home for almost four months and except for a day or two, has had a room to himself. But a few days ago, another man moved into the nursing home, and into Pawpaw's room. The man has Alzheimer's and it is pretty advanced. He used to be a Baptist preacher, so they should be fairly compatible. There's just one teeny little problem. The Rev doesn't want to be at the nursing home.

The first day, his daughter brought him into the room, unpacked his bag, and settled him into the room. Then she left to go fill out some paperwork and go home to her ten kids. Yes, ten, and she is the only relative within fifty miles. After she left, Rev pulled all his things out of the drawers and closets, loaded them into a laundry basket, and headed out the door. A nurse brought him back and unpacked his basket. He told her she might as well leave everything in the basket because he wasn't staying.

Mother-in-law and Pawpaw were sitting on his side of the room watching, and after the nurse left, Rev began packing his basket again. Mother-in-law told him he might as well spend the night since it was getting dark outside and too late to go home. He said, no, he was going home, picked up his basket, and left. Pretty soon an aide brought him back again, and unpacked his basket. They went through this routine at least five times, and it was entertaining enough that Pawpaw stayed awake longer than usual.

The next morning, Hubby visited Pawpaw and said he walked into the room to find the Rev sitting in his bed crying into his breakfast, and Pawpaw already in the dining hall. After breakfast, Hubby and Pawpaw returned to the room and the Rev was lying in bed sobbing into his pillow. Hubby suggested they go for a walk and Pawpaw agreed, so they walked until Pawpaw needed to go to sleep. The Rev was still sobbing when they got back to the room, but Pawpaw dropped off to sleep and Hubby left.

I haven't heard how it has gone today, but I hope the Rev settles in and becomes good company for Pawpaw.


  1. Your post was difficult for me to read. I feel so bad for people that were so vibrant in their younger days only to end up like the Rev. I hate that disease, it truly sucks. My mother had a form of dementia and it was very hard for me to accept that and to this day I am in denial. She passed back in '05 and it seems like it was just yesterday.

  2. I know of a couple of people that had a parent in a situation similar to the reverend. But they both did get settled in after awhile. One of the parents really liked office work. So, they found some projects for her to do at the nursing home. Made a huge difference.

  3. This post made my heart hurt. The Rev could have been my dad. I was bound to leave the Assisted Living place. He was in a locked unit, but managed to elope so many times I lost count. Each time we arrived to see the staff urgently moving about, we knew my dad had gotten out again.

    Dementia is such a rotten disease.

  4. Oh how sad this is to me. I know when my sister could no longer care for my Dad, we had to put him into a home. I know he felt betrayed and I am sad just thinking about it.

    Are you still taking the diatomaceous earth? I started Edible Earth about 2 months ago...

    Merry Christmas!!


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