Saturday, November 3, 2012


I went to see Dad this week, the day before Halloween, and I almost brought a trick or treat-sized candy bar in honor of the holiday! (I thought they might disapprove due to nutritional reasons, however!) As is often the case, two of the caregivers, both young men, were in the living room of Dad's House, watching tv and surfing the Internet. They are all nice men, and I think they do a fine job of caring for their charges, but as I walk down the hall to Dad's room,snoozing in his recliner chair like he usually is when I visit, I ponder.

I usually come by in the early afternoon, an hour or two after lunch is served to my Dad and the other residents, and I know that Dad gets drowsy in the afternoon, especially after his meal(don't we all!), but still, how much time do they allow him to spend in his recliner during the day? And that's the problem; I just don't know. I wonder if his caregivers could, or even should, be doing more to engage him, or if they're just leaving him to sleep the rest of his life away.

Granted, I don't think Dad is much for physical activity these days; they told me last time I visited that he didn't seem to want to walk much anymore. But couldn't they be talking to him, or encouraging him to come out into the living room with them? Or would he just end up snoozing on the living room couch instead of his recliner. And I have to ask myself, am I wondering about this because I'm worried about Dad's wellbeing, or because I feel guilty that he's here at all.

I suspect it's a little bit of both, since I know he's getting much better care here than he would with me. Someone asked me not long ago whether I still feel guilt about whether I'm doing the right thing by having Dad here, or whether I think about it at all, and I told her that I never really stop thinking about it and feeling slightly bad about resigning his care to other people, even though I know its for the best. I don't think anyone who has had to surrender care of their loved one to someone else ever really stops thinking about their choice, or wonders whether it was the right one. So as I sit here next to Dad, silently breathing with him, I know I'll probably always ponder about what the caregivers are doing, and whether it'll ever be enough.

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