Visiting Daddy!

by Kathy Sykes on December 28, 2009 · 2 comments


As many of you know, my father has Alzheimer’s Disease and we had to relocate him from his home to a skilled nursing facility. It was just too much work and emotional stress on my mother.

I have two sisters and we all have responded to his transition in different ways, but the most noticeable and common aspect we share is that it is hard to go and visit him. It is all psychological, I know, but it is something about seeing your daddy in a vunerable state where you really can’t do anything to bring him back.

And then there is the nursing facility itself. Where daddy lives now is really nice and we have been nothing but pleased with his care. But there are other clients/patients there who are in a worse state than he and those who are in a better state. Just being in that environment can make you really sad sometimes. Dad was a police officer for 30 years and a good role model for our family. It is strange that he is not in the “present” anymore. One of the saddest moments for me was that daddy was not able to conceptualize that we have our first African-American president.

Daddy has awesome long term memory. He knows who his entire immediately family is and can remember family gatherings and events like it was yesterday. He does not know any of the spouses or my son which makes me sad again. My mother even bought my son a figurative doll that looks a lot like my dad so that Thomas can at least “know” a grandaddy that is fun!


Other than his loss of memory, daddy is in pretty good health. In a perfect world, I would have a house that could accommodate my mom and dad with full-time help. It would be great to have him around all of the time. And around the holiday season, it is really difficult not having him around because to bring him (like we have in the past), he gets very irritable and ready to go back to the nursing facility after 10 minutes. Alzheimer’s patients do not like to have thier environments changed.

For the new year, I would love to commit to visiting daddy more often and taking my son with me to get to know his grandfather on some intimate level.

Remember to live in the “present” as much as you can and love like there is no tomorrow!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nanette December 28, 2009 at 10:51 am

Such a wonderful gesture your Mom getting Thomas that Grandpa like doll. Your fathers’ illness is surely difficult for you all. Think of the memories you have of him that make you smile and share those with your son. Your family is always in my prayers. Be blessed!


Hicksgirl93 January 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm

What a nice picture of your parents and son. I know dealing with your father’s illness is difficult, I’m happy for all the precious moments you and your family are able to share with him.


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