As I entered the room, I could see the gentleman speaking to different people. It was obvious he was struggling understanding what they were saying to him, but that didn’t stop his conversation.
Eventually he worked his way to me as I was resting comfortably in a chair near the door to the courtyard. He started speaking to me. He was telling me about the tough day he was having and the problems he was having there at his job. He commented on what a lovely day it looked like outside and would love to go out.
I told him I would gladly go out to the courtyard with him if he wanted to and he was more than appreciative. We made our way out there and got comfortable in some chairs in a nice shaded area. He was carrying a can of Diet Coke and on multiple occasions offered it to me, I declined.
He introduced himself and told me his name is Sam. I told him “Nice to meet you, my name is Walt.” He said, “Nice tho meet you Paul.” I attempted to correct him on the name, but obviously his hearing wasn’t very good.
He started to tell me about all the ailments he was currently experiencing. His sore ribs from being hit by a small child with a shopping cart. How he was having a hard time eating because of his stomach hurting.
He began telling me about his work and the struggles he was having with his coworkers there at his office. He told me about all of his food and belongings that have come up missing and all the money that had been taken from him.
He started asking me questions about myself. Where I lived. Did I live by myself? Have we ever met before? I tried to answer the questions the beat that I could, but he wasn’t quite understanding.
I tried to ask him about himself. Where he was from. Did he have any family? How long had he been here? He struggled, but for a man in his late 80’s obviously fighting dementia, he did his best.
We continued talking but before you knew it we were talking in circles. He kept asking my name. Where I was from and did I live alone. I started to wind the conversation down because it was getting late and I needed to go.
It appeared I had brought a little enjoyment to his day. He loved the fact that he was outside and had someone to talk to. He really wanted me to stay and have dinner with him, but I needed to go.
Our conversation ended and he thanked me for the visit and invited me back for another visit. He told me to take care and hoped to see me soon and I replied “Me too Dad.”
Alzheimer’s and dementia are hard to deal with for all involved……