How can I comfort my Dad? He is devastated that his wife might not come home from NH after Alz episode.

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Dad and his wife were never separated by more than a foot since they married about 35 years ago. Even though she had dementia or first stages of Alz for years, she was his eyes and ears, and they were a good match in caring for each other. Now poor Dad is 95, lost most of his sight, and his hearing. He lives an hour and half away. He has her family clan who do a great job of looking after Dad and his wife, plus aides and good doctor care.
What is a good approach in visiting him? Just listen, hang out, go out to eat, and take him to see his wife in the NH. Wish there was some cool idea to cheer him up or just let him air his grief and fear. What else can I do?

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Answered prayer on Thanksgiving weekend! I have been in love with my friend who lives about a day's drive from me. I went to my best friend's house 3 hours away and called the man I love and miss the most to join us. The 3 of us have been close friends for many years. I prayed to God very intensely On Thursday and Friday for my loved one to drive down so I could see him. When I arrived at my buddy's house, I was asked, "Guess who is coming for dinner?" My prayer was answered. The three of us had a wonderful weekend.
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You can always bring pictures back and forth, and maybe even Skype if there is someone to help on both ends and it doesn't freak them out...
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What a touching post Judda. I can't write much because I have a migraine but I have tears in my eyes. Your father is so lucky to have you. I hope things go as smoothly as possible with your dad and his wife and that you have a good time with your friends this weekend. You truly deserve it.
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HI Everyone: you are my other family. So nice to come back here to say hi and update.
So I went to see my Dad. I never get a chance to see him alone, without R, so that was pleasant, even considering the sad circumstances. Dad looks darn good for 95. A little thin, plenty of white wavy hair and big blue eyes. He is now legally blind but you can't tell by looking at him. He can't hear really well but still can carry a bit of conversation. He likes to walk and doesn't use a cane or walker. He had me drive us to a Polish restaurant. (our background was Polish but I love Thai food!), so that was a treat. Great kielbasa, cooked sauerkraut and mounds of mashed potatoes with dill. We enjoyed lunch and Dad shared some of his feelings with me a bit here and there about R's decline with Alz, and I learned about her last episode.

It was sometime last week: she kept trying to wander out of their apartment. Dad kept putting duct tape on the door. She gets up all night long, and Dad can't sleep, worrying about her and helping her go to the bathroom. The next day they were going somewhere and she refused to put on her coat and then became violent and was shouting insulting things at her grand daughter who was shocked and shaken by the surprising treatment. R's daughter and granddaughter were visiting them when the sh*t hit the fan. R's daughter called 911. R ended up in a NH for a week of evaluation.

I took Dad over to see R in the psychiatric wing with the Alz and other disabled folks all thrown in together in a temporary ward. It was a scene straight out of the movies: The Cuckcoo's Nest. Dad had been there twice a day a few times so he wasn't in shock and he didn't warn me of what it was like there either. R was zonked out whether she was awake or not. She didn't recognize me and treated Dad as if he could have been anyone, so I don't think she recognized him either.
Her skin was swollen, yellowish, and her face drawn and more aged than when I saw her just about a month or so ago. Her hands were bony and ridden with arthritis. For an hour she lie on a bed, unable to think through even a comfortable position: kind of falling down and staying still. If it weren't for seeing some breathing, I thought she was dying. Dad acted like all this was something to be expected.

Was he in denial or was he more informed than I was? He wanted to wait for her to wake up. 45 minutes passed: Dad was staring at R the whole time. I was inwardly frighted of the other people there. I finally tried to get Dad to leave and try again tomorrow morning, but he wouldn't budge. Finally after an hour Dad suggested we wait in "the dining room". Just a larger room with some attendants and several severely demented and disabled old folks.

Dad hardly spoke to me. He sat there spaced out and full of sadness. I didn't know what to say. I couldn't wait to get out of there. We were about to leave when R waddled in and Dad went to her and took her hand and led her to sit down. He got her a little ice cream and she ate: her eyes were dull, tired, and it seems like there was no more R left in her. Another hour passed slowly and finally it was time to leave. I took Dad home.
At his apartment door he looked at me and said, "It's heart breaking, isn't it?"
He said, "I'm sorry R doesn't recognize you. She loves you."
I replied, "It's not important that she recognize me. It's more important that she loves you. And, I love you."
Now, two days later, I hear he had a better visit with her. I'll call him right after this and see what's next.

Meanwhile, a state away, I made the big Turkey dinner for my mother whose non-stop chatter annoys me but I was so grateful she doesn't have ALZ. She had a good time and my cooking was a success with her.

I'm heading up north to be with my friends tomorrow for the weekend!

My mother went to a party in her senior building. She loves being around people.
Now that she has others to see she is getting along better with me. It's not a working relationship by any standards due to her mental issues and hearing problem but that's ok. I am grateful for what we have now.

Hope you all are counting blessings too.
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How did it go for you and your dad and mom? Please update us!
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My own mother is 95 and in a small NH. She is doing great. It is possible that your dad would be better off, with skilled care. I hope it all works out for him.
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Thinking of you on your journey!!
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Thanks everyone. I have to work on a project for someone. Tomorrow I'll visit Dad and bring him to see his wife in the evening. Going to be a lot of driving and probably heart wrenching day tomorrow.
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The things you wrote were the ones that occurred to me, too, jbh. Getting old is so hard with losses getting more frequent with age. What type of episode did your step mother have? It would be nice if there was a way for them to stay together. At his age, it may be that he needs that little extra care, too. I have this idea of finding a care facility that is the perfect fit, but doesn't cost too much. I don't know if there are any of those out there.
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I guess that will be considered when it is clear we are ready to cross that bridge. He has been in denial about her and probably his own condition and is really only now realizing he can't care for her.
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