These are my Dad’s shoes. A man whose ‘style’ could be summed up as practical. He seems only to have one pair of shoes, these are the shoes he potters up the garden in, the shoes for his daily walk to the shop, shoes for driving to ‘golf’, shoes for going ‘out’. These are comfortable shoes, go anywhere shoes.
My parent’s visited this weekend, it’s a tough trying to balance the needs of a 3 year old with my mother who has Alzheimers. My Dad who wants timeout, wants to put on these shoes and chase around after his Grandson. I resent the impact of Alzheimers on our lives. Put simply, it pissed me off.
My son says; ”Nana doesn’t know what she’s doing”. It’s true she can’t remember where the living room is. Later that day she says; “I’m not very good at anything any more”.
Her carer is my Dad. He does everything she once did; runs the house, cooks all the meals, reminds and remembers. He supports and encourages her, recently, she insisted on ironing. Confused, she put her hand on the hot metal. He was there to treat the burn. He regrets he didn’t stand over her, but that’s not what she wants. At other times, she won’t sit or move forward without suggestion, she’ll simply stand, hesitating, at a loss in the middle of the room.
Things need to be explained over and over, for reassurance, finally she accepts; then she’ll roll her eyes as if the fault is with Dad for fussing over her. If he says something she doesn’t like, sometimes it goes completely over her head, other times she’ll shoot him a look of disapproval. It’s a delicate balance. Dad needs comfortable shoes, it’s a long walk.