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Daddy Elf
Mobile AL
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 12:19 AM
Joined: 7/21/2018
Posts: 46

One way I've been able to deal with the frustration and depression in dealing with my father is to focus on some of the things he does. BTW, most of the time he is no longer my Daddy, or at least not the Daddy I've known my entire life. So I call him Daddy Elf.

Daddy Elf will take his underwear out of the dresser drawer and put them in the above-toilet cabinet. My mother would then take them out of the above-toilet cabinet and put them back in the dresser when Daddy wasn't in the room.

Daddy Elf will drink coffee all day long but he only fills the cup up halfway. Which is good because he usually spills half of what is in his cup as he walks around. So he usually drinks 1/4 of a cup at a time.  When he goes to get more coffee, he's lost his cup from before and gets another one because 'someone walked off with his cup'. That's why you always see spots on the tile floor.

The other day Daddy Elf asked me if I knew where the window curtain was for his bathroom. We went back there and, sure enough, the window blind was gone. He and I searched the entire house. I asked when he noticed it gone and he said it was 2 days ago.  We finally found it in a plastic storage box under the bed. Also in the box were 2 damp towels and a pair of his underwear.

My mother was in the hospital about a month ago and Daddy Elf and I were heading back to the hospital when we finished our breakfast. Daddy Elf seemed agitated and anxious. Finally he asked me if I would take him to the jail to get mama out of jail. I calmly explained that she wasn't in jail, she was in the hospital. He was visibly relieved. We got ready to leave and he asked me how much it would cost to get her out of jail and how far away it was. I told him again that she was in the hospital. He wanted to know how far was it to the hospital and what did he need to pack and how long it would take to get there. I hooked my arm in his and told him it would take about 15 minutes and walked him out the door to the car.

A while back Daddy Elf got up during the night and I heard him rumaging around in the kitchen. I got up and went into the kitchen and asked if he needed something. He said he had some bullets on the table and must have moved them but didn't remember where. A couple of years ago I had taken all the guns and bullets and hid them so I felt sure he didn't have a gun but, just in case, I asked him where he put the gun. He said he was going to look for that after he found out where he had put the bullets. I convinced him it was a dream (I'm sure it was) and he went back to bed.

Let's focus on some humor in our situations. Share some of the humorous things your Elf has done.

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 10:16 PM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 890

Thank you for the lighthearted stories. You pulled me out of a ball of frustration. 

I like the idea of blaming the odd things that happen in this household, on a mischievious sprite, broonie or fairy. For example, the broonie in our house is:

  • spilling sugar all over the kitchen counter and floor. 
  • putting sticky goop on the cabinet handles, 
  • putting dirty dishes in the cubbards,  
  • turning my DH's clothes inside out and backwards, 
  • leaving the front door open, or
  • leaving the water running. 
A mythical creature that creates havoc in the home is much more digestible to me than a horrible disease that slowly diminishes my loved one's personality and cognitive abilities.

Thank you for lightening the stress load today.


Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019 12:53 AM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 2329

When my father was still able to walk, there were a few times he would get angry at someone on TV, get his water bottle, and splash the water against the TV screen and walk away.  
One time in the bathroom he splashed water from a cup, used for rinsing his mouth, at his own reflection in the mirror.  He got angry because the guy in the mirror wouldn't respond to him. 
He was talking to his own reflection, and then he finally asked himself, "...Why do you stay quiet? What? You don't got balls?!  Yeah, I got balls and it's this big!" While showing length between distance of both hands... 

Then he gets his cup of water and splashes it against the mirror.  He turns on the faucet to fill the cup again and says to his reflection, "Would you like me to bathe you some more?!"  Splashes again and then walks away angry.

Mobile AL
Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019 11:05 PM
Joined: 7/21/2018
Posts: 46

Today I had to go to the local Walmart to pick up groceries I ordered last night...Thank you Walmart!  When I got home I made Daddy a roast beef sandwich but I was craving PB and Jelly sandwich. I had to look through 3 cabinets and finally found the PB in the back of the cabinet behind the cleaning products.

Later I discovered Daddy Elf had made him some PB and crackers (crumbs on counter, cracker canister in den, canister lid in refrigerator and butter knife on counter). He didn't know who had used the PB while I was gone, it was probably my 5 yr old nephew. LOL Guess my nephew walked across town by himself. I guess Daddy Elf thought I hadn't heard him the first or second time because he obsessed about it all evening... Where is nephew, Why didn't he come back inside, He's probably hungry, he's still down at the barn milking the cows...LOL!

Mobile AL
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019 12:00 AM
Joined: 7/21/2018
Posts: 46

For a few years now I've been handling Daddy Elf's medications. I'll put his evening medicine out after dinner and, after he's gone to bed I'll put his morning meds out. I put them in a small, clear plastic cup with a lid. He puts the empty cup on the table when he's through.

Last week I couldn't find his cup until dinnertime. It was in the cabinet with the bowls. 

Tonight I couldn't find it at all. Even looked in the trash. I watch to make sure he takes the medicine, and I saw him take it tonight. But I'll be darned if I could find the empty cup. Before he went to bed I asked him where it was. Of course, he doesn't know. Maybe he took it to his bedroom? Took it outside to the sun room? Who knows? Fortunately I've got about 50 of them but I'm beginning to think I'm looking right over it.

Then I noticed the dogs had dog food in their water bowl and the dog bowl was full of dog food too. Looked in the tub where I keep the dry food and, guess what I found? Yep, the little clear cup! 

Mobile AL
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 12:36 AM
Joined: 7/21/2018
Posts: 46

Daddy Elf wanted to help me around the house so I gave him a broom and I used the other one and asked if he would mind sweeping the hall and kitchen. He was so happy with himself that he told everyone who came over that he 'cleaned the whole house'. I still smile when I think about how tickled he was to help.

I usually ask him to set the table at dinner. I put the plates, silverware and napkins on the table and he sets them out. He smiles the entire time. 

For Thanksgiving I cooked us a hen and the next day was de-boning it to make chicken salad sandwiches for lunch. The knife slipped and I cut two of my fingers across the knuckles. Threw the rest of the hen out 'just in case'. That night I made cornbread along with dinner but I had my right hand bandaged and my arthritis is bad in my left hand and I couldn't lift the cast iron skillet out of the oven. Finally asked Daddy if he would do it for me. Had him put on oven mitts and use pot holders. It really made me nervous. But he did it! When my niece and nephew dropped by after dinner he proudly told them that he helped cook dinner. 

He needs to feel needed and I could kick myself for not noticing that before now. I've been trying to do everything I could for him because he can only follow one instruction at a time. I just have to keep the instructions simple and do it along with him and keep telling him how much help he is. Then maybe I'll see more smiles from him.

Caregiving for a LO with dementia can be very frustrating, tiring and messy sometimes but it's got those rewarding moments too.



Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2019 6:40 PM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 890

Thank you for sharing the importance of our LOs to be needed. I will definitely be more mindful.