There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about a variety of programs that can help improve the quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients, including music, storytelling, games and dolls. I know they offered some kinds of exercise and social programs at the memory care facility Dad was at, but Dad was always the loner type. For example, I can’t imagine him sitting in a circle and batting a ball around, an activity that many dementia patients seem to take great joy in. Sure, Alzheimer’s changes people’s personality, but I could still see Dad’s old self underneath the disease until the very end.
He must have been so bored and lonely, pacing up and down the hallways of the memory care facility, with only my mom’s bi-monthly visits to break up the monotony.
But just about four months or so before he died, there was a field trip for the memory care residents. They went to the Bottomless Lakes State Park that’s a short drive from Roswell, NM. It seems like a beautiful, peaceful place. I don’t know how much Dad was able to enjoy it, but it must have been nice to breathe in the fresh air at least. I know that Dad enjoyed car rides once he had dementia so even if he didn’t like the lake, at least he got to be on the road a bit!
I just have to wonder what Dad saw or thought about as he looked over the expanse of beautiful blue water. Did he feel anything at all or had Alzheimer’s taken away his ability to appreciate the simple beauty of nature?