So my 91 year old grandfather, who normally lives with my mother, has come to stay over for the week so that my girls and I can spend some time with him before he jets off to Edmonton for six months to visit my mom’s sister.
He’s a wonderfully amazing man who fought in WW2 as a fighter pilot, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, among other medals.
Grandad’s a funny guy who, despite the fact that Alzheimer’s is slowly creeping up on him, always has something witty to say, and always has a huge smile and lots of hugs for his great grandchildren. He’s also surprisingly spry for his age. I’m not just saying that either, I seriously end up breaking a sweat going for a walk with him because he cruises along so fast.
We absolutely love him to pieces.
The only thing I didn’t anticipate about the visit was how confused he might get. This confusion is made about a hundred times worse for the poor man because my house, and my mom’s house, have a very similar layout.
Where his room used to be at my mom’s house, is now my girls’ room here (by-the-way, they are very excited to be able to have a week-long sleep over with each other since great-granddad is sleeping in the room the second oldest usually sleeps in).
After he tried to go to his room about five times, and eventually complained that there were tiny little beds in his room, I finally clued in.
This brought about an entire series of signs being posted around the house labeling each person’s bedroom, the bathroom, signs pointing the way to his room, and other signs randomly reminding him that he was actually at my house so that during those odd moments of forgetfulness…he’ll quickly be reminded and feel calm again.
I’m pretty sure I’ve covered all the bases now, and am looking forward to a fun week of getting to know my grandfather a bit better, and so are my three munchkins.
This experience has made me think of something though. I do hope that when I’m at my dear grandfathers age and starting to forget things, my family thinks to put signs on every single piece of furniture, and every wall, pointing the way to whatever destination I started walking towards.
In fact…considering I’m already at the point where I’m forgetting things and would end up curled in the fetal position in a corner somewhere if I happened to lose my precious iPhone…I may just leave those signs up at the end of the week…just in case.