Got some amusing mail coming in today. From Donald Trump’s campaign staff, and I pitched it to Dad just to mess with him.
Dad has an almost irrational dislike for The Donald. Okay, I don’t like the guy either for reasons of my own, but Dad’s dislike is special. When I pull up the news and Trump’s face shows up, Dad has the same response:
“Who’s that? Dumbshit again?”
Never fails, and myself being the opinionated snarky type who always needs to make things interesting, you know I’m gonna yank his chain.
He has a few other people on that list of his: The trash man, who Dad calls Fatass. The next-door neighbors (although the one on the other side is probably worse, but she gets a pass because she’s attractive and friendly.) A few others.
See, Dad was never like this before dementia. I mean he wouldn’t like certain people, but not like that. I guess it’s just one of the changes that happens when dementia takes the brain over. The filter goes, along with everything else.
Maybe in a perverse way it’s fun to play with, but it’s still not fun to see.
Dad’s always been a news buff. He always liked knowing what’s going on in the world, and that hasn’t changed much. The only change is in how he gets the news.
That’s become a favorite way for us to engage. Might even be the high point of his day.
Guaranteed, when I’m at the big screen computer Dad will come in and park himself in the chair behind me. I know what that means. Take a break from whatever I’m doing. Pull up Yahoo News and start sorting through stuff. Or go to my Twitter feeds and look for the hot news.
He especially likes the videos. Crank up the volume, go full screen, and he’s happy. If a story doesn’t have a video I’ll read it to him and interject my own commentary. Just like in the old days he gets into the political scene; the Trump/Clinton campaign is always good for a few laughs anyway.
Some of this gets pretty funny because we’re on different ends of the political spectrum. Admittedly, I’m just to the right of Genghis Khan. Dad isn’t. He’s already decided who he wants to vote for, while I favor lining them both against the wall and starting the whole mess over. Sometimes this sparks some pretty lively conversation.
It’s that engagement thing. I guess dementia is a pretty lonely disease; you’re just a prisoner of your own head. Anything to engage, to start conversation, to actually do things, is a big part of coping.
Watching the news on TV or reading it online is fine; it keeps the care recipient somewhat informed of what’s going on. But that doesn’t keep him engaged unless he cusses out the TV.