E- Yesterday my youngest son turned 14. We mentioned throughout the day that we would dine out and I prayed that our son's restaurant selection would be appropriate for our parents. We planned ahead by ordering appetizers so no one would be 'hangry' at the table. As we prepped to leave the house our Mom had multiple towels and blankets that she was bringing plus her Rosary collection. I mentioned that this may be too many items to bring to the birthday dinner and that we could leave these behind. The word birthday got her attention and we were discussing C's 14th birthday again. This allowed me to get her a few steps closer to the garage but then she noticed the fireplace. She's been attempting to clean it regularly and now was the time!
Meanwhile our Dad was loaded into the car and safely buckled in place. Our Mom had now turned her attention to the damn dog and she had returned into the kitchen area and was taking off her coat. By this point our Dad started yelling 'hello' from the garage...he was out too and needed instruction to return to the car. I reminded both of them that we were going to be late for the birthday boy and they were blown away to hear of C's bday.
Our driving route to the restaurant included a trip down memory lane which always fascinates me to witness. They both realized that their younger years had been partially spent in this area of Cleveland. The old records were playing in their minds as Dad recalled which corner bars were hot spots and Mom read every storefront sign always ending with "oh yes...those were the days". The old records were also playing on the radio...50's on 5 all day long when we drive together. We sang along and our Mom played the drums on her lap.
Redirection and Diversion. Two essential elements to dementia management. And dinner was a success!