My Dad’s a Goldfish – lunch group outing

I took the Goldfish to our first lunch group. We won’t go again. It’s very much a group for carers (i.e. partners) as much as for the people with dementia. Each demented person had a spouse with him/her – except for the Goldfish who had me. This prompted a lot of questions: Was I his main carer? Why wasn’t his wife with him? Was she dead?

In front of the Goldfish I couldn’t explain his wife is not interested in doing anything with her husband and wants other people – anyone else – to take him out of her presence as much as possible. These are people who actually care about their partners and want to enjoy doing things together despite the confusions and difficulties. I was impressed when I heard about how two couples are arranging to go away on holiday together, each looking out for each other’s partner.

The Goldfish was not happy. He didn’t eat all his meal, which is unlike him. He answered questions about his job, and living on Islay but didn’t ask anyone else questions. I don’t know if he realised how odd it was that he was the only one not part of a couple or if it was being with a group of total strangers. At one time this would not have worried him in the slightest and he would have relished meeting new people.

When he needed to go to the loo, I took him to the door of the gents and he said he would find his way back. He didn’t. One of the others went off to search and found him wandering, very confused, at the other bar in the hotel – trying to pay for the lunch for everyone. He brought him back, minus his walking stick which was later tracked down in the loo.

The step-monster was very disappointed when I said we wouldn’t go again, seeing it as a lost opportunity to get rid of her husband for a couple of hours. However, when I mentioned the cost of the lunch, she quickly agreed it was probably better not to go again!

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9 thoughts on “My Dad’s a Goldfish – lunch group outing

  1. Every time I read one of your posts, I want to give the step-monster a piece of my mind, but I realize it would be useless. It’s amazon that there are people like this in the world whom others have to tolerate. My heart goes out to you.

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    • Thank you. I have given her a piece of my mind on several occasions – and as you say, it is useless. She just doesn’t get it. We battle on.

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  2. Indelicate question Mary – and hope you don’t mind me posing it.

    I am guessing from your About page (didn’t realise you were a published author btw – will have to look you up!) and the fact that you are able to attend to feed Goldfish three times a day, that you’re not in full-time work right now…? (Please correct me if am wrong – there is an awful lot that at times can be juggled whilst still holding down a job – as I know from experience!).

    Just wondered – given that you hate the idea of both a care home and your dad being at the mercy of Step-Monster – if you’d considered taking care of Goldfish just between you and Lil-Sis? Or kicking Step-Monster out (am betting it is your dad’s house and his alone!) and moving in with him yourself(ves)?

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    • I think you;ve been reading my diary! Quite a lot of what you suggest comes to pass – remember I’m still filling in the back story and heven’t got up to the present day. I think I will try to post more often to catch up.
      I was working when all this started but as I was a freelance journalist (as well as an author) I was trying to fit work around dad. At the beginning of this year, that changed and I had to give up most of my work. Wee-Sis is on her own so she has to keep on with her full-time job.
      The two biggest problems with the step-monster has always been her refusal to be involved in dad’s care (by that I mean the whole range of care from mental stimulation to treating him with dignity and respect) – partly because of her denial that anything was wrong – and her refusal to have more help. All the dark thughts you have about your m-in-l, I have about the step-monster!
      Do look me up as an author! My books are on the side of the blog.

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