Wednesday, 7 February 2018


Putting Dad in a nursing home is the most emotional and painful decision I've ever had to make.  Dad suffers from dementia.  I don't know about other dementia patients but my father's mood can swing from happy to teary to violent within an hour. Sometimes we aren't even aware what prompted the outburst.

At the nursing home his aggression is controlled by the right medication.  There are times when Dad is very logical, other times not so much. One moment we'd be discussing the weather, politics, or the stock market when out of the blue he'd wanted to know if we’ve ever tried the fried rice.

Mum: What fried rice?

Dad: The fried rice.  They sell it here at the black market every midnight.

Mum: Is it tasty?

Dad: Very tasty. I’ve eaten it 3 to 5 times.

Me: Is it spicy?

Dad: Not at all. There are tiny crabs in them.

Dad: You would expect cooked crabs to be red or pink, but these are white.

Mum: If you don’t have cash, how do you manage to buy the fried rice?

Dad: They fed me the leftovers.

I walked into the Ward one evening to find Dad visibly disoriented.  "How did you know I was here?!!" he wanted to know.  (I was, like, WT-  dude? I'm here every evening.)

It seems that Dad had a vivid dream (although it was all very real to him) of Mum borrowing a huge amount of money from “a crippled gang leader by the name of Chan”. Dad was sure that Mum was into gambling. "What else would she need so much money if not for gambling?"

The cleaning lady (a woman from Mainland China whom I’ve befriended at the Home) informed me that Dad had refused his dinner that evening.  "I've never seen him so agitated," she said.

Fortunately, the matter was forgotten the following day.

Dad: I saw your mother in Geylang today. She circled me four times. I beckoned but she ignored me. I’m terribly sad …” (pouts)

Me: That wasn't Mum you saw. Mum doesn’t go out on her own these days. She is always accompanied by Naw.

Dad: Well, I didn’t see Naw with her …

Me: See, I was right.  Mistaken identity. And what were YOU doing in Geylang when you’re supposed to be here?

Dad: Isn’t that a mystery?

Dad (hands me an A4 size white plastic bag): I can’t figure out what’s written on this brochure. Read it.

Me: There’s nothing written on it.

Dad: Yes there is!

Me: No there isn’t. It’s just a white plastic bag.

Dad: THERE EEEES! The text are blurry so you need to read it most carefully.

Me: OK, OK, I’ll have to bring it home to read it carefully then.

Dad: Yes, yes, you bring it home and study it then tell me what it says.

Dad: I’d go home with you tonight but I’m too tired.

Me: What have you been doing today?

Dad: I’ve been making an all-purpose drill but I failed.

Dad: Are you ready to go home? I’d send you to the door but I’m tired.

Dad: If I send you to the door, will you send me back to bed afterwards? I’m afraid of falling.



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