Um . . . very valid thoughts. But you really won't know until you take a peek into her world and check things out.
I watched my dad drift down the AD road and had similar thoughts as you. I began by visiting frequently while mom was home and then I started "visiting" with dad while mom had some time to herself (2-3 days a weeks for about
5 hours at a time).
To my total surprise, dad could recognize when I wasn't well and he would motion me to the couch and tell me "go take a lay down" Not even my mother was good at recognizing a bad day . . . but dad never missed. Very interesting. So . . . I would usually bring something to do. Tiny jig saw puzzles (which he couldn't manage, but he loved to watch and I'd set pieces near the right spot and he'd work really hard at fitting them in). After I watched him cover one of them in a ton of tape (to hold it all together), we started "grouting" the puzzles with Elmer's glue. He was absolutely fascinated with spreading on the glue. I'd slide the puzzle on a piece of waxed paper and squirt on the glue and then he'd spread it with a tool used for spreading frosting on a cake. Then he'd watch over the puzzle till it dried and we'd hang it on the wall. We ended up with an entire wall covered with these little puzzles and he'd show each guest that came to visit. He just loved his art wall.
Early on he could even enjoy some computer fun and we'd go to the library and check out a couple compute games or go online and find something fun.
You just never know what will interest them. He even liked to stir the pot while we made lunch. I tried to take him for walks, but that wasn't his thing. But I could get out his golf putter and he'd put balls into a small trash can turned on its side and really enjoyed it. We tried put-put the living room putting was better.
I took him to some old favorite places. A small airport where he used to fly a plane. A couple places where he used to work . . . I had never been to some of these places, but I would try anything to see if he connected with any little thing.
He had done a fair amount of traveling over his life-time . . . so I took out the encyclopedia and found some good maps . . . he showed me where he was born and where he was stationed overseas and lots of other stuff.
I really did wonder how I would manage to entertain him . . . but each day brought its own adventure and plenty of things we tried didn't pan out . . . but it was always worth it to try 10 things in hopes that one of them would be interesting for him.
You'll find your way. You just won't have a road map for it ahead of time. I really think that God provides a way for people like you and me who just want to help.
So glad you will be so near to be part of things. Even having someone to talk to will be a blessing for your father-in-law who will be weary from caretaking. You can bring a meal now and then or help with some things that aren't too taxing for you.
I hope you'll post and let us know how things go.
In His Grip
AlwaysRosie "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"
Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum
UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)
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