On Monday I will be visiting my Dad in a nursing home. Due to family nastiness, I haven't been allowed any access to him in approximately 9 years, and now that I may visit I will be with him as often as is possible. Please don't judge.. I would have been there for him this whole time were it an option for me.
The last time I saw my Dad he was vague, but he was himself. Now, he doesn't walk, he can't lift his head, he can't feed himself, and, from what I have heard, he is entirely non verbal. We do not know what he does or does not remember, but he does smile when his wife walks into the room.
I don't want to say the wrong things to him. I know that he is more likely to remember some of the distant past, but I don't want to act as though he should remember it. I don't want to cause him frustration from lack of memory, but I also don't want to talk down to him. I worry that even calling him "Dad" could cause him stress.
His wife reads to him. I suppose that reading is a safe option, but I want to talk to him.
I am not looking for advice other than in how to approach him verbally in the first visit. Once I am past this hurdle, hopefully I will be able to find my own way.