Since Dad moved up here, nearly eighteen months ago, he has settled in really well and adjusted to new surroundings and people. Last November, he had his first cataract done, but two days later, he was in hospital with pneumonia. After three weeks, he was better and able to go home and resume his daily life. Unfortunately, the prostate cancer, diagnosed several years ago, has continued its relentless course and he has had further stays in hospital, in July and again in September, each time going home afterwards slightly weaker and more in need of support.
Now he has four visits a day from carers, who help him with preparing meals, as well as getting up and going to bed, and his short term memory is poorer. Once a keen user of computers and the internet, he has gradually forgotten how to use them and only uses an iPad for listening to audiobooks downloaded from the library or for watching railway-related videos. Even so, I frequently get a phone call from him in the evening, asking how to turn off the iPad when he has finished listening. Part of his problem is the deterioration in his sight. He has had both cataracts operated on now, has drops to treat his glaucoma and has had the dreaded injections in one eye to arrest the ‘wet’ Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which have worked very well, but nothing can be done about the ‘dry’ AMD which he has in both eyes and so he struggles increasingly to read for any length of time. He has various magnifiers and three pairs of glasses, but then comes the problem of remembering where they are and which he needs to be wearing for a particular task.
However, ask him anything at all about the days of steam railways, and he can recall every little detail and recount it all at length - a wealth of living and experiences.