He pauses at the door and takes a breath. I wonder what his thoughts are like. Some nights the dementia is not noticeable but other nights it rears it's ugly head. Last night was one of those nights but luckily he found his way back.
From my vantage on the bed I moved into my bedroom, the bedroom I slept in as a child I can see the confusion on his face and know it is going to be one of those nights. Then he lifts his head and calls out; "Is anyone there?" it breaks my heart. He thinks he is alone. I rush over to him, the man who took care of me when I was a child, and loudly (because he is going deaf) tell him that I am here. He asks where he is and I remind him that we are in his house and he is in the doorway between his room and our upstairs hall.
I can see him struggle to get his bearings, besides losing his hearing he also is losing his sight. Somedays he can see or hear better. Yesterday was not one of those days. He asks where Mother is. I have to remind him that she is an assisted living center getting rehab to rebuild her strength. He nods and processes the information and he believes me.
Then he asks where the bathroom is and as soon as he touches the sink he is back. He has his bearings and I sit in the hall to make sure he gets back to bed okay. I don't think that he is aware of my presence as he go back into his room. Just the day before a woman with dementia left her house at night and died in the severe cold.
So many things to think about and so many changes have happened in the last month. Now I take care of those who once took care of me.