I was amazed at the difference in his socialization from our visit last April to our visit this year in March. Everyone in his home knew about our family and asked questions concerning their lives. He may be limited to a wheelchair and a care home, but his mind is able to connect with family that he hasn’t seen for years, share their stories with others, and keep his memory sharp. I can imagine as the years progress that something as simple as photos, calendars, weather, and announcements that are pertinent to his daily life will help keep him focused and in touch with the world around him.
My father worked his entire career as a technician for the L&N railroad, ensuring that their radios and communications were functioning properly. This system appealed to him immediately for obvious reasons. While his generation never quite connected with the wave of technology that came in the 21st century, this system has bridged that gap. While he has my sister’s family in the same town, my family is spread from Montana to Wyoming to Nebraska. We have been able to share photos of his great grandsons from birth and view unlimited beautiful photos on his TV and share them with others. Our son in Montana and his wife are professional photographers and have sent exquisite photos of landscapes and animals that he’ll never get a chance to see in person. To watch his face light up as he watches the slideshow and comments on each one is invaluable. Now that my husband and I are traveling in retirement, we are able to immediately send him photos from throughout the west.
If you were to enter his room today, you would hear him humming as he putters around his room (he is also an accomplished musician) and probably see his slideshow running rather than the TV. It brings tears to my eyes to see how much this simple form of communication has changed his life at ninety years old.