Dad sometimes will get mixed up between what’s really happening in his life and the imaginary problems of those in TV land. The cold weather brought him inside and he’s been keeping company with the drama of Judge Judy and criminals from the show “Cops.”

Dad sometimes will get mixed up between what’s really happening in his life and the imaginary problems of those in TV land. The cold weather brought him inside and he’s been keeping company with the drama of Judge Judy and criminals from the show “Cops.”

When he called to report “the people who own this joint” said he could no longer have a dog in the house, I figured someone was on TV trial for breaking some rental rules. Even though I reassured him that he has owned the house for over 60 years, it seemed to worry him enough that he couldn’t remember he could make his own rules.

The spiral notebook method that I’d been using to write down information about things he may forget before the next time I come over, isn’t working so well anymore. With too much time on his hands since the leaves have been raked and the flowers are long gone, he’s been reading the notebook like a novel. When something new needed to be written, I’d just flip to the next page and now he’s begun reading old notes and getting really confused.

Between thinking that he’s living in a rental house and trying to follow old note instructions, he just didn’t know which end was up.

I threw the spiral away and instead made him a real notebook that contains just the basic information. On the front cover of the notebook it says “important information.” Inside it lists his address and that he owns the property free and clear, his kids names, ages and where they live, his neighbors’ names and that the new dog, who was adopted from the animal shelter, can stay as long as he wants.

His daily schedule is laid out. Take the dog out every two hours, I’d be by several times a day during the week, my sister would be over on the weekends, Meals on Wheels would bring lunch, sandwiches are in the fridge and my phone number, which is also taped to every phone, several kitchens cabinets and doors.

I was afraid I’d offend him by writing down the basic information, but it seemed as though the more he worried that he couldn’t remember, the more he forgot. I’m trying to keep my promise to him, from years ago, to keep him in his home, alone, but sometimes the worries are greater than the promise.

He’s had the notebook for a week and often times when I stop by he’s reading it. It seems to have given him peace of mind and direction for the day. He’s all smiles and even our conversations are making more sense. He’s no longer weaving TV drama into his own life or thinking that criminals are lurking around every corner. He seems content talking about his kids, where they live and his wife that he was married to for 57 years.

I’m thinking about adding to the notebook how much his daughter loves him, because that’s something I don’t ever want him to forget.