I guess all my years teaching at the rehab college have paid off. I like to read up on various therapies and treatments just out of interest. I never thought that it would actually be information I would find not only useful but gratifying. The other day I read about how little kids and seniors do so well in each other's company and today I saw that happen first hand.
Ji-chan (grandpa) has been diagnosed with Alzheimers though is only in the early stages. After 3 months of being in the hospital, he got out last week. We are at a complete loss as to what to do with him since he's not quite sick enough to go into the care system in this country BUT he's not well enough to live as independantly as he did before.
I have no answers but at least this weekend I took a small step towards helping him and decided to clean his fridge. This is no small task and it took about 2 hours of scrubbing grime. During this time DH was to look after Sprout. This wasn''t hard. It was gorgeous afternoon and she was content to draw on the step with her chalk and then blow bubbles. Aftert a while, from Ji-chan's window, I could see that DH had taken Sprout inside. In other words he was taking the easy wasy out. He was about to plop her down in front of her new DVD.
Well I seized an opportunity. Ji-chan was right there in the kitchen (he usually just lays around in his air-conditioned bedroom and watches TV). I asked (OK ordered politely) that he go outside with me. Then grabbed Sprout from our place and plopped them down with bubbles and blowers on our front steps.
They both looked so happy in each other's company!!
Then I realized something shortly after they started blowing. For Ji-chan, this is quite a task! he breathes via a stoma (a hole in his throat). Air doesn't pass through his mouth and he really can't blow. The best he can do is is take a mouthful of air and puff it out which is what he was doing. He managed to blow LOTS of bubbles and at one point I saw Sprout imitate his style of blowing.
Another thing that was so touching about this is that speech is not so easy for him and he gets frustrated when others don't understand his hoarse, burping speech. He tends to just not speak much. This activity didn't require much speaking AND since Sprout is growing up hearing 2 languages already, hearing "another language" just doesn't faze her much. Besides she is still learning anyway.
So they sat there and "puffed" bubbles sharing the odd "sugoi" (wow) or "okii" (big) and Sprout babbled excitedly at Ji-chan. DH got some peace and I managed to get the fridge cleaned while someone else entertained my little girl.
I think it did everyone some good.
I also got a few nice shots.