By Elaine Roberts Musser
As time marched on, my father not only became forgetful, but talked a lot of nonsense, remembering things that never happened. Always an assertive, strong-willed and proud man, he paradoxically grew more docile. The confused fellow was extremely frightened of what was happening to him.
Of course, he came to be exceptionally dependent on my mother, his wife of more than 50 years and in her 80s. She chose to be his caregiver, stubbornly determined he would never be placed in a nursing home. After a while he could no longer feed himself and became incontinent. Adult diapers were utilized, as well as water-proof pads wherever he sat or lay. Walking became more difficult and then impossible. Because he would try to wander, falling out of his wheelchair or bed, my father had to be watched at all times.