Hand Sanitizer at the door with a note for all visitors to use it upon entering... a cold or the flu would be very hard for my Dad to handle at this point. My mom is trying to get him to stop shaking people's hands but that is a difficult habit to break. (especially after 21 years in the consistory where they do a whole lot of hand shaking!)
The wheelchair lift from the garage into the house, the portable wheelchair parked in the garage, the power wheelchair plugged in and charging up - ready to roll!
There is a bar on the side of the bed now to help Dad sit up at night. He can often only get half way up while pulling on this bar and then my Mom has to help him pull up the rest of the way. The physiotherapist began training her in some lifting techniques today to help protect her back. Dad is often not able to assist much and is "dead weight" which can make it very difficult for Mom to manoeuvre him.
Dad's button that hangs around his neck and starts a call sequence to Mom and his children in case he would fall and need help and no one was home.
A large "doorbell" ringer - if Dad hits the big yellow button an electronic doorbell sound will ring in the house and he can summon help if he doesn't have the strength to project his voice.
The HUGE stack of cards which encourage my Mom and Dad so much - they treasure every email and card sent to them.
Dad is really enjoying the Ipad. Turning the thin pages of the Bible and other old books is difficult - reading the large clear font of the Ipad, and turning pages with a simple swipe of his finger has been a real blessing. The daily inbox - always full of encouragement and thought provoking things to read.
The computer has become a vital part of Dads life - both in his personal devotional life and in his contact with the outside world. As his physical world becomes very small (from the armchair to the bed and back) he is still able to stay very much in touch with the world around him through the blessing of technology.
The physiotherapist showing us some new exercises we can do on Dad. They have provided him with some relief from the cramping at night, as well as increasing his hand mobility, making it easier for him to use a fork and spoon again.
He likes to have it elevated - it makes breathing more comfortable and it is much easier for him to get out of the chair with it in an upright position. We are thankful that he is still able to use the walker a little bit in the house.
Mom and Ella hanging out on the walker.
When Dad was first diagnosed with ALS, somedays we could still forget that he had it, but it seems harder to do that now. His voice is different, his arms are weak, and the reminders of his ALS are everywhere in their home now. I was reading about sanctity of life Sunday and thinking about how our world devalues life.... Starting with the preborn, then the handicapped and then the elderly and the terminally ill... so many gifts from God can be revealed through difficult situations. Dad still has so much to offer and just being with him is such a blessing. We look forward to every visit with both of our parents and value their counsel.
Treasuring these days we are still together, and comforted knowing this world is not all there is, but we will one day be together with Jesus,