It was about 3 years ago that my dad, Edward, started showing signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. They were subtle at first. He would forget his keys in his car, for example, and then look all over the house to try and find them. He had trouble figuring out how to make his DVD player work also and would lose his train of thought constantly. At first, my sisters and I played it off to his getting older, but as the symptoms got worse we began to suspect that it was more than just his age.
One of the worst things about watching a parent or loved one go through the stages of Alzheimer’s is seeing them lose their freedom. It wasn’t long before dad got so bad that we had to take away his car keys. He used to love going on walks at the park near his home in Gillette, NJ, but, since he kept getting lost, those had to stop also. In time, he was reduced to sitting around the house all day watching TV which, frankly, is the last thing he would have wanted. He was always so active and exuberant and it was painful to watch him become a different person.
About a year ago, it got to the point where he couldn’t take a shower by himself any longer. That was a tough one because dad was always a creature of habit. His morning shower was always followed by getting dressed, putting on his socks and shoes, and getting prepared to face a new day. Now, even that last bit of freedom was being taken away, along with what seemed to be the last of his pride.
It was then that a friend of the family recommended a walk-in bathtub from Ella’s Bubbles. Now, to be perfectly honest, I’d never heard of a walk-in tub before. But a quick look at the Ella’s Bubbles website and their excellent videos gave me hope that we might be able to give dad a bit of his freedom and pride back. My sisters and I got together and quickly decided to purchase the Ultra Acrylic Walk-In Bathtub. Another family friend, Jeffrey, who’s a plumber, was kind enough to install it for us.
Well, when dad saw that new tub he was floored. Even in his subdued state of consciousness, he was as excited as I’ve seen him in years! Even better, the Ultra was an instant hit! He loved it from the first day! It was relatively simple to use and very comfortable. It was much safer too since we didn’t have to worry about him slipping and falling.
As the months progressed dad got to the point where he needed help getting in and out and filling up the walk-in bathtub. Luckily, it was easy for one of my sisters or myself to help him get in, close the door, and work all the buttons and knobs. Helping him take his daily bath was maybe the closest thing I ever did with him. It was like I was the parent and he was my son.
My wonderful and loving father passed a few weeks back. It’s hard watching anyone, especially your dad, go the way he did. I wanted to say to the nice people at Ella’s Bubbles, however, that I’m thankful. In those last few months, my dad was able to enjoy his morning routine. I was lucky also and got to spend some quality time with him in a way that has truly changed me. For that, I will be forever grateful. So thank you, Ella’s Bubbles. You made my dad’s last few months on earth a little bit more pleasant.