Senior Moments

You might think the title refers to moments I’m having myself. Nope. While, I admit, I do have a few “senior moments” of my own, I prefer to attribute them to “the time of life” I currently inhabit.

No, what I’m talking to is living with seniors. Three and a half years ago, my parents moved in with me. Mom died in April 2019, and I still have my dad. He is a never-ending source of amusement.

When he was more able-bodied, he attended a senior’s group three times a week. He came home one day and told me, “Those people are so funny.”

“Why’s that, Dad?”
“The things they talk about! They’re all so OLD!”

My dad is one of the oldest members of the group.

Another time, Mom and I took Dad to get his hearing tested. He needed hearing aids. At first, he complained everything was “too loud”. We explained he was hearing at the same volume as everyone else. He just wasn’t used to it.

Often, he’d have the TV blaring. We’d ask if he was wearing his hearing aids.
“Then, please, turn down the TV. You can turn up the volume on your hearing aids.”
“I can’t! My fingers are too fat!”

After a few months, he’d only wear one aid. I told him he needed both as they are stereophonic.

“I can’t. They hurt my ears.”
“Then we need to go back and get them fitted properly.
“No, I don’t want to bother you to do that.”
Because, apparently, shouting and/or repeating everything wasn’t a bother.

Do you want to know why they hurt his ears?

He spent a year wearing the aids in the wrong ears. The individual aids are colour marked to indicate left/right ear. Dad is colour-blind.

My favourite “senior moment” was teaching him to use the Google home mini to set an alarm.

“Dad, you have to say, “Hey Google to wake it up.”
“OK.. Hello Goo-goo. Hello. Hello.”
“No, Dad. Just say “Hey Google” like you’d say to someone on the street.”
“Hey, Goo-goo. Hello, Hello.”

Dad is nothing if not polite but Google was confused.

“Like this, Dad. “Hey Google. Set alarm for 8:00”
“Oh. OK – that’s good. It’s set now, right?”
“I don’t trust it. I’ll be surprised if it works tonight.” (We were setting it for 15 minutes later to test it)
“It’ll work, Dad. When the alarm starts, you have to say, ‘Hey Google, stop’ or ‘Hey Google, quit’. Whatever you want it to do, you have to start with ‘Hey Google’.”
“OK, I’ve got it.”

A few minutes later the alarm goes off.

“Ok. Thank you….thank you…That’s enough! Thank you! THANK YOU!!!! Why isn’t she listening? How do I shut off this damn thing?”

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