Even before he was diagnosed with vascular dementia, my LO could “do” the Smithsonian in about a half an hour. I used to tease him about how long he would linger before the Mona Lisa. I’m guessing 15 seconds, then move on! He has pretty much the same attention span in museums.
So, when my friend and I decided it was time we got to Richmond to see the Edward Hopper exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, I knew it would go over a lot better if lunch was included. We had a very lovely lunch and he remembered having been there before.
Then it was downstairs to see Hopper. In the very first few feet into the very first room he said, “What are we doing here?” Then I knew it was going to be fast tour through the exhibit. At one point I suggested he have a seat while I completed the tour. Of course we managed to lose our friend because he back tracked instead of following the tour to the appointed exit. But, we finally found her in front of the gift shop, where we had about 5 minutes to shop. He was very anxious to get moving.
We dropped our friend at her home and headed home. As we pulled into our street he let out sigh of relief and told me what a great job I had done in getting us safely home. It was as if we had been on a perilous mission, or had driven through a blizzard. And he was so happy to see that the dog had not starved to death in our 4 hour absence.
It is hard to accept the fact that at this point in his dementia, car trips lasting more than an hour and art galleries are just not fun. For him or for me. I will get a companion for him the next time I want to see an art exhibit, and will keep our trips to the grocery store his “outing.”