It was not unlike any other day, but on this particular afternoon, Dad was adamant. He was waiting for his medical degree from the University of Minnesota and couldn’t understand why it was taking so long to arrive. So, I did what I usually did—waited a few days to see if this episode of delusional thinking would pass. It did not. So, I used my computer to create a facsimile of a medical degree with my father's name on it. I printed it out, scribbled some “signatures” on the bottom, put it in a mailing envelope, and brought it to the nursing home the following day. He was delighted.
I added it to the other awards and degrees already hanging on the wall of his room: a “degree” in entomology, his legitimate college degree, some other earned awards, and an “award” for helping direct Lawrence Welk's band (another of his delusions). This wall was cluttered with both real and fake accomplishments, but I knew I would need to find room for more. Dad's broken brain would tell him he had earned something else and eventually I would need to produce it.
A Dementia Patient’s History Should Play a Role in Their Care: My father had attended medical school at the University of Minnesota decades earlier, but he