Magic Moments: The Williams Family

By: Nikki Davison

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — This is part of an ongoing partnership between KLKN-TV Channel 8 and Union Bank and Trust showcasing Magic Moments in December of 2020.

Richard Williams and his wife Laura have carved out a nice little life. Even after Laura was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-related dementia several years back, Richard looked after them; they suspected it was coming, as she had been showing some symptoms. Daughter Claire and granddaughter Kelly were there, too, although Claire was experiencing health issues of her own. It worked out, because they could all take care of each other. But about six months ago, Laura began to lose her basic abilities, and it was no longer safe or feasible for her to be at home. In the middle of the COVID pandemic, Richard needed to place his wife of more than 60 years in hospice care — and to somehow make it OK for all of them. Richard’s nominator met him while he was searching for a care facility. Knowing how tough it is for Richard not being able to see his wife due to COVID precautions, she nominated him for a Magic Moment in hopes it would help brighten his holiday season. UBT hopes so, too.

A crash course in care

For 86-year-old Richard, the last few years have been a series of crash courses in dementia diagnosis, treatment, and home care. Keeping Laura safe and adjusting to her cognitive changes was huge, as was researching a place for her to go when she couldn’t stay home anymore. It worked out for her to go to Lancaster Rehabilitation Center, and Richard is awfully glad he met Makenna — she and the other folks at Bickford Cottage have befriended the family and make him feel less lonely. They describe him as upbeat and encouraging; through all of this, he has just tried to stay positive.

He’s also tried to stay on top of Claire’s health so he knows how to be there for her. He wishes her vision was better, for her sake. Her eyesight has been compromised from diabetes-related complications, and it’s tough for her to get around. Thank goodness for 16-year-old Kelly, who helps around the house.

Time with family is everything

He and Laura had many friends in their mobile home park, but most are gone now. He remembers the days of the family’s home daycare — those were fun, noisy times. Nothing brightens your day like a little face. He misses everything about Laura (including her wonderful cooking) and wishes there were more than a phone to keep them connected. Time with family is everything, no matter what you’re doing.

Because the days with the kiddos meant so much (and because it’s Christmas), UBT and the Magic Moments team arranged for a Christmas card shower for Richard and Laura from Bubbles and Blocks daycare, and Laura received a beautiful floral bouquet. Richard is still working on his cooking skills, so a new toaster and a coffee pot with mugs, coffee, and filters was in his gift pile, along with a snack tray and Hy-Vee gift card for some easy meal options. A couple of blankets, including a heated one, will keep him toasty, and Whitehead Oil and Super-C contributed generous gift cards to help offset gas expenses. Claire and Kelly were gifted a new TV, large enough for Claire to see, plus slippers and fuzzy socks for Claire, Bluetooth headphones for Kelly (along with Spotify and Netflix gift cards), and thanks to our partnership with Scheels, new socks and shoes. The whole family received new towels and an ample supply of household essentials to keep them well-stocked for a while. With the basics (plus some extras) taken care of, it’s easier to focus on each other.

We’re wishing Richard and his family a peaceful holiday; we’re hoping this Magic Moment brought some joy. Happy holidays, Williams family!

Categories: News, UBT Magic Moments