I have taken care of Betty for a few years now and have given up a lot of my time, freedom and rest to offer all that Betty needs to have an independent life lived with as much dignity as possible. I have helped her son learn how to cope with losing the mother he knew and living nearby this new mother who repeats and repeats and repeats and communicates in what we fondly refer to as AW. (Alzheimer's World) I helped him to move near her when it was not really in his plans for his retirement. I made sure pills were taken, groceries bought, clothes washed, showers taken, sheets changed, cards for family birthdays purchased, special calls made. If a birthday card was bought and sent it was because I made sure it happened. If what she needed was more time with us I made the suggestion even when it was not well received.
There have certainly been times when I have felt exasperated and wanted to scream. There have been times when I wondered what I could do to make Betty's life easier and let me tell you there have been many discussions with Bob about what we will do in the future. I have done this all very lovingly with never a raised voice, no visible resentment and with as much patience as I can muster.
So, on that note I will say that if you are reading my blog and have a problem with it I would ask that you contact me directly. Don't worry that I would get upset or angry. I am a sixty-one year old woman and feel quite sure a bit of concern or criticism will not send me off a cliff. If you see something on here that endangers Betty in any way please feel free to send me an e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond as soon as possible.
My purposes for this blog are many but one is a place where I can vent some of my frustration. If you have not lived with someone with dementia for an extended period of time I would ask that you read some others blogs along the side of my wall, read some of the books that are available for caregivers, visit a few websites and try to get an idea what a caregiver goes through on a daily basis. Try to imagine getting someone to change out of an outfit they have been wearing for two weeks when they are SURE they have worn it twice. Try being the one who has to agree with some nonsense that you know is not true just to keep the person from arguing. Think of being the person that has to try to get someone to get out of bed to go to a doctor appointment when they decide they are not going. There is nothing easy about this life I now live and although I would not have chosen it I am honored to do it. I protect Betty's dignity all the time and work hard to make sure that she is as unaware as possible of the work and frustration that is involved in her day to day life.
As for how things are now that we are up north;
- Pills are being taken on a regular schedule.
- Breakfast happens by 10:00 every morning.
- Lunch is served between 2:00 and 3:00.
- Dinner is on the table most days by 6:00.
- We play cards most days but that is becoming more and more difficult without help.
- Reading is more and more difficult and the "funnies" seem to be too confusing to enjoy.
- Crossword puzzle work is mostly looking and counting than actually solving but there is still some enjoyment in it.
- Still enjoys the music channel.
- Does listen to the business channel we are watching and comments.
- Still difficult to get clothes changed. Wears over and over and will re-fold and put dirty back in drawer.
- Bed made three days out of seven. (Always done in past)
- Questions every other day which of her brothers and sisters are alive.
|Let the card game begin!|