FOR GREGORY. He was not a VICTIM of ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, he was a HERO!
PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
This has helped me as well as Gregory. He has always eaten "healthy" and I attribute some of his slow decline to this. I have been eating more carefully over the last ten years or so and recently joined Weight Watchers to get down to my fighting weight.
Watched a great movie (on DVD) that deals with a move to vegetables and fruit and grains called "Forks Over Knives" by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. MD. (There is a companion book on Amazon.)
I need to make sure I am healthy and around for a long time to be able to be Gregory's Care Giving Partner. Thanks Zeyda.
Monday, November 28, 2011
When we arrived home I settled in to catch up on e-mails, paying bills, etc. Gregory seemed a little restless and was rummaging around so I asked, "Is everything Ok?"
He said, "Well, no."
"What's the problem?" I asked.
"I don't have anything to play with," was the response.
Turns out he recently finished his jig saw puzzles, cleaned off his desk to make room for the Christmas decorations, and is almost finished with the book he is currently reading. In his mind, and as he becomes more and more "my little boy," he felt that he didn't have anything to occupy his time, in other words, "I don't have anything to play with." Do you feel the beauty in this? I do. It is one of the gifts of Alzheimer's!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
This is how one such "conversation" went last night. While he was not remembering how to put on his night shirt, brush his teeth, or swallow his pills I held back and said or did nothing. I have found that if I try to anticipate his needs, guess his needs, or intervene too soon ... I only serve as a further distraction. Sometimes given enough time he will solve his own problem. Periodically I tell him that "I am holding back to give you space." He seems to appreciate that.
I have decided (for now) and told him that I do not think it is fair or respectful to him when I take over without being asked. I reviewed that we have talked about previously about my helping often being more of a distraction and hinderance than a help. I told him that if he needed help, he needed to ask for it and I would give it freely, gladly, and supportively.
But I just need to stop jumping in too soon (especially if it isn't a matter of safety.) This is a very difficult stance for me because it is very difficult for me to just watch or see him suffer and do nothing. He may or may not remember to ask for help but I will mention this every now and then as a possible reminder. Obviously I will also be monitoring his needs and make changes as needed. For example if he continues having trouble swallowing his medications and vitamins, I have found a liquid substitute. I just don't want to assume that it is needed now.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
G might be past the jig saw puzzle ability phase if you were thinking of getting him one for Christmas. He sits and stares at the pieces and asks questions like, "How do I know which piece goes where?"
I just helped him finish the border on a much easier puzzle than the ones he has been doing and he has been staring at it for 30 or so minutes carefully looking at the parts of what has been assembled but didn't realize he had to compare it to the picture on the box and the loose pieces on the table.
In our discussion it then came out that he didn't realize that the pieces next to the completed rectangle border were supposed to be used to complete the puzzle. That was probably because yesterday I told him to put those pieces on the side and only find the pieces with a straight edge for the border.
He just seemed to gain some insight into the process and seems to be making some progress.
Sigh. At least I am helping him calmly instead of panicking or loosing my patience although "Take a Breath Before You Talk!" is helping.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Several years after I had written that piece, I looked more closely at "Acceptance" and redefined it for myself. I will post my previous writing again but first wanted to post this one.
It is a look at acceptance from one of the many times that the Daily Word has "spoken" to me with words of wisdom. As usual, I have adjusted it slightly (with cross outs and red additions) to fit my point of view. See what you think.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Now after a day at painting class is needs to change his clothes but can't get the holster off and has no idea of how to make his belt work.
"Take your belt off." did not help. He just kept pulling on the cell phone holster and even on looking closely at it, could not see how the belt was looped through. I repeated, "Take the belt off." He got the belt off except for the last pant loop and the cell phone holster loops and still could not figure out what to do. I finally showed him.
He stared and replied, "I guess that was obvious." Obviously not.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011