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.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Welcome to My Zoo

I do not mean this to be a comment on any of our friends or family who have come to visit Gregory at The Lieberman Center. I see it more as my problem, not theirs. But I need to write about it.

For a first visit, I will go to The Lieberman Center with a friend to visit Gregory. I can introduce the visitor to the center, help them find Gregory in his room or at his current activity, provide a buffer in case it is not a good day for Gregory or a support to the visitor if the visitor has difficulties in dealing with Gregory's "Here and Now." After that I release my need to be there to the friend's discretion.

Many people have not wanted to visit Gregory because, I understand this with my entire heart, they cannot bare seeing what he has become.

Others need to see Gregory in his present circumstances so they can come to some closure with what has taken place due to the Alzheimer's.

Others want to be there to support him and to support me.

Some have had similar experiences with their own family members due to either Alzheimer's or the need for a care facility due to illness or old age.

All of the various reasons are based on love.

BUT, sometimes I feel like a game keeper at the zoo. I am there to protect the animals but also to protect the visitors.

I put Gregory on display, hoping he will perform, will show recognition, will behave appropriately.

I will discuss the various types of training he has gone through and the various tricks he can or can no longer perform.

Step right up, step this way, see Gregory in his current condition, in his current situation. Be amazed, be amused at what Alzheimer's has wrought.

Try to explain away the situation, try to understand what is going on in that void, or not.

Ouch. All I can say. Ouch. And sorry for my rantings.

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