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.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Goings and Comings

Yesterday Ivanka, our housekeeper of 8+ years who is returning home to Bulgaria, and I visited Gregory so she could give him her love one last time. In many ways it was painful because he just stared at her, with what I interpreted as a frightened face as in "Am I supposed to know this woman?"

Often when Gregory gets a visitor he is more engaged and often will comment something like, "Oh you!" or "Wow." With Ivanka, nothing. Just stared at her then looked away then stared again and again looked away.

I could tell that Ivanka was sad, more at who Gregory is now days since she watched his decline through almost the entire period since his diagnosis. She has become family to us and over time we helped her through the loss of her husband, her brother, her nephew, and finally her mother.

I too was sad at her leaving but tried to stay cheerful and up. As we were leaving the condo to go to Gregory's, she proceeded me out the door and in a gesture which I had not seen before she crossed herself. I could feel her blessing fill the condo and her entreaty to her God to protect both Gregory and me. This is a very good woman and I will miss her very much.

Today Halina, our housekeeper from some 20+ years ago, with a 10+/- year hiatus due to her being stuck as a pedestrian by a car causing her to not be able to work for us, visited Gregory with me.

She will be back as my housekeeper now that Ivanka has left and she will also be a caregiver to Gregory for 2 or 3 days a week in addition to Manny who needs some time off because this type of work his not easy! I feel very blessed to have her back in our life and the timing couldn't be more perfect.

She really understands where Gregory is at this point in time, feels appropriately sad, but also pleased that she can be of help to us. She had worked for us for approximately 10 years and we continued to pay her weekly for a year when she was unable to work. That is what family does you know! We have kept in touch over the years and seen her now and then as well.

She interacted well with Gregory who kept looking at her on and off, not with any frightened look, and eventually he took her hand in his. I am not sure he remembers her but am sure he will get to know and like her as she spends more time with him and becomes known to him as a safe, loving friend who is there to help him.

When he would mumble to her, she responded appropriately with a nondescript, "Yes." or "Oh I see." She talked gently to him but with respect. My gut feeling is that she will do very well with Gregory and also in her interactions with Manny and the other staff at Lieberman. Being a paid caregiver is a fine line between me as her boss, staff as her fellow workers, and really her being somewhere in-between. Manny has navigated this well. Suffice it to say they are the "Good Cops" and I get to be the "Bad Cop" because I am family and that is more appropriate.

So yet another chapter in our life seems to have been arranged by the Universe. Thanks Universe;-)

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