Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Day Out Is Good Medicine for Alzheimer's Patients

Every week for 50 years or more, Pat has gotten her hair done every week. It works out perfect for us because they let us leave her with them while we run around town as quickly as we can, doing errands. It makes it so much easier not to take her shopping. Now that she has begun shuffling her feet even more, and has excruciating pain in her back, she walks a lot slower. A lot slower.

Before we left for her appointment today she seemed down, irritable, and like Alzheimer's had taken over. I even thought about cancelling her appointment, but she had already been two weeks so we went. And I am so glad we did!

When I walked in to pick her up, she was glowing with a bright smile. It was great to see and made me smile. She grabbed a lollipop, hugged Jamie goodbye and we headed out. Mark even noticed she had an extra skip in her step.

Now we're back home, the sun is setting, and in comes the Alzheimer's stare. Her hair looks good but she probably doesn't even remember having it done.

That's what is so hard about Alzheimer's and the stage we are in now. Pat doesn't know she has Alzheimer's. Telling her something louder or more often doesn't make her remember it, doesn't make it stick. But still we do it. We think of where we are in that moment, not her. We don't stop to think how weird it would be if someone told us huge chunks of time had happened to us and we just don't remember it. I can understand why she is never happy. I understand why this disease is so trying. So, seeing her today, relaxed and sitting with other people, in a normal, non-Alzheimer setting, was great for my soul. These moments, few as they are, are why I do this. I am a caregiver.

For more information on Alzheimer's and other topics, stop by my website.

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