I love this quote I found on Pinterest yesterday. If an Alzheimer’s caregiver, or anyone, can learn to follow this advice, dancing would come much easier.
1. Denial manifests itself in lots of ways. With me, one of the most obvious was arguing with her. “Mom, you just asked me that five minutes ago. Don’t you remember–I told you at breakfast where we were going today.” Of course she didn’t remember. She was doing well to remember how to tie her shoes.
2. When I began to accept that the Alzheimer’s was real and not a manifestation of what she feared was going to happen to her, I argued less. “Yes, Mom, you asked me that earlier, but that’s okay. I don’t mind telling you again.”
3. A caregiver spends a majority of his or her time nurturing, but it’s important to nurture the caregiver as well. “Mom, I’m going to ride my bicycle while you watch The Price Is Right. I’ll be back in time to fix your lunch.”
4. Eventually, Mom didn’t even remember how to tie her shoes, so I tried to be creative. “Mom, what do you think of these shoes? Instead of laces, they have velcro straps.”
5. Bath time was one of my least favorite caregiving duties, but I learned to enjoy the results. “Mom, you’re so fresh and clean, and your hair looks great. Let’s go out to lunch.”
Mom spent the last eighteen months of her life in a residential care facility. When she passed away, the staff sent a condolence card with personal notes. One of the sweetest said, “I remember dancing with Mrs. Robinson in the common area.” If I had it to do over again, I’d spend less time worrying about the things I couldn’t change and more time dancing with Mom.
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