The last several months have been trying to say the least and just when you think you’ve got a handle on it… another ringer gets tossed your way… Alzheimer’s keeps you on your toes! But frankly, we wouldn’t trade a minute of it.
Grateful that we’re still finding blessings in this caregiver gig and many things to celebrate every day. We have one more day of smiles, thank you’s, twinkles, thumbs up and so many more gifts presented to us daily.
Lessons learned include self-care; regenerating energy to handle the next sleepless night; making sure that your own personal needs are not put aside as you spend more time caring for your loved one. Some days it’s more difficult to balance than others, but we continue to learn and grow.
When possible enlist others to help with the care, even if it’s just for an hour or two a week — give yourself a breather.
Follow the wishes in the directives — if you’re lucky to be able to share those decisions with other family members, it is so helpful. Money, medical care, and day to day care decisions may not have to be yours alone to make. Enlist other members to help with those greater decisions. Be honest with yourself and with others on how these things will impact your life.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing “it all,” find ways to spread the responsibilities. We are blessed to have 3 of my siblings close by to help with some of the decisions and to also give us a break on occasion. I know that Mom enjoys their company just as much as we appreciate the opportunity to get out for a little while.
Don’t forget those rare opportunities that will present themselves when you least expect them. Have a camera or recorder close at hand and if there’s another caregiver close by, ask them to be a part of the process of documenting the moment. We’ve had a couple of rare moments when we were totally surprised by Mom’s answer and blessed to be able to document the “dance.” So much fun and moments we’ll cherish for a very long time.
Alzheimer’s for us presents a little differently every day. Even though we would love to have each day presented as perfect, it’s rare that they are. Grateful for those moments that lend themselves to celebrations and high-fives.
- Today’s celebrations:
Getting out of bed.
Choices on what to wear.
Choices in regards to food and drink for meals.
Choices in a snack and another choice as to bedtime.
Broad smiles as she listened to her choice of music; tapping of toes and fingers to the rhythms and beats
No picking for 3+ hours!
Hoping you’ll find moments to celebrate this week.