I'm sure I'm not the only one that sees or knows this -- the power of ice cream in Alzheimer's care.
Alzheimer's Reading Room
Pure and simple, my mother loves ice cream.
When I feed my mother breakfast, lunch and dinner I always ask, how is it? How does it taste? Usually she says good or OK.
Several years ago, near the beginning of my caregiving effort, she called all her friends and told them that I was starving her to death. That I wasn't feeding her. They believed her. They called me and wanted to know -- why are you starving your mother?
Keep in mind, they knew her a lot better then they knew me.
Back then, my feelings were hurt. How could they believe such a thing -- that I was starving my mother.
I thought, are they blind? Did she look like she was starving? Back in those days I was a inexperienced caregiver. I actually said to them, why don't you come over her and look in the refrigerator and in the cabinets if you think I am starving her? Harsh.
It use to make me uptight when my mother said things that were clearly untrue. Even when she told people she was a healthy old broad and never took a pill (medicine) in her life. Every time she does this the listener believes her. Even now.
No wonder politicians can tell "big lies" and have a large fraction of the populace believe them. My mother is 94 years old, has Alzheimer's disease, and everyone that doesn't know her believes every word that comes out of her mouth. She should run for President of the United States.
Which bring us back to ice cream. My mother loves ice cream.
Ice cream is the one food where I can ask my mother the question, how is it, and get the same answer every time -- delicious. Every time.
My mother gets her ice cream around 9 PM every evening. It makes her happy. She gets a happy look on her face. She seems very content. This happens even when she is in a bad mood before she gets her nightly ice cream.
I don't mind admitting that sometimes during the day when she is in one heck of a bad, ornery mood I think to myself -- maybe I should give her some ice cream.
There is only one thing I can count on as an Alzheimer's caregiver -- Dotty is going to be happy and content when she eats her ice cream. I feel happy too.
If everything goes well I get my mother into bed, she reads her book, and goes to sleep happy. Happy, that is my goal.
I am usually happy until she says shortly thereafter -- you know what I would like right now? What? A cheese steak.
When you are an Alzheimer's caregiver you learn to take what you can get and enjoy it.
If you are having a recurring problem that happens around the same time of day, try ice cream. I mean it. Try to substitute ice cream for the problem. It worked for me.
This is a rewrite of a previous article.
- What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
- Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's (5 Best Self Assessment Tests)
- Alzheimer's What's the Use
- Communicating in Alzheimer's World
- Worried About Alzheimer's Disease -- You Should Be
- What is Alzheimer's? What are the Eight Types of Dementia?
- Is it Really Alzheimer's or Something Else?
- Ten Symptoms of Early Stage Alzheimer's
- Ten Tips for Communicating with an Alzheimer’s Patient
Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,810 articles with more than 276,500 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room