Alzheimer's Reading Room
My husband, Ron, started adult day care one week ago. I told him that it was a program which is designed to help his brain activity (he knows he has dementia).
When I dropped him off for the first time, he looked frightened.
I spent the next four hours in tears, envisioning my husband hating the experience.
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When I returned to pick him up, he was visiting with one of the other participants. The group was taking turns throwing a bean bag through holes in a board. Then it was Ron's turn to play the game. He went to the middle of the room, facing away from the bean bag board. The aide asked him to turn around, which he did, and then he threw his bean bags. The other participants cheered.
It broke my heart to realize that he was playing children's games and to realize how bad his dementia has progressed.
Ron has severe Alzheimer's. His score on the Mini Mental Exam is 5.
Ron, on the other hand, had a wonderful time. He told me that everyone was nice and he had fun. When we left, many of the others were saying, goodbye Ron!
Today he returned for the second time. Again, he had a great time.
I am the one who is having difficulty coming to grips with the situation. It was easier today. I felt sad, but didn't cry. I am grieving my loss, but know that the experience is good for him.
Carol, this might sound strange but I found your words to be fascinating and wonderful. Don't get me wrong, I know how you might be feeling.
Frankly, you did bring tears to my eyes and I did feel sad. But somehow, I also felt elated. I suppose it is the Alzheimer's caregiver connection.
It never stops amazing me how I can feel an entire array of emotions when I read stories like this one. Up and down the staircase. I end up feeling admiration and respect.
In my opinion it is stories like this one that raise awareness. That bring hope to the Alzheimer's community.
I do know this. If people saw and heard someone like Carol speak the words she wrote above, they would have a much better understanding of Alzheimer's, and what Alzheimer's is like for someone sitting in the front row.
There is no substitute for the love of an Alzheimer's caregiver.
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- What is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Dementia and the Eight Types of Dementia
- What is Alzheimer's Disease?
- Why I Invented Alzheimer's World and the Power of Positive Reinforcement
- Learning How to Communicate with Someone Suffering From Alzheimer's Disease
Original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room