Dec 12, 2011

Alzheimer's Caregiver Comments Make Me Feel Verklempt

Verklempt is a Yiddish word that means "overcome with emotion."

Bob De Marco Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's Caregiver Comments Make Me Feel Verklempt
Banyan Tree
Delray Beach, FL
Yesterday, I published for the second time, Goal: Keep an Alzheimer's Patient Happy. There are about 11 comments under that article. I wish there were more.

I have to admit, when I read Alzheimer's caregivers comments here on the Alzheimer's Reading Room, I often feel verklempt.

I first heard that word on Saturday Night Live, the television show, when they were doing a "spoof" on Barbara Streisand.

Verklempt describes exactly how I feel at times.

As far as I can tell, Verklempt is a Yiddish word that means "overcome with emotion." Pronounced "fer-klempt," people use it when they are so emotional that they're on the verge of tears or at a loss for words due to their emotional state.

Many times when I read the comments below an article, I end up feeling teary eyed and happy. Sometimes I feel teary eyed and sad. I believe every comment is important.

The point here is the comments make me feel.

For me, I like feeling happy and moved, and I like when I get another example of an Alzheimer's caregiver that is "plugged" into the world and trying to bring "life" and "happiness" to a person living with dementia. Plugged into Alzheimer's World.

Here is a comment that caught my eye from our reader Gloria.
My husband died Nov. 3, but his favorite thing to do was to go to Hardee's for breakfast and eat a sausage/egg biscuit, cinnamon roll, & 1 cup coffee; we went almost every day!

People of all ages were so nice - opening doors, speaking, etc. When he'd get "ancy" in the afternoon, we'd go for a ride - almost every day. He said that anywhere I wanted to go was alright with him, but he especially liked to go by the location where he grew up, the church, the little park, where he played football, and the place where he was a lifeguard at the swimming pool - and the old plantation which is grandfather & great grandfather once owned. He noticed and remarked about the clouds almost everytime we were going down Wahoo Hill.

He used to love the ocean and beach, but after 2 days in Florida during this past summer, he said, "LOOK AT THAT WATER!" and said he wanted to go home (which we did).

I'm so glad that we did things to make my husband happy and I'm glad you're doing things to make your mother happy!

Gloria says, "I am so glad we did things". I liked reading those words.

Sue wrote, "ballet and symphony dvds really help mom. we play scrabble everyday..and she still beats me half of the time".

That one made me smile and laugh.

Agingmind wrote, "just do unto them as you would want done to you. Simple as that." Good advice for sure.

Donna wrote, "But going outside is the best. We had one of the best times ever just driving through city parks and looking at the colorful trees this fall. I am still working on conquering the "No"; it took 2 or 3 weekends to get Mom out for the fall drive (maybe she knew better than I when the peak was :) )."

Conquering the NO, I like that one. Who ever thought we would be waging war against the word NO? It is a never ending battle for many of us.

Marilyn wrote, "Car rides and music are great for us! Restaurants cause lots of problems not about the food but the need to go to the bathroom 5 or more times, leaving the public restroom doors wide open and taking clothes off. Alas that is when drive through fast food and a picnic table or going home solves the getting out and about for us."

I went up and down the roller coaster on this one. I thought: great, yikes, and AHA while reading that comment and its only two sentences.

Mirta wrote: "I agree! the effort of going for a ride is priceless; our mother's passion was gardening, so we take her to nurseries, she loves all of it (indoor and outoor environment equally) she is quite happy touching everything, and I mean everything from plants/flowers all the way to bows, dirt or dry fallen leaves (which she will happily pocket to later paste it in stationary!!!) it's like she is re-discovering the world as she knew it."

This one made me smile and laugh also. Re-discovering the world and putting things in the pockets. Sounds just like Dotty.

Every time we ride through Sherwood Forest she can't believe how big the trees are. It really fascinates Dotty, which in turn fascinates me. Some of the Banyan trees are gigantic. Even taller than the one in the image at the top.

Have a comment about something that makes you, the caregiver, happy or verklempt? Put it in the Add New Comment box below this article so we can all share.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room