I said to myself, "you know what, I bought the flowers for her and she can do what she wants with them". I had evolved as an Alzheimer's caregiver.
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Every week or so, I go to the store and buy Dotty flowers. Dotty gets a very nice smile on her face when I hand her the flowers. I enjoy it every single time.
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By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
One thing I like about Dotty, she likes all flowers, and she like the "cheap" flowers just as much as she likes the "expensive" flowers.
Try that one on your wife. Good luck.
I am about to hit my eight year anniversary as an Alzheimer's caregiver. The flowers remind me of an important lesson I learned after a few years of frustration.
I would go to the flower store and buy Dotty some beautiful long stem flowers. Come home, snip the ends, put the flower food in the water, and put the flowers in the vases. We usually get two vases full of flowers.
In the old days, before I knew it Dotty would start hacking away at the flowers. Within a couple of days, we would go from long stem flowers to two inch stems.
This would be particularly disconcerting when I would buy those flowers that look like bells. I like those flowers.
Why were the stems so short? Because Dotty would start hacking away at the stems with a steak knife. There she would be, sawing away at the stems.
It bugged me.
I tried over and over to explain the error of her ways to Dotty, it didn't work.
We also had another thing that bugged me. Dotty would keep on adding more and more water to the vases. Yes, I tried to explain to her that the flowers only drink from the bottom of the stem so in effect, she was drowning them. Plus, they don't last as long if you drown them. That didn't work either.
Finally one day, and after a couple of years, as Dotty was hacking away at the flowers I said to myself, "you know what, I bought the flowers for her and she can do what she wants with them". Surprise. It never bugged me again.
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I had evolved as a caregiver.
Dotty no longer hacks away at the flowers. She does, however, still try to drown them by pouring her glass of water in the vase. That no longer bugs me either. I wait until she is not looking and reduce down the amount of water in the vase.
Now a days, each morning Dotty looks at the flowers and tells me how she can't believe how those flowers are growing each day. I have to chuckle when she says this.
Another interesting aspect of the flowers. During the first couple of days she will constantly tell me how she can't believe that the flowers are continuing to stay so nice after weeks. They look new she says.
On the other hand, after the flowers are really lasting for a long time she never says a word.
Alzheimer's world really is a backward universe.
Topic - Living in Alzheimer's World
I continue to buy flowers for Dotty each week.
Dotty loves whatever flowers I buy for her. Flowers make her smile and make her happy too.
The flowers also make me happy because I learned a simple lesson. Long stem, short stem, hacking away at the flowers, drowning in water, it doesn't really matter.
Dotty went to Heaven on May 25, 2012.
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
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