Dec 8, 2009

Christmas and the Alzheimer's Caregiver

For most Alzheimer's caregivers Christmas means another bout with Yin and Yang.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Christmas and the Alzheimer's Caregiver
For the typical Alzheimer's caregiver Christmas day can bring on a tidal wave of conflicting feelings. Christmas can be an emotional roller coaster ride.

I'm sitting here thinking about Christmas morning and my heart is feeling heavy. I don't mind this feeling so much because at least I know I am still feeling. Nevertheless, it is a bit of a drag on my spirit.

I'm envisioning Christmas morning. I'll wake my mother up, give her a kiss and say, Merry Christmas. She won't know its Christmas.

Once I get her situated, I'll bring her into the living room and put the big stack of presents in front of her. I wonder will she be happy or confused. I think I know the answer.

I'll make sure she has some of those Christmas cards that play music, or talk to you. My mother loves those cards.

My sister Joanne sends my mother those kinds of cards all the time. They mystify my mother. Sometimes she looks at them as if she had never seen one before. It is intriguing to watch her. We will play those cards all day long.

I'll get her to open the presents one by one. I'll explain each time where and who they came from. I'll look forward to her reaction. I think I know what it will be.

I'll try and introduce as much joy and excitement into the opening of the presents as I can. If she smiles or laughs my heart will soar.

I'll try and remember to put on the Christmas music. Maybe she'll sing. I like that.

I'll sit there and think and look at here -- this is really remarkable -- my mother is 93 years old. Every time I think of my mother's age it brings a feeling of amazement over me. I like that feeling.

I'll try and get my mother to tell me about Christmas when she was a little girl. I'll have to get back to you on that one.
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On Christmas eve, I'll make the fish. My mother likes the fish.

She loves smelts. If you don't know what they are, they are those tiny silver fish. I'll paint on some olive oil with the brush and put them in the oven. When they come out they are gold. If you cook em hard they get crunchy.

I'll get my mother one of those giant king crabs. The Alaskan version. She loves those things. I'll watch her dig in. That should be fun to watch.

I'll put out some shrimp, she like those too.

I might throw in some mini enchilada's. Those are for me.

Last but not least crab cakes.

Maybe, I 'll get my mother to drink some wine. She never was much of a drinker. Maybe I can get her buzzed and see what happens.


Ok, I feel a lot better now.

Christmas Eve and Christmas day are going to be a lot better than I thought when I started writing this.

Thanks for listening.


Frosty the Snowman
Frosty the Snowman, was a jolly happy soul,
With a corncob pipe and a button nose, and two eyes made of coal.
Frosty the Snowman, is a fairytale, they say.
He was made of snow, but the children know he came to life one day.
There must have been some magic in that old silk they found,
For when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around!
Oh, Frosty, the Snowman, was a live as he could be;
ans the children say he could laugh and play,
just the same as you and me.

Thumpety thump, thump, thumpety thump, thump,
look at Frosty go.
Thumpety thump, thump, thumpety thump, thump,
over the hills of snow.

Frosty the Snowman, knew the sun was hot that day,
so he said, "Let's run, and we'll have some fun now, before I melt away."
Down to the village, with a brooomstick in his hand,
Running here and there, all around the square,
sayin', "Catch me if you can."
He led them down the streets of town, right to the traffic cop;
and only paused a moment, when he heard him holler, "Stop!"
For Frosty, the Snowman, had to hurry on his way,
But he waved goodbye, sayin' "Don't cry, I'll be back again some day."

Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins

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Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The ARR knowledge base contains more than 3,811 articles with more than 306,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room