Aug 19, 2012

Top Ten Lists -- The Best and Worst of Alzheimer's Caregiving for Me

There are two sides to every coin when it comes to Alzheimer's caregiving.

By Max Wallack
Alzheimer's Reading Room

What makes you feel good or bad in your role as an Alzheimer's caregiver? Do you have a list?

The Top Ten Things/Times That Made Me Feel the Best About Caring for Someone with Dementia

Top Ten Lists | Alzheimer's Reading Room

1. Seeing how happy Great Grams was on that little train on the Dole Plantation in Hawaii.

2. Seeing how happy Great Grams was every time I visited her when she was in the hospital.

3. Seeing how happy Great Grams was every time I walked with her when we went shopping.

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4. Realizing we were keeping Great Grams with us and knowing that’s what she wanted most.

5. Taking Great Grams to the hospital with us when my cousin was born.

6. Buying Great Grams a new sweater -- she loved sweaters.

7. Taking Great Grams for strawberry ice cream.

8. Asking Great Grams for advice, even if the advice didn’t make sense. She loved that I asked her.

9. Telling Great Grams that I was her great grandson. She didn’t remember that, but she was always happy to hear it.

10.Learning how to help other dementia patients with PuzzlesToRemember.

The Top Ten Things/Times That Made Me Feel the Worst About Caring for Someone with Dementia

1. Having Great Grams be afraid of me when she didn’t know me.

2. Having Great Grams be jealous of me because she thought she was my sister and not getting equal attention.

3. Having Great Grams keep my grandma awake until she was sick.

4. Having Great Grams accuse us of stealing from her while we were trying to provide everything for her.

5. Hearing Great Grams cry that she didn’t know who she was.

6. Hearing Great Grams scream for five hours straight that we stole her checkbook, which was at home.

7. Having Great Grams tell other people that we were bad to her.

8. Seeing grandma have to clean up after Great Grams when Great Grams got the noro virus, just a few days after grandma had hand surgery.

9. Helping pick up Great Grams from the floor at night.

10.Worrying about Great Grams every time she escaped.

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Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

Original content Max Wallack, the Alzheimer's Reading Room