LEARNING ALZHEIMER’S ONE DAY AT A TIME
PT. 4 CAREGIVER SERIES
HOW WE GOT HERE
We moved into our new house in October of last year. Wow, I can’t believe that we’ve been here for almost a year and this will be our 3rd in SC! I assumed after our move that things would get better immediately. I would correct her over and over, reminding her of all she had forgotten. I even went so far as to take index cards and label all the kitchen cabinets with the contents so she didn’t have to look for things and she could put them away where they should go. I couldn’t understand why this caused a major temper tantrum when I was only trying to help. I did everything for her, took control of everything for her. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why she was fighting me every step of the way!
This is one of the many mistakes that I made. A person with Alzheimer’s needs to keep going to be able to keep remembering. Let me say that again…A person with Alzheimer’s needs to keep doing to be able to keep remembering. If I got up and made her breakfast every morning she would quickly forget how to make breakfast for herself. I hadn’t learn this very important fact at this stage of the game. In my need to “make her better” I was in essence, treating her like a child. This is a big mistake that alot of new caregivers make. The more you do for them the less they will be able to do for themselves.
My mother is still a grown woman who thinks and feels like a grown woman. The more she does for herself the longer she will be able to do those things. Which, in the long run, is much better for her dignity, self-esteem and happiness. I had to learn that it didn’t matter if the plates were next to the bowls, or if the forks were with the knives. What mattered was that she can still put them away. My role as caregiver is just to watch over her… not to take over for her. There will be plenty of time for that later on.
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy, and deal with the rest!
I love you momma!