This blog is about life with my husband who was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's and Frontal Lobe Dementia in 2008. He was 64 at the time although now, knowing more about the disease, Alzheimer's was present many, many years ago, which is why early detection is so important. As you read the blog the character"Al" that I created in 2008 represents the way that Alzheimer's is invading our daily lives.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Living with Bob and "Al"

When Sheri was out and about on Friday, looking at Memory Care Facilities she entered a dining room at one building where she immediately recognized a very small petite woman sitting at one of the tables. Her face was pale and smooth, a slight wrinkle here or there, but a face that clearly had not seen much sun even it's youth. Her brow was furrowed and her lips held tight, her hair not quite as kept has Sheri remember it. For Sheri it was a flash back to almost 4 years ago, when she managed a different apartment community. A flush of pain and sadness came over Sheri. You see Sheri had in essence put this woman in this this place. Sheri is the one that had to call this woman's daughter and tell her it might be time to have her Mother assessed to see whether she was able to still live alone.This bubbly, sweet gentle woman whose eyes twinkled behind her small glasses when she smiled. She had lived in the same apartment for 30 years, since the day the building opened, and now in her 80's became lost frequently in the garage and the hallways of the 130 unit building. She would often leave her apartment and leave the door wide open and there were several emergency issues with her gas stove. Sheri's heart was torn when they came and did the assessment. Sheri felt so guilty about calling her daughter. Sheri feels like she put her in that place... and now the twinkle was gone from her eyes.

7 comments:

  1. How would you have felt if she burned the whole apartment down and you had done nothing? It is so sad to see the decline. It seems cruel and unfair. Your choices were limited but you made the right one. I had to contact the state to have my Grandmother's driver's license revoked. I also felt bad but I would have felt worse for doing nothing if something had happened to her or if she had killed someone else.

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  2. Moving probably did not remove the twinkle. It was probably the dementia, the thief that it is.. This must have been so hard for you. My heart hurts with yours. Sue

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  3. Guilt is possibly the most powerful of emotions, but it has no place when you are trying to do the best to help someone. Noone would want to feel the guilt of failing to take action and have a loved one hurt themselves by accident

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  4. And back four years ago, before she had to move, I remember how much joy your friendship brought to her. You gave her someone to talk to. Someone to share her memories with. And she would never resent you for making the best choices for her well-being. You have such a big heart. :)

    ~Daughter Number One

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  5. You did the absolute right thing and it was done with love. No need to feel any guilt. You are also doing all the right things for your husband as painful as it is, it's all for the best. Prayers and admiration are with you.

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  6. Thank you everyone for your comments!

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  7. Sheri, you did what was best for this little woman. No one ever likes the idea of a facility. The best way to make whatever place you find a home is to visit often with a heart full of live and a smile to share it. People respond to love, especially folks in a home who don't get visitors.

    Bob is lucky to have someone like you who loves him.

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