At times I find a scrap of paper around the house, with notes of an Alzheimer’s client trying to remember something or ask something. I’ve kept some of them because they provide a little window into what is on their heart, even when their mind is having trouble keeping up.
The vulnerability of someone with Alzheimer’s is what draws out my compassion. I want to shield them and help them feel safe and loved!
My least favorite part.. answering the question, “Where is my husband?” How do I even do it? I don’t know. Sometimes I go with the story line agreed upon by family and other caregivers- “he’s on a trip” or whatever it may be. It is gentler to not remind a person dozens of times a day that their husband of 59 years is dead. But I also dislike lying to a dear little client.. so at other times, especially if I can sense that deep down they know the answer, I tell the truth as softly as I can.
The move to a nursing home or assisted living is so hard. Better in the long run, usually, but it throws off a person with Alzheimer’s so much.
A happier kind of note: finding my name written places! 🙂
And a score sheet of our many card games! Something my client can still remember how to do- so it boosts her confidence, distracts her from a constant loop of trying to remember/worrying, and adds a lot of fun to our day!