This weekend was my first experience in caring for someone with Alzheimers. I've been around several people with the disease, but I have never had to actually take part in caring for them. The Hubster's parents had a Christmas party Saturday night and needed someone to stay with his grandmother while they were gone.
The evening was progressing smoothly until it was just the two of us in the living room. She sat up straight in the recliner and started trying to get up. When I asked her what was wrong or what she needed, she told me, "To go home." Home to her is her childhood home, with her parents. Apparently she had told my MIL several times that day that she needed to go home because she hadn't told anybody she was leaving.
When it was time for her to go to bed, I had to take her to the bathroom. She was doing okay at first, but then I had to remind her to pull down her panties. When we got to the sink to wash her hands, I gave her a pump of soap, but she didn't know what to do. I told her to rub it in, so she started rubbing the soap onto the dispenser. I thought maybe she was trying to get more soap, so I gave her another pump of soap. She continued to rub it onto the dispenser and then finally started washing her hands with it.
Changing clothes meant undressing her and putting her pajamas on for her. Once she was in bed, I tucked her in and kissed her goodnight (feeling like I was tucking in one of my children). As soon as I walked out of the room, I started to worry she was too close to the edge and would fall out of bed, so I went back in and had her scoot over.
I'm not sure how long the whole bedtime routine took, but it felt like an hour. In all reality, it was probably only 10 minutes. As soon as I had her tucked in, I headed into the living room for a good cry. I was just devestated by what the disease has done to her. She literally has to be treated like a child, being told what to do every step of the way. She's not even related to me by blood, but I was so upset by her condition. I cannot imagine what I would feel like if it was one of my own parents. I'm praying I'll never know.
12:02 PM ~