Tuesday, May 13, 2014

After the getaway...

I so recommend that every caregiver arrange somehow to take a few days away from caregiving to restore one's soul.  It is so beneficial in many ways but mostly, at least to me, it helps to put everything in perspective and to distance oneself from the stressful situation.  I spent a weekend in Colorado with my sister-in-law under the pampering of my niece and her partner while my daughter and her partner moved in my home to care for my husband.
     I came home so much more relaxed and feeling better than when I left...a weekend of great sleep and food and wonderful conversations.  All this plus a visit to one of the greatest shoe stores in Ft. Collins...retail therapy. 
In the meantime at home my daughter was getting a real hands on picture of what my life is like.  She was tired when she picked me up at the airport.  She did a great job of keeping tabs on her father, monitoring his medication and took him to church on top of keeping tabs on her teenage daughter.   She said to me as she left, "Mom, I don't know how you do it."  I often don't know either.
       For me, getting away and coming back allowed me to see along with my daughter that my husband's Alzheimer's is getting worse.  He is struggling more to track conversations and find words to complete his thoughts.  We went to pick up his prescription and after returning to the car, he insisted that he needed Scotch tape, lots more tape.  "I am so far behind in my work since you were gone.," he said.  So I went back in and bought 4 more rolls of tape knowing that there was still tape at home but if it makes him happy, not a big deal.  He has created more piles of paper on the breakfast table and spends the day reading old emails and cutting up the parts he wants and tapes them to other sheets of paper (?).  I honestly don't know what he would do without this project as he works at it almost all day with some breaks to sweep the garage.  But we can't show the house with all this going on.  Hmmmmm...
      I am beginning to have a little concern that he may need a memory care unit soon which would change our plans to move into independent living but will cross that road when we come to it.  I am taking one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time.


  1. One hour at a time helps sometimes. My heart is with you and if you think he is ready for memory care, listen to your intuition and make that commitment. I think you're right. I talked with my friend here who cared for her husband for eight years before his death from Alzheimer's and she agreed.........Hang in there kiddo.
    So, so glad you could get away........

  2. Kay, I have no words. My experience in losing Warren was different in many ways because it was his body that made the long decline and not his mind until the very last. The loss feels the same, however, the beloved husband succumbing to a process that we have no control over. We can only watch and love them through that and finally let them go. In the last stages of Warren's illness it felt like I was living alone. I would ask a question and he might answer it the next day. He was already living in 2 worlds at that point in time and letting go of the one I was living in.

    Continue to take care of yourself as best you can and get all the help and support you can from friends and family. There is a life for you on the other side of all this. I promise.

  3. I agree with Babs. David's mother made a good transition to an Alzheimer's unit when it was time.

  4. Good that your options are still open. Changes can come quickly. Blessings to you and to Ken :)

  5. You and Ken are always is my prayers. Glad you got away esp to Colorado which I know is often THE answer place.