From Alzheimer’s Days to Alzheimer’s Daze
Oh how you’ll long for the “good old days” once you start to take care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease. The disease ultimately ravishes one’s brain, sometimes to an extent hard to imagine.
During my ten(now 17+yrs) plus years of mostly observing the behavior of residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s, one would think I have seen everything there is to see or experience. But no, that’s far from the truth.
Even now I am observing behavior and memory loss I’ve never witnessed before in all these years. We, or should I say my wife and an assortment of caregivers, have had many Alzheimer’s residents in our home which is a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE).
My job was to be only an observer although now I am helping to care for them on an irregular basis.
At least that’s what I thought, but a couple of years ago it changed to much more “hands on” than I would have liked. I was at home now and not working so I got drafted to do all sorts of things that I never expected nor wanted.
So often it seems like those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease are in a real daze.
I call it Alzheimer’s Daze. A typical Alzheimer’s person’s day can be anything from totally normal to walking around in a real daze. We have one person now – that technically doesn’t have either Dementia or Alzheimer’s on his medical record, but has so many of the common symptoms of someone with close to severe Alzheimer’s disease.
He is in a daze almost every day. He often wakes up in the morning (we have to try to wake him without getting him upset) talking strange talk that doesn’t make sense. This particular person has gotten something in his mind that puts everything else on the back burner.
All he ever wants to do is go to the bathroom and do poo poo, or his bowel movement. If we don’t stop or time him, he will spend probably six or more hours sitting on the stool trying to force himself to do poo poo. Add another couple hours to that since he frequently gets up in the middle of the night for the same reason. This is an every day occurrence!
Often he appears to fall asleep on the toilet stool. Other times he seems fine when he goes into the bathroom to do his business, but some time later, an hour to two hours later he is in a complete daze when we try to convince him to come out so others can use the bathroom. The real days often turn into an Alzheimer’s Daze for him.
Our Mr. Q, who has now passed away, was in a daze so often the last couple of months that sometimes we wondered if he forgot how to be normal. Our Mr. R was in a daze usually twice a day, but his medicine somewhat controlled it.
Not totally, because ultimately he got upset and in a blaze of fury grabbed the phone from my wife’s hand and slammed it against the garage wall. Then he tried to fight me, but lost.
Then he threatened us. His “drafted” responsible party called the cops, and the rest is history. Now he is in solitude somewhere else with only memories of what he longed for the most. That would be his long lost love, who used to be a two minute drive from us, but is now an hour away from him and scared to ever see him again.
From days of joy to Alzheimer’s Daze, you will experience them both if you have to care for someone with Alzheimer’s. If you ever do, get set for a daze journey into the uncharted behavior you may come to experience caring for an Alzheimer’s person.
More about Alzheimer’s disease
When you care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease it can be extremely difficult and stressful. It is often like caring for a newborn baby, depending on the person and how advanced the disease has become. However, a baby will learn to function independently but people with Alzheimer’s will forget what they have learned. They will gradually become more and more dependent upon their caregivers.
This is where I describe my experiences with Alzheimer’s persons. Also I might describe some similar experiences with people who have dementia. Sometimes they exhibit a few of the same symptoms as someone with Alzheimer’s disease and if so I will mention it. After all Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia.
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