A Day in the Life of a Caregiver

A day in the life of an Alzheimer’s victim (Ed) and his caregiver (me)…

I helped Ed make his morning coffee, but he forgot to pick it up and drink it.

While I was gone to the grocery store, Ed had cookies and ice cream for a late breakfast. I know because when I came home, the cookies were gone, and the ice cream was in the refrigerator instead of the freezer. Ed said he didn’t eat any ice cream.

When the cat cried for food, Ed broke up dog treats and placed them in the cat’s bowl.

When we got to Ed’s favorite restaurant for lunch, we didn’t stay as he wouldn’t wait for a table. Ed asked why they were so busy, I told him it was a holiday. Then Ed struggled with finding the words to ask which holiday we were celebrating.

At the second restaurant, 15 minutes in the opposite direction, Ed had trouble deciding what he wanted and when the waitress came, he pointed to a picture. We did end up having a very enjoyable and tasty lunch!

When we reached home, Ed asked for the umpteenth time, “Why do we have to move?” [We are leaving our current home with its large yard and constant upkeep. Without Ed’s help, it is just too expensive to hire the help I need to maintain everything.]

In the afternoon Ed gave the dogs more biscuits, even though I have them in a small cup labeled with the name of the day. You see, I told Ed that I had already fed the dogs their “lunch cookie.” Of course, Ed denied he had fed the dogs a biscuit as he was washing out the cat’s bowl. I had to tell him where the cat food was located as he never remembers.

Ed also has asked three times today what we were doing this weekend. I have told him the same thing each time.

I helped Ed put away some of his clean clothes as he couldn’t remember where his sweatshirts went or how to hang them up.

Dinner was left-overs from lunch, but Ed wanted to know what he was supposed to do with “these things” (flour tortillas). I explained that he might want to put food from his bowl on one and roll it up. He looked as if I had two heads, suggesting such a strange thing!

Ed was not sure what to do to put our cat in her bedroom so the dogs could come into the living room. I helped him get the cat some food and put up the gate. After the dogs came in, Ed glanced at the closed door to the cat’s room and wanted to know if there was someone in that room. We have been placing the cat in this room and closing the door for almost seven years.

Then before his favorite TV show was over, Ed left the room and came back five minutes later asking for help to pull back the covers and get in bed. He had forgotten to say good night or take the dogs out. I also made sure he took his evening pills.

So, here I sit, after taking the dogs out, relaxing all by myself. Ahhh!!

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