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Lessons Learned: One man’s journey as an Alzheimer’s caregiver

Mo GrossbergerMo Grossberger

Part 11

Less than a week after our name was placed on the waiting list at the extended care facility, I got a call at work telling me that they had a bed for her, and she could move in tomorrow, Friday. I asked if I could call them right back, went out to my car, cried until I had no more tears, came back to the office, and called them back.

When I spoke with them, I asked if they could hold the bed until the following Monday because we were taking a bus trip to Boston on Saturday and this was going to be the last trip I would be able to take with my wife. They agreed, and told us she could move the following Tuesday.

We had a delightful trip: perfect weather and a delightful group of people. I took Jeanne’s wheelchair to avoid any further falls. We took a Duck Tour (absolutely delightful), had lunch in an Italian restaurant that we both enjoyed, then shopped at Quincy Market. The market had a cobblestone walkway which was very bumpy for her wheelchair, so she and I went to the bus and waited for the others to return.

While we were driving back to Greenfield, I asked her if she enjoyed Boston. “Mo, you know I haven’t been back to Boston since nursing school.” (Sigh.)

On Monday, one of her daughters and I brought several things from our home to her new room to help her with the transition. It was suggested that I give her reasons for the placement.

Tuesday, we went out for breakfast and then went for a short ride into the country. I pulled over and, holding her hand, told her, “I know you have concerns about my health lately, and I agree with you. It’s been very tough. I’ve made arrangements for you to go into a rehab facility for three reasons: you need to get stronger, I need to get stronger, and you will meet other patients there who have absolutely no one: no family, no friends. Because of your wonderful skills as a counselor, your job is to seek these people out and let them know that they are not alone.”

She looked at me, smiled, and said, “If this is what you feel I need, it’s ok with me.” Talk about trust!!

How to contact Mo

Mo Grossberger is available to speak to your group or for one-on-one counseling. He can be reached at 413-624-3954 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In lieu of compensation, he asks that donations be made to either the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) or The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (www.curealz.org).