Lessons Learned: One man’s journey as an Alzheimer’s caregiver
- Published: 28 February 2016
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