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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Caregiver Support Group News Tuesday,10/16/2012

A woman reports that her son and his family were coming to visit their dad who is in a residential facility. "Mom," the son said, "I am not going to take the kids in to see Dad." "OK." said Mom.
"Mom, I have something to tell you," he continued, "It is very hard for ME to go see Dad."
"How," the woman asked the group,"does he think it is for me to visit with his dad each day? Does he think I'm immune, or does he simply expect I am supposed to like it, that I don't need support? I don't need his confession and I can't excuse him from visiting his father. Where is his empathy for me?"
It is not easy, but visits can be rewarding. Getting an Alzheimer patient to smile or dance or to eat his whole meal makes me feel good. Creating happy moments, whether my husband enjoys the feel of the sun on his face when we are outside walking, or the taste of a chocolate brownie or an ice cream cone, when he holds my hand, not verbally able to express our relationship, but by squeezing my hand, I know he still knows we are connected--all these feel good to me and make my visits pleasurable. Of course we sing the "aba daba honeymoon" song, which is my name for the word salad that comprises so much of my husband's language these days.
I also experience my spouse's "use" of his dependence on others to get people (me) to do for him what he still can do for himself. For example, he completely refused to eat any of his dinner last night, so I placed a piece of food on his fork and reached to put it on his plate so he could pick it up with his right hand. No, he moved his face toward me, as if I were going to feed him. Althoug Bob sees others being fed, we are not going there. He is still capable of feeding himself even if he cannot tie his shoelaces anymore and I do reach to untangle them for him when he asks.

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