We walked to the corner, crossed and meandered all the way to Main Street, utilizing ALL the 24 seconds allotted to traverse that intersection with Bob complaining every half-step we were getting “too far” from home. When we arrived at the Dollar Store, he surprised me by exclaiming, “It was worth it!” He tried on a navy blue hoodie but has forgotten how to reach his arm back to engage the second sleeve. When I chose kitchen gadgets to show him, he said, “I’ve had enough, let’s get out of here.” His interests are limited mainly to food—and me.
On Friday we had walked up to the corner of Main Street, but Bob wanted to go back home, so I know he is capable of walking to the strip mall. I understand his Alzheimer's disease makes him feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings and I know almost everywhere is unfamiliar these days. He no longer enjoys Home Depot or Wal-Mart as they are overwhelming for him now, but walking to a store seems do-able.We hold hands, I talk about what we see and the exercise is good since the weather is back to 70 degree Arizona sunshine.
As his caregiver, although he lives in a memory care facility, I feel good when I can provide pleasant experiences for my husband most days. I visit generally during the hour and a half before dinner as this seems to be Bob's most agitated time of day; the staff shift is changing, people are coming and going and he wants to leave with them. He often voices to me that he feels trapped; he is not satisfied with the limited walking path provided in the walled-in back yard where he cannot see what he calls "civilization."
I understand and we were going for car rides to the park to feed the ducks or to watch the children on the slides and swings, but Bob is hesitant to enter the car most days unless my son Steve is already in the back seat welcoming him. Our next outing tomorrow will be to the dentist and then perhaps for a Happy Meal at McDonald's for a treat.