Thanks to the wonderful care my husband receives at his Alzheimer's disease memory care center and thanks to my son and to my husband's son who was in Arizona this week, I am able to spend some time for myself, visiting old friends, going to concerts and to museums and just doing for myself.
All caregivers need some time to regroup, to think of other things than caring for loved ones who are ill with Parkinson's disease, dementia or Alzheimer's disease. I feel blessed to be able to visit the city my husband and I both loved for so many years.
Everything here reminds me of fun times we had before he lost his memory and his sweet personality to Alzheimer's disease. I walk in our old neighborhood wanting to tell him of the changes that have occurred in the five years since we have been in Arizona.
I eat at our favorite restaurants, at our favorite tables with our friends who ask about my husband.
How do I respond to these questions? "How's Bob?" they want to know."Did he come with you?" they ask. Some will ask concerned, "How IS Bob?"
We are all afraid Alzheimer's disease will catch us and my friends are concerned for their loved ones as well. My younger friends share with me the stories of their relatives who are "beginning" to change, parents who repeat the same stories every time, or have difficulty speaking on the telephone. Some who wish to remain independent and live alone who refuse to wear a health alert pendant for example.
None of us knows what will happen in the future The best we can do is to take care of ourselves today and have a bit of fun once in a while. Now it's my turn.