Many caregivers respond to this question with incidents of behavior, repeated questions by their loved one that drive them bonkers, unwillingness of the loved one to eat, bathe, dress appropriately or get ready to leave the house on time.
These are valid group discussion points and the members of the group help each other with solutions and by sharing their own frustrations, gather enough patience to continue for another week or two.
Once a loved one is living in a residential setting, the hard part of caregiving changes. We are concerned about the care our spouse or parent receives, whether they are eating enough and how long they continue to recognize us. Glenn Campbell's daughter was in Washington, DC speaking to Congress about funding for Alzheimer's disease and she teared up when mentioning that her Dad sometimes doesn't know who she is.He no longer can sing or play the guitar or appreciate her shared memories with him.
For me the hardest part of this week has been my husband's increased passivity. He is losing interest in complaining, in wanting to leave the building. He merely sits and waits for his meals. Seeing my sadness, my son found a sponge volleyball and began to throw it to my husband. He caught it, focussed, threw it to me and the three of us played with that ball for a long time until dinner was served. My husband still has good eye-hand coordination, good eyesight; he was playful, faking a throw to one and throwing the ball to the other.
My husband seems content with his life, satisfied with the young workers who dote on him. I miss each skill he loses, even those I felt embarrassed about before.