“Daddy was the main caregiver for mama who has had Alzheimer’s for several years. She never knows who I am when I visit. At home she always had a pattern: She would look out the window, get a plate and arrange some cookies, sit on a chair and wait. She would do that three times. She then went to her room, turned on the light, took off her robe, crawled into bed and shut off the light. Daddy would shut the door and call “goodnight” through the door.”
“What was she waiting for?”
“I don’t know, but she never ate the cookies. I figured they were for someone else.”
The upscale Alzheimer’s ward was nice. That way children don’t feel guilty when they never visit.
She carried herself with such grace and was so polite.
“Would you like a cookie?” She held out a decorative plate.
“Yes, please. What was he like?” I asked her as I took a stale cookie from the plate.
“He’s a lady’s man. I knew that when we married. I thought he would settle down, he never did. He’s better than Millie’s man though. Mama always told us ‘now girls the two best ways to keep your men in-line are with a sprinkle of that white stuff in sweet home baked cookies or the butcher knife that we keep sharp for the chickens’ necks.”
“Hmm. uuuu” I wrapped the remainder of the cookie in my napkin. I tried not to choke on the cookie in my throat.
“We knew no one would suspect two old gals.” Her smile was sincere as she fingered her strand of pearls.
“Did you ever want to use the butcher knife on your husband?” I was thinking as we talked that her mind seemed fairly clear.
“Certainly not! Millie had rat poison that she saved from daddy’s shed. She said rats came in all types and sizes.”
“Did you ever umm use it?”
Thanks for stopping by – you’ll have to come back tomorrow to read the finish of this flash fiction story for the letter B
Welcome to the A to Z Challenge where writers spend the month writing.
I presently work in Hospice and have a love for elderly people (I’m quickly becoming one)
Alzheimers is a hard diagnosis and as it’s constantly changing; its alot like Covid-19.
On the letter “D” I will discuss Dementia which presents in many ways like Alzheimers.
I have found with Alzheimers that a patient can have a little less stress with a few things in place:
Routine – offers stability when an Alzheimer patient feels like the floor has come out from underneath him. Getting up at the same time, eating at the same time helps the body and mind work together.
Diet – A good diet is essential and good fats (for the brain) need to be part of each day. With a generation that is used to non-fat everything this can be a challenge.
Exercise – taking safety into consideration exercise is key. Walking each day and doing some eye hand coordination exercises (make them fun) keep the mind and body in tune.
Safety – A patient can forget they are no longer an avid hiker or runner. Falls are an aged person’s worst nightmare. Identify risks before a fall can happen.
Activity – You patient will still enjoy activities that were once part of everyday life. One patient reads his book about Einstein everyday. He is more engaged in the pictures than the content but that book is an old friend.
Signs – you may laugh at this one but it worked. My male patient kept forgetting where the bathrooms in his house were. He would go in a corner of the garage or in the yard but he always could find the restroom at the store or a park. I put up a restroom sign with a picture of a man and an arrow pointing to his bathroom. it worked.
Most people have a family member or friend that has Alheimers. What have you seen that makes it easier to “live” with?