Around the time I began answering to "that girl," I realized names don't matter. At least they don't matter when you're dealing with Alzheimer's.
The fact that my Alzheimer's person didn't have a name for me didn't change the way we felt about each other. Our emotions remained the same. We laughed and cried and worried and loved the same way with and without names.
Try not to dwell on the things that are forgotten. It will make you sad to count your losses. Try instead to honor the relationship and emotions you still can share.
I'm sure you'll discover that love is love by any name.
She punched a code on the keypad and we went through the doors. My acronym anxiety immediately increased. As we toured the community, she bombarded me with code words: ADLs, CNAs, LPNs, MSU, SDP, LTC, DNR and DON. At least one reference every few sentences was a mystery to me.
I understand that language often is reduced to code so people inside a specific field can communicate quickly. But I was new to this, and already distressed just at the idea of assisted living for someone I love.
After touring 3 or 4 facilities, I began to remember what some of the acronyms meant
In Retrospect, I Think it Would be Best to Have a Decoder Ring BEFORE You Begin a Purchase as Emotionally and Financially Important as Assisted Living
So, here is a downloadable Learn The Lingo cheat sheet. It doesn’t have every term you’ll encounter, but it has some acronyms ever Alzheimer's caregiver needs to know.
Caring for someone with dementia at home can be an overwhelming situation. You find yourself laser focused on basic survival, and everything else falls far down — or completely off — your To Do List.
Who cares if the dishes are done when you spent the morning chasing after your wandering Alzheimer's person? Laundry will have to wait. Forget about cooking a real meal. Each day seems to turn into a lesson in basic survival. You can't go on like this.
I believe most friends and family members want to help. But often when people don't know what to do, they do nothing (sigh).
You're Going to Have to Ask for What You Need
Help with little things give friends and family a way to contribute, and allow them to see your true situation. When someone says, "how can I help?" be ready to accept their offer.
See, it's good for everyone when you don't do the dishes. Ask someone for help today.
My Book for Caregivers