A Best Friend Initiates Activities, state Virginia Bell & David Troxel in The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care. Because the Alzheimer’s patient often loses the ability to initiate activities, it is a mistake to always ask the patient if he/she wants to do something. The answer will often be “No.” A Best Friend simply says, “Come on, let’s go for a walk. It’s a beautiful day.” or “I would like to take a walk. Come on, join me” (Bell 49).
Monday, April 27, 2009
New Spring Wardrobe for Boppa
Lorrie & I joined Dad for a Spring/Easter Brunch at American House on Saturday April 11th. Sunday we went to Lorrie & Rod’s for dinner. Rod’s Mom Al and his Aunt Mabel joined us. (Photos above)
After brunch that Saturday we took Dad shopping at Kohl’s for some new, larger pants. This little outing was an adventure as usual. I sent Dad into the fitting room with a pair of pants a size larger than the ones he had on. Luckily there wasn’t anyone else around, so I could wait right outside. Several minutes went by and I finally asked Dad if he had the pants on. He said “No, they are too big!” Lorrie and I both felt it was important to get Dad into bigger pants, since he had gained another seven pounds. The pants he was wearing were too tight and had to be wore under his stomach.
I don’t have any qualms about dressing my father. So, I went into the fitting room, had Dad step into the pants, pulled them up, buttoned & zipped them. Then I sent him out to show Lorrie. She uses humor a lot when dealing with Dad’s Alzheimer moments, and this was definitely one of those moments. The new pants did fit perfect around his stomach. Lorrie agreed, laughed a little and told him he looked great. Dad said “I won’t wear them. Their too big!” My sister and I just looked at each other and smiled, and told him again they looked great and they fit perfect.
We picked out two more pair and three shirts to go with them. During this process Dad just kept muttering he wouldn’t wear them, he didn’t need them, and why were we buying them.
One thing we have learned is not to listen to the Alzheimer’s, because usually the next day Dad will not remember. I bought the new outfits, took them home, washed, ironed and hemmed the pants. The next day, Easter Sunday, I took the new clothes to Dad and said “Happy Easter here are your Easter Clothes, let’s pick out an Easter outfit to wear to Lorrie’s. He put on the new pants and shirt without one word of objection. When we got to Lorrie & Rod’s everyone complimented him on his new outfit.
A month and a half ago we hired a registered/bonded nurse to make sure Dad gets a shower on Tuesday and Friday. She has worked with many people at American House since 1997, and is really good with Dad. She actually gave Dad a shower the first time, but since then Dad gets in the shower before she arrives. But, she said Dad does fine taking a shower by himself, so she just makes sure he is clean, washed his hair, and put on clean clothes. She is very glad we got Dad larger pants, getting dressed is much easier for him.
So my advice this month is don’t listen to those Alzheimer’s moments, listen to your heart and head, and do whatever needs to be done.
After dinner Easter Sunday Dad told me “I like my new clothes,” and gave me a hug. This disease never ceases to amaze me.
Tenet#4 cont.: Live in the Patient’s World: Behavioral Changes
Not Retaining Information or Memory of Events, such as a wedding (110). Coste suggests you can say “We had such a lovely time and the chocolate cake was delicious” (110).