Just Hang on, Don’t Cave

750px-Couple_sitting_at_a_kitchen_table_(2)“Where do you live?” “Do you have any children?” What’s your name?” “Do you know I love you?” “Do you want to get married?” These are some of the questions my husband of 51 years asks me almost daily.

It has been seven years since I began to notice Charlie was having difficulty remembering things. Very often his confusion was causing mood swings resulting in anger issues. It was then that our family decided it was time to seek medical advice. After seeing three different neurologists and having a battery of tests performed, it was determined that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. Unfortunately, as we all know, there is no cure, only medication to try to slow the progression of the disease.

As Charlie’s sole caregiver, I need to find the silver lining on the cloudy days in our Alzheimer’s world. I have to ask myself, “Am I going to cave under the pressure or am I going to discover the power that lies within?” Thinking positive and utilizing all the resources available can turn a difficult experience into a good experience.

Last July, while perusing the Half Hollow Hills Library newsletter, I discovered that a new program was starting for memory fitness. Since Charlie always enjoyed the library and it would be a familiar place, we began to attend the sessions, which are held Mondays from 2 to 4. Charlie and I both enjoy the activities – jigsaw puzzles, trivia games – not to mention the camaraderie. It certainly is one of my silver linings, and it’s also a source of helpful information for success as a caregiver.

I’ll be writing in this space as often as the mood strikes and time allows. Let me know your thoughts on this topic — I look forward to reading them. And please come check out the MemoryCare Puzzle Group on Monday afternoons in Community Room B at the library. For more information, please call Ginny at (631)498-1238.

cropped-800px-pda_mebd_riss1Nancy with the Laughing Face, 3/24/14

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