My father has alzheimers and is the main reason why I finally accepted my mediumship abilities and wanted to learn how to use my gifts. You see studies have shown that people with alzheimers have one foot here on earth and the other foot on the other side. That’s why they often get scared. When they have the half glazed eye look on their face that looks like they are a million miles away from you, know that they are. It’s when we try to snap them back into reality is when they often get scared because they shift their awareness from the other side back to our side then suddenly realize they don’t recognize us or even know where they are.
Caring For An alzheimer Patient:
Caring for someone with this disease comes with alot of stress and the ability to just go with the flow. You can’t possibly get upset with someone who can’t remember. Do expect them to ask the same questions over and over and over. This is where true patience comes into play. It doesn’t do any good to raise your voice or yell. They won’t understand why you are upset anyway. Try and take in a deep breath, and remain calm. From here you have two choices, answer the question again or redirect the question. I always like to go with redirecting and changing the subject. If someone is still in stage 1, you might not be able to redirect the behavior.
Here Are Some Of My Helpful Hints In Dealing With This Horrible Disease:
1. Be patient and remain calm at all times
2. Try to go with the flow. This comes into play once they are in stage 2 or higher. If they say the sky is green then you say yes the sky is green. Does it really matter if the sky isn’t green?
3. When trying to explain something to them always start off with providing a name of a familar person so that they feel loved and safe. They will be more willing and flexible to listen to you and to cooperate with you.
4. Don’t rush the conversation. While you are trying to explain the situation you might have to repeat things a few times but that’s ok.
5. When they get scared, tell them who you are and let them know that they are ok, loved, & safe.
6. Keep a photo album or pictures close by of spouses, kids, family, and friends. This will help trigger a memory and calm them down quicker.
7. Look straight into their eyes so you can make contact with their soul and hold their hands. Once you make eye to eye contract and can reach them through your soul it’s only a matter of time before they will calm down and slowly snap back into reality.
8. Try and think of how this person can remember you and make a connection from the past. For me, I say remember the little girl who couldn’t pronounce the word Ottawa and used to say it as awa? Then my dad always says that was you wasn’t it. I say yep. Then he starts talking about how we had to practice saying that word and several other words over and over every night. You see I lost my two front teeth in first grade and had a hard time pronouncing words correctly.
9. Don’t take it personally if they forget your name or think you are someone else.
10. Mixing up words. Before they completely forget they start to mix up people’s names and places. That’s ok. At least they still remember the event. Just help them out and provide the correct name or place and then identify the person or place so that they feel comfortable.
I live in Arizona where no matter where you look you can see mountains in the distance. Therefore, my dad refers to me as the girl who lives up in the mountains. In the beginning my mom would get really upset and says no Bernard she doesn’t live in the mountains. Yet, my dad would come back with yes she does; you can see mountains everywhere which seeing mountains everywhere is actually a true fact. When you look outside my front door, I can see mountains off in the far distance no matter which way I go so technically my dad is correct. It’s rare now that my dad will even call me by name. However, the first thing he does though is ask me, “So how is everything today up on that mountain?” I just chuckle and answer great.
Keeping Alzheimzers In Their Normal Environment:
They says it’s best to keep alzheimers in their normal environment. I can personally tell you from own families nightmare just how true that statement is. Here’s our story of what happened when my mom decided she needed a break and came to Arizona with my dad for 93 days in the winter.
I flew to Illinois in October 2018 and drove my parents to Arizona. It all started on day one with my dad. As he sat in the car even though we told him where we were going he kept thinking we were driving to the Quad Cities. We continued driving west on interstate 80. We had been on the road for hours and were nearing Omaha Nebraska when he sees a sign for the airport. He says you ladies need to pull the car over. I will drop you off at the airport here in the Quad cities then I need to head home to my wife. His wife at this point is the front seat driving the car. We could hardly keep a straight face. She replies, I am your wife. He responds back no you might be an Audrey but your not my Audrey. This was the first time my dad didn’t recognize my mom driving in the car. I spent the next 30 minutes trying to reason with him and explain no this is your wife. I quickly realized that when we left his home, he started to not even recognize his own wife. He started referring to her as the other woman for the next 93 days. During the car ride he was good as gold. He liked to look out the window and watch the cars go by and comment on every single Black Angus cow that we passed. When we arrived at North Plate Nebraska it was very late and we had to get a hotel room. This is when the nightnare began. It was after dark and the brain decides to completely shutdown with no memory recall at all. We were in the hotel room, when all of a sudden my father takes his suitcase and decides he’s going home. I’m trying to block him from leaving the hotel room, and he keeps saying I am going home. I say we are on a road trip going to Arizona to visit your son and grand kids. Remember? Of course he doesn’t remember. Then, my mother and I try and tell him where we are. He is dumbfounded and says how did I end up in Nebraska. He can’t beleive it. he says were we kidnapped? At this point, my mom and I can can’t keep a straight face. However, it’s late at night and we are tired. He wants to look out the window so we let him. He saees the cars in the parking lot and says OMG we were kidnapped. My mom says yes now get to bed. He goes back to bed but just lays there awhile because he’s scared and confused. Not being able to calm him down, I have to resort to calling my brother. He then starts texting me family photos of my father and the rest of our family. I then show him all of the photos which takes an hour to go through and to calm him down. I”m so tired that I dno’t sleep at all in fear that he might wake up and try and leave the hotel room. It is now 1:30am and he finally goes to sleep.
Day 2 of the road trip:
We get up eat breakfast and all is well. We get back on the road & so far so good. We are on the road a few hours when he starts to ask me if I am even old enough to drive his car. He wants to know why are you driving my car? I say because mom asked me to because you don’t drive anymore. Then, he start to point out that we are going the wrong way. We need to turn around and head back east not west. I saw well we are going west today not east. My poor mom is trying to get a nap in since she didn’t sleep at all either and both of us have to take turns driving since he can’t drive. Lately, my dad was going through a faze where he kept eating. He would think he didn’t eat, then he would ask to eat so we would feed him again. So to keep him busy in the car while my mom was driving I kept giving her snacks to preoccupy him. Day two was a rough day for me and my mom because we were exhausted. However, we quickly realized that taking him out his environment was not a good idea. His brain was starting to completely shutdown on basic things in life. My mom decides we need to keep driving rather than stop and getting a hotel room after 8 hours. I have a hard time seeing to drive at night & I was tired. Therefore, driving any further was difficult for me. NOt my 75 year old mother. Once she sets her mind to something you can’t stop her. She says pull over. I will drive and she continues to drive on for another 3 more hours. When we finally get a hotel room, we are thinking that my dad would be so exhausted that he would just collapse and go to sleep. Not the case. I had to go through the photo album on my phone and show him pictures of everyone in the family. I had to explain where we were going and how long it would take to get there. I asked him if he had any questions. We let him turn on the tv and watch whatever he wanted in hopes that he would fall asleep. As luck would have it, he fell asleep early this night and we all got to sleep for 8 hours.
Day 3 of the road trip:
Finally, we all wake up rested and are feeling great. The plan is to be in Phoenix by nightfall. The road trip during the day is great. My dad is singing in the car and telling stories and appears to be happy. We finally arrive in Phoenix after dark. When we get to my house surprisingly he remembers my husband and spends about an hour talking with him while we are all just getting settled in. Then, it’s back to bedtime or nightmare time as I like to call it. He remembers where he sleeps and goes directly to the room. He lays his suitcase on the bed and unzips it. What happens next is about to be a nightly occurence for the next several months. He then spends almost 4 hours zipping and unzipping his suitcase. Packing and then unpacking his cloths. You see the brain totally shuts down. He can’t seem to remember what he’s doing. I walk in several times and help him get his pjs out so he can go into the bathroom and get dressed. We finally get the pjs on. Then, I need to get his teeth brushed. After several hours we have pjs on and teeth brushed. The bedroom lights are still on. I keep hoping he’s going to turn off the light and go to bed. He finally turns off the lights and comes walking out with street cloths on holding his suitcase. I say where are you going? He replies, “I am going home.” This now is the first night of a nightly occurence of him picking up his suitcase and trying to leave and go home. I walk him back into the room and say we are staying here tonight. I show him pictures of his parents. I then show him pictures of his mother and say remember how she had alzheimers? He says, yes. I say well your three sisters have it now too. He looks at me at says oh. I say you do too. That’s why you can’t remember where you are. I explain that he’s at my house. That he is loved and safe. He then calms down. I look him straight in the eye and say we need to get to sleep ok Everything is going to be ok. I will see you in the morning. I leave and go back and lay on the step of our stair case because he tries to leave a few more times. Finally he is so exhausted he finally just gives up and goes to sleep.
Dad wakes me up bright and early Saturday morning. I would have thought he would have slept in but no he is up at his usual time even with a time difference. I am exhausted. I have to turn keep the house alarm on to make sure he doesn’t just walk out of the house. He wakes up with alot of energy and is ready to go for the day. So I talk my husband into taking in on a walk with the dog. Later I take him running errands with me while my poor mom is trying to sleep from pure exhaustation of having to take care of him on her own. Later in the day we finally arrive at my brothers place where they are to live for the next 3 months. Everything appears fine until bedtime. When the sun went down my dads brain completely shut down again. He suddenly didn’t remember who we were or where he was. Worse my brother changed the room to where my dad would be staying so he kept trying to get into the wrong bedroom. It took us 4 hours to get him to bed. We went through the new same old routine. He would zip and unzip his suitcase. Then, pack and unpack the suitcase. We quickly learned the key was to have him take off his shoes and get his pjs on. If his pjs were on somehow he knew he need to go to bed. We finally got him to sleep around 11:00pm.
Day 5 is a Sunday. My brother and his family spends the entire day entertaining him while I am home getting all caught from being gone for 10 days.
When bedtime arrives we go through the exact samething of not remember, zipping, and unzipping the suitcase and trying to escape and go home. This is now our new nightly routine. He doesn’t fall asleep until 11:00 pm and my brother needs to be up early for work.
Day 6 is a Monday. My brother and I are both back to work. My mom is supposed to be keeping an eye on my dad. However, he loves to ride his bike. Back home he rides his bike about 4 times a day and goes on long bikes rides. My mom is still extremely exhausted that she doesn’t even realize that my dad has left the house on his bike. Luckily for him, he gets lost inside a gated community and did not leave this time. He stopped to ask two women for directions. They tried to help him find the house but he wasn’t able to find the house so they called the police. They put him in the back of the squad car and the police officer drove around the neighborhood looking for a red car inside the garage. My dad had his car keys on him and kept hitting the alarm button. Finally, the alarm button went off and they realized that was his house so the police office walked him to the front door. My mom answered, he went in and that was the end of that. However, once I learned that I quickly filled out a profile and entered him into the Return Me Safe Program with the police department in case he went missing again. I later asked my dad what he did that day of which he responded nothing much. My broIther comes home from work and has to install locks on the gates outside and install new keyless locks inside the home so that no one can leave without a key.
I am home having a flash that my dad is going stir crazy trying to get out of the house and my mom is sick. I finally get in the car and drive there. Sure enough my mom isn’t feeling well at all. She is sleeping 18 out of 24 hours a day. This becomes her new norm for the next two weeks. Obviously, something is wrong here. I now have to help take care of both them in addition to working for my husbands business. I spend my days out walking, riding a bike, going to church with my dad, & working off my iphone from my brothers place. I notice my dads personality has really changed. Now all of a sudden he is very religious. He is constantly asking questions about heaven such as who goes to heaven and who doesn’t. What do you think heaven will be like? I try and answer his questions as best as I can. He now wants to go to church everyday. I find myself taking him because it’s the one place where I know he will sit down and I can work off my phone in church. I know you aren’t supposed to be working in church but when you are desparate trying to watch someone, work, and keep your family insane you do what you got to do. I think god has forgiven me for working in church since I’m doing a good deed of taking care of others.
Mom Gets Worse Dad Gets Better:
Over the next two weeks, I have to move into my brothers house to take care of both of them. Driving back and forth everyday is out of the question. My mom is now sleeping nonstop 18 hours a day. She gets up just long enough to eat and go back to bed. I’m getting really nervous and start to think, OMG she had me drive them out here because she is dying & doesnt’ want dad left alone. This gives me the opportunity though to control my dads diet and exercise. I am now able to start feeding him healthy foods with lots of green vegetables, fish, and start giving him coconut oil which is supposed to help stop the disease from spreading(supposedly). During the next couple of weeks, we see improvements in my dad. He is now back to talking and interacting with people. I start to play memory games with him on a daily basis although he doesn’t recognize what we are even doing. For example, grouping cards into colors, numbers, patterns, and playing the game connect four which makes you think.
My faither is a 78 year old man who is in perfect health, exceellent shape, and likes to ride his bike about 15 miles a day. Now he is confined into riding a bike about 2 miles a day. We find that the less exercise he gets per days the harder it is for him to go to sleep at night. It gets so bad, we take him to a specialist thinking that putting him on medication would help ease him and allow him to go to sleep earlier and much comfortably. No not at all. Just the opposite happens. He takes the medicine the first day and is wired all day long. He is wired so much that it is now 1:00 am and he is still up and can’t sleep. Nothing we say or do can help him go to sleep so we just have to wait until he tires himself out. We call the doctors office and they say to take him off the medicine immediately. So now what? How are we going to get him to go to sleep before midnight because we are exhausted. You would think he would be exhausted and would need to take a nap everyday but no. He doesn’t nap. The more he is outside doing things, waking, riding a bike, or playing games the happy he is.
Stay Tuned As I Will Continue To Update This Story Regulary: