Enjoy the Time You Have
The tests are completed and the diagnosis is real. A person you care about has Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder with a different name. It is time to come together as family and friends and enjoy the time you have with this person with this scary diagnosis called Alzheimer’s.
The first thing to do is to focus on what is really important in your life and their life and the relationship you have. This applies to all relationships: spouse, sibling, parent/child, friends and neighbors.
Reminisce with the person with Alzheimer’s about the things you have done together in the past. Say things like, “One of the best times I had was when we took that trip to San Francisco,” or “my favorite time was in Momma’s backyard when we had the crawfish boil,” or “nothing tastes better than the homemade ice cream Jerry used to make.”
Now that you have been reminiscing, you can really concentrate on current possibilities that apply to just the two of you. They will be simple, like watching a sunset or listening to a favorite song. Depending on the progress of the disease, you might even share progress you made working out in an exercise class or taking on a new and difficult project. These are all simple things, but simple is sometimes the best and most enjoyable.
It is important to write down these shared thoughts and refer to them often. Use it as a resource for things you and your loved one can do together. Choose one adventure a week you both enjoy and look for one small thing you can do each day. It is very easy to be a tourist in your own city and create meaningful moments; it just needs to become a priority and a habit. With shared adventures and special moments occurring on a regular basis, you will, magically, enjoy your time while creating incredible memories for the future when you no longer have the person to enjoy.
It is the intent to help family care partners work through the maze of emotions and skills needed to assist a person with Alzheimer’s or a related disorder. For ease and simplicity almost all of the work of Jo Huey is based on the development of the communication tool, The Ten Absolutes, provided free on this website. By entering your name and email address on this page you will receive the Ten Absolutes Poster and you will be placed on the mailing list for updates. If you want to have someone on a mailing list who does not use a computer, please complete the box on this page and provide a mailing address and they will receive a poster and any updates by regular mail.
Jo is willing to assist anyone via email for free. Simply write your wish list in the x to the right. Write your wish, as a care partner, something that could make life easier today for yourself and for the one for whom you provide care. Within 24 hours Jo will provide suggestions for making those wishes happen.