Welcome to Living With Alzheimer’s

January 1, 2020

This site consists of a journal I started on January 21, 2011. That was the date on which my wife, Kate, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It is an account of our lives since that time and includes the symptoms Kate has displayed as well as how we have adapted. You will also learn about our frustrations and problems.

At the time of this site’s launch on January 21, 2018, I uploaded almost  700 journal entries. Since then, I have added 1000 more. I continue to write new posts, but  I don’t have a regular schedule. I write them as new things occur. Sometimes I may not write anything for a day or so. Other days I may make two or three entries.

What may surprise you is how much we have been able to enjoy life and each other even as we experience the toughest challenges of this disease. In that respect, we have been more fortunate than most couples who travel this road. The past year Kate has declined significantly and is now in Stage 7 of the 7-Stage Model of the Progression of Alzheimer’s, but our relationship remains strong. She expresses more irritability now, but she is also much more dependent and very appreciative of what I do for her. Yesterday, she thanked me for taking care of her, and said, “I don’t know how you do it.”  None of us knows what life will be like a year from now, but I plan for us to enjoy ourselves as much as we can for as long we can. That seems to have worked in the past.

Thanks for your visit.

Richard Creighton                                                                                                 @LivingWthAlz

Change in the Air

Since the coronavirus came on the scene, change has become a regular part of everyone’s life. As my recent posts have suggested, Kate is no exception. I have a much harder time anticipating what a day will be like. That’s not because the good times have passed. They haven’t. They still represent a much larger percentage of our experiences than the trying, or even challenging, moments, but she definitely keeps me on my toes. Monday represents a good illustration.

The day began early, about 2:00 a.m. to be exact. It lasted off and on for the better part of two hours. I can’t recall the precise conversation. She was concerned about either a responsibility she thought she hadn’t fulfilled or what was on our agenda for the day. She asked me a few questions that I answered only to be followed a short time later with the same questions and my same answers.

Because she lost some sleep, I assumed she would get up a little later. That turned out to be a wrong assumption. About 7:30, I heard her say something just as I was going to take my morning walk. I went to the bedroom and found that she was confused but not seriously disturbed. She just wanted help understanding where she was and what she was supposed to do.

I asked if she was ready to get up. She said she didn’t know. I suggested that I take her to the bathroom. She agreed and on the way said, “Where’s my husband?” At the time, it was not a surprise, but her failure to recognize me was repeated throughout the day. It was the second time that has happened in the past week or so.

After she was dressed, I gave her a bowl of strawberries and blueberries and a glass of apple juice. For the first time, she showed little interest in either the fruit or her juice. She left half of the fruit and didn’t want any cheese toast when I offered it. She was quite talkative, however. Like other recent conversations, she didn’t realize that she was talking to me and kept saying she wished “my husband” were here to explain more of the things she talked about. We talked for an hour at the kitchen table before I assumed we would adjourn to the family room where she would rest. Wrong again.

Instead, she noticed a letter from Blue Cross on my desk. It was a communication about a medication I take for a dry eye condition. She picked it up and made an effort to read it. When we walked into the family room, she took it with her and then went into the living room. She took a seat and started reading it. I remained in the family room. I knew she wouldn’t be able to understand it but was fascinated to see how long she would try and made periodic visits to see if she was napping or reading. Each time she was trying to read with the same degree of seriousness she had shown a few days earlier when she tried to read The Velveteen Rabbit.

She came back to the family room in about twenty minutes and took a seat beside me. She started to read the letter when I noticed that she had it upside down. I asked if she wanted me to read it. She did. First, I explained what it was and that it included the company’s non-discrimination policy in nine languages besides English. I felt exactly the way I had the other day. I was glad to see her try to read but sad because she faced such an impossible task.

My Rotary club started its meetings again, and I re-established our arrangements to have a Monday sitter. She is someone who had been with us almost a year but not since September 2018, so I asked that she come an hour early to give Kate an opportunity to develop a comfort level with her before I left.

That went well, but when it was time for me to leave, Kate wasn’t comfortable about my going. She wanted to go with me. I told her the sitter be with her and that I would be back after my meeting. She wasn’t happy but accepted without a protest. I gave her a couple of her photo books to look over while I was gone.

When I returned, she was resting, but awake. I brought in groceries I had picked up on the way home from Rotary and then checked email. I heard her talking with the sitter and walked into the room. She was glad to see me. I told the sitter she could go. Then Kate and I spent time with one of her photo books.

During dinner, she said she was tired and wanted to go to bed early. She said the same thing after dinner. When we walked into our bedroom, she wanted to lie down. I suggested that she brush her teeth, put on her night clothes, and call it a day. She agreed, and I got her to bed. I watched the evening news and then put on some music for her while I took a shower.

After my shower, she began a long conversation. She was in bed when it began, but she soon took a seat on my side of the bed across from the chair in which I was sitting. I couldn’t fully understand what she was talking about, but I surmised that she thought I was a student with a part time job at whatever place she thought we were in, perhaps a hotel. I also gathered that she was trying to help me get a regular job. She asked if I knew her husband. I told her I did. She said he would be able to help by directing me to people who might be hiring. She said he was at work but would be coming home soon and repeated this a number of times. Realizing that he might not come home before I left, she asked if I had her husband’s phone number. I told her I did. Then she said, “If you run into a problem, call Richard.”

She was very eager to help me and kept repeating the whole scenario multiple times over an hour. For at least the last thirty minutes, I made an effort to close the conversation so that I could get to bed, but she continued. When she was nearly finished, she tested me to see if I remembered what she had told me to do. She said, “Now, what do you do if you run into a problem?” I told her I would call Richard. I don’t remember the other question, but I do remember the answer was to contact her. I was glad to have passed. She continued to talk and tested me one more time before the conversation ended for good.

We had what I thought was a rather amusing conclusion. I suggested we get to bed, and she asked where she was going to sleep. I pointed to her side of the bed. She was surprised. It turned out that she thought she would be going “home.” I told her she would be staying the night. She asked where I was going to sleep. I pointed to my side of the bed. She seemed a little hesitant but got in. I turned out the light and got in bed beside her. She was comfortable being with me, but she didn’t respond to me like I was her husband.

It is obvious that Kate is changing in a variety of ways. Her sleep pattern is unpredictable. She has more delusions. She has very talkative spells. As usual, the only way I can make sense out of it is to remind myself that her Alzheimer’s is a result of the plaque and tangles in her brain. They continue to grow and cause the circuits in her brain to malfunction. Regardless of the explanation, Kate is clearly changing, but I am glad to say that she is almost always kind and gentle. Just yesterday, she suddenly snapped at me because of something I said. She immediately apologized and said, “I really don’t like to be that way.” No wonder I want to give her the best care I can.

Very Talkative at Latest Doctor’s Visit

Last week, Kate had a regular appointment with her primary care physician. She sees her doctor every four months though covid-19 delayed this one by ten weeks. The only thing that wasn’t routine was Kate’s behavior. She was unusually talkative.

As always, the doctor began by speaking directly to Kate. First, she asked a general question about how things were going. Kate said, “Fine.” Then she asked more specific questions, none of which Kate was able to answer. After the last question, the doctor asked if she could get my thoughts. I had sent her an update in advance of the visit, but I mentioned a few minor changes.

Something I said prompted Kate to jump in and say something complimentary about relationship. The medical intern who had accompanied the doctor asked how long we had been married. Kate turned to me, and I mentioned that our 57th anniversary was coming up on Sunday.

Then Kate took the lead. She began what was a lengthy (for a doctor’s appointment) description of my care for her and the closeness of our relationship. It must have surprised the doctor who had never her heard her talk so much.

It was noteworthy to me because it came after several other recent experiences at home when we have had long conversations in which she was the primary speaker. In those cases, everything was fabricated, arising out of an apparent delusion. This time it was because the subject matter is one with which she is very familiar and, thus, about which she is able to speak comfortably, if not accurately.

In a way, it both pleased and tickled me. I say pleased because it’s always nice to hear your spouse say good things about you. I also thought she beautifully conveyed the nature of our relationship to the doctor. It tickled me because she has always expressed her liking for things that are not “overdone.” I’m pretty sure that if she had been an outside observer, she would have said this went several steps too far.

At the time, I didn’t make too much of it, but since then she has been much more talkative. As I often do, I wonder why this is occurring and how much more may be in store. I reported that in the last post and plan to report more on that topic in a post about yesterday.

A Day of Surprises

Yesterday was a very good day for Kate, but I wasn’t sure when she woke up. About 8:30, I heard her say, “Hello.” <pause> “Hello.” Her voice was rather calm. When I reached her, she looked wide awake. I was about to give her a very lighthearted greeting when I noticed that she looked very concerned. I shifted gears to mirror her feelings. She told me she was glad to see me. I asked what I could do to help her.

That initiated a conversation that was a good thirty minutes long. She wanted to know if “they got it.” I never learned nor did she ever hint at what that was, but I told her “they did.” In most situations like this, that would be enough. This time she wanted to know how I knew “they got it.” One fib leads to another, and I told her I was there when they took it. Then she wanted to know who took it. I gave her the name of a friend of her mother’s. She didn’t remember the friend, and I had to give a little explanation.

That ended her questions momentarily. She said she was very relieved. She had forgotten to get someone to take it. I assured her it was taken care of and that she could relax. That didn’t end her concern. Several times, she asked me if I was sure it had been taken and who had taken it. When she was fully convinced that everything was all right, I took her to the bathroom to get ready for the day.

Although it was a very good day, much of the time she did not recognize me as her husband. The first sign of that came as we walked to the bathroom. She asked my name. I told her, and she expressed her appreciation to me for helping her. She went on to say that she liked me. Later, she asked my name again and then asked how she should address me. “Mr. Richard?”

It was still too early for lunch when she was dressed, so I prepared breakfast for her again. She was talkative, and we had a very pleasant time together. Afterward, I was prepared to sit down with her and look at a photo book or read something to her. I took her to the family room and then returned to the kitchen to get my coffee. She took that moment to pick up the Velveteen Rabbit. I assumed that I would read it to her; however, when I asked, she said she just wanted to look through it herself.

I had mixed emotions about her reaction. It was the first time she had ever declined my offer, and she never spends much time trying to read. I actually enjoy reading to her, but I also had other things to do. I decided it was good to let her read on her own and brought my laptop into the room to work on a slide show of photos I have created for our 57th wedding anniversary tomorrow.

I took a seat across from her and was prepared to stop at any moment to read to her. The big surprise was that she spent well over an hour with the book. Then she picked up a family photo book and began to read the text accompanying the photos. With both books, she meticulously moved her fingers from one word to the next. I felt two emotions, sadness that she had to work so hard and joy that she seemed to be deriving pleasure on her own. Several times I repeated my offer to help. She never accepted, but she did convey that she didn’t feel like she understood what she was reading.

She continued until Panera delivered our lunch. It arrived thirty minutes before the sitter was to come. I told her lunch was ready, but she wanted me to come to her. She was looking at the flowers and photos in the room as well as the back yard and the forest of trees on our neighbor’s property behind our house. This is not unusual, but she took far more time to look and express her feelings about the beauty she saw. As always, I took pleasure in seeing her so enthusiastic. I reminded her several times that I had her lunch on the table, but she didn’t get to the table until the sitter arrived.

We took another thirty minutes to eat our lunch when I took her to the family room. I felt like it would be too abrupt to rush away immediately. Sometimes I sit down with her to look at one of her photo books. She gets tired quickly and wants to rest. That is what I expected again. I handed her one of the books, and she immediately started going through it on her own. When I told her I needed to run a few errands and would return, she looked sad but didn’t protest or ask to go with me.

The next surprise came when I returned almost an hour later. She was seated in the same place looking at the same book. She looked content, so I didn’t even go into the family room. I made a couple of phone calls and worked on the computer.

At 4:00, I heard her ask Mary where I was and when I would be back. Mary told her I was home and working in the kitchen. In a couple of minutes, she walked into the kitchen. She was glad to see me and said that she was ready to go. I told her there were a few things I wanted to finish before then and to give me a few minutes. Less than five minutes later, she returned with a copy of The Giving Tree, Winnie the Pooh, and her iPad. She wanted to know if I was ready. I told her I was. It was almost 4:15, but I went to the family room and told Mary that she could go. Then Kate and I went to the car along with the things she had been carrying.

I had ordered dinner from a caterer earlier in the week and was scheduled to pick it up at 5:00. It’s about fifteen minutes from our house. That gave me more than enough time, so I drove around until going to her place for our dinner.

As soon as we entered the house, she responded as though it was the first time here. We walked into the kitchen where I started to get the food on the table. She commented that this was the first time she had been here and admired everything she saw.

The next surprise came after dinner. We were walking to the back of the house when she said, “I just want to thank you and your people for everything you have done.” She continued to express her appreciation for several minutes . What I surmised was that she thought she was in some type of lodging, and I was the proprietor with a staff to take care of the guests.

As I helped her get ready for bed, she came back to this topic. She thanked me again and talked a little longer. This was another surprise. She often talks about her working with a program of some type that helps people with education, job skills, and/or financial aid. This time she thought I was directing such a program in which I operated a place for guests to stay and employed people to help them financially and with job skills.

The last surprise came after I got in bed two hours after she did. She hadn’t been asleep at all. That surprised me because she had talked about going to be early when we were driving around before dinner, at dinner, and afterwards. Not only that, but she had gotten up somewhat early and not rested at all during the entire day. After I got in bed, she said, “What do we do now?” I told her it would be a good time to relax and go to sleep. She said, “Good.”

She is still sleeping at 10:15. That’s no surprise. I wonder what is in store today.

From Low to High in Thirty Minutes

In my previous post, I mentioned that recently we’ve had a range of experiences from high to low. Sometimes the change comes quickly. That was true night before last. I was about to get in bed when I noticed that Kate was awake and looked frightened. I asked if I could help her. She asked my name and then hers. She told me she was scared, that she didn’t know anything. Typically, this happens in the morning. She is not normally this way at night. She was also more frightened than usual.

I took my usual approach to her when this happens. I tried to be as reassuring and comforting as possible. I told her I thought I could help her and that I knew a lot about her and her family. I mentioned that we have a number of family photo books that have a lot of information about her family. She said she would like to see them.

I brought her the “Big Sister” album that her brother made for her. I didn’t try to go through the book. Instead, I focused on selected photos and sections starting with the cover photo of her and her brother. She has always been taken by that picture. We went through a few early pictures soon after each of them was born. Then I skipped to a section that has several of our wedding pictures. It wasn’t long before she was relaxed and said, “I feel better now.”

The quickness of her change was striking. I don’t think she remembered her past any better than she had before we started, but the pictures and information gave her a sense of comfort. No longer was she adrift without any connection to world. Kate’s brother Ken, who also has Alzheimer’s, created the book to help her as her memory faded. He could not have known how valuable it has been. I am grateful to him for this gift that keeps on giving.

Busy Days

I have felt rather busy the past three days. Most of that has involved Kate directly. Two of those days she was up early for breakfast. She rested periodically during the day, but she required more attention during those times she was up. We’ve had a full range of experiences including highs and lows.

One of the highs involves another long conversation during dinner two nights ago. Again, it was one in which I was only a listener/facilitator. It started when she asked “the name of this place.” I told her it was a house and that it had an address but not a name. Then she asked my name. The manner in which she asked told me that while she was comfortable with me, she didn’t recognize me as her husband.

She made a few comments about our home. Then I asked her to tell me about her mother. She took a moment to think. It was obvious that she couldn’t remember the information that would help her answer my question, but she did say that her mother liked to help people. That is something that she often says.

That initiated a long conversation about how people treat one another. It was a rambling conversation, much of which I didn’t understand. She frequently searched for words. What I felt was most significant about it was that she was enjoying heerself. That’s why I would consider this a Happy Moment.

The high point of that day occurred after she had been in bed for over two hours. I had just finished my shower. When I walked into the bedroom, I found her standing in front of the TV watching a YouTube video of a duet from La Boheme sung by Jonas Kaufman and Anna Netrebko. She was emotionally engaged. It’s a favorite of mine, and I stood there watching with her until the end of the duet. Although Kate and I have always enjoyed music together, her preferences have been for musical theater and less for classical, especially operatic performances. Since her diagnosis and our binging on music, her musical tastes have expanded tremendously. It has been especially pleasing to share the joy of music with her. Thus, this moment standing in front of the TV in the dark and in our night clothes was a special moment.

That wasn’t the end. The next video to play was the second movement of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 played by a woman I didn’t know. That movement is another favorite of mine, one that I have included in my “soothing music playlist” I use with Kate. By this time, Kate wanted to sit down. We took a seat on the bench at the end of our bed to watch the performance. The audio alone is enchanting, but the addition of the video of the pianist and the conductor and orchestra added immensely to the intensity of feeling. When the piece ended, I turned off the TV, and we went to bed. It was a beautiful way to end the day.

We have also had some trying moments. I’m thinking specifically of getting ready for bed. Before Kate gave up her iPad, she used to work jigsaw puzzles from the time we got home from dinner until getting ready for bed. At some point, she would get tired or I would tell her it was getting to be bedtime. Then I would help her get ready. Occasionally, she was still wrapped up in her iPad and didn’t want to stop.

The loss of that activity has left a void in her schedule. She has gravitated to getting in bed shortly after dinner and, since Covid-19, after our nightly drive around town. That means she gets in bed as early as 7:15. She is rarely asleep before I get in bed between 9:30 and 10:00.

That has gone rather smoothly until the past week or two. She is still eager to get in bed, but she doesn’t want to take off the clothes she has worn all day. Most days there is no problem. When there is, I have to carefully coax her, and I am not always successful. In those cases, she can be adamant about not cooperating. We’ve had trouble the past two nights. I hope this is not going to become a serious problem.

There is one other bedtime issue. Within the past couple of weeks, she has been insistent on my running my fingers between her toes, pulling strands of her hair, and also running my hands across her body. She seems to be concerned that there are “things” between her toes or on her body that she wants removed before going to bed. The problem for me is that it often comes at a time when I am beginning to wind down. I have been complying although she doesn’t think I always take it as seriously as she thinks I should. She will demonstrate how to do it and then ask me to try again.

I know these are minor issues, and I hope they stay that way.

A Lengthy Conversation About a Delusion

Kate is not generally a big talker, but, periodically, she surprises me. I don’t always know what prompts her talkativeness, but I do know that it often involves a delusion of some type. She had one of those yesterday. As so often happens, she had been resting on the sofa in the family room. I was seated across from her. She rested over an hour before she opened her eyes. When she saw me, she said, “You can help me.” I asked what I could do, and she said, “Come over here.” When I did, she told me to “go over there.” I walked across the room and turned around. Then she said, “Come back over here.” I walked very obediently to her again. This time she told me to take a seat and pointed to the table in front of the sofa. I sat down and asked how I could help her. That opened the door to a conversation that lasted over an hour.

At first, it was very hard to make sense of what she was saying. She acted as though there were other people in the house with us. It turned out that she was talking about a group of longtime friends. At an earlier point in life, they were very close. Over the years, however, they had developed different interests. As a result, the occasions they were together were not as much fun as they used to be. As near as I could tell, some bitterness had developed among them. She never said there was one particular person who was the problem. She did say that they had all tried to reclaim the closeness of their previous relationship, but nothing had worked.

During the course of the conversation, she drifted away from asking my help to a broader emphasis about the nature of people and their sensitivity to the actions of others. In the end, she felt there was probably nothing that could be done to help her and her longtime friends because many of the circumstances in which they found themselves were so different now. She wasn’t, however, ready to give up.

I was primarily a facilitator in the conversation. I said very little except to nod my head or agree or make a comment that indicated I was listening. Late in the conversation, I again asked how I could help. She indicated I already had by listening to her.

Conversations like this intrigue me because so much of what she says makes sense with respect to human nature and the problems we encounter. At the same time, she is obviously experiencing a delusion that represents a break with reality. It’s just one more thing for which I don’t have a good explanation. I can only say that some of the circuits in the brain are functioning while others are not. There is also a good bit of inconsistency. Sometimes a circuit works. At other times, it doesn’t. That happens for all of us, but it is more dramatic for someone with dementia.

A Rare Conversation

Despite a few issues I wish Kate hadn’t experienced, the past week has been a good one. There is one moment that stands out . We were seated on the sofa in the family room. I think I mentioned our 57th anniversary that is coming up on May 31. We talked about the good times we’ve had together and how fortunate we have been.

I don’t remember her exact words, but she expressed appreciation for my taking care of her. She went on to talk about the problem she has and that I had helped her get through it. She never mentioned Alzheimer’s, but the way she talked it sounded like she understood she has a serious problem. She conveyed that she thought she was getting better and might get over it. It has been clear to me for a long time that she is aware she has a problem, but the tone of this particular conversation was different. In other conversations she has appeared disturbed. This time she seemed more resigned and accepting of her situation.

I told her that no matter what may happen that she could depend on me to be with her. We shared our thinking that everyone faces trials and that our relationship would be a source of strength for us.

Kate has said almost nothing about her Alzheimer’s since the first few weeks or months following the diagnosis over nine years ago. Except for my accepting the role of planner, we have put our emphasis on living in the moment. I believe that has paid many dividends in the years since. As someone who is more open about my life, I have wished many times that we could have had periodic conversations like this very brief one. Even this one was a bit oblique. At this point, she doesn’t know the real problem or what lies ahead, but it was the clearest sign of her recognition that “something” is wrong, that she is grateful for my help, and that, together, we will make the best of it. We are in complete agreement.

The Rest of the Day

I am still not ready to conclude that our Covid-19 pandemic is totally responsible, but Kate is clearly going through changes. As I reported yesterday, some of the changes are quite positive. She is definitely more childlike, and that is accompanied by pleasurable experiences for both of us. That is what happened yesterday morning. She was cheerful and enjoying everything to a greater extent than normal. Were I a better writer, I would have been able to more effectively convey that experience as we went through her photo books and then our old photos around the time of the birth of our first child. Both of us had a great time together.

The good news is that it didn’t end there. After her second rest of the morning, she was alert and happy. It was a little early for lunch, so I suggested that we read The Velveteen Rabbit. I wish I could give you an adequate description of her enthusiasm. She responded audibly throughout the entire book. The surprising thing to me was that her responses, although stronger than one might expect for an adult, seemed to be appropriately matched with the story. I believe she was getting the message in her own way.

The rest of the day went well although it was not nearly as uplifting as the first part. For the first time in six weeks, we got haircuts. On days when she gets color, she goes first. Then while the color sets, the stylist takes care of my shampoo and cut. Ordinarily, Kate works jigsaw puzzles on her iPad. Because she has given up her iPad in the past few weeks, I didn’t take it with us. Instead, I took one of her family photo books to look through while the stylist was taking care of me. When she finished, we both walked over to Kate’s chair. She was holding a towel in her hand and using it like a pen to write a note to someone. She didn’t want to stop to get up and have her hair rinsed. She was confused as to how to say what she wanted in her note. She asked me to help her. I picked up the towel and used it and read aloud what I was “writing.” She was pleased.

I had taken a seat a few feet away from the two of them but separated by a partition that was about 4 ½ feet high. Kate was getting along quite well with the stylist, but quite a few times she asked where I was. Each time the stylist told her, she immediately forgot and, moments later, asked again. Kate and I both wore gloves, and I wore a mask. Kate also repeatedly asked the stylist if she could take off her gloves. I was impressed with this because she had automatically taken them off at the restaurant on Sunday. I wonder if she retained some awareness that she was supposed to keep them on. I suspect it was really because she is so unsure of things that she asks about almost everything.

The day had gone very well until I took my shower. I left Kate in bed watching YouTube videos. As I got out of the shower, she opened the bathroom door. She was obviously confused. I asked what she wanted. She said she didn’t know. I told her to give me a few minutes, and I would help her. She started to leave the bedroom. I asked her to stay so that I could help her. She repeatedly asked me what she could do. I told her she could get back in bed and listen to the music on the TV and that I would be right there.

When I was finished, she was in bed but still confused. Typically, I would sit in a chair on my side of the bed and read or work on my laptop before joining her. I decided it would be better to put on a DVD of Les Miserables and get in bed with her. I thought watching together might divert her attention from her confusion. In the long run, it did. She didn’t show any signs of being disturbed, but she didn’t watch. I’m not sure how much she listened.

I turned it off less than an hour later and put on some very soft music on our audio system. I snuggled close to her and told her I loved her. She didn’t say anything, but she did put her arm across my chest. In a few minutes, she asked my name. I told her. She seemed perfectly at ease. It wasn’t long before we were asleep.

A Nice Way to Start the Day

We’re off to a good start today. At 7:15, just as I was beginning my morning walk, I saw on the video cam that Kate was about to get out of bed. When I got to the bedroom, she seemed wide awake and wanted to get up. She was confused but cheerful. The only problem we encountered was getting her on the toilet. It was a challenge explaining that I wanted her to sit on it. It was only when I physically assisted her that she was able to do it.

I got her dressed rather quickly and we went to the kitchen for breakfast. Afterward, I took her to the family room where we went through one of her photo books. She expressed an unusual degree of enthusiasm and several times commented on how happy she was. When we finished, she wanted to rest.

I decided to take advantage of that and prepared to begin my walk. I walked only a few minutes before she started to get up. I don’t ever recall her getting up so soon after beginning to rest. She was still in a very good humor. I got my laptop and showed her photos taken while she was pregnant with our first child and the time of her birth. She was quite interested. As she had done earlier, she mentioned how happy she was. At one point, she said she wanted to tell me something. She said, “I just want to thank you and all the others for doing this.” As often happens, she apparently felt she was in someone else’s home and was being entertained by a group of us. I didn’t ask her to explain.

I wasn’t surprised when she wanted to rest again. I took her to her recliner where she is asleep. I’m not sure how long she will rest. I think I will go back to my walk, but I feel good about the way our day has started.

Childlike and Tired

On Monday Kate and I had very little contact until 4:30. I got her up at almost 11:30. She was more than a bit confused but didn’t express the kind of fear she sometimes does. Recently, she has been unsteady after sitting up on the side of the bed or the sofa. The day before, she had fallen back on the bed before attempting to stand up. This time I asked her to sit for a moment. I put my hand on her back to support her. Then I helped her up. She got along all right but was very insecure as we walked to the bathroom.

She experienced one of a number of childlike behaviors when we went to the car before getting a takeout lunch from Panera. She noticed a Dr. Pepper baseball cap that she had long ago hung on the knob of a cabinet door in the garage. Periodically, she takes interest in it. This time she was just like a little child discovering something new and exciting. She thought it was a nice decorative touch (my words, not hers) and said she might hang a number of them around the garage.

After lunch, she was ready to rest. That worked out well because I had a Zoom meeting at 2:00, and she fell asleep on the sofa. She must have been quite tired because she didn’t take off her shoes nor lift her feet to the sofa. She just fell over on a pillow from a sitting position and slept until at least 4:30 when I noticed she had opened her eyes. I got up from my chair and walked over to her and asked if she was about ready to get up. She told me not to talk, that she wanted to talk with me later. She looked like she was bothered by something. I said, “I love you.” She said, “That may be the right thing to say but not right now.” I started to ask her to explain, but she cut me off. I took her hand and told her I would be seated across from her if she needed me. When I started to release my hand, she gripped it tightly. I sat down on the corner of the table in front of the sofa. It wasn’t long before it felt too uncomfortable. I started to gently pull my hand away, and she held it tighter. In five or ten minutes, she was asleep. I took a seat close to the sofa and waited another fifteen minutes before waking her for dinner.

Whatever was bothering her faded from her memory like so many other things. It’s another good example of the pattern of her delusions. She may be resting, but her brain is active and doesn’t function the way it did before Alzheimer’s took over. As I have said before, she had experiences like this before sheltering. I believe, however, that the reduction in her activity has exacerbated the problem. I should add that it is not boredom alone that leads her to rest. She is really tired.