Caregiving is hard, exhausting work. I’ve been a caregiver for a long time, but full time caregiving began about 18 months ago after my mother Patricia moved to our home. This quarantine has caused Patricia to become a bit slower and quieter. Now that volunteers have resumed visiting, I witnessed Patricia exhibit uncharacteristic verbal aggression. This really disturbed me so I chatted with Alzheimer’s Project staff and was reminded the volunteer is there to allow me, the caregiver, to step back and relax. A good reminder, as I need that time even if it’s just to sit in silence and enjoy a cup of tea on the patio.
The highlight of Patricia’s week used to be Alzheimer’s Project social club; then COVID arrived. We still enjoy a small piece of social club, like art, sing-alongs, exercises and coffee hour through the Facebook activities. It’s not the same as meeting in person but it does bring a presence of another, and that is helpful for us both. This caregiving is challenging and fun as well as frustrating and rewarding; I just never know which it will be at any given day… or moment. I’m grateful to know the Alzheimer’s Project staff are just a click or call away.