ALZHEIMER’S, YOUR PARENTS AND THEIR HOBBIES
“How about I turn on the television for you while Dad and I make dinner?” I ask Mom. “Maybe there’s a talk show on.”
“No good,” Dad says, poking his head into the sunroom. “Turn on her music.”
I come to Mom’s defense. “Come on, Dad. Mom really likes TV. Just this once.”
“Not lately. Push play on the boom box.”
The intro to “Danny Boy” lilts from the speakers. Mom’s smile beams. Humming along, she reaches down for her yarn and crochet needle to resume work on another granny square.
I watch in a bit of disbelief. “Dad, when did this happen?”
“Just recently,” he tells me. “Whenever I turn on the TV, she gets up and walks out of the room. Music makes her happy now. Just look.”
Mom is rocking back and forth in time to the music, laughing out loud to the song’s lyrical jokes.
In that moment, I pause and say a silent prayer of thanks for the gentle reminder that, even on my best day, I am merely the “Assistant to the Caregiver.” Indeed, the name of this long-running show is Caregiver Knows Best.
Who knows, if I’m smart and persistent, maybe one day I will be promoted to “Advisor to the Caregiver.” But until that day comes, Dad will truly be the resident expert on Mom.
Have you caught yourself stepping in to fill an Alzheimer’s Caregiver role that rightfully belongs to someone else? Pretty easy to do, right? How was it received? If you were in the Caregiver’s shoes, how would you feel?