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I put alarms on the doors. I kept pads under her for incontinence. I would do laundry two or three times a day. I cleaned the carpet at three in the morning when she would have an accident. It got so bad I would have to stand her up and hold her while I washed and dressed her. I brushed her teeth. I would comb her hair every morning. And so much more. Toward the end i would hire companions to be with her so I could do the shipping. That was difficult leaving her in the care of complete strangers but they turned out to be good ones.
She only had one friend in the state but she was helping her disabled husband most of the time.
If you can think of anything else I probably did it. I had to keep reminding myself that her actions were the result of that damned disease.
If I or anyone else here can help you please ask. I can be a very long journey and we are here for you.
We all expect that someday our parents may need extra care, but no necessarily your wife/husband. In some ways you are much closer to your wife. In my case, she taught me things about life that I never would have experienced without her. We traveled, we laughed, danced, she helped raise our two kids that she wasn't the biological mother, we love dogs, and we moved to Florida to enjoy life.
All of a sudden, a year ago, she often didn't recognize me. She would go over to the neighbors and ask to get this man out of her house. This would happen almost daily. I did everything at home, cooked, cleaned, did laundry, outside work, etc. It was a full time job caring for her. I couldn't leave her, even to go into the grocery store for five minutes. She would be outside roaming the parking lot. So, when I needed to run errands, twice a week, I would have a service come to be with her. They were very nice, and very helpful for my well being.
It became more difficult to care for her, as she didn't always recognize me. It became impossible for me to give her a shower.
We moved up to Atlanta to be nearer my daughter. After 4 months of being here, she started going to the neighbors again asking to have that guy removed. One of the neighbors even called the police, thinking that there was some sort of domestic issue going on. She also started hitting me. That's when I knew what I had to do.
Well, after 9 months of taking care of her, I finally had to place her into a Memory Care Facility. It was the worst day of my life.
I go in to visit her every day. It was really hard at first, I would leave in tears. But, after five months, I know she is well taken care of, and she is in a good place. I don't know how often she recognizes me, but she often tells me she loves me.
Take care of each other, you never know when it is going to be the end of your world together.
I visit the AL, memory care, just about every day. It is painful when I go and hurts when I leave, She wants to come with me. I wash her clothes and bed sheets. Good point, that staff care more if I am there often. Never thought, the 'golden years' would be like this. But, you have to adjust to what you are faced with. I am stressed and worn out. That is the reality of dealing with a loved one with this condition. Yes, I am still and always will be her advocate. Just, do your best for your wife! It is not your fault or hers.
Also, you can learn from this website and from other caregivers many tips about how to care better. As you will already have learned, Alzheimer's is progressive; and you need to learn how to deal with its progression. There are many technical aids that can be brought into the home--hospital beds, ceiling hoists, toilet aids--as well as advice from social workers, physiotherapists, doctors and nurses. Don't try to do everything yourself. Prayers and encouragement.
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