Living with Alzheimer’s 13 (a series)

Happy Easter, Mama Diaries Fans!

Mama’s Daily Schedule:

5:00am – Mama starts waking up G and E, demanding breakfast

6:00am – E gets up and prepares Mama’s breakfast (lugaw)

7:00am – Mama is still eating breakfast reluctantly and lamenting that she wants to sleep. G administers her meds.

  • after, Mama sleeps for about 10 minutes
  • intermittently, after 8-10 minutes sleep, Mama asks these same questions over and over again:

“Where are we? Where is G/E? Where is N? T? B? J? Are they coming home? Who is coming?”

9:00am – Mama starts demanding lunch. We usually give her cake/cookies/snacks to tide her over. Her demands are timed at 30-minute intervals.

11-11:30am – We have lunch. Mama feeds herself, but after 3-4 spoonfuls, she wants to “go to bed,” so we end up feeding her the rest or else she will stand up and go.

1:30pm – Mama starts demanding dinner, asking first, “Who’s in the kitchen?” then to G, “Ikaw na sa kusina ha? (You be in the kitchen, okay?)”

The same cycle is repeated throughout the afternoon. That’s about 5 hours. With snacks every half hour. Sometimes, while munching on her snack, she will ask what’s for dinner.

6-6:30pm – We have dinner. Then, while E and G are washing up, Mama will “wait” for us, all the while lamenting that she wants to sleep already. The reason why she doesn’t just go and do it, is because she doesn’t want to sleep alone. The weird thing is, even if one of us joins her, she will still “wait” for — and even fetch — the other one to come as well. And then asks where the others are just the same.

So this is our daily routine. I used to complain that I didn’t want this job. That if someone could take my place, I would happily relinquish my position as carer. However, nobody could come and take my place because of work and personal obligations.

So we hired a caregiver. She was perfect in the beginning. She knew all the little things that had to be done and more for an elderly patient with Alzheimer’s. After about 3 months, and failing to tamp down an overly suspicious mind, we discovered she had been squirreling away food — bread from the bread box, meat from the freezer, chocolates from the candy jar, cookies from Mama’s snack stash — through her son, who would come over during weekends. So when this coronavirus pandemic appeared, we let the caregiver go under the guise that we feared for our sanitation (at first), and then finally released her from the obligation to return by telling her the truth. She denied everything but didn’t insist.

So now we’re back to square one. I’m still complaining but I know nobody can come and take my place at this time. Heck! Bukidnon is under Strict Enhanced Community Quarantine, which means non-residents NOT ALLOWED IN until April 26. So the next best thing?

Write about it! 😁

Published by Bukidlife

A journaler - someone who writes in a journal.

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