Laughing and Caregiving

Fun activites Alzhemier’s

Lynne & Keith

Lynne can still laugh, even at my jokes. “Lynne, everybody loves you. Everybody — well, maybe your little sister didn’t like you for a while.”
“Lynne, you don’t have to wear a mask over your mouth while we’re on a video chat with me. I don’t have Covid.”
Lynne liked a new headband Edith gave her. I thought Edith made them and called her, but she purchased six different headbands for delivery to me. I’m giving them to Lynne one at a time. I reminded her she was wearing one from Edith. She laughed. “That’s Edith.”
Henrik and I bought her a pumpkin and Honeycrisp apples. She wants the pumpkin to have a smiley face. She likes fresh Honeycrisp apples, so I cut one into small bites for her. She ate them while we video chatted. She had to leave the chat to wash her sticky hands. I didn’t tell her Henrik and I picked them fresh on our annual trip to Bellwood Farms in Bellingham with Keith’s family.
She called one day and said, “Okay, I’m not going to cry.”
We turned on her echo to play Lyle Lovett and she got on her bike to pedal. She said that was better.
I’ve added treats to Lynne’s daily Starbucks and trail mix. Friends and family send me books and I deliver them one at a time, because we have not been able to confirm she gets books sent to her address. She had Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon when Keith visited through plexiglass. She can read pictures better than words now. Edith delivered one, titled: This Book Is Literally Just Pictures of Cute Animals That Will Make You Feel Better, edited by Smith Street Books. She laughed and shook her head, “That’s, Edith.”
I give Lynne copies of photographs of her boys and family. She says, “I just want to be with my boys more.”
Luna, the Director of Caregiving, has fun with her. She said, “Lynne was sitting outside my door one day. I said come on in. She laughs a lot. One day Lynne told me she was done working for the day and was ready to go home. She is the number one resident caregiver at Aegis.”
Of course, Luna and caregivers are having fun with her. That’s who she is. I loved her hearty laugh when we ate, sat, read, hugged, talked, celebrated, kicked a pink soccer ball, walked the neighborhood, or arboretum, or waterfront on Lake Washington.
And I know caregivers are solving problems. Lynne ended another chat with, “Dad, I have to go now because I’m having a problem with my bra.”
Luna told me she’s pulling her bra down around her waist. It makes her extremely uncomfortable, so Luna ordered two camisoles.
Luna also alerted me that Lynne cycled through a conversation last week — eight to ten times in a few minutes. She’s started picking at her food.
I tell myself it’s fair for Aegis caregivers to have most of the fun because they’re caring for her the most. I tell myself that when I miss her the most.

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