Maybe It’s Alzheimer’s

Fun activities

Aegis reviews Lynne’s behavioral symptoms quarterly. Her sleep patterns were disturbed by the switch to standard time and the increase in nighttime. The medical director prescribed medications for longer and more regular sleep.

Lynne repeats herself, called looping, about every 30 seconds when she initiates conversations. She waits outside the care director’s office for her to come back rather than sit with other people. They’ve had another COVID case on her floor, so she’s in lockdown again.  She often calls me to say it’s difficult.

I said recently, “Well of course it’s hard honey, you have a disease, Alzheimer’s.”

She said, “I do?  Maybe that’s what it is.”  

Now I use short sentences to tell her stories of current events, even the election, or long-term memories of her boys, her mom, her friends. If we meet in Outdoor Living, I’ll bring her a vanilla milkshake from Dick’s Burger’s. She thanks me, listens, comments appropriately, and searches for words to add something. She’s very pleasant most of the time. When her mind wanders after 20 minutes, I ask her if it’s time to go.

She says yes, and adds, “Thanks, Dad.”

The Joy of Two friends Below Lynne’s Window

Terry and Corrine

Terry, one of Lynne’s friends was frustrated. She had picked up Lynne two days a week to exercise with her at a nearby gym until the lockdown. Classes were canceled and Lynne is confined to her apartment in an assisted living facility. Terry wanted to know if she could talk with her, even if only out a window. Yes.

Tiggy and Lynne

I called the concierge to schedule a caregiver who would get Lynne ready to look out her window at 8:45 am this morning. Terry brought a fellow workout member, Corrine. We showed up at 8:45 am. Lynne was there waving, or at least waving when she wasn’t wiping tears from her eyes. We talked briefly about kids and life above the limited traffic at the corner of Madison & 23rd. We agreed it was a success and Terry said they’d be back with more friends because it was convenient for Terry and Corrine’s regular walk.