Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Introduction to Caregiver Carol

Joe, thanks so much for inviting me to post. This time I will introduce you and Lynn to my world. Later I will write other posts, including positive comments about your book and what I am learning as a caregiver.

I am a 66 year old caregiver for my 73 year old husband who has Mixed Dementia as you do. The difference is he has Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's whereas you have Frontal Dementia and Alzheimer's. I will call him DH, hubby or husband here. DH stands for "Dear Husband". Before I got more information, I vascinated between having my head in the sand or being depressed. I may get depressed from time to time, but I can never have my head in the sand as you see the airstream RVs in this picture I took from a poster yesterday at a RV dealer. We drive by this Tampa area scene often .

A year and a half ago when hubby needed to retire due to his memory issues, someone came by our home and asked to buy our first popup camper. DH said yes and I was so sad when they carted it off for $900. However this month we bought a used popup camper from our friends "Sally and Jake" (not their real name)--for $50 and so you know we have been fixing it up--having new tires put on, etc.. It is almost finished. I saved about $3000 by patching the canvas myself.  Our total cost so far is about $600 and it has many more features inside than our first popup had. We have several camping trips planned with Sally and Jake. Sally and Jake had upgraded to a small RV.

Jake, who also has Alzheimer's, and DH  love to tell each other the same stories over and over. Monday the four of us celebrated Valentines Day by going to a pizza place. We talked about camping for the most part. When DH and Jake need us full-time, either Sally or myself will stay home with the husbands while the other one works (we both substitute teach and I teach classes for DUI offenders periodically). This was Sally's brilliant suggestion.

Meanwhile we enjoy every day. I am very patient with hubby when he repeatedly asks the same questions over and over. Once I was a widow and I love having a hubby who asks me repeatedly how my day was. We love each other very much. Jake and DH have their heads in the sand about their impairment, but Sally and I are very proactive. I am going to a workshop on Alzheimer's on Thursday and taking notes for Sally.

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