We’ve fought a hard and depressing and draining battle with my aunt’s Alzheimer’s and dementia since August. My aunt has not been cooperative with her doctor or her home nurses or us in terms of dietary changes and that has taken a toll on her health. She’s come to the point where she can no longer wash dishes by hand and argues about taking her medications every day, three times a day. She’ll be in a nursing home in two weeks or less where professionals can deal with her eating habits and medications. I hope she’ll be happier in the nursing home with “people who have the same problems as me,” as she says.
I didn’t think it would go anywhere but I got an idea and started writing a story about a woman in her forties caring for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s and dementia. There’s a mystery subplot and supernatural elements because I can’t seem to write a book without touching on the paranormal.
I don’t know if anyone will want to publish this book but I think that caregivers of family members with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia would give the book a try and identify with the family struggling with similar situations. Often we read books to escape our reality, but sometimes it can help to read about people like ourselves dealing with situations that we deal with every day. I’m 41,000 words in and I hope that one day there is a book that will bring caregivers together into an online group where they can talk honestly about their daily struggles.
There is no Happy New Year here. My aunt and the rest of us are just moving into the next phase of dealing with the disease. No one wants her in a nursing home despite the way we feel when we’re exhausted and burned out and blowing off steam to each other or friends, but there isn’t anything else to be done. It’s time to put her into professional hands. The nursing home that she is going to is one where she worked for years as a nurse. There are still staff members there who remember her. I don’t like the thought of visiting her there because that’s where both my maternal grandparents died, but I will.
As I said, there is no Happy New Year here and no putting this year behind us. It’s just a different number and a different road.