For most Alzheimer's caregivers Christmas means another bout with Yin and Yang.....
Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room
For the typical Alzheimer's caregiver Christmas day can bring on a tidal wave of conflicting feelings. Christmas can be an emotional roller coaster ride.
I'm sitting here thinking about Christmas morning and my heart is feeling heavy. I don't mind this feeling so much because at least I know I am still feeling. Nevertheless, it is a bit of a drag on my spirit.
I'm envisioning Christmas morning. I'll wake my mother up, give her a kiss and say, Merry Christmas. She won't know its Christmas.
Once I get her situated, I'll bring her into the living room and put the big stack of presents in front of her. I wonder will she be happy or confused. I think I know the answer.
I'll make sure she has some of those Christmas cards that play music, or talk to you. My mother loves those cards.
My sister Joanne sends my mother those kinds of cards all the time. They mystify my mother. Sometimes she looks at them as if she had never seen one before. It is intriguing to watch her. We will play those cards all day long.
I'll get her to open the presents one by one. I'll explain each time where and who they came from. I'll look forward to her reaction. I think I know what it will be.
I'll try and introduce as much joy and excitement into the opening of the presents as I can. If she smiles or laughs my heart will soar.
I'll try and remember to put on the Christmas music. Maybe she'll sing. I like that.
I'll sit there and think and look at here -- this is really remarkable -- my mother is 93 years old. Every time I think of my mother's age it brings a feeling of amazement over me. I like that feeling.
I'll try and get my mother to tell me about Christmas when she was a little girl. I'll have to get back to you on that one.
On Christmas eve, I'll make the fish. My mother likes the fish.
She loves smelts. If you don't know what they are, they are those tiny silver fish. I'll paint on some olive oil with the brush and put them in the oven. When they come out they are gold. If you cook em hard they get crunchy.
I'll get my mother one of those giant king crabs. The Alaskan version. She loves those things. I'll watch her dig in. That should be fun to watch.
I'll put out some shrimp, she like those too.
I might throw in some mini enchilada's. Those are for me.
Last but not least crab cakes.
Maybe, I 'll get my mother to drink some wine. She never was much of a drinker. Maybe I can get her buzzed and see what happens.
Ok, I feel a lot better now.
Christmas Eve and Christmas day are going to be a lot better than I thought when I started writing this.
Thanks for listening.
Here are some games I will play with my mother on the computer. Give em a try.
Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The Alzheimer's Reading Room is the number one website on the Internet for news, advice, and insight into Alzheimer's disease. Bob has written more than 950 articles with more than 8,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.