When I began writing and speaking about my mom and aunt’s Alzheimer’s era and my caregiving experiences, I compiled a photo album about this time in our lives.
“I couldn’t endure doing that,” a friend remarked. “I don’t want to be reminded about my mom’s Alzheimer’s years.”
It’s not something we can ignore nor forget. It was an era of our family member’s (and our) life. So it has affected what we do and remember.
Why not recall the good and fun times? My daughter, grandchildren and I discovered there were some enchanting moments of giving and receiving joy as we cared for my mom and my aunt.
This aspect of these ladies’ lives was something we couldn’t ignore so we learned to respect and love them more. My album/scrapbook of their lives brings them recognition and causes us to remember how they affected us.
I recently read an article about cool foods recommended for summer eating. Among these were watermelon and cold fruit and cucumber soups.
What if your Alzheimer’s patient doesn’t like these foods? Even though we children loved watermelon, my mother didn’t like it. I’m not sure why other than her saying it gave her indigestion.
So consider the Alzheimer’s patients’ likes and dislikes when serving foods. I discovered that Mother carried this taste distinction right through her last years.
One evening, when I visited and the aide was feeding her (Mother was past the self-feeding stage), my mom kept spitting out her supper. I asked what it was. The aide informed me it was tuna casserole.
“Mother never liked tuna,” I said. “Try feeding her some of the canned peaches.”
These were to Mother’s liking and she ate every bite. So some patients are discerning even when they can’t communicate in words.
Let the nursing home know of food likes and dislikes, as well as allergies. This will help them in planning his/her meals.