I was reading a book yesterday by Gary Joseph LeBlanc titled “Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness”. he mentioned that his father, who had Alzheimer’s Disease, played 2-3 hours of Solitaire a day, which helped his father to maintain a sense of “can do” and Gary some time to himself.

This reminded me that while I was caring for my father, we not only played 2-3 hours of Cribbage each night ( which was great for my father), but also that my father read the paper each day for about 2 hours. This was MY time to do things for myself. Sadly, the reason I had these 2 hours available was because it was difficult for my father to remember what he had just read ( and sometimes he even REread the paper in the afternoon) but it was a way to get some “me” time without even planning for it. Of course, by that, I don’t mean that I left the house.

Another lady I met whose husband also had Alzheimer’s, discovered one day that her husband had a “friend” in the mirror. He began chatting with this friend (who he said was just the nicest guy) for longer and longer periods of time. Soon, she found that she could get some alone time while he was “visiting” for 1-2 hours. (I wonder if 1-2 hours is a constant in these situations). He also invited his friend to dinner but that’s another story.

While these situations are sad in and of themselves because they stem from the disease process, they are almost like a gift of respite to the caregiver.

I wonder….. Do any of our readers have similar stories that you’d like to share? I would love to hear some.


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