Tips For Caregiver's

People with Alzheimer's disease frequently become more disoriented after dark or when waking. Leaving a night-light on in the bedroom may be helpful.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sunday Errands - The Mall

After leaving Walgreen's, we quickly utilized Arby's drive-through as Muddear was "starving" and proceeded on our journey to the Mall. I might add that she was quite excited to go to the mall. Shopping has always been a favorite pastime for Muddear. I think it is generational considering I have been afflicted with the abnormality since birth.

Our number one goal was to return a defective duster or dress as Muddear likes to call them to Dillard's. Several days prior to vacation I bought two new dusters for Muddear, however, this specific duster was beginning to fall apart after one wash - needless to say, I was not happy about it. Muddear really liked this particular duster, it was pink and white striped, and was looking forward to getting a replacement. As usual, there are specific requirements. Thankfully, duster requirements are not as restrictive as gown requirements.

Duster requirements include:

1. Light colors

2. Calf length when sitting

3. Nothing fitted

4. Absolutely nothing sleeveless or low cut

Fortunately, duster manufacturers make these requirements easy to achieve. I am always amazed at the number of existing duster options. Who would have believed that so many woman wear dusters! For the older generations...muumuus!

Upon arrival at the mall, Muddear was like a kid in a candy shop! She was full of questions: "What mall is this? Where are we located, what community? What store is this? How long has it been here? Is it bigger than Shillitos?" When was the last time you heard the name Shillitos? ... (Her questions addressed the things we as healthy individuals without Dementia/Alzheimer's take for granted.)

Muddear was so much fun. She wanted to see all of the duster options. I watched her feel the different materials, stretch out the body to make sure it would not be too tight, evaluate the design. I was reminded of myself. Muddear was an active participant in this shopping excursion - she wanted me to place her wheelchair right in the middle of all the duster racks. Initially Muddear would ask my opinion about the colors and sizes, however, when she asked me to choose for her, I could tell the sheer number of duster options was becoming overwhelming. At one point, she decided that she did not want anything - not even a replacement for the duster we were returning. After several reassurances that the dusters would fit, were the right length, and were, definitely on sale Muddear finally chose two.

Dillard's was having such a great sale; I even decided to purchase a few gowns for myself. After choosing the dusters, Muddear began to relax and enjoyed helping me pick out my gowns. The only moment of confusion...Muddear struggled with the concept of small, medium, and large size descriptions. I think she asked me 10 times if a size small was equal to a one, because she was too little to wear a small. She kept saying, "Don’t these come in sizes for little people like me?"

"Yes Muddear, a small is for little people like you. Actually, one of your dusters is a petite small and the other is a regular small. Don't worry, the only difference is the length." Fortunately, "petite" rang a bell; unfortunately, the concept of small was still quite mind-boggling. After an hour and a half of shopping, we finally left the mall. Muddear was excited to have two new dresses and out of the blue decided she now needed to purchase a new half slip to wear the next time she went to church. (No how long do you think it has been since Muddear went to church?) I had to be quick witted - I had no intentions of going slip shopping! Distraction proved to be the key for getting out of that one.

After ringing up our purchases, Muddear was already asking about the next stop. Stay tuned for the conclusion of Sunday Errands... :-)

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