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.


Friday, September 5, 2008


I realized recently that my time spent with Muddear in the evenings has become shorter and shorter over the last year. Initially I attributed this to balancing school with the rest of my family.  As you know, I decided to go back to school to get my MBA last December and of course, everybody needs a little bit of my time. However, as I sat in Muddear's room tonight, I had a revelation. Muddear easily becomes agitated and fussy. During these times nothing is right in her sight and she fusses and fusses and fusses until she wears herself out and goes to bed. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I tend to be a very optimistic person and am generally happy all of the time. Therefore, I find it difficult to remain in situations where people are complaining nonstop or fussing all of the time.

The fussing started when I arrived home from work:

1. "What's the deal with all of these changes?" Of course I asked what she was talking about, to wit Muddear responded. "Why is my dinner so late? Why haven't you fed me yet?" I explained that I had just arrived home from work and needed to cook dinner. "Well maybe I should go live in a nursing home. That way I could eat on time."

2. When I served dinner, Muddear began to fuss. "What is this you are serving me? Turn the light on so I can see it!" I turned the light on and explained that we were having spaghetti and garlic bread. "Where is the meat? You don't just feed me anything! I don't want this! Take it back! You don't treat me any which way!" Muddear refused to eat, so I took the food back to the kitchen.

3. Later this evening, I returned to Muddear's room to give her medicine. "I pay my rent, why can't I get a decent meal! You don't feed me like you should. I should be able to get a better meal than what you give!" At first, I tried to reason with Muddear and then gave up. It did not matter what I said, Muddear was simply pissed off. So she fussed about everything! "You don't have the right to keep my change! I pay rent and expect my change back!" Then she fussed about dinner again. "You don't give me scraps! I don't want no spaghetti with no meat!" Muddear then began to fuss about random unrelated topics. "Are these pillowcases white? Did  you buy these? Don't ever buy me colored pillowcases again!" And then... "Why do you live so far out? You live so far, I'll never be able to go to church again!" And then... "Why is it so cold in here?" And then, "Where is my gown from last night? I think somebody put it in the dirty clothes. Don't take my gowns after one day ever again! I sleep in a gown for 5 days. I don't have nobody to was my clothes all the time!"

It is 9:10 p.m. and Muddear has been yelling at me for the past 55 minutes. I am trying so hard to stick it out and sit with her.  I know she doesn't like to be alone, but sheesh! This tongue lashing is going to leave me scarred for life! 

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