Living with Alzheimer’s – Richard and Kate’s story

Date:

April 17, 2024

Living with Alzheimer's - Richard and Kate's story

January 21, 2011 is the anniversary of Kate’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s. That was a life-changing event. At the time we recognized that, but now we know and understand it far better. We don’t celebrate the day itself. We celebrate the fact that she is still with me and that we have lived joyfully. I say that even though her Alzheimer’s, her 8-day stay in the hospital for Covid in November 2020, and her stroke almost two years ago have had a significant impact on our daily lives. Today, our world is much smaller than it was before.

Until the pandemic, we were very socially active. When Covid entered the scene, we were suddenly left to entertain and feed ourselves at home. In November 2020, we both had Covid. Kate spent eight days in the hospital. She has required total care since she returned home. That means we dress her, bathe her, get her in and out of bed with a lift, and use a wheelchair when we leave the apartment. Our social life is now limited primarily to our getting ice cream at a café downstairs each afternoon, followed by dinner in the dining room at night.

So, how can I say that we live joyfully? I have two answers to that question. First, Kate has not experienced most of the problems that other people face. Second, we have found ways to enjoy life and each other despite the changes demanded by Alzheimer’s. We have binged on things we enjoyed before the diagnosis. That included attending musical and theatrical events as much as possible and eating out for lunch and dinner every day for 8-9 years before the pandemic. As a result, we have never been socially isolated.

Because we get out as much as we can, we have a large network of supporters. That is especially true among the residents and staff of the retirement community in which we live, but it also comes through the readers of this blog and our contact through social media.

There is no way to predict how long the good times will last. As I have reported in other posts, we have experienced some new challenges recently. When we began this journey thirteen years ago, we decided to enjoy life and each other for as long as we could. That has served us well, and we will continue to do that and be grateful for the joyful moments we share daily.

Source: Richard Creighton for livingwithalzheimers.com 


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