It was nice this past week to have another "good" week. This one lasted for almost 5 days. The good news is I finally got him to change out of the dirty jeans. The bad news is every time he has a few good days it seems like it's followed by a nose dive.
I was also able to convince him to get a badly needed haircut. The barber wanted to trim up his mustache and he refused. I stepped in and started insisting it be removed. Alan was pleased with the way he looked and so was I. He looked so much better and I think he's feeling better too.
One of the big problems has been with groceries. I can go to the grocery store, buy a loaf of bread, gallon of milk and a bag of oranges. Within 24 hours he has eaten the whole loaf of bread, making bread "wads". By the time I try to make me a sandwich or some toast, there's no bread left. The same thing happened last night with the disappearing bag of oranges. He had eaten the whole bag in one day. No milk left for cereal either. An 8-pack of coke, gone. I had bought us both snacks . Within 24 hours, he had consumed his and was working on mine that I had forgotten to hide.
There are many products I've discovered to help with this situation. I've had to lock the pantry to keep him from eating the macaroni, spaghetti and noodles right out of the package. I would go in to cook dinner and there would be nothing left to cook. I would have plenty of meat to make a dish, but nothing to add to it.
Brown sugar, canned goods would be eaten in the middle of the night when he wanders around. He would go through a 10 pound bag of potatoes in 2 days, eating them raw. Days and nights now have no meaning. I've tried keeping him on a schedule and not letting him go to bed before 9:00 p.m. Sometimes that works, but he spends too much time napping during the day.
I've found a place that has products just for situations like this. There are products you can use to lock your refrigerator, cabinets, even a way to fix stoves so they will turn off automatically if he turns the stove on and then leaves the kitchen.
But these products can be very expensive. I was grateful to find them though. You can buy them at CLICK HERE FOR The Alzheimers store The website could be a little more user friendly.
Alan has always loved jigsaw puzzles, preferring the 2-3,000 piece ones. Lately he hasn't been able to do those, so I tried a 750 piece. No luck, he doesn't even seem to be able to get the outside frame done. So I'm going to try a 300 piece and see how that works.
I'm trying to remember to take care of myself too. It's hard sometimes because it just feels like there's no energy left. But I did manage to give myself a much need pedicure this week, along with the foot bath massage thing. And I did my fingernails too. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to take care of yourself, but it's worth it when you're through. You just feel so much better. I'm determined to fight caretaker burnout as long as possible.
My next project is to try to figure out how to get some time for myself. I haven't looked into getting some respite care but I can see I'm going to have to do that before long. Guess I need to start with some phone calls to agencies on Monday and see what's available that I can afford since his disability doesn't start until the first of June. Hopefully, by the next blog I'll have some information I can pass along.