A friend who lives out of state, contacted me and asked if I could meet her for lunch at a fabulous restaurant about a 45 minutes drive from my house. We hadn't seen each other for several years and I was excited.
I told my ex-husband to go get cleaned up, wash his hair and put on clean clothes. Not leaving anything to chance, I picked out the clothes the night before he was to wear. Off he went. When I was ready to go, I noticed he had on the clean shirt and his hair was done. Running late, we got in the car and headed out.
About 20 minutes from our destination I happened to look at the pants he was wearing. Oh good grief! He was wearing the same pants he had worn for the last 2 weeks.
At that point I had 3 choices. Call my friend and say something had come up and I couldn't make it. Come unglued, go ahead and go to lunch and let it ruin my whole day. I chose the third choice…go ahead, have fun, forget his dirty pants and enjoy my visit with my friend.
I remembered something I had read just that morning. One of the things people with alzheimer's do is become attached to a piece of clothing. They will wear it for days and days, sometimes for weeks until you can get it away from them so you can wash it. It seems to be kind of like a little kid with their security blanket.
Another friend had called my attention a couple weeks before that, that Alan had been wearing those same jeans when she had been there a couple of weeks before that.
So I continued on to the restaurant, content that my friend wouldn't be offended. She wasn't, Alan was on his good behavior and I had a wonderful time. It would have been so easy for me to have deprived myself of a wonderful time. Next time I will remember to check and make sure those jeans don't go with us.
You probably can't do anything about the attitude of a person with alzheimers, but you can sure do something about your attitude. Don't let yourself become upset over things that don't matter. Your job is going to be hard enough without YOU adding to your own stress level. Relax and enjoy yourself every chance you get.