Atul Gawande’s book, BEING MORTAL, has been incredibly important to me. If you haven’t read it, please do. My life partner of 25+ years is going on approximately year 7 with alzheimer’s. FYI,we are a lesbian couple. She lives at home, goes to day programs, and i try to manage as a nearly full-time caregiver. I do pay people to be with her several days/evenings a week, so i get a break. But you really never get a break. Pat lives in the present moment. She forgets anything almost immediately. She’s not obsessive and still very loving. I try to talk with her regularly about alzheimer’s. We’ve even talked about her living somewhere else at some point. We both cried, but in the moment of our conversation, she understood that I can’t go on forever taking care of her.
But she doesn’t remember. I believe on some level of sub-consciousness, people with alzheimer’s remember feelings. I am very fearful about having to move Pat to a facility where she can get more help. I hope and don’t know if she will remember our conversation.
I guess we shall see as time progresses, and her dementia gets worse. This disease is horrible. I cannot imagine how she lives with no memories of long ago past, and recent past. Living as her caregiver is very sad, since this illness only goes one way.