Being inspire by an Alzheimer’s patient

Being inspired by an Alzheimer’s patient

Elaine and I have already said, that we have had over 70 yrs of combined hospice care experience.

And for the past many months I (Scarlett) have been working exclusively with a Alzheimer’s patient. Whom for the sake of this article and to protect her privacy rights we will call “Ms Ann”. This dear 93 year old lady enforces my life’s daily inspiration by just going through this dreaded disease.

The never ending changes

In the beginning of Ms Ann’s care with me, she was up walking with minimal assistance with the walker. By minimal, I mean with me just walking beside her. To the kitchen, to the bathroom anywhere and everywhere as they say.

And could dress herself with me doing buttons, and tying shoe, she could brush her hair, do her make up, brush her teeth, with very little assistance. Well that’s all changed since February.

The simple things in life are the hardest

We all wake up to go to the bathroom, and do are daily rituals. We take for granted, bathing, brushing our teeth, putting on make up and doing our daily rituals for ourselves.Use you imagination. Please take time to think about who does all these things when you can’t ? And this where I as the full time hospice caregiver comes in.

Sharing a day in the life of an Alzheimer’s patient

Let me share what an average day is like for Ms. Ann. Just imagine your day starting at 12 noon or even 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Because, at this stage of Alzheimer’s Ms Ann body says it needs more sleep.

Ms. Ann has to wait till I bathe her in the bed, because she has declined to the point in 4 months till she can no longer get in the bathtub or shower.

She has become totally dependent for all her personal needs on her caregivers.

Total care means what?

Total means, to be blunt you longer have control of bowel and bladder. And imagine in the beginning of this stage the embarrassment you feel at having someone perform these task for you. Walking with you first in the beginning, to not being able to know “ how or when you need to go to bathroom”.

And then you go to get in the wheelchair after being bathed, changed, dressed, to physically helped to set up on the side of the bed. Helped brush hair, teeth, all other grooming aspects. Even down to tying you shoes. And you can’t remember how to get up and transfer, you don’t remember what to do with you feet or how to turnaround and sit down on your own. But you still can feel embarrassment that you can’t.

Trapped in a mind that no longer can communicates to it’s limbs

Ms Ann is for all practical purposes of daily life functions is trapped and while she doesn’t know what or how to do she still feels embarrassed that she can’t do it.  Part of Ms. Ann’s mind tells her this is awful, not normal but their’s nothing she can do to fix it.

So rightly so, she is frustrated and many times voices she would rather be dead and asks why doesn’t the Lord just take on home.

Responding to the negative

Almost always my response is none of us get to choose how we leave this world. But you are a blessing to me. Your smile lights up the room. And I count it a privilege to care for you everyday. What a life’s inspiration she is to me. The tough keep going! Now we are up and ready for the day

More challenges as we transfer again to the lift recliner. After settling in her chair, begins the exercise of trying to get her to eat something, anything. Because, Ms. Ann who has lost over 55 lbs at last weigh in has “zero” appetite. I get her the usual glass of buttermilk which thankfully she will do.

After much offering and suggestions, gravy and biscuit, oatmeal, cream of wheat, she says oatmeal. And you thinking awesome. Not quite, she eats 3 teaspoons full and says she’s just not hungry. That she got up real early about 5 and ate and is still full.

Episodes of unreality

Hallucinations are common, as is thinking you’ve already done something. In this instance eating breakfast. When, in realty she just got up. Ms Ann might have dreamed it and now it is fact. But, the fact is, she hasn’t eaten since yesterday and then only maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of something if at all.

So I wait a little while, and in the mean time turn on the animal planet station. Why that station you ask? The answer goes back to the hallucinations where Ms. Ann might watch say a “cop show” in her mind those scenes that are shooting people become a realty in her mind regardless of whether she is asleep or awake.

Our minds can transpose fiction to fact

I personally have had dreams that seemed so real, an even a nightmare where I wake up crying or fall out of bed trying to get away from the bad dream. But, thankfully I wake up and realize it’s only a dream.

Ms.Ann seeing someone get shot on TV it becomes real she sees it happening to a loved one or sees someone breaking in to kill her. Fear is huge in her mind. Fear of windows that can be entered, doors that are opened as a way for someone to hurt her. Even of storms outside, these things represent danger in her mind trapped in the Alzheimer’s world her mind lives in Which, results in constant stare of fear.

Moving forward with our day

I fix Ms Ann a bowl of watermelon maybe a cup and give her a 16 oz. bottle of peach tea as she refuses water at every turn.

She eats the watermelon which is huge. So she now has had 16 oz. of buttermilk and of tea plus morning meds and watermelon. It’s now 3 pm. She watches television volume is Set at 24. I can comfortably hear it at 12 or 13 just for you reference.

While she is watching she will continually ask me, what does that consist of? What are they doing? Again her mind cannot process all of what’s going on.

Time moves on

The day progresses it now 6:30p I fix Mrs Ann a plate of roast and potatoes and carrots with onions. And she again eats 3 or 4 bites literally. She says “ Lord how Mercy” I’ve eat all day! I am just not hungry. So I fix her grapes and sliced peaches, yes she needs protein but, at this stage it’s whatever she will eat. Even chocolates. She does drink more buttermilk again, whatever she will do.

Time has progressed to 8 pm

Ms. Ann is now ready to go to bed she is exhausted, please imagine being her trying to process all that’s gone on during her day because in her mind she got up at 5a fixed breakfast an ate. In her mind people have today tried to kill her, tried to break in, and at one point water was spewing all over her. While it’s all imaginary. It happened in  her mind. In her reality.

Why do I need to know this stuff?

I hope to get others to see what a brave soul this dear lady and all Alzheimer’s patients are. Ms. Ann has become one of My life’s daily inspiration. No, she didn’t get a choice list. But, when life handed her lemons she made lemonade.

Silver lining isn’t always visible

I try to always put myself in their shoes, and be compassionate, caring, and understanding. Because,this could be me. And for that matter it could be you, or you mom, or dad. Please remember the next time you see someone in a wheelchair an their obviously confused. That person has lived, loved, laughed And now their mind can’t remember and their confused. Give them a smile, and if they tell you they know “you” just agree and make them feel better. Life is short and this to shall pass. Thank you for reading with us today and let us know how you feel about or relate to this article.

Thanks for reading our story,

Elaine and Scarlett


Early mornings are a Huge part of my life’s daily

Early mornings are a Huge part of my life’s daily inspirations

I touched a little on this in a past blog on how my mornings are so much a part of my Life’sdailyinspiration, why you say? Because in the still morning air listening to to birds, squirrels and frogs croaking their happiness at another day to enjoy. Live, love, and for all we know laugh, kinda corny to some but, to me it’s all true.

If you haven’t tried it what a beautiful experience to see the sunrise  while watching a group of robins run through my yard and surrounding areas looking for their breakfast. While I enjoy my coffee and usually a bagel and ponder on the days coming activities. Or as is this days case most mornings nothing in particular except nature around me.

Take  time to smell the roses


Taking time to smell the roses literally as well as figuratively, I have some beautiful roses both red and pink knockout roses. The aroma surrounds my deck in the cool morning air. Combines with the gardenias at the lower end of my deck and makes you think your in an awesome garden setting.  Well in my mind I am!

Be like a hummingbird

Be like a hummingbird an let your mind fly around drawing on life’s daily inspiration to inspire you for another days work. Your body an soul needs the recharging of its batteries just like the little hummingbird needs the flowers nectar to make it another day.

                 Gardenias                            Mockingbird

Things I observed while pondering

Sitting there drinking my coffee just watching, I observed a wasp stuck inside the screen trying to get back outside to freedom. It got me to thinking what do wasp eat? Obviously it never crossed my mind before.  And yes, useless information but of course I looked it up.

 My Questions Answered

They eat nectar like bees and butterflies, and also ants and bugs. What’s my point? There is always something to learn if you are willing to take the time to learn. Sitting there quietly my mind comes up with questions and I look up the answers on the internet. Your never to old to learn.

A visitor to my morning coffee

Continuing to drink my coffee I heard a tree frog he/she was croaking so load I got tickled an decided to find his hiding place.

He kept singing or croaking depending on how you perceive it in your mind.  On my deck post at the back wall the post are approximately 6 ft. Long so I could put decorative bird houses on those post. Inside one was that little green tree frog. So I let him/her continue their song of contentment.

My last little visitor  that morning

The last visitor of the morning was a regular visitor at my morning coffee. I have a squirrel that comes up on the porch for peanuts. So I have aptly named him “Peanut” very original on my part don’t you think? Well the name fits.

Laughter in the little things


This little squirrel makes me laugh almost daily, this morning he was aggravating a mocking bird. He would let the bird get close to getting a peanut then grab the nut and run up the tree. To what he thought was safety. I think that squirrel will now be forever inspired to leave a mocking bird alone. Having learned the hard way that birds can fly as well as that squirrel can climb. That bird flogged him numerous times for his crimes in teasing.

  What does this all have to do with be my life’s inspiration you say?

My quiet time is restful, and at the same time exciting, informative and a time of learning new things and laughter it is like taking a dose of medicine in being good for you. Let me encourage you to find the little things that inspire you daily. You won’t have to look far to see all of the  Lifesdailyinspiration” around you just open your eyes. Elaine and I would love to hear what inspires you please feel free to contact us on websites below.




Thank you, Elaine and Scarlett



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Life lessons

Shelf I made from inspiration
Shelf I made 1994
Now in my home

In my family life growing up was hard I had three younger siblings and I mean much younger like 12 yrs and one was14 months older. I can say like many others we were a very dysfunctional family.
While my mother and I never had a relationship my dad an I did. Even though he drank way to much at times he had a brilliant mind, and had 3 different degrees one was in mathematics. And another in engineering,and he had a compassionate heart.

He was always inspiring me to not let anyone tell me, you can’t do that. He would tell me there’s nothing you cannot do if you set your mind to it. If you don’t know how to do something,learn how.
Don’t ever limit yourself by just saying you can’t do something, that old saying “can’t never could do nothing” is true.
That inspiring lesson from my Dad has served me well all these 61 yrs, I remember when I decided to learn woodworking. I couldn’t afford to take classes as I could barely pay bills back then.

I started out making flower planters in the shape of swans and flamingos and some regular square and rectangular….. I wasn’t exactly professional well ok,they where awful at first. But,in my defense we didn’t have google, and internet back then at my disposal so I read, yep read like, whole books! Everything the library had. And the more I read and practiced the more I noticed the awful pieces were not so awful anymore. The books where giving me daily inspiration. And I didn’t
have a woodworking shop back then.
Hammer and nails

I had a hammer regular size and a smaller one And an abundance of nails in different sizes.
Back in the ice age when I was young before computers and such you went to the hardware and bought nails by weight. But, that’s another story.
I had a jig saw and a hand drill and I made a lot of mistakes as I learned, and remembered my dad saying, you can do anything you want to do.

Gradually those mistakes took shape and became some well thought and accurately made pieces. My neighbors wanted tp purchase them. And I started selling at flea markets. And through the years I have continued to learn and make wooden chests and beds and decorative shelves and have redone campers, and built outside decks.
All because my dad, became in this instance my life’s dailyinspiration.
So let me inspire you to take the “Can’t” out of you life and do whatever you set you mind to. You Can do it!

Sent from my iPad