Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pick your head up!

5:41 p.m. Today's project was to visit Steve in the afternoon, after a busy morning and midday   doing "mini-facials" and lead gathering at my decades-long nail lady's salon. Lots of leads for future bookings and a nice sale, very much worth the time.

Each time I go see him, it's a different time of day, depending upon my schedule. Late afternoons when many of the residents are napping before dinner, seems to be a good time to visit Steve, who's wide awake after an early post-lunch nap. When I arrived today, a caregiver was reading sayings and having the residents guess answers, which several of them did very well at. Steve would smile along, but not be able to think of anything, nor did he comprehend the activity. He kept bending over almost low enough to tip out of his chair, picking at some imaginary thing on the floor. [He would do that at home, too, just as he would say, "I want to go home!" and run for our front door]. I kept helping him sit up and encouraged him to listen to the riddles.

It's fun for me to cheer the others on, mostly ladies at least 25-30 years older than Steve. Since I come every day, barring a medical procedure and an annual all-day boutique last Friday, the group  welcomes me happily. The Lord has given me this ministry of encouragement, whether for my family, friends, blog readers, ministry co-workers, customers, colleagues, or staff and residents of Raincross. Since I give monthly facial parties at the assisted living place my dad was in, I get to bring some fun to Emeritus personnel and their lady residents, too. 

This is a ministry any believer can have, with no preparation except prayer, and having the heart God has given you that replaces the heart of stone, of coldness, isolationism, avoidance and apathy you had in the past. And if you were a compassionate person, you now enjoy the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit to minister, as 2 Corinthians 1: 4 tells us of

...the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

There are nice "sweeteners" from the Lord in my daily visits, and I'm not referring to the cookies baked fresh all day on the premises! It's very restful to sit and swing with Steve when the weather's pleasant, and it's good to see him walking with decent steadiness, although he's deeply bent over. For a while, he took a strong interest in our family picture albums, but lately won't turn his head or focus his eyes on the pictures. I was glad to have clipped and manicured his fingernails yesterday, despite the fear and shaking he exhibited while I did it. Steve is kept well groomed by staff, but his nails were just a tad longer than I like, so his hands looked very nice today.

The residents provide many humorous moments. Many are able to make wry comments, jokes, clever observations,  and exchange pleasantries with me. One lady is very loud, mean and bossy to the caregivers, who take it all in stride, of course, since social graces pretty much fall by the wayside with Alzheimer's. Today, in preparation for dinner, Steve was seated next to her, and after receiving surprisingly pleasant comments from her, I told her that Steve's my husband. She turned to Steve, and said, "So you're a married man!" He smiled and nodded. He was tipping over sideways, really leaning, despite my efforts to get him to straighten up and look in my direction.

The lady said, "Pick your head up! Pay attention! This is important! Your wife is here, man!"

And so I was, and so he did, smiling away.

Thank you, Lord!


  1. Such a good visit with Steve. It's so interesting that every AD person is different. Love the comment to Steve about his wife! He seems to be adjusting well to his new environment and I bet that is such a relief to you.

    "Jake" visited my husband yesterday. We had two Alzheimer's husbands at our home for much of the day without their wives. During that time I taught a class for first time drivers and "Sally" took her granddaughter to a conference--I'm thinking it is called PURITY AT HEART. Jake helped my husband weed in the front yard and brought his weed-eater over to do that; but mainly I think they just watched TV.

    When I got home about 3 pm, Jake was very agitated and asking "where's my wife"! Sally on her way home had me drive Jake home. Once when hubby hung out at their home, Sally had to drive my husband home so he could feel comfortable.

    Your days are so full and interesting, Dana.

    Hugs and prayers,

  2. Hi Carol, I am amazed at all of the great socializing yu are able to do with DH, his Alz. friend, and all without supervision. I miss those semi-independent days when Steve could stay happily busy with familiar tasks, and even stay home alone for limited periods of time. It's also a blessing to have Sally there for and with yiou. I pray for you on Fridays!