Al báile, and some good information
Yes, you can still experience joy and laughter despite dealing with Alzheimer’s. My sister and mom attended a graduation party over the weekend and apparently Mom danced way past her bedtime. So what if her dancing is not quite the graceful movement it once was? So what if it’s not even really dancing per se? Oh yeah, when we first started out on this journey it used to bug me — really bug me — that at family gatherings, Mom would grab the first person to walk by her and beg them to dance. Many refused. I refused. Because to me, the woman who was yanking my arms back and forth and trying to make me move my feet wasn’t really dancing. And I couldn’t get her to recall the proper steps to ballads and corridos. I couldn’t get her to see that there are acceptable forms of behavior when dancing and that yanking a person’s arms back forth just wasn’t proper. I thought that if only she would listen to me, she would remember the steps. That she was being stubborn. And this stubbornness embarrassed me. Until my sister pulled me aside one day and said, “You don’t know when she won’t be able to do this anymore.”
The truth is that it is no longer in her capacity to understand everything we tell her. She is not a child growing up — a child of whom we can expect growth and development, a child who will progress into a reasonable adult. She is an adult in regression, and we need to savor these happy moments. And to hear from my sibling that Mom had a great weekend of dancing and seeing family makes me feel a bit better.
While Mom was having fun someone was asking me about the signs that could signal Alzheimer’s Dementia. Here’s the Alzheimer’s Association link for their 10 Signs of Alzheimer’s page: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10_signs_of_alzheimers.asp
Also, a link to Jolene Brackey’s book “Creating Moments of Joy: A Journal for Caregivers,” one of the best books I’ve ever found on dealing with Alzheimer’s: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1557534624/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=2288109461&ref=pd_sl_7y9yg6k3sq_e