A Caregiver's Diary
The Outdoors , Therapy for Memory Loss
During the journey along the path of Dementia, Alzheimer's, I have noticed that most people who are living with the disease would much rather spend more time enjoying the outdoors, than being enclosed indoors.
As I entered the dimly lit small one bedroom unit, where Ellen and her half sister Betty lived, I realized that it was always so quiet, but as I walked through the tiny hallway towards Ellen's bedroom, I noticed a picture of her sitting by the piano. I later learned that she was a renowned pianist, yet at that time she lived in total quietness. There were no sounds, no musical echoes anywhere, not even a sound from the transistor radio that was sitting on the bedside table, next to her.
Ellen now lived in solitude.
She was in solitude because she became afraid of the sound of voices, when there were no one in sight. She would indulge in soft quiet conversations with you as long as she could see you. She said hello to the echo of her neighbor's telephone whenever it rang, and if it rang too few times she would shout, " take it away from me, take it away!"
Her life was, however filled with happiness and joy, because most of the spaces around the grounds of her home was covered with freshly manicured lawn and neatly pruned edges. There were lots of marigolds, daffodils and stargazer Lillie's everywhere. There were also shallow ponds covers with water Lilies. Her grounds were usually the place where many little birds and butterflies lingered for days on end.
Ellen too spend most of her mornings, afternoons and evenings sitting and walking, touching and smelling and barely noticed the times as they passed by, because that was my duty. My job was to watch out for her, since she barely noticed the passing hours, barely noticed the mornings when thy slowly turned into afternoons, evenings, then night time. I was her time clock, her doorbell, the one who would mentioned, "Ellen it's time for supper, we must go inside now"
At my gentle whisper she usually said, "I'll be there"
Ok, " I would reply" but it often took a few request to get that task accomplished. She mentioned softly as we strolled in the near dusky evening, "this is where I want to be, I love it, I love it." "Do we have to go now, why, I can stay here, this is where I want to stay. I want to stay here"...... seemed all in one sentence.
I encouraged, this is your home Ellen, this is where you live, you will always be her, but it is time for your evening meal.
"Oh well, oh well, oh well......."
By. Andria Patricia Harris / TQS-Dementia Living Community / 01-14-14