We recently celebrated the anniversary of my mother in law’s death, who had a twelve year battle with Alzheimer’s. It robbed her of many things; her memory and the ability to care for
herself. She was a beautiful woman who loved unconditionally, found a positive in everybody and everything and was selfless her entire life. She loved her family, had a passion for music,
and always maintained her motherly instinct.
During the last six years of her life, she lived with my wife (her daughter) and me. At the time, she had begun to enter a difficult and challenging stage in her Alzheimer’s journey. She was
often agitated and frustrated with her inability to enjoy the quality of life as she had in the past. Amazingly we would play her favorite music which would soothe and calm her whenever she
encountered difficulty eating and sleeping.
When our aunt purchased an American Girl Bitty Baby doll for her, the motherly instinct kicked in. She developed an overwhelming bond with “The Baby” who became her primary
companion. It made her Alzheimer’s journey much easier and our caregiving duties easier to manage. We must admit that the music and the doll “saved our lives”.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is extremely difficult and you have to find many small ways to not only take care of the one you love but yourself as well. Although we attended
several Alzheimer’s support groups and read Coach Broyles Playbook throughout her journey, it was great to have extra alternatives to assist in dealing with this devastating disease.
We wanted to share our story hoping that it will support someone who’s acting as a caregiver.
John and Patrice