A Bedtime Story – Finding the JOY in Caregiving for one with Alzheimer’s
Guest story by Marion Riley
My husband, Don, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1992.
Don was sixty-seven years old and we had been married for forty-six years. We had many happy years together, we traveled a lot and, most of all, we enjoyed our grandchildren.
Don is an easygoing person with a quiet demeanor.
When he said or did anything out of the ordinary, I had a hard time with it at first, but I knew I had to accept his condition.
As the Alzheimer’s progressed, Don would do really odd and funny things.
He had been getting up at night and wouldn’t come back to bed.
One predawn morning at about 3:00, he decided to get up.
I was so tired of getting up with him each time, I stayed in bed and begged him, “Don, please come back to bed.”
He was reluctant, yet as he crawled back into bed, he replied, “I don’t think my wife would appreciate me going to bed with you!”
Marion Riley was a caregiver to her husband, Don, who lived with dementia. When she could no longer manage his care, she moved him into a skilled nursing facility, where he soon became a hit with the ladies. It was hard for Marion to see her husband of fifty-six years and the father of their five children, smiling while holding hands with another resident. Alzheimer’s disease makes people do inexplicable things.
The Executive Director of The Caregiver’s Voice took a liberty with turning Don’s hat sideways prior to taking their photo (much to Marion’s dismay.) 😉 (TCV Ed.)