Friday, May 17, 2013

If I get Alzheimers: redux

1.  Give me a buzz cut.  I hate that neglected matted hair look.  Then let me wear gold hoops in my ears, the size of nickels.  It's a good look for a demented woman.

2. Buy me an identity bracelet that says, "Memory loss with my address and phone number on it.  Do this BEFORE I go wandering off.

3. Take me for walks and rides.  I will still like that.  I may need a cane for balance.

4. When I can't follow books anymore, try movies.  When I can't follow movies try cartoons or Animal Planet.  Make me a video of each member of the family talking about him/herself as in, "Hi Grandma, it's Maxwell your favorite grandson.  I'm the one who likes to draw maps of made-up worlds."  Have me do one too.  I'll watch it over and over.


6.  Take me to the dermatologist once in awhile to have me scraped and have ugly skin tags removed.  I have good insurance.  It will cost nothing.

7. Could I have my eyebrows waxed sometimes.  It's $8 bucks at Supercuts.

8. Clip my fingernails short and don't paint them.  Let a professional do the toenails.

9.  I need two footpads in my right shoe.  (That leg is shorter than the other).  Don't bother with anything but athletic shoes.  (Red hightops?)

10. Remember I won't be able to follow a conversation if there's a lot of distractions around.

11.  Don't quiz me or test me all the time as if my cognitive skills will improve.  They won't.

12.  If I'm loud and foul:  sedate me.

13.  Don't let them treat me for pneumonia.  Let me die.

14.  Don't allow strangers to overwhelm me.

15.  Let me sleep in.  What does it matter?

16.  Please don't leave me in a wheelchair all day.  I like to put my feet up.

17.  Don't forget to treat my anxiety, sleeplessness and pain.

18.  I want my bed next to a window.

19.  Let me hold a baby.

20. Don't forget to hug me.

21. Remember I wear reading glasses.  Clean them once in awhile.

22. Don't feel guilty.  I mean it.  Do what you can and forget it.  Sell everything and put me in a home.  Don't feel guilty.  It's completely useless.  Don't feel guilty.  I loved you when I was in my right mind; I'll love you when I am in my right mind again.  Don't feel guilty when you can hardly stand the sight of me.  It happens.


  1. Painful. Especially 22...
    Will this count as a living will? ;)

  2. I think you should go for the red high tops now. It sounds like you read Still Alice.

  3. I am sobbing uncontrollably from this blogpost. You've thought of everything and some I hadn't ever considered. # 4 and #6 are relevant right now for my mother. If you have an idea how to stop feeling guilty do tell.

  4. Wish I could remember which NPR program I was listening to this week about comfort care for Alzheimer's patients. Here's a link to an article that appeared in the New York Times about Beatitudes in Phoenix, Arizona:

  5. Annette, I'd already read this article. I went out and bought myself a really good doll for if/when I should get this.

    Bonnie, it's harder for caretakers than the one suffering the disease. They now have support groups for caretakers that are helpful, especially on the "guilt" front.

  6. This is a beautiful post, I shared it with my husband who has worked many years with patients suffering from dementia and he found it very touching, honest, and true as well.

  7. MIL had alzheimer's. I love this list. You write the best stuff.