RULE: 1. An authoritative regulation for action, conduct, method, procedure, etc. 2. An established practice that serves as a guide.
I have had to learn to live by a set of rules when calling Peggy.
All of the rules that I knew when talking with her went out the window when Alzheimer's entered her mind and destroyed her thoughts and memories.
Here are my rules but I don't always follow them.
1. Talk to Peggy like she remembers who I am.
2. Tell her that I love her today.
3. Don't get hurt feelings when Peggy hangs up the phone while I am talking to her.
4. Remember that she cannot help what has happened to her.
5. When I ask her to sing a song...don't cry when she forgets the words.
6. Ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer.
7. Recount memories of growing up at home.
8. Tell her that she is a beautiful person.
9. Ask her what she ate for breakfast or lunch.
10. Repeat numbers 1, 2 and 3.
11. Stay calm and be understanding.
12. Be patient and flexible.
13. Don't argue or try to convince her of something.
14. Try not to take her behavior personally. Accept the behavior as the disease talking and try to work through it.
15. Remind myself that the Peggy that I knew is gone even though her voice sounds the same.
16. Repeat 1, 2, and 3.
I Love You Today, Peggy and I Miss You!
MY SISTERS HAVE TAUGHT ME HOW TO LIVE. (George Wasserstein)