Winter Decline


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We were sitting at the dinner table.   A bowl of fresh daffodils was in the center, and Bo touched them,  then turned to me, “Should I eat these?”

Most things are strange to him now.

“What is that?” he asks, pointing to a red blanket on our bed.

“It’s a blanket.”

“What’s it for?”

Another time he sits on the family room sofa, leaning forward toward the coffee table.  He touches each thing on the table, asking what it is and what I want him to do with it – the TV control, magazines, newspaper,  a candle and the flower arrangement.  As he focuses on things, I try to divert his attention.  After the third or fourth time asking me what the control is, I get up and move it across the room.  It’s the only way to stop him.

This morning when he woke up,  I helped him dress.  I suggested that he brush his teeth, and he agreed,  so I put toothpaste on his brush and handed it to him. “What do I do?” he asked.  So I explained.  Then, when he was rinsing his mouth, he asked what to do again.

If I give him a pill, I have to explain that he should swallow it with the water, not chew it, as he did with his vitamin today.  But he does successfully take it.

Occasionally he will walk into the room, asking where he can go to the bathroom, so we must direct him there. He has no idea that he wears pullups instead of shorts, and has tried to wash them out on occasion.  But he very willingly puts them on with no resistance.

This noon I tried to explain to him that he should eat some wedges of a clementine.  I had a difficult time explaining that he do two things:  put his fork down and pick up the clementine with his hand.  Then, clementine wedge in hand,  he asked,  “What do you want me to do with it?”


There is a bowl of orchids on the table today, and he asked what they were. He would have eaten one if I hadn’t been there.

The first sign of anything remaining the same after this long, snowy winter of decline  was yesterday when he went out to the front yard (in his pajamas) and picked up a handful of leaves, then  asked me where to put them.

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9 Responses to Winter Decline

  1. Annamarie says:

    Sigh….. unbelievable…
    Thank you for staying in touch along this journey. Wish I could get up there more often to spend time with you. Sending lots of love and a big hug. Annamarie

  2. Maureen says:

    Thank God for leaves!

  3. rosemary says:

    Your journal has helped me a lot to understand what my mother is going through and I can only understand how precious your time is so thanks a lot for your entries.

  4. Cynthia Burke says:

    I think I live in the state just north of you, my dear husband was diagnosed three years ago with AD, he is a retired Episcopal priest, I am a nurse. I have just admitted him to a local Veteran’s Home, the most difficult decision of my life. I miss him desperately, but there was no other available solution. I have followed your blog since the beginning, I can’t tell you how much it has meant, both in information and in the knowledge that I am not alone with this ghastly disease. It is not what any of us had in mind when we contemplated our old age. Thank you so much for writing, it keeps me company.

  5. Gede Prama says:

    Thank you for sharing and Greetings from Gede Prama 🙂

  6. You both are Always in my prayers. So nice that he has you to guide him. God bless you!!

  7. elarry72 says:

    I apologize for using the comments section for this, but couldn’t find another way to contact you. I have just started a link up for caregivers to try and create a place where we can share our stories and yours are so beautifully written. I am a caregiver for my mother, who has Alzheimer’s – we too are going through a season of quick decline. I would love for you to join the few of us who have found each other so far at If not, no worries – this life doesn’t always leave time or energy for extras. God bless you on your journey.

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