Bo fell today. Jon was with him so he was able to break his fall and he wasn’t hurt, but the fall is a sign of his condition this week. He has had another serious decline. It may be an infection. Maybe not.
The hospice nurse thinks he may have a urinary tract infection, a true enemy of the elderly, so we began antibiotics yesterday and Bo has shown some signs of improvement, but it will take a while to return even close to where he was a week ago. And as we all know, when an Alzheimer’s patient declines, the recovery is never fully back to where it began.
Jon was away this week, so on Tuesday afternoon it was Caregiver Michele who awoke him. Bo had no idea how to move his legs to walk or come down the steps. He became less communicative, his head drooped onto his chest, and he slept almost all the time, even when eating. We had to feed him, to brush his teeth and shave him. We even used the wheel chair the two days that we did manage to get him downstairs. Emma stayed by his side.
Now Jon’s back and today he has been able to walk Bo around without the wheelchair but supporting him fully. I couldn’t do it.
Food is becoming more of an issue. Hospice explains that he will begin to “pocket” his food in his cheeks. He plays with his food, smashing it, moving it around, arranging the beans in different places, the fish on the side. Often now we have to feed him, but sometimes he will refuse to open his mouth or just open it a little. Then when we least expect it, he will pick up the spoon and eat his fruit by himself.
We’re sure he is having loss of depth perception or perhaps perception. For instance, I was trying to walk him to the powder room and when he stepped from the carpet onto the hardwood floor, he raised his leg high and took a step as if he needed to step down (or was it up?) One thing in all of this that helps me is that he is now sleeping through the night. I’m there beside him but I can go to sleep.
All of these changes make him more and more dependent on us, and I know that if Jon weren’t here with us, I couldn’t do this. I would have had to find a residence for Bo, and my heart would be broken.