Cleaning House with Alzheimer's
Sunday, May 15, 2016
So today I decided that I needed to clean the main floor of our house. I mean, REALLY clean it.
It's not so easy to keep a house clean with an Alzheimer's person living in it. They become notorious hoarders. Stuff gets "saved" all the time. Even if it has no value whatsoever, it gets saved. Used up batteries, old juice bottles, magazines that are over a year old, ads from newspapers about stuff we don't want or need………the list goes on and on.
Today DH noticed I was "cleaning"! That puts him in a hyper anxiety state. So he said he will "help" me, and asked what he could do for me.
I told him how nice it was for him to offer, and that he could vacuum for me. He used to really like to do the vacuuming. So he enthusiastically got out the vacuum, and then decided he needed to "work" on it. I didn't know what that meant, so I said nothing, keeping in mind I have two more vacs in the house.
He took it apart and cleaned the receptor area. then he couldn't get it back together. I had never worked on a vacuum before, but I got the hang of it in a pretty short period. Then he turned it on, took three swipes at the carpet, declared all the vacuuming was done, sat down and took a nap because he was "so tired of all that work".
So I keep going. I get the dusting done, the plants all trimmed, even got away with hiding some crap to get rid of it when I go into town tomorrow morning. It filled up the entire trunk of the car.
Then he wanted to go to town. Nope. Couldn't do that because I had too much work to do, but I would take him for an ice cream later in the day.
He got out the Oreos and ate a full sleeve of them. He had had a good breakfast, and it was a bit early for lunch, but he said he was "eating my dinner" because he never gets any food to eat.
I keep cleaning. He goes back to sleep. I even have time to take Benny out for a walk.
He wakes up and wants to know where his bowling ball is. He hasn't bowled in over 30 years. I tell him I don't know, so he looks for it in the pantry, taking down all the food items off the shelf and putting them on the floor.
I come in to check on him, and there he is, surrounded by food items. He says he can't get out because the jars have him stuck. I get him out of the pantry, and start to put all the groceries back on the shelves.
Then he calls me and wants me to put the TV on for him so he can watch Star Wars. Good thing we get Netflix, because they have Star Wars available. The TV goes on, he has a glass of apple juice in front of him, and he goes to sleep again.
During the time he is asleep, I get all the vacuuming done, and I mop the tile and wood floors.
He wakes up again, and asks when are we leaving to go to the movies. I tell him it is too early now, and that if he wants to go later, we can. I never hear about the movies again.
I've got the house all nice and sparkling clean, except for the kitchen counter tops. Even the laundry is done. I think I might be able to get the counters done, but he wakes up, goes out to the garage and brings in a tool box. He wants to clean his tools. In the kitchen. Using gas to get grease off them. (He has the gas can in the kitchen on the floor, and the kitchen is smelling like a stinky garage.)
I suggest we go for an ice cream, which he likes the thought of.
Gas can and tool box get left in the kitchen, and we go.
When we get back, he gets mad at me for having HIS tool box and HIS gas can, and didn't even ask him if I could use them.
I apologize, pick up the tool box and the gas can, get them back in the garage, and then we sit down to watch the Red Sox game.
It's been a looooooooong day!