Dementia Changed Our World

My wife and I have shared a very good life together. She, a retired nurse, and I, a retired surgeon, have had the pleasure of enjoying great jobs, raising four children and spending time with our nine grandchildren. We retired to Aurora and took full advantage of the time we could now spend with our children and grandchildren. Our days together have been wonderful.

My wife had an illness in 2000 for which her doctor gave her antibiotics. Soon after, she had a seizure and was put on anti-seizure medication. Two years later, I noticed that her reaction time had slowed and she was forgetting things. Later, her doctor diagnosed dementia. It was at this point that my life started to change 180 degrees. I had never cooked, planned meals, shopped, done laundry or paid the bills. Now, with her dementia, I must do all these things as well as tasks like reminding my wife it is time for lunch.

She has always been one to stay busy, but with dementia, she now just cleans and re-cleans the same things. She also developed a “short fuse” and can sometimes be argumentative, which is much different than how she was before dementia developed. Unfortunately my wife no longer has good judgment, she doesn’t seem to comprehend things, and must have everything repeated. She likes to talk still, but asks the same questions over and over again.

My wife began attending Coleman Adult Day Services in Ravenna in March of 2010, which she calls “going to work.” When she is there, she is kept active with puzzles, arts and crafts, and talking to people. She is happy when she comes home and often brings home one of the projects she has completed.

It’s hard for me to say, but because of her constant cleaning and talking, she was driving me crazy at home; it was almost tormenting at times. Due to my medical background, I am able to understand what is happening to her and not let anger set in. Coleman has helped in many ways. They have helped keep her mind and her hands active. While she is at Coleman Adult Day Services, I am able to take care of the household chores and shopping that she took care of before.

When my wife first started attending Coleman Adult Day Services, I would drive her each day. But it was difficult because she had trouble separating from me and would often argue and cry. Then my daughter suggested that we utilize the transportation services available from Coleman. It is the best thing that has happened! She really enjoys being picked up to “go to work.”

I love my wife and my family. She is a part of everything that I have. Coleman has provided us the ability to be together as much as possible for as long as possible and for that I am so thankful.

True story of a Coleman Adult Day Services family served though the Ravenna facility.