Santa Maria, Calif.
My experience with the Wisdom Center (adult day care) began after my husband had a stroke four years ago. Although he seemed to be functioning fairly well, and his disposition was good, it became clear that he was having a problem – and it was getting worse.
His memory would come and go, he lost interest in everything that had once been important to him, and he had problems remembering such things as where he lived. After examining him, two doctors agreed that he definitely showed signs of having the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
His first few weeks at the Wisdom Center went without any change, and he gave nonverbal signs that he was a visitor, nothing else. A change took place on the day he stood up and sang a Mexican song, and it wasn’t long before he began to dance. It mattered not if he had a dancing partner, as when the music began, his feet began to shuffle. From that point he began socializing, and he greeted the rest of the participants every morning with a booming, “Good morning everybody!”
Since then, Alzheimer’s has taken its toll. Although Carlos is still pleasant, it’s clear that his mental condition has deteriorated. Even though he talks very little, and his days of being the “Fred Astaire of Mexico” have passed, both the Wisdom Center and I strive to help him to maintain his dignity.
The Alzheimer’s Association has been in contact with me, and I value their services. In addition, as a result of writing about my stressful experience (relative to Carlos) on its Web site, a number of people from various parts of the country have contacted me. We have formed a mini-Alzheimer’s Internet support group. It’s obvious that the need is there, and the loved ones of the people so affected are grasping at straws.
I call the people at the Wisdom Center angels, as they truly are a group of caring individuals. The ten hours of respite the center has given me each week keep me going.
What the future holds is unknown, but it helps to have a sense of humor. When Carlos tells me that I steal his money, I agree that he’s absolutely right!