I am happy that Olive and her hubby asked us to come to their place for supper. Olive asked if we could do it Monday or Wednesday. I picked Wednesday.
This way there was more time to get hubby scrubbed up and presentable.
For him, a shower is like running a marathon at high altitude. The effort leaves him exhausted and feeling breathless even while using his 02. He has the mobility to get in the tub and sit in the shower seat and get out.
But the rest of it has pretty much gone beyond his abilities. We've worked out a pretty good system in which I do most of the work.
Face it as we get older, or our parents get older, this may be something we have to face. I can recall trying to get my MIL to take a shower or help her wash up and how she resisted. Think of a Donkey with their feet firmly planted and no matter what you do and how you ask, you cannot get that Donkey to step forward. You as the caregiver may as well be speaking a foreign language or gibberish.
Not a thing in the world could convince my MIL that she needed to wash up. Eventually we solved that issue with a person from Helping Hands [a service for in home assistance]. For whatever the reason, it seemed that 'an official' -- not a family member, had more sway in these matters.
Now in the case of hubby, he puts it off and puts it off. He resists firmly in all ways that he can avoid the shower.
Need a nap.
Too late in the day.
Too early in the day.
I don't like the clothes you picked out.
I just had one. [didn't...but that is a common one]
Last summer he had PT 3 times a week. He was motivated to clean up for the therapists and shower each week with my help so the girls saw a clean hubby.
One time I stripped the bed of everything and said there would be no sheets or bedding until he wanted a shower.
He went to bed in a flannel shirt, his jeans, but took off his shoes. He didn't care. That's what MDD does to a person and he also has damage from his stroke to his brain which also shows up as apathy.
His severe depression raises its hideous head each winter. I'm hopeful that the longer days and sunlight will help. This is the part of the year where he sits and stares at the floor or out the window at nothing.
This is what it feels like to observe him:
Where is he? What is he thinking? Where it the guy I used to know?
While visiting my mother in the nursing home for the last two years of her life, I noticed this was a a theme in so many of the rooms I passed. They didn't look like the above image, but the feeling of walking by people who sat staring off into space was uncomfortable.
We as humans don't really know how to treat others that are in that space.
Is this what loss, despair, and depression look like? Not always, but it is tough to see.
Those who work in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living have to be angels and carry so much compassion.
And it raises the question regarding quality of life.
If you cannot raise Hope then it feels as if all is lost.
I know that I have to keep my hope and positive disposition alive or I will easily fall into that place of darkness.
That may be a simple explanation as to why I take walks in pouring rain just to see water run over sticks in a ditch.
It gives me a sense of wonder and that gives me daily hope.
Our visit with Olive, her husband, and son went wonderfully. I cannot recall the last time my husband went somewhere for a visit.
Three cheers for good neighbors!