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Daily schedule
Gig Harbor
Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2021 12:22 AM
Joined: 3/10/2016
Posts: 747

It has finally happened. My husband got lost on his daily walk. A policeman called me and I went to pick him up. He was in the general area where he walks daily. It was hot, very crowded with visitors and he was hungry. I plan to now walk with him everyday. He won’t be happy because he walks between 6-7 miles at a time and I will draw the line at 4. His memory has disappeared in the last month and he does not know me as his wife. Now that I will be with him all the time I realize that for my own sanity I need to treat this as a job. I have been working out schedules so that everything gets done. Right now he is very cooperative and he is continent so I realize I am lucky. I thought of getting a white board and posting our schedule on it for him to see. By the fall I will probably have a caregiver come in three afternoons a week and that will give him someone else to talk to. Am I just being totally like Pollyanna or is this how some of you function every day? He also lost the mail today but it was nothing important. I told him that I am getting a PO Box on Monday because there has been a lot of mail theft. He is Ok with that.if I see him obsessing with some item I make it disappear and he totally forgets about it. That is one positive about having absolutely no memory. Now I wonder how long it will be before the incontinence starts.
Joe C.
Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2021 5:46 AM
Joined: 10/13/2019
Posts: 705

Gig, Sorry to hear of this recent decline. It is a big loss for both of you, for your husband the loss of independence and for you the loss for free time while he was on his walks. Unfortunately it becomes more difficult for us caregivers as our “me” time slips away. Is there any walkers or any walking group in your neighborhood that would be willing to have your husband join them on their walks?
Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2021 6:50 AM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 866

Enjoy the walks while you can because there will come a day when your husband can no longer go for a walk.  My husband use to walk for a few miles on his own, then I joined him when it became apparent he couldn't go on his own.  Over time his pace slowed down.  He hasn't taken a walk in almost 2 years.  He hasn't left the house since March.
Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2021 8:09 AM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 1167

Good morning Gig. You have been on this path a long time. You are definitely forward thinking. That will serve you well as the journey continues.

I consider caring for DH my vocation. When I am especially sleepy, I remind myself, "this is my job now". It's the most demanding job I have ever had. Of course there is NO financial compensation. I am fortunate that I am able to do it now.

We have a standard daily routine. DH wakes up around 4:30 am. I get up make DH coffee, give the dog a treat, feed the cat, get DH to the toilet, get DH dressed, light a cigarette for DH, turn on his TV program, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera until the day is done for him and I tuck him in bed at 7 pm. 

I have documented the daily routine and placed it in a binder on the kitchen table. The purpose of the daily routine document is if I become incapacitated, someone else can step in and have a road map. The binder also includes his med list, his insurance information, a picture of DH along with a physical description, key contact information such as family and doctors, and other useful information.

I don't use a white board because DH can no longer read. I can imagine that the white board will be helpful for a caregiver. And it may provide comfort to your spouse to see the plan.

I have a caregiver 4 hours a day, one day a week. That is all I can afford now. I am looking for additional resources for assistance.


Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2021 8:52 AM
Joined: 2/1/2018
Posts: 731

Hi Gig,

Sorry to hear that your DH is possibly losing one of his life’s pleasures.  My DH, formerly a long time phys ed teacher and coach, was always active, running and walking long distances.  At stage 6, he has slowed down drastically.  We can walk around the block on a good day,  but I often feel like I’m dragging him.  Curbs and sidewalk cracks are a hazard; I have to hold his hand all the way. It’s a sad change for both of us.

We follow a pretty strict routine ( awakened by 7 AM for toileting, then back to bed, then up and dressed by 10 AM, 3 scheduled meals daily, shower every other evening, short daily walk if feasible, in bed for the night by 10PM).  He spends much of his day seated on the sofa with soft music on and nodding off.  It’s not a written schedule, it just “is”.  More important than the actual schedule are the nuances within the routines.  Eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, getting in and out of the car, getting seated within the house all involve my use of certain phrases and step by step physical assistance that, if varied, throw him off.  He, too, is still continent; I always say I won’t allow incontinence!  He still seems to know that he needs to use the toilet, just not where it is or what to do once there.  I can pick up cues or “schedule “ him which keeps accidents at bay, (for now).  Not sure how much longer that will last and the 24/7 constant vigilance is tiring.  

I am investigating a 30 day respite for him/me at a MC facility.  My greatest fear is that without his routine, he may be “out of synch” upon his return.  If the respite comes to fruition, I’ll worry about the aftermath if and when it happens.  Good luck; I hope you/DH can go walking for a good long time.  I miss it.  


Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:34 AM
Joined: 12/10/2019
Posts: 215

   We were big walkers. Tried to go every day at least a mile around a beautiful landscaped lake. The pace got slower and slower with no cardio benefit for me, but a nice place to stroll.  Then my husband began to get in people’s space, think he knew them. He would greet them so loudly people would stop to see how they knew him. Just a big problem to disengage him from them. Became stressful for me because I didn’t think he would come back to the car. No walking for us now. 

   Our routine is a simple one. Similar to others it involves eating , washing up. Used to start at7:00 but it’s becoming 6. We go out every day for a drive thru snack and drive . He is back to enjoying the car and looking at the sights. He calls out a few signs so I think he can still read. We do music time at home. Dinner is now 5 ish , news, and then he is in bed at7:30 with the same western playing. I say the same goodnight words and promise to check on him. 

Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:50 AM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 4515

No schedule here. I'm always up before her. I get my  breakfast because I need to keep my blood sugar up. Then she gets up, and I turn on the TV for her, and get her breakfast. After that, maybe a little house cleaning, then figure out what we can have for meals. The rest of the day is handling things as they come. 

Gig, does your DH have alz? Quite different from where my wife is. She has VD.

Stuck in the middle
Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2021 3:32 PM
Joined: 6/4/2017
Posts: 1367

Treating marriage as a job makes a lot of sense.  They say you have to work at marriage; they don't tell you it is 24/7/365.
Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2021 9:22 AM
Joined: 11/6/2020
Posts: 43

My DW's condition is mild, but she hardly leaves the house. I go out to walk or ride my bike in the morning before she gets up. At least I can do this now, I'm sure there will come a time that she wont be able to be alone even when sleeping but I feel like I need the time alone and the exercise.  I totally understand what you mean about being your job. I retired early partly due to DW's condition and I really miss being around other people. It was really good that the policeman was able to call you, my DW doesn't know our home phone number, so I got her one of those medic alert bracelets with all of the pertinent info engraved on it.
Stuck in the middle
Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2021 5:41 PM
Joined: 6/4/2017
Posts: 1367

When I announced my retirement, one of my coworkers said "Wow, you can do whatever you want now."   I said "No, I'll still be married, I'm just quitting this job."  One of the women said "Oh, you guys" but I wasn't kidding.

That woman lives a very different life from mine.  She flew to England a couple of years ago to hike the Lakes District for several days with a friend.  Her husband went to Thailand later the same year, just because he wanted to.  If her marriage is a job, it at least has days off.

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