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Subject:  Walking in the shoes Date:  3/24/2021  7:21 PM
Author:  rainphakir Number:  138230 of 139644

I just spent 2 weeks with some older folks who needed a 'gopher'.
Both are late 80's, the wife with dementia. He's her full time care-giver, with a 10 to 12 hour per week helper to see to her hygiene needs and some light cleaning, cooking, etc.

He had a recent fall, and needed a 24/7 gopher for the short term, to shoulder some of the load.
I decided I could be a gopher.

The experience was poignant, sad, funny, ...depressing.
I've known them a LONG time.

Communication was tough. Often she would start a comment... forget the next words or thought, and give up. I could see the frustration. Both for her and for him. It was possible to hold short conversations with her, in which she seemed to grasp the concepts, which was rewarding. I could joke with her, and she'd joke back, using appropriate wording. I saw her sing along with old time gospel songs.

I got to listen to his 'stories', also about my ancestors' lives in the 1940s 50s 60s... so I found them interesting.
I got to help some valued friends. He's closer to being back to self-sufficiency.

The two weeks were well spent.

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