Alzheimer's Journey

by Ruth Murphy

There are no more happy birthdays or happy anniversaries
They are in the past now, just fading memories.
This journey changes everything, nothing is the same
The person you shared your life with no longer knows your name.

Some friends who have known you no longer do you see
What is the point, they say, he doesn't remember me.
Don't ask him to remember, just reminisce stories of the past
He will enjoy your company while that moment lasts.

He sits alone in his room with no one else around

I wonder what is on his mind, what memory has he found?
He stands at the mirror conversing with a friend.
He doesn't know the reflection speaking back is him.

He whiles away the hours standing or sitting there
Does he ever wonder why he is left alone right here?
There are strangers who approach him wanting him to go
He is reluctant, they're people he doesn't know.

They want him to shave & shower. He doesn't understand.
Give him patience & comfort, try to hold his hand.
Speak slowly & speak clearly, do not try to hurry
Rushing this process will only cause him worry.

Assure him he can do it himself, if he needs your help you're here.
Let him have his dignity. It will alleviate his fear.
Warm the water, close the curtain. Give him privacy
Pass him soap & shampoo. He'll do a good job, you'll see.

He spent his life with people, likes to interact pleasantly.
When he's left alone in his room, there's no one there to see.
His eyes light up with joy when little children come around
He doesn't have to know them. It's happiness he's found.

Come out to visit him, while away an hour.
To provide company & happiness: it is your power.
He is robbed of the future, can't remember the past
Give him pleasure in the moment, is that too much to ask?

Don't stay away & avoid this person you once knew.
Reach out, still be a friend, you know, this could be you.