The long, slow slide continues. I got word yesterday afternoon that J was not home for a weekly session she has with a freelance writer to capture her memories. When I got home, I asked J where she had been. All I could get out of her is that she waited a long time on the train and “tried to go around it” and felt “stupid.” Where was she? Why? I have no clue.
J cried. I tried to understand what she was feeling and why. J seems to feel bad that her brain doesn’t work as it used to. That is double heartbreaking. It is bad enough that her ability to think and communicate is diminishing. It is almost worse that this process makes her feel bad about herself.
Then we have dinner and she forms a perfect sentence to praise the food I’ve made. She smiles and says she feels fine. And there is the blessing of Alzheimer’s disease for the person experiencing it. J has no memory of the distress she was expressing just minutes before.
Fortunately, my search for a companion has been successful. All of my good leads came through Care.com. I made an offer that has been accepted pending a criminal and reference check, which I am certain E, the new companion, will pass. I am very excited about this match. E seems to be exactly what I have been looking for – a cultured, educated woman who will be able to stimulate J and take her to museums and movies and other outings. E also seems kind and compassionate. She starts the week after next. The only catch is that she is $10 an hour more than I thought I would have to pay.
The worries about having enough money for J’s care have been relentless enough that I finally have reached out to an elder care lawyer. It was not a matter of resisting legal help; it’s just finding the time to work full time, run the household, deal with J’s medical needs, have a little bit of my own life and fit this in. I did not buy long-term care insurance when J was well. Big mistake. It always seemed so expensive, and of course we can’t get it now. We have a nest egg from when J was working and she gets SSI, but is it enough? Stay tuned. I will report once the lawyer and I meet.