It can be both physically and emotionally challenging and demanding to look after a person who has Alzheimer’s.
Caregivers begin to take on more and more of their loved one’s responsibilities, as the disease progresses.
Duties include going shopping, bringing them to doctor’s appointments or maintaining the home.
Those chores are difficult enough but on a psychological level, it hurts to discover your loved one doesn’t remember certain people they once held so dear.
Julie Bick of North Bend, Ohio, is familiar with all this as her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year.
It happened shortly after her mother, her mother passed away, so she and her two young children had no option but to move in with him and become his primary caregiver.
A large part of it involves taking things away — like not letting him take his own medications, the keys to his truck, along with his freedom, as he’s no longer allowed to do yard work or other household chores that he’s always enjoyed.
“After some research, I found out that Alzheimer’s patients like routines and if you break them, they can get pretty upset and emotional,” she explains.
Her father cherishes one routine so much that she never interferes with his weekly chats with the local garbage man Harold.
Each Monday morning he looks forward to the conversations and she often walks down the driveway to meet the garbage truck with him and sometimes she leaves them alone to chat in private.
She knows Harold is prized throughout their community for his small yet thoughtful gestures and her father really enjoys their weekly chats.
“If we miss Harold when he comes, he will always go the extra mile to walk our cans back to our garage. I’ve heard other neighbors say that Harold will even knock on your door if the pickup day is around a holiday and you have forgotten to take your garbage out.”
One morning Julie was feeling particularly depressed and was upset on the front porch, she hid away from her father so he wouldn’t get upset himself.
She heard a rumble of the garbage truck as Harold made his way to the house, then she spotted her father searching the garage for a chair.
“I asked what he was doing and offered my help. He said he needed a chair to sit down, as he is very unstable on his feet. I asked, “Where would you like the chair?” as I was carrying it out of the garage. He requested I take it to the end of the driveway so he can visit with Harold.”
“As we were walking to the end of the driveway, my father stops me and says, ‘Harold is my friend. He is religious and I would like a moment with Harold so we can pray for you.’ I gave him his space and walked back to the porch with my eyes loading up with tears. I remember thinking to myself as I was walking back to the porch that no matter what disease my father has, it will never take away his love for me.”
As she returned to the house she looked over her shoulder and was so touched by what she witnessed, she couldn’t resist taking this picture:
“A moment like that, you just don’t see every day,” she remarks.
“This simple act of kindness has touched me so much. Harold has touched my heart and I knew I had to share this with friends and family on Facebook. I did, and many asked me to please make the post public so they can share it. I have and this single post has reached thousands. There is so much good in this world, and it starts with simple acts of kindness. Harold, thank you for your kindness and prayers. I will never forget this moment.”
Harold’s been picking up the garbage at Julie’s dad’s house for years, but still, he doesn’t know much about the family other than they’ve always been friendly, and that her dad has Alzheimer’s. But despite being a friendly acquaintance, he took the time out of his route to share something so intimate and personal as a personal prayer.
Please help us inspire others to do the same and Share this post with your friends and family.
Published By Viraline News.