cooking with alzheimer’s

I have been working as a cook at a care home for people with Alzheimer’s for almost three years. before starting this job, I didn’t know much about Alzheimer’s at all, and I don’t think I personally knew anyone with it.

Alzheimer’s is a sad disease. the brain basically is degenerating, and currently any medications for it can only hope to slow down the degeneration. in our training at work, we see photos of normal brains and then the brains of Alzheimer’s patients at varying stages of the disease. it looks like whole chunks of the brain are slowly disappearing.

first they usually lose more of their short-term memories. they become more forgetful, or don’t know where they are. they might start to think they are younger than their actual age, because I guess that’s the memories they have left. later on they will have a harder time finding the right words to say or not understand all the words you are saying to them. their field of vision becomes smaller as well, since their brains can’t process as much information anymore. as time goes on, they’ll need more assistance with using the bathroom, bathing, eating, and other tasks.

so it is sad, yes, but despite their inevitable decline, there can still be quality of life and many good moments. I tell Cameron lots of stories from work, and one time he said, “You could write a book with all these stories!” So I’m going to try to write some of the stories in my blog to share them and to help me save these memories as well.