I remember reading somewhere that people with Alzheimer’s enjoy being with others like them. The following story clearly illustrates that.
When I went to visit Ed, my Romanian soul mate, one day I found him in his room looking at the newspaper, which he was holding upside down.
Suddenly a stocky little man appeared in the doorway.
I was surprised when Ed, a life-long loner, smiled and reached out with his right arm, then smiled and shouted, “Come in, come in.’”
Ed looked at me and said, “Marie, this is my dear friend, John. We’ve been best friends for years.”
“Yes, we’ve been best friends forever,” John said, waving at us.
Ed patted the empty space next to him on the other side of the sofa and John sat down. Then – and you might imagine my shock – they started holding hands and taking turns telling me how many years they’d been best friends.
They reminded me of two little girls sitting on a bench, dangling their legs while waiting for the school bus. I was delighted – though dazed – that Ed had made a friend, and so quickly at that. Ed had never been one to make friends at all. And he’d only been at the Center a week.
“Hi, John,” I said, wanting to be gracious to Ed’s new friend. “How long have you lived here at the Alois Center?”
He snapped to attention. “All my life,” he answered proudly.
After a while John said he had to leave. After exchanging more pleasantries with Ed, he let go of Ed’s hand and stood up. He bid good-bye to his dear friend, then exited in his shuffling gait.
I found myself hoping he’d come back on a regular basis to visit Ed, his dear, affectionate “childhood friend.”
Does anyone have stories of how people with Alzheimer’s can form deep bonds with each other?