Hello, I'm Sara Bell, and I'm My Nana's Keeper.

With the help of my family, it's my job to ensure Nana has the best quality of life everyday that she's with us.  Our posts share our experiences living with and learning from Alzheimer's, and we hope they encourage and inspire others who are also living in the wild world of Alz. 

Nana Goes to Work

I'm so nervous and excited, I can't even hide it!

Nana has been accepted into a local day center program and will start this week.  I've taken her several times during the application process and she seemed to love the change of scenery, and especially loved socializing with everyone she met. 

We talk about it regularly, and we framed it as her new job.  She loves to be needed, so we played on that.  We ask her what she looks forward to with her new job.  We are excited with her, and here we are the day before her first day and I'm bursting with anxiety.

I know she'll be well taken care of - we went to check it out several times, and we've had a great experience with everyone there.  They only accept a few people with cognitive issues, and other seniors attend the program as well.  It's a structured, welcoming environment.  She'll get to be around people her own age.  She'll get paired up with someone who can help keep her engaged.  She'll get two catered meals and snacks while she's there, and she'll get to play games, exercise, and be a part of the community there.  She'll be there for about 6 hours a day and I think she's going to love it.

But a part of me is still scared.  My Nana has been with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since she moved in (with a few exceptions when my aunt's took her overnight).  I do everything with her.  I mean everything.  We sleep in the same bed, shower at the same time- every waking thing has to be done together or it won't get done.  

I think I probably feel like a new mom who's sending her toddler to kindergarten for the first time.  It's weird to compare to that, but it's true.  To let go of someone you care for, even if just for a few hours a day, feels weird.  I want her to have a good time, I want her to be well taken care of, I want her to have a good experience.  And I will have to just trust that that's happening because I won't be with her during those few hours.

That being said, I am seriously looking forward to having a break - I think it will help me keep my sanity, and help me keep Nana's quality of care high.  I'll be less likely to get burned out and frustrated.  I'll be able to work a little more, and be fully focused on things that I've usually rushed through while keeping one eye on Nana.

Cheers to a little help and freedom! <3

Conversations with Nana

Meet Tippy, Nana's new Baby