After not being able to see her husband for close to 110 days, Mary Daniel jumped at the opportunity presented before her. All she had to do was take up the job of a dishwasher at the same senior care facility her husband was in. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, her husband Steve never had an easy life. This feeling of vulnerability increased when coronavirus hit, and he was unable to meet his wife.
After being shifted to the care facility in Jacksonville, Florida, the first few months were absolutely fine. He was getting bits and pieces of his memory back. But then disaster hit, and she wasn’t able to see her husband anymore.
March 11, that was the last time she saw her husband. Before that, she used to meet him daily and tuck him into bed. Due to coronavirus, the facility protocols were enforced, which prevented visitors from meeting the patients.
Wife Desperate To Meet Husband Suffering From Alzheimer’s
With no idea as to when the lockdown would end, she kept mailing the facility for updates. But with no solution in sight, she decided to craft an ingenious mail that would see her get employment in the facility and be near to her husband. In an email to the Director, she asked if she could get a job, or bring a therapy dog. The former was suitable enough, it seems.
Yet, the response wasn’t positive, to begin with. The facility had no clue when the lockdown would be over and hence couldn’t take her up on her offer. But as she started getting restless, she kept mailing the state authorities, asking for changes in the lockdown schedule of Alzheimer’s and other patients.
Daniel spoke about how it was absolutely necessary for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s to have someone around them. They needed interaction- for, isolation would absolutely kill them. And she was proven somewhat right, as this isolation did take a toll on her husband. For the first time since moving to the facility, he got into a fight with another resident- an indicator of the stress he was undergoing.
A Chance To Reunite
After several rejections, she finally got an email from the Memory Care Centre, informing her about a part-time job that had opened up. Though the job was that of a dishwasher, Mary was fidgety enough to do anything to be near her husband.
It was a stroke of fortune for Mary to get the job as the state of Florida increased restrictions and lockdown. The job of a dishwasher may be menial, but it does allow her to be with her husband in these tumultuous times.
Mary recalls how every member of the staff had to undergo strict training in dealing with the situation, along with COVID-19 tests. Although the test is supposed to take place every 2 weeks, she plans on taking it as repeatedly as possible. Happily, her visits have made a big impact on her husband, as he is again going back to his previous mood.
She knows that Alzheimer’s patients rarely express their love through words. In fact, they are unable to do so. But, they do show their love through actions, simply by holding someone’s hand. Yet, what shows their love truly is the relaxation they feel when they are around someone they love.
Mary feels that although restrictions are necessary to stop the spread of the virus, there has to be a better way than this. Families with people suffering from Alzheimer’s have it hard, especially. Mary has started a Facebook Group even to unite such voices, demanding better care for their loved ones.
Featured image: Mary Daniel