Happy New Years!!!! an Alzheimer journey by Sue Scoggins

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Some may ask....how you celebrate New Years in "the home".  Well, today was a perfect example.

Figuring a New Years Eve party was not exactly in my agenda for the day, I drove up to help out at Jerry's place.  When I arrived, there were 8 lovely Alzheimer patients seated around a table in the center of the room.  There was Sherri, trying to get them all excited about a New Years celebration.  Some were bright eyed, some were "sleeping", some were happily in their own little world.  

The table was all covered with a  New Years celebration table cloth and curly ribbon was strewn across it.  Metallic gold paper plates were placed around and a balloon was floating in the air.  Jerry was "slumbering."  Sherri asked me to pour the "champagne" (sparkling grape juice) and pass out the grapes while she explained the meaning of the celebration.  We passed out the champaign, she and I blew on the little "blow out" thingies, and we danced around the room shouting "woo-hoo!".

Now, none of the patients knew what in the world was going on, but Sherri and I had a great time.  We laughed our silly heads off, which made them smile.  You could feel the happiness in the room.  In fact, we even saw the staff dancing out in the hall!  It didn't matter if the patients understood or not.  What mattered was that they were raising their eyebrows and smiling.  Some were even laughing.  (for a second or two.)  

Sherri started trying to explain about New Years resolutions.  Most had no idea what those were.  But, they went along with it.  One responded, "Why?"  Another said, "some do...some don't".  Many sat in silence.  "Pick me, pick me" I said.  She picked me and I said, "I'm moving to France!"  Suddenly, Jerry jumped in his chair.  (not literally)  The movement was quick and gone but he obviously heard something that quickened him in response.  Talk about funny. It was!

So that's why you celebrate in the home.  To offer a few minutes of happiness.  It works.  Sometimes.