Patricia Kelley (March 11 1957 / Oklahoma)
It's the Alzheimer's unit.
I'm not a student.
I'm the teacher.
I'm the believer.
There's a special way to reach Alzheimer's patients.
Sometimes, you have to have a lot of patience.
They've been through a lot of changes.
Their lives change drastically.
They're not in a familiar place.
For life's changes,
There's nothing to remind them of their home.
They're locked in a place with strangers.
Some automatically, think they're in danger.
Locked in a chamber,
They may see you as the enemy.
Their brain chemically,
It may be something as simple as a leaf,
To bring them back to the present.
It could be a familiar song.
It could be and old verse in which they found comfort.
But, there is usually something, if you work hard enough that you can reach them.
Before they are too, far gone,
Alzheimer's patients lose their short time memory first.
They may have a thirst.
And forget how to swallow.
Some start feeling hollow.
They will try to speak,
But forget how to speak.
It can be very sad.
They get mad.
Struggling for words,
But nothing comes out, but a slight groan.
Needing help getting dressed,
They have their long time memory for years.
It's the simple things, they forget first.
The things we just expect them to know.
Like zipping their pants, combing their hair.
Then, they will shock you by balancing their own checkbook.
They may forget how to cook.
They may give you and awkward look.
Trying to figure out who you are,
You could be a sister, or daughter, husband or son.
She doesn't remember any of you.
She needs special attention, and lots of love.
She's an Alzheimer's patient.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Alzheimer's Patient by Patricia Kelley )
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