Caregiving that comes straight from the heart

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Jeanette and Joseph’s Story

So many people say they want what Joseph and I already have—to grow old with each other—as if it’s their mission in life. We have 58 years of marriage behind us—so I think it’s safe to say we’ve accomplished the mission so many people dream about.

Many years ago, Joseph and I met in front of a candy store. Joseph had just returned from the military. Before I knew it—I was walking down the aisle in a wedding gown and we were exchanging wedding vows.

We wasted no time starting a family. With two sons and a daughter, we had lots to be grateful for. Joseph worked as an engineer who designed large air conditioning systems for casinos. Now, at age 79, he’s still a smart and handsome man.

Like anyone, we’ve endured many changes throughout our lives—things that helped us grow stronger and help us see each other in a different light. Like when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Joseph cared for me with a tender heart.

Now the tables are turned. In 2013, Joseph was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s. His symptoms started with some mild forgetfulness. Then he lost mobility and now uses a combination of his wheelchair, walker, or cane.

When we met with Joseph’s neurologist, he said the medications would only slow the disease; nothing would actually cure the disease. I didn’t take the news so well. But the doctor was right about the medicine becauseJoseph’s symptoms have remained about the same.

Our lives are pretty much the same as they have been. I prepare dinner each night—just like I have for the past 58 years. And we still sit at the dinner table every night. Only now—Joseph doesn’t help me with the dishes like he used to. But that’s ok.

As far as caregiving goes—it has become a bigger part of my daily life. Since I’m 78 years old, you can imagine it gets a little intense at times. But I don’t mind because I want to keep my husband around for as long as possible.

Some things I do for Joseph include his daily bath. I use Sage brand Comfort Bath® Cleansing Washcloths. A nurse taught me how to use the washcloths when he was in the hospital. The washcloths were so easy to use, I knew I had to have these at home. I’ve been using them ever since.

Friends ask me why I don’t just use regular soap and water when I bathe Joseph. I use Comfort Bath because I don’t want to take any chances with Joseph’s health; Comfort Bath helps me feel more secure when use them on Joseph. It’s a product I like very much. 

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