I was on my way to fetch our first resident! And yes, I was nervous! What can I expect?  Will he remember me from only seeing me twice? Will he get into the car with me? Will he stay?

I drove through the gates of the clinic, and as I parked I saw two blue eyes looking through the glass door! Buddy!

He was packed and ready to go somewhere! I do not know whether he really knew that he was going to live with us on the farm, at Jura Care, or whether he was just so eager to get out of the clinic, but I didn’t have a lot of time to ponder that idea. He told me to wait, and he went into a room to fetch a heavy red bag! He was ready to go! I got him into the car, had to leave him there for a couple of minutes, and he enjoyed all the new knobs and buttons and set the alarm off a couple of times, with a smile on his face. The Sister in charge let me sign, handed me his medication and paperwork, and then she bend down behind the counter, and when she came up again, she was holding a bottle! Vodka! “Buddy takes a couple of drinks at night time.” she said.  And off I went with the bottle in my hand. I must admit, I felt like taking a long sip on my way back to the car. Am I ready for this?

Our first evening together, John, my husband and partner and everything else…..came to welcome Buddy into the newly renovated Jura Care Annex and our lives.  It was fine for a while, but then the confusion started. We had a busy night trying to settle a person living with Alzheimer’s, trying to reason, trying to orientate. I knew that night that I can help Buddy, but I can not help Buddy and alcohol. I had to make a plan!

With the Vodka bottle safely put away deep into a dark cupboard, I was ready for my second evening. The day went well, exploring the farm with Buddy, driving around in the little truck, doing things to get him out in the sun for good Vit D!

But when the sun started pulling his round ball behind the horizon, Buddy started becoming restless! He started closing all the windows, curtains, locking and unlocking the doors, seven times, then start all over again….Eventually I got him sitting down with me in front of the TV, but he was still anxious. He asked for a “beer” and I knew that a ” beer” just means a drink, so I went into the little kitchen. Coke in the fridge! And that is where Buddy started to drink his first drink at Jura Care! Half a glass of black stuff, (Coke) and half a glass of white stuff (water) with one cube of ice! He loves it ’till today! Black and white stuff! I only changed the Coke for Coke Zero, to reduce the sugar intake. He is happy, and we are happy, and he even gets more happier and talkative and funny having a couple of glasses of black stuff with John after work!

Some time ago, John felt so sorry for Buddy, not having a beer, so he bought a couple of Becks non alcoholic beers for them! Buddy loved the moment, felt so special, as John cracked open the two bottles and said cheers! He took two sips, looked at me and pulled a face. He very politely waited for John to look the other way, and then with the same face, told me that this stuff is not sweet enough! I sneaked the bottle away, not to hurt John’s feelings, and poured Buddy a glass of black and white stuff, which he gulped down with a relieved smile!

It is more than a month ago, and he never asked for anything else… He hasn’t had a drop of alcohol ever since, and now, he doesn’t even ask for a ‘beer’ anymore.

I do wonder, does it have a positive effect on him? I do believe that it is easier to handle him without the alcohol, I do believe his brain is not so foggy….especially going to bed.