Caregiver

My time is being devoted more to care giving as my wife Joan’s Alzheimer’s continues to progress. She had been diagnosed as having dementia of the Alzheimer’s type in February of 2012.  Actually I had become aware of a memory decline as early as 2004 when we moved from a single family home to a condominium. At that time she had begun asking what she should wear for an outer garment when we went outside, something she had never done before. There were other signs. Finally it came to a head when she went in for a routine physical checkup and her blood pressure had gone off the chart. She had been taking a medication for high blood pressure for years which did a good job of controlling the condition but her memory had declined to a point where she could no longer manage her prescription medications. That is when she had been tested for and diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s.

Since that time she had been taking two prescriptions which are to slow the progress of the condition. These prescriptions are very expensive and their effectiveness is questionable.

In order to take some of the load off myself we are are now attempting to make use of our long term care insurance. We are finding that purchasing such insurance twenty years ago had been easier then trying to make use of it when we need it.

I’m also learning something about myself when it comes to doing housekeeping tasks. One thing is that it is more challenging than what I had assumed. Another one is that I found I like the food preparation part of it, cleaning and laundry, not so much.

I was a real novice when I starting preparing the meals and followed recipes closely. I have graduated to doing a lot of adlibbing, substituting ingredients and processes if I didn’t have what the recipe called for or if I thought I might have a better way of doing something. There an infinite number of variations in how to prepare food.  I tend towards healthy food and try to make what is good nutritionally also taste good. I sometimes make up my own recipes. One such recipe is for a smoothie. One might wonder if we really need another smoothie recipe, there must be tens of thousands of them. Well here is another one. I call it the Frozen Fruit Smoothie. The Frozen Fruit Smoothie has the characteristics of a soft ice cream. It has to be eaten with a spoon, not drank.  This smoothie evolved from a drinkable fruit smoothie when my wife seemed to tire of the smoothies I had been making. She didn’t drink the smoothie or would only drink part of it. However I found that if I thickened it to where it had to be eaten with a spoon she quickly consumed the smoothie. This is how you make it:

Recipe for two servings

Ingredients:

½ c skim milk

1 C frozen strawberries

1/3 c frozen blueberries

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cumin

Honey to taste

3 Tbs vanilla flavored whey protein powder

1 sliced frozen banana

1 Tbsp quinoa or more for garnish (optional)

Place ingredients in a four cup measuring cup in the order listed. Wait approximately five minutes for the fruit to soften before mixing with a hand blender. Blend until it has the consistency of soft ice cream. Place in serving glasses or bowels. Optional, garnish with quinoa or similar ingredient.

Smoothie Ingridiants IMG_0163  Smoothie servings

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