Bringing Out the Best in One Another
Jack is the athlete, C.A. is the comedian. Jack likes to challenge himself, pushing to keep up an exercise regimen that someone 20 years younger would have trouble maintaining, while C.A. worries that it’s too much.
“I tell him to sit down, let’s sit a spell and relax, but oh, no – he won’t have any of that,” says C.A. with a gentle sigh. “Of course, I’d be right there with him if I could. But it’s affected us differently, you see.”
The “it” that C.A. mentions so casually is Alzheimer’s. Both men are in the early stages of the disease. They met the day they became roommates at Carillon Assisted Living of Salisbury, where they live in the Garden Place Alzheimer’s care program.
But theirs isn’t a story about Alzheimer’s. Not really. It’s a story of friendship and the power of human connection. For Jack and C.A., their fast and easy friendship has been a medicine that has done them both wonders.
“They were different people when they came to us,” says Wanda Sparks, coordinator of Salisbury’s Garden Place program. “They are both very social men, very happy people, but they had begun to withdraw, they weren’t speaking as much, weren’t laughing as much. But…well, just look at them now.”
C.A. is slapping Jack on the back, laughing about a prank they plan to play on Wanda later in the day.
” I can hear you, you know!” Wanda laughs.
“Yeah, we know,” Jack laughs. “We were just testing you. Gotta keep you on your toes!”
on April 11, 2014