It's Hard...?

How stressed are you?

  • im ok

    Votes: 2 50.0%
  • Not again...

    Votes: 0 0.0%

    Votes: 2 50.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .


Registered User
Mar 14, 2004
Well I’m having trouble with my boyfriend rite now because he keeps saying my job is easy. I work on a floor of 60 Alzheimer patients and I have to try and keep them busy, happy, and get their minds working. I’m an activities assistant. My boyfriend thinks my job is easy caws I just “play around”. I am also in high school full time. I’m only 18 years old. I have had one anxiety attack already. I go to school 5 days a week and I work 4 days a week. He always comments on how easy my job is but he doesn’t believe me. I don’t know how to explain to him that it’s hard and when he asks I just stutter. I tell him how I chase some of them around while they try to escape out of the building. I have to tall them why they are there. It may or may not be exactly the truth. I have residents who will chase me all day and ask me the same question 45 times in 2 minutes. He doesn’t understand how stressful that can be. I don’t know how to explain that feeling maybe you do. Let me know how you express the emotions you feel.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Stephanie
first of all, a huge thanks on behalf of all family of any Alzheimer's patients, anywhere! The work that you, and others like you, do round the clock to care for our nearest and dearest is fantastic.

Now, the boyfriend.

Let's look at this from his angle.

He sees you as going into a place and just playing games with a bunch of people. Seems simple, doesn't it?

Does he appreciate that many will not be able to communicate sensibly? Or that they may be frail and that you have to watch them all the time to make sure they don't injure themselves, or others. Or that the condition is cyclic - so the person who was really nice last week may be the Devil Incarnate this week?

Does he know that some of these people trained Steve McQueen for his role in "The Great Escape"? Just blink and they are gone.

Does he know that Alzheimer's presents in different ways to different people. I think of the problem as a wiring loom - a huge bunch of elecrical wires - that connect the TV, the video camera, the garbage disposal, the heating and aircon, the lights, the central computer, the transport, etc. The wiring is kind of old and some wires just don't work at all, and in some conditions wires work perfectly; other times [in the damp maybe] the power is reduced or lost, or even shorts across to the other cables, taking them out too.

Every person - you and me too - has a different set of wires, and they are all affected in different ways. So each of your 60 patients has, in effect, a different manifestation of the illness, and you have to appreaicte, and react to that in your work. That's being professional.

Oh yes, and does he realise you do this work in addition to attending school? Course he does, but he is not thinking on a practical basis.

You ask "I don’t know how to explain to him that it’s hard "

Hey, that's easy. Just say to him that he's correct! It is so easy that he would really enjoy going with you for a whole week's [month's?] worth of visits to the ward. Let him be there to do it.

Then if he still thinks it is easy, well perhaps he is a potential recruit to the care business. If he does it well, and still thinks it easy, then hang on to him - he is a very special person!!

Best of luck!


Registered User
Mar 14, 2004
Hey thanx a bunch that was a grate way to explain the feeling especially the wiring idea. (he might get that better) I would love for him to come to work with me but he lives to far away…. He is also not very out going so he would probably be uncomfortable. But maybe your words will help. Thanx. And I promise to continue doing the best I can in honor of all the Alzheimer patients. Good luck to you all
(PS I’m going to college next fall to become an occupational therapist and I may stay in geriatrics and hopefully work with some patients who have Alzheimer’s disease maybe I can make a difference for them)