Divine Intervention- Alzheimer’s in the Family

Mom continues to do great in memory care. She is more and more alert even though her memory continues to decline. We visit often and each time she is smiling and happy. The staff tells us how well she’s doing and says Miss Joyce is so sweet.

Mom is happy with her hairstylist at the facility. She has a standing appointment at 9 AM on Thursdays. She doesn’t remember but staff makes sure she gets there at the right time. Mom enjoys the food and is eating well.

I ask mom about her activities and she says she doesn’t do any. She just doesn’t remember. She enjoys group exercise every morning and she is dancing again. It’s a beautiful thing to witness. She is playing bingo a couple of days a week and coloring and other activities. They take her to devotions in the assisted living part each morning. She has many new friends. Management knew that she use to play the piano so yesterday they brought a piano to her unit and they are encouraging her to play. She absolutely couldn’t be in a better place.

Mom is having many visitors, which we appreciate. We do ask that you sign and date the faith book in her room so she can remember that you went. It’s important for her as she can’t remember on her own. When she mentions that so and so hasn’t visited it’s easy to show her in the book and helps her remember. So, please sign and date when you go.

My daughter and granddaughters and I visited mom on Wednesday, 1/29. The girls were very active and mom thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Mom played simple games with them and there was a lot of fun and laughter.

Her minister and friends brought mom a recliner and a tv for her room. We appreciate it and mom enjoys the recliner but doesn’t remember how to use the remote control. It’s a good thing as we don’t want a tv to keep her isolated in her room. Staff, doctors and family are encouraging her to be out and socializing as it helps keep her alert. Someone dropped off some lovely throws, one of which was monogrammed. We would really like to know who did this kind act. Mom can’t tell us as she does not remember. So if you did this, please let me know. Thanks.

Mom told me that Bobby H. brought her the recliner and TV. Mr. Bobby has been deceased many years. I talked to her about it and she insisted that Bobby brought them. I asked if it could have been Larry, his son. She looked puzzled for a minute and then remembered and said it was Larry. Alzheimer’s disease robs one of so much.

One of the ladies in the unit use to be a major shag dancer. Staff asked me if I would mind if this person taught mom to shag. Now, another resident is teaching mom so that she has a dance partner. So cool. Mom has been clogging and teaching others. You haven’t lived until you see several people with walkers smiling and dancing to music. Who knew she would ever be able to do this again. It makes my heart happy.

My son and his family visited mom over the weekend. Mom engaged and played I Spy with the boys and find the letter. They colored together. I have to remind everyone that mom has been so withdrawn over the past few years. Not interacting. She didn’t want to do anything or leave her house. Over the last 8 months she would go days without speaking. There has been a miraculous change in her since entering memory care. What a blessing.

Yesterday I visited mom. Glenda, Eugene, Ron and Kai also visited. Ron and Kai are here from Norway for a two week visit. Mom remembered everyone and we visited in the living room area and made a day of it. It was a fun and exhausting day. Mom thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing with them. Happy day.

And now to address some issues. If anyone wants to do anything for mom I would appreciate a phone call or text. While it’s nice that people love mom enough to do things for her, it needs to be coordinated. Please don’t just assume that it’s ok to do xyz as mom does have a care plan that was approved by staff, doctors and family to best fit mom’s needs. Staff cannot discuss that with anyone except immediate family. While there are rules that are facility approved, Mom’s care plan may exclude some of those things. Ask me. I can tell you.

I have also been asked by some to put them on the list to take mom out of the facility. The answer is no. Please stop asking. Only her immediate family are allowed and I don’t anticipate this changing. There are too many issues to deal with in taking her out and the risks are too great to her safety and well being.

Some are insisting that mom doesn’t need to be in memory care and that I’m not doing all I can to keep her home. Please stop tearing me and my family down to her community. It’s understandable to be in denial about her condition, especially if one only spends an hour with her every three or four weeks. This journey is hard enough without the negativity. If you can’t be supportive, just stay quiet.

Again, thanks to everyone for their well wishes. It’s much appreciated. I am going to concentrate on the positive and dismiss the negative. In this life, most of us are doing the very best that we can. That’s a fact.

I will be spending 4 hours at the hospital on Thursday as they try to determine what is going on with my heart. Two doctors think it may have been caused by the stress that I’ve been living with and may be reversible. We will know more after these test. I will say that with 3 weeks of sleeping through the night I have been feeling some better.

As always, more later.

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