Every Day Is Different With Dementia

Today was again another interesting day of revelation for me and for where I am seeing mom in her world.  Mom is changing every day and it continues to be self evident that she is so much healthier and happier than she was just 3 short months ago.

When I arrived today one of the activities staff walked down the hall with me and told me how mom’s morning had gone.  Mom had gotten up to have breakfast and then had gone back to bed, which is mom’s usual routine since she moved in to this facility.  I absolutely see that as a gigantic improvement over her last facility that allowed her to be kept in her room all day with the possibility of no food and the probability of not leaving the room for the entire day.  In the last 8 to 10 years mom’s routine has always been that sometime between 8 and 8:30 she would wake and begin her day.

At this current care facility they seem to be thinking that if mom sleeps a little later that she is easier to get up and moving.  She will still go back to bed because there is really nothing to do and she gets bored.   In the beginning mom would go back to bed and think and cry and become depressed.   But now, mom sleeping a bit later and then having her breakfast I feel that she is more wanting to become fully awake when I arrive.  I am grateful that her lonely, isolated and sad thinking days have turned around from depression to the simplicity of mom contemplating her situation from a more healthy perspective and I believe she is anticipating the arrival of family because we are there every day.   Between me, my brother and SIL we have made a habit of arriving every morning sometime between 8:30 and 10:00am.

She likes the attention she gets at her new home and she is getting use to how her life is now working.  Having family there every day is the number one most important part of mom’s adjustment.  She knows she has not been left alone, she knows that she will see us every day so she no longer has that feeling of being isolated, lonely and feeling that nobody loves her.  She knows she can anticipate kindness and to be hugged and kissed and have that warm connection every day.  I cannot possibly explain how important the family connection is.   This, of course, is not mom’s version of an ideal life, nor is it mine but I am at peace knowing that her situation is the best that it can be.

Today mom was laying down when I arrived.   I sat on her bed to chat with her a bit and check out her mood and work on getting her up.  She didn’t really want to get up.  She wasn’t sad or depressed but she just wanted to relax.  We chatted a bit and then I told her I was going to go get me a cup of coffee and would she like to have one too.  She thought that was a dandy idea so I went to retrieve the coffee and when I returned she had sat herself up with her back against the head board and pillows propped up behind her to soften the connection of her back against the wood.

Mom’s little black and white stuffed dog has been missing this morning and one of the staff brought it in to her.   She had found the dog down in the dining room.

For some reason I had brought my computer along today.   I have never done that before but as it turned out, it was a good thing as it provided me a way to keep mom engaged while she woke up.   Ah, coffee and computer at age 86.  I told her a computer is like the Encyclopedia and then she understood how I could find all that information.  Funny!

Since mom and I had been talking about sewing for the last couple of days I decided to open up my computer and show her some of the doll clothes that I am making.  After we looked at my etsy store, which you can see here if you like, I googled dogs and we started looking at pictures of dogs, that was fun.   Then we looked at cats and then horses and lastly birds.  We spent about an hour looking at animals on the computer.   We finished our coffee and then we decided to get up and see what was happening around in the hallway.  By that time mom was ready to go.  I was glad I had given her time to get her moving and motivated.

In the early afternoon I attended the Care Givers Support Meeting and I will tell you about that in my next post.

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2 responses to “Every Day Is Different With Dementia

  1. Glad she is changing for the better – it’s such an unusual thing to hear! MIL is also undergoing rapid change at the moment, but unfortunately in the opposite direction… 😦

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    • So sorry to hear about you MIL. This is def not what we want for our loved ones. I know it will not always be on the upswing for us but I will enjoy the progress while it lasts. Peace and Love to you and your family.

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