When I think about mom being alone in the dementia care home it makes my heart sad. Her friends are all gone…..except one……I just messaged my brother to see if we can get her one friend over to have a Thanksgiving dinner with mom. That would be soooo fun for both of them.
Anyway, I continue to talk out my thoughts and feelings with the dementia care facility director. It has been helpful. If you think about it you can see that all of these people who live in the care facility wander or walk around a good part of the day, nowhere to go and no best friend to go do things with. The best friends have either died or are living in a home as well.
They have nobody left that has been a long time part of their life; friendships, companions and partners in crime are gone. They are alone.
The problem is that most of these folks are actually alone so much of the time that they feel like they are alone all of the time. While I have been visiting these last 4 weeks I am realizing that leaving and then returning everyday a couple of times a day has helped mom to know that I will come back and now she doesn’t seem so desperate or sad.
It seems that she has gotten into better routine through family visits along with the arriving, leaving and returning that is happening every day. I am afraid though that if she doesn’t spend a good amount of time with family everyday that she will slip back into sleeping all day and become depressed again. Some in our family are in the great situation of retirement and living close by so that makes it easy to visit often enough to give her piece of mind. From what I have seen, a lot of her depression has lifted because she has recognized that we always come back and she is not always alone among very nice strangers.
Her mornings are mostly happy. She is, however, in bed every morning when I arrive. She is laying there usually awake. She smiles at me when I sit down on the bed. She keeps her eyes closed and says “I love you.” She knows it’s me and then we usually just talk for 30 minutes or an hour before she actually gets herself up for the day. I have to say though that if each of my visits were only a short time, she would head right back to bed.
The thing is, mom lives in a ‘home’ now. I have gone back and forth with my acceptance of that. I continue to learn and to make changes in my thinking about her situation. I know that this is where she will receive the best care. No member of my family would be able to care for her properly but at the same time, every member of my family should do what ever it is they can to participate in mom’s life. She loves her family.