Reassuring The Dementia Mind

My six week stay with mom is almost over.  As I look back I realize the huge progress mom has made and the peace of mind I now have with her care facility placement.  You can read about her progression over the last six weeks beginning with the October 5, 2014 post – I Saw Mom Today!  Soooo Good!!

Yesterday it became apparent that mom is ready to move on from the difficult phase of fear and questioning why she is there to knowing that her family is there for her.   She completely rely’s on us to support her and take care of her emotional needs, and we are ready and willing to do that.  Right now I can see mom is continuing to round that corner that will bring her into full comfort.   The key is for her to know and believe that we will always come back and we will never leave her alone.

She has definitely moved on to the point of participating with other residents.  For her to be able to continue moving forward in her comfort zone I to have had to arrive at that point of being relaxed and confident of moving forward and on to the next step.  The next step is now here and I am grateful for it.

Today I drove mom around in her wheel chair just cruising the hallways.  We ended up walking with a couple of other residents and we did a bit of a follow the leader thing.  It was a fun walk and the first time since I have been with mom that she actively and directly participated with other people who live here.  She has often participated with other residents in playing the balloon game and going on trips with residents on the van rides but today was different.  We were all laughing and dancing as we walked down the hallway.

As we are walking down the hallway, I noticed a large note on one of the resident’s door.  The note said Happy Birthday Harold 90 years old.  So we continued on our walk and searched for Harold so we could tell him happy birthday.  We finally found Harold in the activity room and sang Happy Birthday to him.  It was so much fun!

Then there is this car…. a 1948 Dodge that is parked in the resident lobby.  It is a great conversation piece.  There are always questions about how in the world will they ever get that car out of there.  So yesterday while walking around our little group did an active search for the car keys.  We asked everybody if they had the keys.  What a fun time that was.  Karen said she was going to sleep in that car!  I told her good idea but we better find those keys then we can take it for a drive.  This is the most active I have seen mom and the other residents since mom started living there.

Today in the afternoon I arrived around 2:30.  I went into mom’s room and she was awake and just rolling over.  She seemed just a teeny tiny bit sad but she got over it quickly.  We walked down to listen to music and to play with the little dog that comes along with the music lady.  Mom loved that!  At the end we walked back to the activity room and there was one of the activity directors doing a puzzle with other residents.  Mom and I pulled up a chair and joined in.  It was as natural as can be.  She started working on the puzzle and we all had a great time!

It was getting on to 4:45 so I told her I was heading out and that I would see her in the morning.  She was perfectly fine with that.  I love you’s were said and kisses exchanged and I was off.  Walking down the hallway I turned around to see what mom was doing and she was engaged in conversation with a big smile on her face!

Reassuring the Dementia Mind:  She knows I will be back.   I always reassure her that I will never leave her alone.  She will always have one of her kids there.  If it isn’t me it will be Henry or SIL Dorothy.  Plus her son’s Pat and Shawn do come by often.  We will never leave you alone.  I promise.

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