1.30.2012

Monday "Memories" With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     You might recall from a previous post that my mom seems to have a "gentleman friend" at her senior living facility.  Since then, I have been preparing myself for a visit with my mom where, quite possibly, I could walk in her apartment and find her new "gentleman friend" there with her!!??  So far, I have not "caught" them together in the dining room, hallway or apartment.
     However, when I visited last week I did get quite an earful from a few people.  To quote Daffy Duck (or was it Sylvester) "this is more serious than I thought". 
     First off, I went to the dining room while my mom and the residents were having lunch.  Upon visiting with one of my mom's new friends (who is the mother-in-law of one of my girlfriends), I found she had a lot to say.  We will call my mom's friend "D".  D feels responsible for my mom.  She is 88, but more "with it" mentally than my mom (remember, my mom is 68).  She expressed concern over the PDAs (public displays of affection for those who may not know) that my mom and her gentleman friend have been exhibiting.  She doesn't want my mom to get "hurt".  Of course, neither do I.  She is protective of my mom in a sweet way.  I assured her that she did not need to feel responsible for my mom, and reassured her that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to reason with my mom.
     Then, I ran into the housekeeping girls in my mom's apartment and the one girl wanted to be sure I was aware of my mom's "gentleman friend".  (What should I call him, anyway?)  So, we talked about it, and she said sometimes the families are the last to know.  She also shared some stories of the goings on that they are aware of.  (The staff could write a book, too.)
     Meanwhile, I noticed my mom still dines with her lady friends.  They have assigned seating.  Also, I noticed my mom came straight back to her apartment after lunch, so I know she wasn't with the "gentleman" after lunch.  However, all of this talk is/was making me feel a-w-k-w-a-r-d!!!  I sensed that some of the people there couldn't wait to make sure I knew my mom had this friend. 
    As luck would have it, the Executive Director of the facility was in the hallway on my way out.  She instinctively knew I was concerned about my mom's situation.  She assured me that it had not become a "problem", and that she would let me know if it was.  I like her and I think I have a good raport with her.  She was instrumental in getting my mom into the facility initially.
     I am realizing that the dynamics of the senior living facility are not unlike high school.  There are the "popular" men and women, the "couples", the principal (executive director), secretary (office manager), PE teacher (activities director), cafeteria (dining room), custodians (housekeeping), school nurses (medical team), etc.... 
     Aside from perhaps exhibiting some unnecessary PDAs and occasionally making a few others uncomfortable, I do not think my mom is the "Rizzo" (Grease) or "Pinky Tuscadero" (Happy Days) of her senior living facility -- I think she is trying to enjoy life while she can.



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6 comments:

Jennifer said...

I am cracking up. Have you met this guy?? Does your mom ever mention him??

Cindy said...

Jen - I have not officially met him, but I know who he is and what he looks like. Maybe this week I will "catch them" and meet him!? Yes, she talks about him! Not sure I wanna tell you what she says...!?

Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

Sounds like you are dealing with it the best you can :) You must be a little anxious to meet him.

The Pawlak Family said...

Your mom told me she really likes him, but as a friend, and...
;-) She is enjoying life and is safetly looked after- so what can you do but hopefully smile (and maybe laugh)?!

Sarah said...

I think since your mom very much lives in the moment, even if she did get "hurt" she would get over it quickly (emotionally). I say, let them have their fun!

Arlene - Caregiver ordinaire said...

Hi Cindy! I've been to your regular blog and missed these precious stories about your Mom. I've heard a couple of takes on the 'romance' factor. I hope you do get to meet the special gentleman who is making your Mom feel special right now! If he makes your Mom smile, this is a great precious thing! :)