Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
      Well!!  Those of you who followed along with last week's post deserve to know... "Love" has prevailed, at least for now.
      I have not yet heard back from the behavioral nurse who has recently begun to again help out my mom, but I was glad when I called her on Saturday morning to hear that "the Don" was visiting in my mom's apartment. They were looking through my mom's old yearbook, and apparently he was "guessing' how old my mom was... That's a game that could last forever since my mom usually thinks she's 67, 68 or 69. (For the record, she is 68.)
      I had almost forgotten that the American House ,where my mom lives, was holding a
Family Picnic on Saturday from 12-2pm. I felt so bad that I missed out on their Mother's Day "tea" that I knew I had to be sure and make this one. I grabbed Kristin, and off we went. I was glad to see my mom was already sitting comfortably outside on their patio at a nice table in the shade -- with "the Don" sitting across from her. They had a great picnic spread...hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, watermelon, cookies and lemonade!! I was kind of surprised and even more surprised to hear this really great jazzy-dixieland type band!   These seniors know how to par-tay!!??!!

      The staff was very accommodating and quickly found us some chairs so we could join my mom at her table. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, she seemed to have no recall that I told her we would be there even though I had spoken with her about an hour beforehand. Kristin and I got a kick out of listening to the residents and their conversations about hearing aids, forgetting hearing aids, being on the "wrong station" with their hearing aids, etc... Also, I learned that "the Don" has quite a sense of humor and shouted out some funny comments to the band when it was "audience participation" time. They sang something like the "Sheik of Araby"...and at a certain part everyone was supposed to shout out "with your clothes off". It was funny and awkward all at the same time!!!
      We stayed at the picnic just about the full two hours. My mom asked me MANY MANY times to take a picture of her and Don. I took several. After two hours of that, I had, frankly, reached my limit. Also, towards the end, there was a bit of a "lover's triangle" going on when another woman joined our table and sat next to "the Don". You could tell my mom was not happy...   Don kept calling the woman "honey" and my mom did not like that either!!   Finally, he told my mom it was because he did not know her name. He then asked the woman her name and she said "three three zero". Kristin and I couldn't help but roar with laughter!!   Apparently, she did not have her hearing aid in and thought she was being asked her room number.
       It's a crazy world, but I truly do have a lot of compassion for everyone there.   The staff was soooo good about taking care to make sure everyone was having a good time!!  Later I moved my mom's chair next to Don since I grew tired of them shouting across the table to each other the whole time. Thankfully, there was no sign of Don's family...  I also noticed that "the Don" was look particularly scruffy...  Then, I remembered...  My mom wanted him to grow a goatee for her!!?  You don't suppose...??????
     No matter what develops in this relationship, I remain extremely grateful that my mom is living in such a nice place with staff who care!!!

The look on my mom's face = Priceless!!


Anonymous said...

OMG, I am cracking up at the comment about your mom's age and the guessing game that could go on forever. I almost spit out my diet pepsi!!! And I am glad the Don's kids weren't there. They are spoil sports!

Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

OMG that last picture was AWESOME - I totally just laughed out loud!

Glad a good time was had by all :) Looks fun actually!