Monday Memories WIth My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
      After a week away from my mom, I was ready for another visit.  I was actually waiting for her monthly supplies to arrive and when they did I headed over.  This time, it was the weekend and Kristin wanted to come along and said "we should take Grandma to lunch...it's such a nice day".  I love her optimism, but I said let's wait and see how she is today.  OK, maybe I was not totally over my last outing and lunch with my mom, but time to move on!
     When we arrived, my mom was in the kitchen eating a little Tootsie Roll.  I have not taken a picture of this (I don't think) because it catches me by surprise every time...  Very often the last few months, my mom will be wearing a zipper jacket with a hood (she has a few of them).  She wears the hood...in her apartment.  This times, it was even tied.  When I ask her about it she says, "I cut my bangs too short...I look like a man"!  Or something to that affect.  Obviously, a year later, she is still bothered by the time that she cut her own hair.  (It was a very bad day.  It was not so much about her hair.  It was what it meant.)
     Kristin and I had planned in the car that she would keep Grandma busy while I tried to change her closet to the more Spring-Summer clothes and put away the heavier sweaters and pants.  Kristin did a good job, and I can get so much more done when my mom is not there following me and asking questions.
     Once I was done with the clothes, I was amazed how much stuff was in her "walker bag" this week.  A high school yearbook, a box of tissues, four or five magazines, tons of brochures and junk mail, greeting cards, notebooks of paper.  It was heavy, too!  I cleaned it out and put two thirds of it in the garbage.  I am never convinced that she will not grab it all back out of the garbage (trust me, it's happened).  If I tear up everything it makes her nervous and she comes to see what I'm doing because she can hear it.  Sometimes, I dump water or whatever all over the garbage...  Yes, those are the lengths you must go to. 
     I put my mom's chair and planter out on her balcony.  It is time...Spring is finally here1 
     Kristin was working on a word search puzzle book with my mom (watching).  My mom repeated many times that "Kristin is a genius at crossword puzzles" and that "she could get a scholarship".  Sadly, as much as Kristin is my little genius, the reason my mom feels this was is largely because my mom cannot do any of these puzzles anymore at all.  So, she is in awe of Kristin.  At this point, I don't know if my attempts at trying to give my mom some kind of stimulation are more of a frustration or still worth a try.  I cannot come up with much of anything to keep her "busy" when she is in her apartment.  "Channel 4" seems to be the best thing we have going.  TV does seem to keep her aware of many current events and she gets a lot of entertainment from watching.

Between the Two of Them -- They Keep Me Busy!!

     My mom was having a much better day than the last time I was with her.  So, we took her out to Panera for lunch.  It was very crowded, so I sat Kristin and my mom outside while I went in to order our lunch.  My mom was very happy with her Strawberry smoothie and kid's grilled cheese with yogurt!  I know she does not know their menu, so I just order what I think she would like.  Kid's sized meals seem just about right.  My mom made a few "toasts" to the "best daughter in the world" and thanked me and Kristin. 
     Once back at her apartment, we said our goodbyes and then I asked Kristin if she would go to the front office and pick up this month's newsletter while I pulled the car to the door.  I could see the receptionist having a conversation with Kristin.  Turns out, she was asking if my mom had lost her glasses.  She ended up coming to my car and showing me two pairs of reading glasses that were found in Don's room.  They were my moms.  Oops, looks like my mom is leaving evidence of her "visits" around.  I am sure his daughters were not happy to find them.  Later, after reading the newsletter I realized it was Don's birthday and his daughters had probably been there to celebrate.  It also got me thinking more...I hope my mom's rings are not there in his apartment, and if they are, I hope they would turn those in as well. 
     Thinking of calling them...  Ugh!!

Up This Week:  A Dentist Appointment, Meeting with American House & Mother's Day Tea

Everything But the Kitchen Sink...

Don't Know What Happened
To This Jacket...I'm Assuming It Got Ruined in the Laundry!?
(the staff does her laundry)
Kristin Asked If She Could Put Grandma's Makeup On
(It Was Sweet....)

Kristin Kept an Eye on Grandma Since We Decided to Have Lunch Outside at Panera

The Telltale Glasses...
(my upside down photo)

Waiting for Kristin


Kerri said...

Ok, you already know I think you're wonderful...but can I just say I love Kristin! She is so sweet with your mom...so compassionate. I love the picture of the two of them together...your mom always looks happiest when Kristin is around!

Kerri said...

PS. Just like most grandmas are! So happy when the grandkids are around! :)

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh it is a journey. I remember once finding my grandfathers hamper in the parking lot. Full of clothes.

You and your daughter are angels. The smile on your dear moms face clearly shows this.

yaya said...

Your Mom looks very lovely in these pics and I'm thinking it must be Kristin's makeup time with her Grandma! Your daughter is so sweet and loving and learning a great lesson about tolerance, love and care giving. I hope you and your Mom have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Arlene - Caregiver ordinaire said...

You are a GREAT daughter-mom. I love how happy your Mom looks in these photos! Kristin does too - just further proof of what a nice job you are doing. One day at a time. Today. :)a