Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     Well, after a bit of a difficult time at my mom's Mother's Day tea last week Saturday, you may be glad to know I ended up having a very nice Mother's Day with my kids and husband and they did a great job of making me feel special (more on that to come). 
I Was Admittedly Sad to See My Mom Did Not Put These Flowers in Water
 After All the Discussion about them Being "real "at Last Week's Mother's Day Tea
     On Thursday, I received a call on my cell phone.  It was not a number I recognized and I could not answer the call right away.  Sure enough, I listened to my voicemail and it was the Med Team staff from my mom's senior living apartments.  It appears the staff often uses their own personal cell phones when contacting me and because of that I normally try to answer all my unidentified calls (because I am never sure when it might be them).  They said my mom had fallen just outside the dining room when getting ready to sit down and wait for her lunch time.  Several people saw it happen.  Her head hit the wall, but she was not cut.  They gave her an ice pack and checked her vitals and said she was doing okay.  I was relieved to at least get the call (this time) and after discussing some details asked that they keep me posted.  My mom is soooo easily distracted that "walking and talking" or walking and doing anything is appearing to be more and more of a challenge.
     Later, I called my mom to see how she sounded and she seemed okay and had a similar account of what happened to what I was told.  I asked her several times if her arms, legs, head, etc...were okay.  After mostly saying they did not hurt, she later said she needed a "sling" for her arm.  I asked if her arm hurt, and she just said she needed a sling.  I told her okay, but then she would not be able to walk around with her walker.  After I said that, she seemed less sure she needed a sling!!???  Oh, the tangled webs....
     The next day, I paid her a visit to check on her myself and she seemed ok.  It was close to her lunch time, so I walked her down to lunch to see how she did and to make sure for myself that she made it safe and sound.  As I have said, I have not been happy with the assistance or lack of that she has received these last few months.  In fact, I am going to spend a good part of today filling out a survey I found in my mom's bag (which she received in the mail).  It is from the company who runs the medical assistance end of things for my mom.  Of course, the survey should have never been sent directly to my mom, it should have been sent to me!!!??  That's the first problem.  My mom had started to fill out the survey and clearly had no idea what to say and her writing, sadly, is illegible for the most part.
     I spent a decent amount of time going through my mom's closet and bringing out more summer clothes and tucking away the fall and winter items.  I also tucked away two of the "hoodie" type jackets my mom keeps wearing -- with the hood on -- as she remains convinced that she cut her bangs too short.  It is getting too warm for those jackets, they make a mess of her hair, and I am tired of her "hiding" under the hood.  I hope it helps, and I hope to color her hair and get her a cut in the near future!  She continues to accumulate an unbelievable amount of stuff in her walker bag.  I continue to be frustrated with the never ending amount of items she is able to "hoard" in such a small period of time.  It is also almost always a telltale sign of how she is doing in general.  Lately, not so good.  The more "off" she is, the more items she "saves".
     I was so happy to get a call over the weekend from my mom's real life BFF, Jane, her friend since school days.  She and her husband are retired and spend their winters in Arizona and their summers in Michigan.  She is back in Michigan and will be spending much of today with my mom with plans to take her to lunch.  This makes me verrrrrrrrry happy!!!   It also made me realize how few visitors my mom actually gets.  I think my mom had one visitor last Fall and one this past Winter (aside from me and my brother).  That is just sad...  Ask anyone who oversees the care of a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease and they will tell you the best gift you can give is your time...just spending some time with your friend or relative may make you feel uncomfortable, but it brings so much to the person suffering from this dementia on a daily basis.  It is also a huge relief to any family caregiver like me just knowing my mom will have some company today.  I often hear that it makes people "sad" to talk to my mom or frustrated, irritated or confused.  Believe me, I get that...  I have been forced to learn to have a lot more patience, and a little empathy goes a long way.  Imagine how sad and scary it must be for my mom, to slowly realize she is no longer able to do soooo many things.  It is almost ironic that only a handful of family and friends continue to visit my mom when she used to (and still would if she could) drive long distances and jump through hoops just to spend time with her friends and family. 
     So you see, this visit from Jane is going to be quite the reunion for my mom.  I also hear my mom's friend found her twin "Muffin" dog that my mom had given her and she is bringing the "dog" to see my mom.  To say my mom will be thrilled is an understatement.  My mom has been talking about these dogs for months and months (trust me)!!  I hope to hear how the visit goes later today!!
     A little love goes a long way...
These Two Have a Big Day Ahead
 Muffin Dog Reunion

It Appears My Mom Has Accumulated Quite a Few Stuffed Animals
From the Various Games They Play at Her Senior Living Community

I Wanted To Make Sure My Artificial Potted Geranium Was Still Standing

I Suggested My Brother Get My Mom a New Chair for Her Balcony
For Mother's Day -- He Came Through -- Plus an Icee drink (her favorite) and her Granddog


Kim said...

It's true that you find out who your real friends are once you're sick. My Mom was involved is so many things and had tons of friends. Once she got sick they started drifting off. Except for 2 of the most special people - Alice and Pearl. They visit her faithfully at least once a week. In fact, today is Alice's birthday and I will be delivering a "special" gift from Mom.

yaya said...

My Mom is always the visiting kind...she keeps up on all her friends and writes letters if she can't see them. She probably won't be driving anymore...she decided it was time since her eyesight is not always the best. So that will keep her home more. I love the pic of your Mom with the dog..so cute! Hope she had a wonderful day with her friend. That is a true friend for sure!

Kerri said...

I hope your mom has a wonderful visit with her good friend. And, your flowers you got your mom look so pretty on her balcony!

Shirley said...

Hi, I found you through my friend Kim who talks about her mother. I admire you for being a caregiver. I have been one for the last 15 years for my hubby who has health issues. I know that I have friends who are also caregivers and they understand what we go through. I enjoyed reading your blog tonight, because you do have laughter, tears, and frustrations at times when you are a caregiver. Take care. Hugs and Prayers from a Missouri Friend.