Monday Memories With My Mom - RETURNS 4

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     Despite the reality check with my mom's recent fall and trip to the Emergency Room, I remained optimistic that with my mom's personal aide, Sheri, in place things had to improve.  I should note that somewhere in these last few weeks her medical alert bracelet also "disappeared".  I was not aware of it right away and thought perhaps Sheri had it in a pocket or something.  Eventually, I learned Sheri did not know where it was either.  Supposedly the bracelet is waterproof and it really should not be removed.  So, come to find out she went a few weeks without one.  I would have been a bit more alarmed if  I thought my mom actually "used" the bracelet, but I can't remember the last time she did press that button when she fell.  Then again, considering what I've been dealing with who really knows sometimes...  Nobody bothered to tell me that I had to pay for a replacement and how to go about getting one.  I thought they would just give her a new one when I told them hers was missing.  The medical alerts seem to be a grey area between the medical staff and the actual senior facility.  I know, ugh!  I guess I should just be glad she has never lost it before in the two plus years she has been there.

     I recently came across some costume jewelry of my moms and decided to give her a couple of rings.  She still occasionally brings up the two rings we "lost" about a year ago.  (At this point, I am definitely thinking they may have been stolen by staff.)  I think sometimes my mom spends time still looking for those rings so I thought she might find some comfort just having rings back on her fingers.

     During this time, Sheri also got my mom's Christmas tree set up and put it in a new location in front of her balcony door.  As I said, it sure is nice to see signs of someone doing things for my mom besides me!

     Meanwhile, my friend Alyce was having her own struggles as a caregiver with her mother-in-law being in and out of the hospital.  As I mentioned long ago in a previous post, her mother-in-law also lived at the same senior home as my mom.  She quickly became my mom's first friend when she moved into this senior home.  Dorothy was known as "Grandma Frog" and had many many friends.  She was very friendly and very aware of all the goings on around the senior home.  My mom used to say "she's very popular" and she was.  Sadly, Grandma Frog went to heaven December 9th -- she would have been 90 years old in February.  She was 20 years older than my mom and yet so much more lucid than my mom is.  There were many times when I honestly thought that she would outlive my mom. 

     I was nervous to tell my mom that Grandma Frog had passed away.  I really did not know how she would react.  Although she had not see her much in recent months, I knew she likely still was very aware who she was and had a connection to her.  Years ago, when my mom's neighbor passed away my mom called me many many times to tell me of her death, over and over.  Initially, I told my mom about Dorothy on the phone and then later in person.  I had hopes of somehow bringing my mom to the visitation, but the weather and timing did not cooperate.  However, me and my family did attend the visitation and my husband and I attended the funeral service in support of our friends.  It was a beautiful funeral and my friend, Alyce, and her husband did soooooo much for Dorothy during her life.  She will be missed for sure!

     True to the spirit of Dorothy, most of her frog collection was scattered about the funeral home and after the funeral service visitors were encouraged to take a something with them to remember her by.  I had never seen anything quite like it before, but it was a nice personal touch.  I brought a frog to my mom and I think she was very happy to have it.  She did show some sadness and concern and has asked many times about her death.  She seemed to find comfort when I told her that Dorothy had lived a good long life.

     Having this happen during the Christmas season made it bittersweet for everyone, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit it hit a little too close to home for me personally.  I know my friends didn't have much of a Christmas because of their loss and that made me sad for them as well.  In the midst of everything, they had the responsibility of clearing out Dorothy's apartment before the end of the month.  They kindly offered to give my mom the lift chair from Dorothy's apartment.  You may recall, I was searching for an arm chair for my mom a few months back.  Funny how things sometimes come to you when and where you least expect them.  My mom loves her new chair and she loves that it came from a friend.  This chair actually has another bit of history -- it also once belonged to my former (billionaire) boss! 
     For all of these reasons and more, my mom and I are counting Grandma Frog and her family among our blessings!  May she rest in peace!


Kim said...

I can understand how nice it is to have some of the responsibility being looked after by your Mom's new aide. Sorry to hear of your friend's passing. What a lovely idea to have some of her keepsakes at the service for people.

Julia said...

Thanks for sharing your memories of your mom's journey with Alzheimer.
I was thinking, perhaps the bracelet was removed when she went to the Emergency at the hospital.

It's nice to see pictures of her smiling.


Gabe said...

Its so cool about the chair! Love hearing stories like that!