Monday Memories With My Mom - RETURNS 5

 The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
    My next few visits with my mom before the holidays were somewhat uneventful.  I continued to see small gradual improvements in my mom mentally and physically in her appearance. 
     It was nice to see Christmas notes from school children and little crafts also made by children in her apartment.  There were a few Christmas programs during the holidays, and I am sure my mom enjoyed those.

     On one of my visits, I was greeted by "The Don" who was sitting right inside the door I always enter the building from which happens to be just down the hallway from my mom's apartment.  I was surprised as I have never seen him there he lives in the other wing of the second floor.  I have been gradually learning from Sheri (my mom's new personal aide) that for the most part my mom wants nothing to do with The Don these days.  Apparently, he tried to come to my mom's apartment recently and she emphatically insisted he go away so Sheri told him to go.  Meanwhile, Sheri has also told me that they have breakfast together most of the time and that their banter is a bit inappropriate and flirtatious!!??  My mom strongly denies this if you ask her (but I'm sure it's true).  It should also be noted that (thanks to Sheri) I also recently learned that "The Don" has now relocated to the first floor (same as my mom -- but his daughters put him in the complete opposite wing)!  I am assuming his memory and health have sadly declined.  As they may have already learned, once their memories get worse, one wing of the building is easily confused with the other.

     Among other things on my "To Do" list was to pick up a few new sweaters for my mom.  Hers have been looking so dingy, and I'm preferring darker colors and no buttons these days for her.  This is one of the sweaters I picked up for her -- sadly it has already "disappeared".  Many things never make it back from the laundry service that housekeeping provides.  Even though my mom's apartment number is labeled in each item, they were likely delivered to the wrong apartment and we may or may not ever see them!  Still trying to figure out how to get a handle on clothes that disappear...for now saving my energy for some of the more important issues. 
     This was the first Christmas Eve my brother and I decided my mom would be better off not attending her family's gathering.  It's also the first time I can ever remember not celebrating Christmas Eve with her.  As far as I know, it was the first.  This is her favorite party that she's always loved and it's heartbreaking to not include her and knowing that it was not her decision but mine.
     My brother visited her on the way to the party (she did not really know it was Christmas Eve) and I brought her to my house on Christmas Day.  Since we were staying home, I thought she could just relax and have dinner with us, sit by the fire, and enjoy her grandkids.  My conscience could not let her be home alone for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
     Unfortunately, "relaxing" at home with us did not seem to be an option.  My mom seemed unable to relax and spent most of the day repeatedly asking how Grandma Frog had passed away and asking for more pop to drink.  After a couple of hours, it became clear that everyone would be more comfortable if Grandma was safe and sound in her own apartment.  My husband and Megan took my mom back for me as I was, honestly, a bit overwhelmed.  
     We were so distracted trying to keep my mom content, I forgot to give her one of her gifts...  I had made her a bigger "button tree" to go with the one she liked so much from last year.
      Between Christmas and New Year's my mother-in-law came and stayed with us.  She has lived in Maine the last several years and has always been a good friend to my mom.  On January 2nd we went for a visit with my mom who was doing pretty well.  She definitely had her unique sense of humor, the kids got a few laughs, and we had a nice visit.
     I was a little discouraged that nobody came to escort my mom to lunch at the time they normally do and should.  We waited an extra ten or so minutes and then decided to walk her to lunch ourselves.  In the hallway, one of the aides said she was "just coming to get her".  She happens to be one that I have not been able to count on in the past.  I may or may not believe she was on her way, but decided to go to their office to let them know.  As luck would have it, the Quality Assurance Manger happened to be there -- so I shared my disappointment with her ;) 
The Moms
     For some reason, my mom thinks if her jacket has a hood -- well, that you have to wear the hood!!??  So my kids all decided to put their hoods up too and join in on the picture below. 
We call it -- The Kids from the "Hood"!!!??? 
When life hands us lemons -- we always try to make lemonade!!!!
 With this post -- we've officially made it to January 2014 on my Monday Memories!!
Almost Caught Up!!

1 comment:

Julia said...

Hi Cindy, thanks for allowing us to peek in your journey with your mom's condition. It's a privilege to follow along.

Your story is an eye opener and I think that anybody who has a senior parent in a same situation would benefit from reading your blog and become aware of the problems you have encountered.

I'm glad that your kids are great with your mom. I love the Hood picture and even your mom is cooperating for the peace sign, I think...

Keep up the good work, you are doing an awesome job and I know, it's not easy.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.