Sunday, November 27, 2011


Over the last week I had a chance to spend a bit of time with my mom. She's still doing well, though has trouble remembering how to play crazy eights... :-) I had lunch with her at the assisted living center, which was nice. Again, I'm so glad she's there. And apparently so is the staff. Everyone we come into contact with just loves her, because she is a sweet person. I see what they mean - as we sat there waiting for our food a grumpy old man came by with his walker to get to the table next to us - shoving her walker out of the way. My mom just laughed - I'm the one who got irritated.

It's hard for her to travel - she gets very disoriented. For the nighttime, we blocked the top of the stairwell and put a string of lights around the bathroom door, and put signs and special paper to show her where her room was. The first night...around 2:00 am my door squeaks open and there she is, looking for the bedroom. What freaks me out is she has this stare when this happens. It's a non blinking out of it but smiling stare... hard to explain but SO freaky. She apparently was up about 4 more times, though I heard none of them - woo hoo! I tagged my sister for the next night (we were sharing a room).

At the assisted living center she's at breakfast every morning at 7:30 AM. Well, we let her sleep at my brother's. First day, slept until 9:30 I think. Second day, my brother woke her up at 10:30. We did like my mom used to do with my dad when he slept late - go into the room and make sure she's still breathing.

I appreciate more and more how much my sister does for her. She helped her shower, helped her wash up, helped her in the stall when we went out for the day to a museum (my mom got poopystuff on her pants), makes sure she is engaged, helps her walk, etc. She does all this on top of being a mom, handling a house on her own, working like a dog... Superwoman! And she's so nice about it. I'd have to certainly work up to that level of patience and kindness - kind of sad to say. I mean, she laughs when my mom put a pair of her underwear under the bathroom sink at my brother's. I didn't really find it all that funny, but then again...ah, I can't really find an excuse. It's just me.

So, it was really good to see her, and I was sorry I missed a day of visiting her (I couldn't bike there on Tuesday as it was rainy and just ran out of time, as the kids were there and I wouldn't see them for Thanksgiving). What's good about having a mom with memory issues is that Tuesday evening when I talked with her I just said I would visit the next day and she was excited. She forgot I was supposed to visit on Tuesday.

Family... good to be there, good to be away. I've been there so much this year, doesn't feel like I've left.


laura b. said...

Sounds like your mom is doing well in her new living situation...and seems understandable that she'd be disoriented when out of her usual environment.
You and your family are doing a wonderful job of caring for her.

silly rabbit said...

That's a nice family story. You can feel the love you all have for each other. Your mom sounds like she is a real sweetie.

Mel said...

I could find humor in the underwear deal. And in the grumpy fella who was knocking her walker around.

It's one of those 'if you don't laugh, you'll be taking it all too seriously' kinda deals.
I'm sure it's hard to see your mom's health declining--thankfully she's got family who copes with it well and a place that she's being successful in. That's huge!

Churlita said...

I'm glad your mom is well cared for. I hope my daughters find a good place for me and don't try and do it themselves, when that time comes for me. It sounds like sooo much work.