We're not the typical family.
I've recently become Caregiver/Guardian to my Mom as she deals with Dementia. I'm married, have three grown children and also an 18 yr. old daughter who lives at home and recently made us grandparents to her beautiful new baby girl. That means that we have four generations of women under the same roof. Mister and I have been married forever. . .It's not the life we dreamed about, nor the one we would have chosen, but most days we find a way to laugh and bumble our way through. We're enjoying the journey, even with the unexpected side trips along the way. FOLLOW ME, if you dare! LOL!
I've been a little remiss about blogging lately. Truth is that Mom's life has become so entwined with our life that it's easy to forget to take photos of the moments. Here's a few that were taken during July, August and September.
This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
It's been a busy week on the bayou, playing "catch up" after being away for a week. Not complaining, just stating a fact. . .
It seems that Mom and my sister did very well while we were away. My sister also reported that Boudxy was a "very good and smart boy". Extra treats for Boudxy!!
While we were away Mom had to miss her weekly hair appointment - that's happened once before and didn't seem to be a big deal. This time it WAS a big deal. She refused to go to church Sunday because of her hair. I understand that, however during the entire weekend she was very withdrawn. I suspected perhaps she was angry that we had not taken her with us on vacation. I talked with her and tried to "draw her out". She didn't seem angry. Hmmm? Then on Monday she refused to come to the table for dinner, saying "I look awful and don't want to leave my room". It was her hair that was causing all the angst. I brought her dinner to her on a tray, but explained that after her hair appnt on Thursday we'd need to go back to eating dinner with the family.
Yesterday was "Beauty Shop Day". Afterwards we went to lunch, then for ice cream, and on to the Library. She looks beautiful and seems right back on track. Problem solved.
How we look really affects how we feel.
I've always felt that way.
Do you think our appearance factors into our mood?
Last week was my sister's birthday. It came and went and Mom had know idea.
We always had birthday parties when my sister and I were kids. The neighbor kids were invited along with a few friends from church and school. Birthday cakes (homemade, of course), "Pin the Tail on the Donkey", and then the opening of presents - it was all quite exciting to us. I remember Mom making little favor baskets by cutting Dixie cups a certain way then filling them with candy for our guests to take home. Lots of photos were taken with the big-flashbulb-Kodak-camera to mark these special times. Nothing was pre-packaged or ordered. Everything was made, by hand, by Mom. Sweet, happy, simple times...
She could never have imagined there would come a day when she could no longer remember the day she birthed her two babies.
It seems we've had so many, blessed, good days with Mom that sometimes I forget that ultimately we're fighting a losing battle. Dementia/Alz always wins. There is no cure. But there is a lot to say for the medicines that can work their God-given magic for a very long time.
Today Mom was "out of sorts". These days happen occasionally and when they do I'm reminded once again of the challenges she faces...
Instead of getting dressed and readied for the day she remained in her pj's far longer than usual. Once I went into her room and she was sitting in her chair simply running her fingers back and forth through her hair. She had a distant look in her eyes but her conversation was right on track.
Later I went back into her room and she was sitting staring blankly, still wearing her pj's. Normally she would have been fully dressed and reading a book. She's still an avid reader. . .So I suggested to her that we go a movie. She agreed. This spurred her to take a shower and ready herself for going out.
The movie outing was good. She enjoyed the movie. She seemed much more "in tune" after being out.
There is a lot to be said for mental stimulation.
Last weekend I was out of town and Mom was indoors the entire time I was gone. She was cared for, but not really mentally challenged or stimulated. I feel today was the result of that.
It's the biggest challenge I face right now with caring for Mom and helping her to be at her best.
*As a child it was always said that I looked like my Mom and my sister looked like our Dad. As the years unfold I see things changing and it seems to me that the three of us are all beginning to resemble (I'm in the solid red.). Interesting observation.
Mom with her oldest grandson (my son).
Taken in Natchitoches, LA on a Day Trip.
Mom with grandson and his wife.
Taken while they were in LA visiting.
(They live in WA state.)
Mom playing with HK
while riding in the car.
It's been a month of of going & doing.
Mom has even exceeded my expectations of what she was able to do during the month. She travels wonderfully by car and enjoys the outings. . .Conversation is a growing obstacle for her but she enjoys being with everyone and enjoying the sights. You probably noticed in one photo she was wearing two pink blouses. Not sure what that was about, and I didn't even ask. Perhaps the outer blouse was meant to be a jacket. Not sure. Overall it's been a very good month.