Dorothy is calling at random times these days and still calling in the evening when sundowners hits. Yesterday, she called @ 2:30 in the afternoon. Mom was dazed and confused- more than normal. She told me she was scared because she didn’t know where she was or how she got there. She started crying – telling me it wasn’t right what we- (Paul and I) had done to her- taken her out of her home and put her in a place she did not approve of. I hadn’t heard her cry like this in some time-it was a deep down from the soul cry. The sad part is there is absolutely nothing I can do for her or her state of mind. Except answer the phone and listen. We are on lockdown- there is a pandemic going on I can’t go see her, I can’t hold her, I can’t drive her around and let her look at the world. It wouldn’t matter— even when there wasn’t a pandemic- I still could not help her anymore- other than just being there. She has Dementia- there is no understanding it.
As you know from reading this journal- she picked out where she lives on her own, with Paul. She likes it because it is small, and they have plenty of activities. It is a nice, clean place that has a calm place to walk- a covered front porch to sit on with rocking chairs and bird feeders – there are plenty of flowers and trees to make it feel somewhat “like home”- so she said.
I let her cry for a while, because we all know “it’s okay to cry” and all I can do is listen and agree. I agree with her that if we (Paul and I) don’t come and get her out of “this” place immediately- it will be okay for her to get an attorney. Agree with her when she says she is going to to file elder abuse on us. I agree with her on everything she says, Why? Because it doesn’t matter- she won’t remember within 15 seconds what she has said. And I know that she is confused and scared and I know that it is easier to just agree with her- get her settled down, let her feel that she is in control- that Dorothy is in charge. Try to let her know that in the moment she is still in charge of her life.
She called later at 7:00 – she is her “normal” evening self- she is not crying, she is just confused. She thinks she saw me today. I assure her that she did not see me today. She informed me that she did see me today and that I’m trying to confuse her- she was sure of it- quite adamant about it. She knows for a fact that I came and got her- and that she and I went looking at another assisted living place for her to live. So, I stay quiet – I don’t agree or disagree. In 20 seconds, she is talking about something totally different- how are the boys? How is Jessica? I bet the boys are getting so big. This is something I can respond to- so, I answer these questions – a few times as many as times as she asks.
Then as quick as the frustration went- it comes back “Cheryl, you just have to come and get me and take me to see some other places where they have things to do and the people are nicer. I don’t need to be at this place that Paul picked out for me- he doesn’t know the first thing about a assisted living place.” “How would he know what I like, what I want.” She goes on and on and I listen and agree– when I feel I need to.
We end the phone call with me telling her “If we have to find you a different place mom – where you will be happy- then, that’s what we’ll do”
Ok, great- thank you Cheryl – Bye!
And just like that it’s over for the evening.
Love and Light,