Still confused

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,

Cheryl Doreen

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