You would think that watching, loving and knowing someone decline right before your eyes with dementia would get easier. For me it does not, it sucks. It sucks that I cannot help any more than I am. I know that I cannot take care of Dorothy, she is just like a toddler- into everything and remembers nothing. That’s not true, she knows me and Paul and Jessica and the boys. She thinks her sister, granny and grandpa are still alive. But she does not know what just happened, where she is or how she got there. It never ends. Never.
I am so happy that Covid shutdown is over, and I can go see her and take her outside or out for a drive. I am so happy that I am able to do her laundry again. I have even gotten to the point of giving her a shower and washing her hair once a week when I am there- just to know it is being done. They are scheduled to do the same two other days a week, but I can’t be sure, I’m not there.
It is sad how “dirty “everyone is. It’s not like they are dirty-dirty, they are just dirty, everyday life makes you dirty, even if you don’t do anything- and a shower twice a week just doesn’t seem right to me. But that is the way it is in memory care, I understand, there are just not enough workers to do the job. And there is no additional money available on our end- so we get what we pay for. If we could afford 5K a month, I ‘m sure she could get a shower every other day. Along with more activities and more entertainment more “life”.
Don’t get me wrong- mom is in a good place- I know this- much better than where she was and much better than living with me. I could not take care of her 24/7- I’m not trained, nor do I have the ability -mentally to do it. At least when you put a toddler down for the night you know they are going to sleep at least 10 hours without waking up in the middle of the night confused and wondering where they are. And toddlers can pretty much tell you what they want and need.
I am thankful and I count my blessings. I am thankful that mom is in a good place and I am able to go see her. I am blessed that she is still here with us and she knows who I am.
I have a girlfriend whose mom is in memory care and her mom is at the stage where she does not remember her anymore. She knows she has a daughter, but she does not know who she is or even her name. My friend is a very strong woman, and I am learning from her on this next step -that I know mom will be in sooner or later. My friend goes to see her mom, feeds her and sits and talks to her like a friend- because that is who her mom thinks she is – a friend. That’s all she can do and she’s doing it. I love her!
I am also doing what I can do, and I am sure that anyone reading this blog is doing the same thing, what they can do. I can listen, agree, laugh, love, give hugs and answer the same questions over and over and over again.
You’ve got a friend, James Taylor
Love and Light,