It has been July since I’ve posted anything about my mother. For those who take care of someone afflicted with Alzheimer’s, you know that after awhile there is little to write about. Daily visits are the same. There is no variety. That makes conversation easy as I don’t have to worry if I mentioned something during a previous visit – she has no idea what took place yesterday or the day before.
The disease will fool you, however. My oldest sister visited recently and took a scrapbook of old photos for Mom to peruse. Mom recognized photos of her parents and grand parents. It was a little surprising that she did not recognize Dad. A few months back, I showed her a photo of herself in her wedding gown. In a very soft voice, she pointed at the photo and said “That’s me.” Old memories still reside inside, but the newer the memory, the less likelihood she will remember.
We are not sure if she truly remembered my other sister or not. There is a tragic irony in my saying that it is a blessing she does not know one of her own children has died. A week or so after my sister Karen died, I asked Mom if she knew who Karen was. No – she did not.
That was hard.
Though frail, Mom still gets around okay. A few days ago I went into her room and found her asleep. I also noticed her walker was not there. I found it – she had been visiting a lady across the hall and had left it there. She can get around without the walker, but her unsteadiness makes a fall inevitable.
(Be sure to click on the photo to see a larger version of it.)
There are a number of friends at our church who are also going through the problems of caring for elderly parents. We were never told about this. We watched the financial ads on TV showing an elegant couple with silver hair as they planned for their beautiful new retirement home and traveled the world.
They never told us about daily visits to the nursing home.