Dementia is overwhelming, to say the least

My mother had been diagnosed with dementia. That was shortly before her 63rd birthday, in April of this year. For me, it has been heartbreaking. Dementia is overwhelming, to say the least.

My amazing mom

She has been one of my closest friends, all of my life. Sadly, now I have to speak to her like a child a lot of the time. It is almost impossible to have an entire conversation with her. She constantly blurts out some random thing that has absolutely nothing to do with anything we’ve been discussing.

When I discuss something important with her, I usually struggle to keep her on task with me. Direct eye contact is necessary when I need her to really listen to what I am saying. Even then, I usually have her repeat what I have said. Sometimes, I have to snap my fingers by her ear to remind her that I am talking about something important. Often, I remind her repeatedly that what I am talking about is important. Most generally, I have to elaborate or explain what I mean. She has difficulty understanding things sometimes. This is more difficult than you might think. It makes me sad, and the sadness is overwhelming.

Our routine

It is Saturday at 1:35 pm. I have done a sufficient amount of housework to please Hubs, which is always a satisfying feeling. I am just finishing up the last load of laundry I will do for the day. It has rained so much lately that I have been unable to hang out clothes on the line. When it is sunny, I am rarely ever home to do it. I will have to give in and dry the clothes at the laundry facility at my mom’s apartment complex. I do not mind, really. She will be avidly playing her online games, while I sit on the love seat beside her desk.  I will be in a half awake, half asleep state, as usual. This has become our routine.

Today will be our last day of this routine, for a few weeks, anyway. Tomorrow, I will help my mom pack some of her belongings. She will choose some things to take with her to the nursing home. How does one know what to pack for a semi-extended stay away from home, anyway?

My mom had fallen last week. As a result, she broke her kneecap. The doctor feels that rehab in a facility is best because she keeps standing on it and bending it. The nursing home will be able to give her the intense PT she needs to get back home.

Item Description: A woman on the left side of the photo is sitting with her right back side facing toward the camera. She is sitting on the edge of a white chair with thin wood side arms. She has short dark hair, a short sleeved white blouse and dark pants. Her arms are straight up in the air and she has one small yellow dumbbell weight in each hand. She appears to be leading four elderly people in an exercise. To her left is a woman with white hair, glasses, a two-tone short-sleeve blue shirt with an indiscernible pattern, blue jeans, black socks, and tan crocs. Her arms are straight up in the air, but she is too far away to see if she is holding anything. To her left is a gentleman with short gray hair in a light blue short-sleeve shirt, dark pants, no socks, and black shoes. His hands are raised in the air, but he is too far away to see if he is holding anything. He and the woman to his right are sitting beside each other in matching cream-colored armchairs with their backs against a white wall. To the man's left, two women are sitting on a coral colored loveseat. The woman to the left is wearing all black with black shoes and has short blonde hair. Her arms are raised in the air and she is holding a pink dumbbell in each hand. The woman to the right has dark glasses and is wearing a red head scarf, red shirt, pink pants rolled up to her calves, white socks, and red shoes. She has her arms raised in the air and is holding a pink dumbbell in each hand. The women on the loveseat are seated facing the woman in the white blouse. The woman in the white armchair is to the left of the woman in the white blouse facing her. The man in the white armchair is to the right of the woman on the loveseat facing her. There is gray carpet on the floor. Two round lights run through the middle of the photo on the ceiling. Behind the two in the white armchairs is a white wall with a rose colored rectangle inset at the ceiling that is painted with a rose color which is displaying mementos. Scanning to the right there is a large room with a visible table and chairs seen through the gap between the loveseat and armchair. In the room. there are two large windows covered with white curtains. In the background, behind the loveseats, there is a man in a black shirt sitting.
“You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.” Dr. Seuss
Dementia, it has a way

Hopefully, socializing will bring her out of the hole she has dug for herself and crawled into. Dementia, it has a way of doing that to a person. Hopefully, she will make some friends and enjoy some activities while she is there. She might even develop a somewhat “normal” sleep/wake cycle. Most important, maybe they can help her get on track with her medications. As a result, that would improve her health and well-being. To sum up my thoughts, all of these things – these are my hopes.

Bonny J