Parental Journal 57 from Planet Elderly – Grateful for New Friends and for AgingCare.com

Mom and Dad 02 May 2 2016

Dad still recognizes Mom and responds to her kisses.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 – early morning

Very nice luncheon at Mom’s yesterday with guests, Judy, her mom and her aunt.  Although Mom nervously prepped, she enjoyed herself and loved the compliments on her twice baked potatoes and cherry dessert.

Good company and lots of laughter.  I am grateful to have these new friends during this very stressful time.

 

When visiting Dad yesterday afternoon we found him very talkative and a bit agitated.  We brought him a piece of the cherry dessert Mom made for the luncheon and he tried to share it with us.  He ate most of it…but was very distracted about figuring something out or going someplace.  “I need to get up out of here,” he repeated.   I distracted him by suggesting “We’ll wait just a little bit, okay?”  Then he was fine and stopped trying to get out of his wheelchair.

But he just talked and talked…using snips of phrases he has said over the years.  “Well, that’s okay if you think it’s alright.”    “You can wait and see if it’s what you want.”   “I need to fix this other part.”   All these statements didn’t relate to any particular point or item and we just went with the flow.

Funnies: 

When Mom sat down he smiled and reached for her hand.  Then he motioned to me and introduced me:  “Here’s our other jungle people.”    Yup.  That’s me!

I had my purse on a table near us and Dad pointed to it, saying, “Wow!  That’s a big purse!”

While Mom was washing dishes the other day, she started to try to make a case for the fact that when I visit, she can’t find things she needs in the kitchen…things get rearranged.  “Oh, no you don’t,” I said, laughing.  “I was told weeks ago just to dry and not put anything away…so if you can’t find something, you put it in an interesting place, not me.”  She had a sly smile on her face.

Useful:

Came across a website the other day:  AgingCare.com.  It includes a online Alzheimer’s and Dementia caregiver support group and I’ve spent a lot of time reading questions and responses.  Very useful, very meaningful.  So many sad and agonizing situations are discussed.

Of note:

I won’t be suggesting we have folks over for a meal again.  Yesterday’s luncheon prep was very stressful for Mom and she went into obsession mode getting everything ready.  I just let her do her thing, but it was clear she was distressed with worry.  So glad she had a great time, but if we want to get together with others in the future, restaurants will be just fine.

She fell:  A couple of nights ago Mom was going from her bedroom downstairs to the living room.  I was in the bathroom and heard what I thought was a stumble and a brief shout of surprise.  Knowing she would never want me to know what happened, and knowing it was a slight fall, I just called out, “Are you okay?”  “Yes.”      She tries to be extremely careful with stairs, so I figured this was primarily a misstep.   I’ve had them myself over recent years, but it’s good to make note of this one.

Chobani Cups

I start most days with a cup of Chobani yogurt dressed with walnuts.  Well, after coffee time, of course.  The cups can be recycled and after several were collected, I put them where I thought Mom would take them out to recycling.  Nope.  She tucked them away behind the coffee maker.  I don’t think she’s saving them for any particular reason, so maybe I’ll take the lead next Sunday and put them in the recycling bin for Monday’s pickup.

PROOF:

Chobani cups may 4 2016

 

 

About jjmummert

Just another voice in the wilderness from someone who's lived on this planet for over 60 years and faces permanent residency on Planet Elderly. Update: As of March 2, 2017, I turned 70. I'm now an official resident of Planet Elderly. Dad passed away September 22, 2016. I view the Parental Journal entries as part therapy, part family history, sort of a case study of what our family experiences with one parent in a memory care unit, another living independently with short-term memory loss, and me, the only child daughter who lives 400 miles away. It's quite an adventure. Recommended readings for others who have loved ones who live with some form of dementia: The 36-Hour Day, The Myth of Alzheimer's - What You Aren't Being Told About Today's Most Dreaded Diagnosis, Alzheimer's Early Stages.
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