Parental Journal 116 from Planet Elderly – Second Major Lockdown: No Visitors

Monday, November 9, 2020 – 8:30 a.m.

With the number of COVID 19 cases rising worldwide, I wasn’t surprised to receive a call telling me that in-person and chatterbox visits will be cancelled for this week. Someone (or some people) tested positive. I’m guessing it was staff, but one never knows.

CHATTERBOX

Mom and I have transitioned back to using the chatterbox system which takes place in the room that was used for physical therapy.

There are two chatterbox set-ups in the physical therapy room. Mom and I have never had a visit when another chatterbox visit was taking place. That’s a good thing. Mom can hear well, so we don’t use the walkie-talkies. We just gab. Well, these days I do most of the gabbing and she responds most of the time.

Wendy brought Mom in last Thursday. Wendy only stayed for a few minutes because things were busy. Donnie came in to relieve Wendy. Toward the end of our visit, Activities Coordinator, Anna, relieved Donnie and spent some time chatting with Mom and me.

Wendy and Mom
Donnie and Mom

The photo above with Wendy bringing Mom into the room shows the kind of expression Mom usually has when she first sees me. It’s as if she is ready to cry. A few times she has.

The photo with Donnie shows how relaxed she is during most of our visiting time. What’s nice about chatterbox visits is that we can take off our masks. We both enjoy seeing each other’s maskless faces.

This second chatterbox visit went well. Mom was engaged for nearly the whole 30 minutes. Since these visits start at 2:30, it’s a sleepy time of day and she is tired. At our first fall chatterbox visit, she was dozing off about 10 minutes into the visit. But that’s okay. If she ever just wants to rest, I’ll play some music from the Pandora app on my phone, and just let her rest. It’s quite common for Wendy and Donnie to join us in our conversations. We chat and laugh about a lot of things and it’s good for Mom to be part of that socialization, even if she just listens.

I’m not looking forward to the winter months ahead. I’m concerned about the rise in COVID cases everywhere and the possibility that my visits with Mom may be sporadic, depending on how often the community finds a positive case among residents or staff. One day at a time.

Mom still knows me and we have good visits. Each one is a gift. I am grateful for this time we still have to enjoy each other’s company. I am also sad to witness her cognitive decline, that long, dark shadow that looms larger as months pass. But she still knows me; that’s how strong her love is.

About jjmummert

Just another voice in the wilderness from someone who's lived on this planet for over 70 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. In late March 2017 I was able to move Mom closer to me where she resided at a memory care assisted living community until being downsized to a skilled nursing senior community in October 2018 in Columbia, Missouri. I view the Parental Journal entries as part therapy, part family history, sort of a case study of our family's journey with dementia. 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 website: https://www.agingcare.com/ ; https://www.alz.org/
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2 Responses to Parental Journal 116 from Planet Elderly – Second Major Lockdown: No Visitors

  1. Vi Dang says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that chatterbox is canceled this week. Hope you and your mom stay safe. Miss you!

    On Mon, Nov 9, 2020 at 9:28 AM Drifting Toward Planet Elderly (and as of 2017, living there) wrote:

    > jjmummert posted: ” Monday, November 9, 2020 – 8:30 a.m. With the number > of COVID 19 cases rising worldwide, I wasn’t surprised to receive a call > telling me that in-person and chatterbox visits will be cancelled for this > week. Someone (or some people) tested positive. ” >

    Like

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