In the Land of Dementia, Every Day is a New Day!

Still home on medical leave so naturally I am getting up about an hour later than my normal 5 am alarm which has been absolutely delightful for a change. This morning I wake up to find Mom very quietly sitting on her bed and starring at her shoes, right hand shaking wildly from the Parkinson’s involvement. I ask her what she is doing and as usual, she replies I don’t know. I say to her that maybe she should lay down for a few minutes until Cardine arrives because she would be more comfortable and she agrees, but doesn’t respond. Every day around here with Mom is a new day in her progress in dementia.

mom_yard   mom_city

I’ve noticed this week that she is very unresponsive to what we are saying to her. For instance, last night I am asking her to lay down because it was bed time. She totally heard what I was saying, and even agreed but when it was time to follow through, she had no idea as to what to do. What is that? I am having a hard time understanding. She hears me, she agrees but then doesn’t know how to do it. Wouldn’t it just be instinct, something that she just does without thinking? Of course, I am probably all wrong about that as the mind is mystery but I am sure the doctors have a word for this stage of the behavior. This scene from last night played out by Vladimir coming in and physically lifting her up and gently putting her in the bed.

This week I have noticed that she is slower and more unsteady on her feet. We have tried to put the walker in front of her for a more steady and secure walk. sometimes she accepts it and sometimes not. She’s definitely at the point where she will need both a walker and transport chair to get around as just walking from the kitchen to her bedroom is a far walk for her. Seems that in the last year, there has been a huge decline in her disease. You don’t really notice it so much day to day, yet when you look back weeks and months, it becomes very obvious that she has spiraled downward. You can only do the best that you can to make the day a good one for her. Cardine accomplishes that with everything she does. They normally have a very good day with Cardine engaging her in puzzles, coloring, conversation, newspaper reading. They do it together, even if Mom doesn’t particiate. Cardine will sit across the table and just do it while Mom watches her and she seems interested and engaged. Cardine is a very loving, patient and caring home aide. I am very happy and blessed to have her in our lives.

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People with Dementia Love Sweets.

cookie monster

Caught Red-Handed…Evidence in Hand!

Funny how much a dementia patient will love sweets. It’s the highlight of their day and they will sneak around the house trying to get them at any opportunity. Yesterday was Saturday and I was home for the day having finished all my errands and supermarket runs. Took a break after lunch to sit and work on a gift that I have been making for a friend when who do I see shuffling by through the living room? Yep, you guessed it, my mother! I didn’t even ask what she doing or where she was going because I knew exactly what she was up to. She was headed in a straight bee-line for the kitchen as she does everyday as if she was on a mission…one foot in front of the other taking baby steps, not turning her head to say hello, not stopping for anything.

Tonya the dog is slowly walking behind her knowing what she was up to. Of course Tonya knew there was something in it for her so she stayed close-by. I just sat there and said nothing, just watching. I hear plastic noises in the kitchen so I figured I’d go in to monitor the situation. There she was, cookie in hand, waving it proudly for my photo. What the heck, she had her lunch so why not a cookie? She loves cookies and sweets of all kinds as her mother and father did and their parents before them. Not sure if it is just a trait of her family or if it’s magnified by the dementa. Her father had dementia and he was a sweets monger also. My grandmother was a grand baker of cakes, cup cakes and cookies so there was always something sweet in the house. She made the best chocolate ship cookies that I have ever had.

This morning after doing her morning routine, she follows me into the kitchen to watch while I make her breakfast, then usually she follows me back to sit down at her table to eat. This morning, while I was making her breakfast she seems distracted, moving over to the left to stand directly in front of the cookies, giving them a stare as a bird dog would stand in position when pointing out a bird in the field. I looked over at her and all she could muster up was “oh boy, look at that”. Since every day is a new day for her, every day is also a newly discovered box of cookies! All I said was ooookay…if you still want one after you eat your breakfast, you can have one for your morning snack…of course a few hours later she was ready for her morning snack and had her cookie! Funny how they forget almost everything else, but they always remember to get their sweets.

So why not a cookie? At her age and with what she is going through, every day should be good for her. After all, today may be her last day so who am I to say that she can’t have a cookie? At this point, I am thinking quality rather than quantity. As long as she still knows what a cookie is, she is welcomed to have one if it makes her happy. The Cookie Monster Strikes Again!

So, why not a cookie?

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