Sep 18, 2014 - Uncategorized    No Comments

The Calendar

One thing I realized about both of our fathers is that as their dementia became worse, they would mark each day off in their calendars.  My father would put an X and my husband’s father circles the date.  This is how they keep track of what day it is.  If you ask them what day it is they grab their calendars.  Any medical people around the house take the calendar away before they ask.  Without their calendars the don’t know the day.  It is a coping mechanism.  My dad finally reached a point where he couldn’t even mark off the days anymore or maybe he just didn’t care.

My father-in-law has a calendar with small squares where you can actually write something.  He seldom writes anything but once in a while he write that someone called or that is was someones birthday from the past.  Recently he wrote:  “Real Good.”  It was an interesting entry.  We are not sure exactly what he meant.  Was it a good day?  Were there good memories?  Did he feel good?  We will probably never know but it isn’t really important.  Something was “Real Good” to the point he wanted to write it down.  I’m always so glad when he has those “Real Good” moments.

Sep 16, 2014 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

A Pedicure for Mom

As you all know, Mom has problems with her feet.  Peppermint Oil has been quite a relief to her but she and I tried something she had never done before.  We went to have a pedicure.  She loved it:  soaking her feet, having them messaged, pampering and her toes polished.  Not until it was all over did she tell me she had never had her toes polished before.  I could have done that a long time ago but I didn’t even know.  She picked out silver.  I tried to talk her into a more neutral shade but she wanted silver.  She loved it.  She doesn’t wear sandals and she doesn’t go barefoot but she loves to show off her silver toes.   I am still learning it is the little things that are important.IMG_0526[1]

Sep 11, 2014 - Uncategorized    No Comments

A Black Willy Worm

Papaw still likes to go for a drive.  I’m not sure how much he notices anymore but the motion is relaxing and he loves to go.  This last week as we drove through the country I saw a black willy worm.  Dad and Papaw always predicted the winter with those worms and this week was no different.  Their thought on willy worms are usually right.  So when I told Papaw I saw a black willy worm, I could hear a catch in his voice before he spoke.  Then he said, “We are going to have another hard winter.  I’m not ready for that.”

Last year at this time, Dad started worrying about the winter.  My father loved winter and snow and ice.  I think he taught me that love so another hard winter doesn’t make me sad.  I knew it was a bad sign when Dad started worrying about the weather.  But Papaw.  Now that is different.  He has never like winter and I guess he isn’t interested in another hard one.

Sep 9, 2014 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

A Rare Moment

Taking care of the elderly, sick or dementia/Alzheimer patient is exhausting.  It is often a thankless job but one that has rewards in brief moments of time.  When we started caring for our father’s we knew that it would be hard but thank heavens for Rose Colored Glasses that we cannot see the future.  The most important thing we have learned is that the process is not about what they remember or what they do or can’t do.  The entire process is how we make them feel.  Both of the dads have always been happy and they know they are loved.  They feel it.  Dad didn’t know who he was or who we were at the end but in a few brief points of time, he asked for his memory back.  He knew he wasn’t the man he had been.

Today I want to share a video link of a lady with her mother and for a brief moment, her mother knows who she is.  It is a wonderful moment that the daughter catches on video.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

http://www.people.com/article/Mother-with-Alzheimers-Disease-Remembers-Daughter-Video

 

Sep 4, 2014 - Medical Information    1 Comment

Happy Dreams

Papaw has not been feeling well so we took him to the doctor.  After asking lots of questions about how he was doing, the doctor asked about his sleep patterns.  The doctor has told us multiple times that sleeping long hours is normal for those with dementia.  Papaw sleeps 14 to 16 hours.  He then doses on the couch.  Of course, if I live to be almost 95 I want to sleep as long as I want also.  The doctor then said something that I had never thought of.  He said, Let him sleep.  “He is much happier in his dreams.”  He explained that with dementia he can’t remember the present, in his dreams he remembers the past.  It is his happy place.  So happy dreams to Papaw.

By the way, Papaw if fine for a 95 year old.  He continues to slow down but I assume every 95 year old does slow down.

 

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