Friday, August 11, 2017

What The Caregiver Said

On Wednesday my mom moved into the next level of memory care at the assisted living facility. It was a hard day. Her furniture did not fit quite as well as it did in the previous apartment. She was a bit frantic. She told my brother that she was anxious and upset. My siblings and I were full of despair over it. We understood that she needed to be there, that her desire to wander required a locked and secured wing. She even said to my brother, "Everything is locked here." We emailed back and forth. We lamented the turn of events. We wondered if there could've been another way.

On Thursday I took a chance and called the facility and asked to talk to my mother. I braced myself for sadness. When she answered the phone she said, "Hello Robin.." in that voice, that calm slightly out of it voice. She was okay. She told me she slept well. She was fine. "Was the move yesterday? I don't remember." Wow, a sigh of relief.

My brother spoke to the caregiver on Thursday and this is how he wrote of their conversation:

The caregiver just returned my call and spoke to me about her contact with mom yesterday. She said she's already developing a relationship with mom. At one point mom saw her in the hallway and mom said, "A familiar face." And the caregiver replied, "I have been waiting for you for a long time." 

Later mom went to her office and "B" invited her to sit down so mom sat with her while she worked.
Our hearts felt calmer knowing that the caregiver was there taking care of our mom. She is in good hands and hearts right now. We can't ask for anything more. Well, we could, but magic and wishes don't make Alzheimer's go away. Sigh.

We thank you all for your kind words and support. Sometimes it takes a virtual village.

20 comments:

  1. "I don't remember." Sometimes, these are the happiest words when you're dealing with Alzheimer's. The bad (or at least, misunderstood) events of yesterday are gone forever.

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    1. Susannah-- Wow, it never occurred to me to hold those words "I don't remember" happily. It's so true. Thank you for that.

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  2. Your post, sad as it is, shows that so much has changed in our understanding of and dealing with Alzheimer's disease.
    For the better. Definitely for the better. Your mother is in good hands, it seems and that is all that matters for the time being.

    In the early 1980s, two elderly brothers of my mother-in-law suffered from it and their care was nothing like it is now. It was just horribly heart breaking to visit, they were in different institutions, the "best money could buy", but treated like unruly boys in a borstal and family visits were not encourages as they "upset" the routine. It was dreadful.

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    1. Sabine-- Your story of those two elderly brothers is truly a horror and heartbreaking. Yes, much has changed, and we are relieved that my mom seems to be in much kinder hands and hearts.

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  3. I am delighted she has such a sweet caregiver that she is attaching to. It should give her more of a sense of security. That she couldn't remember the move surely must be a blessing in disguise as Susannah mentioned.

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    1. Patti-- We are relieved that the transition seems to have gone well. Today is a new day, and my sibs and I are taking turns checking in one day at a time.

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  4. I'm sorry this step was necessary, but how fortunate she is to be in a place where she can receive care, and to have supportive children. My own mother is showing signs of memory loss (as I think I've mentioned) so I'm watching your experience with an awareness that I may be going through something similar soon enough.

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    1. Steve-- We missed clues to my mom's decline in the beginning. When she couldn't remember one of my brother's name or manage her bank account anymore, we rationalized it as merely age-related. It wasn't. It's good to keep an eye on things and take them seriously.

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  5. The hard part about diagnosing Alzheimer's is that we do have times of not remembering what we did. When does that become a warning sign? I think most of us, who are in the old category, think of that for ourselves. It can't be easy.

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    1. Rain-- I think when it starts to become a liability, like not being able to balance a checkbook, is a pretty big sign. Also, not remembering a child's name. We all forget stuff, but there really are clues. Here's a link to a pretty good list of stages.
      http://www.alzheimers.net/stages-of-alzheimers-disease/

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  6. This eldercare journey is such a hard one. My heart goes out to your family. You are all clearly very loving toward your mom. It is so relieving to have a caregiver who is responsive and kind.

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    1. 37paddington-- So true about the eldercare journey. Challenging in so many ways. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate your presence so much.

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  7. All I can say is that we feel for you and your mother. It's just so unfair that we sometimes have to end our lives this way. It's like there's some malevolence that wants to add insult to injury. I think you and your mother are doing it as well as it can be done.

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    1. Mark-- I am learning that it may not be the wisest thing to live as long as we can. Sometimes, we should not try all the heroics.

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  8. Leah and I were talking about this post and Leah wanted to tell you that having taken care of her father in similar circumstances, we understand what you're going through. She said she feels for you so much.

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    1. Mark-- Please tell Leah that it is always a good thing to know that others have walked this path. Our heartfelt thanks and long distance hugs.

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  9. It sounds like your mom is getting adjusted. It's always upsetting to go through situations like this. I'm glad her caregiver is a nice person.

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    1. oldwhitelady-- She does seem to be settling in and getting adjusted. There was a bit of a scary snafu with the administering of the wrong meds yesterday (grrrr...) but I think things will work out for her. We're hopeful. So good to hear from you.

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  10. It's a long haul. I think it's imperative that you guys (siblings) continue to visit and monitor and let the facility know that you're watching. Helps that your mom is connecting in a positive way.

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    1. Phil-- Interesting that you mention letting the facility know we are watching, on Saturday the facility gave my mother EIGHT incorrect medications. EIGHT! One of them was an opioid. Unfortunately, only one of my mother's children lives nearby to keep an eye on things. The rest of us call regularly and visit once per month.

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