This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The power of my 82 year old Mother...

Yesterday, after Mom got off work and ate her lunch, she went to the nursing home to visit Dad.  She found him sitting in the hallway, in his wheel chair, with his eyes closed.  She touched him gently on the shoulder and he smiled when he opened his eyes to see his wife...

She asked if he would like to go out on the patio and he was happy to go.  Mom asked if he had enjoyed his visit with my sister and brother the day before, and he told her he had a wonderful time...

Dad looked into her eyes and apologised for yelling at her on the phone Saturday night.  Mom was amazed he would remember something four days prior!!  He had never done that before. She told him how much the phone calls upset her and he smiled, saying he was sorry.

Dad began to talk of a special car radio that can pick up information and personal information for everyone living on their street...even my sisters.  Mom tried telling him my sister did not live on their street...and he looked confused and asked what she was talking about...

Mom tried to change the subject whenever he would go off on another negative tangent...Mom has had some real difficult times with Dad and he has said things to her that no one, especially a wife would want to hear.  I think Mom gets a bit panicy when he seems to be going down that familiar ominous road and becomes very upset.  I can't blame her.  I cannot imagine seeing my husband in such a situation...it HAS TO BE very unnerving and a tremendous emotional challenge.

Dad told her he had been up all night and was very tired... He told her there was a show tonight, and he would be singing.  He told her he had a wonderful lunch...and then when she asked, he could not remember a thing he had eaten.

They stayed out on the patio for a good 45 minutes before she could see he was clearly exhausted and needed to go back to his room to rest.  Mentally and emotionally, Mom was pretty pooped herself. One of the Aides saw her wheeling Dad back toward the building, and came out to help her.  He told her he would take over from here after she informed the Aide how tired Dad was.  So after she kissed Dad good bye, she watched as the Aide joked with Dad and had him chuckling as he wheeled Dad back to his room...

Mom made the rounds with the staff, collecting hugs and chatting.  Hugs from the staff, along with their genuine concern do so much to lift up Mom after a tough visit... She has a lot going on this week so today was the only day she could visit.

Mom has a church retreat planned to San Diego the end of this week.  She was reluctant to go, but we all encouraged her to go and get away.  I know she needs it...

This past Sunday, at her church, one of her male friends was speaking with a woman who looked like she was crying.  Mom picked up from his worried glance toward her, that he was in uncomfortable territory.  Mom walked over and gave him one of her legendary hugs.  He hugged her with great relief and introduced Mom to the woman he had been talking to. 

The woman's husband also had Alzheimer's.  She recently placed him in a home care situation.  Licensed care takers out of their homes, care for their residents.  Her husband was one of six.  The woman was riddled with guilt, remorse, anger, rage....and clearly was so upset, she had no qualms in crying in front of strangers or in public.

Mom spoke with her as only my Mom can.  She was able to give her relief and comfort, because ten months ago, she was in the same emotional boat.  She listened to the woman's story and shared her own.  She encouraged her to come to her Support Group.  The woman said her daughter was encouraging her to go but she felt so lost.  Mom shared that both my sister and I had encouraged Mom to attend a support group.

Mom gave the Support Group information to the woman, and gently laid her hand on the woman's knee,
 
"You need to get yourself a life, so you can be strong through this." 

Mom encouraged her by repeating the Three C's of a Caretaker...

"I didn't cause it, I can't control it and I can't cure it."

9 comments:

Mari said...

Your Mom is an amazing woman! God allowed her to be right where she could make a big difference in that woman's life!

Betty said...

Your mom is amazing. I hope she has a good time at the retreat!

Jeanie said...

I hope I have even half of the strength you mom has at the age I am now...let alone when I get to be her age. She is amazing.

Nezzy said...

You Mama sounds like an amazing woman, sister! You are blessed to have her. My MIL is 82 and is requiring more supervision but is on the go all the time.

God bless and have a terrific Tuesday!!!

That corgi :) said...

that retreat in San Diego sounds like it would be good for your mom to have some "down time" and "alone" time. Must be very hard for her to try to be upbeat visiting your dad, not sure where the conversation will go or what he will remember. Good that she was there too to help the other lady dealing with a similar situation realize the importance of a support group; I think it is through that support that people who are caregivers can have a chance to vent with others who understand totally what they are going through

betty

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Your mom is something else. I love how she stepped in to be there for the lady. She opened a door to someone that needed it in spite of how tired she is.

She is wonderful.

Donna B said...

Mari: I agree. She was just the right person for that woman to meet.

Betty: Thanks...she needs it!

Jeanie: I agree. She is quite the trooper!

Nezzy: Thank you. God Bless you too.

Betty (Corgi): I am happy she is getting away. It will do wonders for her. I know Mom, this will recharge her and give her more strength. She needs all she can muster.

gayle said...

Your mom is 82 and she is still working! Wow I hope I have her energy when I am her age!! I don't feel like I have it now though! What does she do?

I love the 3 C's!! I am writing that down!!

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

This is really a great blog and I'm glad I clicked on over here. I relate to your mom's situation. Bless her. It must be so hard being the age she is and having to do the things she's had to do.