As my mom is declining, she forgot names, dates, places, people and where she knows them from and now we’re in the phase of forgetting the little things like moving left, right, back, forth rooms of a house, a kitchen, bedroom, etc.
When I mention to put her slippers on or off and she’ll start to remove another article of clothing, I see confusion growing in her more and more and sometimes I see she will want to say something, but it’s a struggle to get out or get out correctly. I often wonder how the Alzheimer’s mind works. Is it like a small ball that has momentum and then slows down because it’s forgetting what direction it was going in even though there’s only one way to go.
This phase is probably the hardest. Hard because her reasoning and comprehension are going faster and faster while my list of things to remember or do are growing and growing. These are challenging days that I’m in, which more and more screams the need for me to get my charity up and going to help people like me without help. Or shall I say, help that’s reachable, because hands miles away have been extended but they’re just that miles away.
As a caregiver you’ll start to cherish the “little things” as well, like a phone call of someone saying hello or I wish I was there to give you help, or to see just “how I’m doing.” A wonderful friend sent me money to get a manicure, on her on, no conversations about busted nails, LOL but she had been through this herself with her mom and knew firsthand the toll it can take. How the small things you used to do for yourself get pushed to the wayside due to lack of time and/or money. As a person who loved her mani’s and pedi’s, I was quite appreciative for the gift!
As a caregiver you not only learn about the illness you’re dealing with whether it’s Alzheimer’s or Dementia, you learn about yourself you’re strengths and weaknesses, as well as the people around you. Everyone has busy lives, but who remembers to call, bring a meal, or even make a visit as a few of my girlfriends did. Hopefully you’ll learn to appreciate the little things, they become the big things, the meaningful things.
So as I deal with pointing out what a chair is, what a toilet is, what a closet is, what a couch is, where the kitchen is located, to the person who taught “me” what those things are, I have to be thankful that I’m here to help, that I still know and though I’m quite exhausted from it all and down, I’m not out!
One night I was feeling low, over stressed, bantering to myself on how I can’t make it yet wondering do I sound selfish. I don’t mean to banter but it’s 24/7 thing with me, no relief and at times it’s hard to see the good, the blessing of what I’m going through. But there’s a blog I follow called “God, Mom, Alzheimer’s and Me” and the author is caring for her mother who has Alzheimer’s. She often writes from a spiritual perspective that brings about a sense of calm and reflection. I know my circumstances are different but it helps to see things in a different light. Check her out.