Ever Think About How Special Sitting Down to a Meal Is?

I remember growing up where sitting down to a meal was the norm. When it was my turn to set the table you know with plates, silverware, glasses and even napkins. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it (oh and since I set the table that meant I didn’t have to clear or do the dishes…best part ever) As you grow up having meals together change. You go off on your own to college or move out things just change. When I married and we had kids I tried to keep the setting the table and being together, but things change we still eat together, but the table has other things on it so we find a places to sit and lose some of that closeness we had when the kids where younger. Boy the things you think of when you are meaning to share something else, but realize to yourself setting the table and having meals all together really means more then just eating. So that leads me into what I wanted to share about how special sitting down to a meal is…

As you know things have been changing for me and my mom with the dementia. I seem to learn something new everyday about how this thing effects others so differently, but some things the same. So one of those things it does is in how those with dementia eat, drink, etc. They often say I am not hungry even though they haven’t had anything to eat all day, drinking is similar too, but with not drinking that can lead to so many other things as well. It is amazing how fluid fixes moods, health, etc… It is a biggy! Well onto my sharing… last week I made my trip to see my mom and stopped at a few places to pickup fresh produce and a few other things as well. Then saw my mom and we talked like we do and then asked if she was hungry and wanted something to eat. I was all prepared that she would say no I am ok, but she didn’t she said, “I could eat something” I am excited since I had a meal in mind that I knew she would love or at least she use to love you just don’t know, but this time I was right! We talked and she helped and then we sat down together and had our meal together. I was so happy to see her eat everything and even opted for more…mind you I didn’t say anything about how she was eating since I didn’t want to discourage her from doing so, it just made me so happy that she was eating.

You know as I am going on this journey with my mom I don’t know what or how she is feeling on the inside which is so hard since I see on the outside how it seems to affect her. I have things I tell myself all the time “she is still your mother don’t baby her” (which at times you know is hard human instinct and all) then I say “that is not your mother” (you know why I say this too at times it really isn’t her it is the dementia) also I say “I love my mom no matter what” hugs and you see it in her eyes those are the best along with the I love you’s as well. My other main thing I say to myself is “With God’s help we will get thru this together and enjoy every moment you have with your mom either it good or either it bad because one day it will come that she won’t remember me at all and I will be just that person who takes care of her until she is taken to be with God and not be in pain any more” yes this one is a biggy, but it goes thru my mind a lot especially when things may not be going so well.

So I hope what you take away from this is to sit down together where ever you can if its next to your loved one in a hospital bed, at a table, couch, etc… sit and have a meal, or just talk, enjoy your time together and just love that time together as long as you can. Make those times count may they be ever so simple and keep those memories with you always. Blessings to you my friends!

I had to add a sitting down together graphic and what is better then the Peanuts…which is one of my mom’s favorites…enjoy and Blessings to you and your family!

Grocery Shopping with Dementia

Do you ever think that going grocery shopping can be so tough, confusing, and oh so much work?

Well when you put it into words it can be tough meaning you created a list, but you need to check, recheck and recheck you get the picture. Now with confusing you go over the list and have thoughts about what you would like to make, but then think of something else and then forget what you where thinking about. Oh so much work…well that is the amount of time it takes to do all of this. Try to keep them on task, double check what they wrote down, oh and then there is the actual shopping part. Now it may seem like I am complaining, but I am not at all complaining I am just letting you know what we are going through and hoping it may help you.

As I was going over the list to make sure I was getting the brands that my mother likes I noticed how I had to keep her on task and to keep her calm when she got confused. Now I have been reading a lot of different information on dementia and at that time I just made a mental note some of the information I read I put into use.

So that is my thought of the day about the in-sites of dementia. I just keep reminding myself to take one day at a time and to keep my mom calm and that I love you no matter what.

When I got back from the store we visited for awhile and just enjoyed each other’s company. Do you know my mom has the best laugh! She does and when she said something about having a car so that she can just drive to the places she knows how to get to, but only to get lost along the way, which is probably not a good reason to have a car then. I said with a giggle no, no it’s not. Then we all laughed. These are the things I will remember not the parts about how shopping with dementia was.

We all that care for others sure have not shared how we truly feel. Blessings to all the caregivers!

Ever Wonder What it is Truly Like to Care for Someone with Dementia…

Now I don’t have the secret to this all knowing what it is like, but I have a good idea from personal experience, others sharing with me and well I just found this amazing movie that came out in 2020 called “The Father” it is an Anthony Hopkins movie. I just watched the two minute trailer and I was in tears. To me it seems to be spot on how life can be for those with dementia and also those caring for their loved one. I will see here if I can share this trailer with you and I will put this warning out there please have tissues standing by. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_father_2020

Now on how we have been doing this past few weeks and or days I seem to lose track of when I shared with you all last time. So things have been interesting for lack of a better word. I could say terribly, great, bad, worse, wonderful and just ok, but I like interesting. We have been learning how to care for mom in her home. You know I am a mom and when I see things that mention you become a mother backwards that pretty much is accurate. The main thought I have in the back of my mind is “She is still my mother and you don’t want to baby her and be respectful the best way I can” You know that can be hard specially since I am still a mother to two wonderful boys who are still young. So onto how it has been going. We are looking into in home care a few days a week just to give me a little more piece of mind since I live almost an hour away from my mom and I tell you that isn’t easy either specially when something happens late at night or very early in the morning. We had this happen just this week. So learning experience number 108 now in the books on what to do when smoke detectors go off when it is too hot inside the home. I also want you all to know this too I do not share these things with you in to much detail as to not to offend my mother. This is all about this disease and not my mother’s character. I remember my mom as a loving person who loves her family no matter what. So back on track with what has been happening. We are looking into additional in home care this sounds so much easier then it seems. With the pandemic happening there is a shortage on caregivers. I have called three different places and the same thing we are very short handed. I know the feeling where I work too. But I have a little light hoping it becomes a big light I received a call yesterday about having an assessment today since someone else canceled and I was able to figure out my schedule and well here is hoping that we can get this ball rolling. Figured everything out financially and this seems very feasible for my mom. So this is two things in our favor and other is with God’s help that is three so here we go…

I will share something else as well I have been able to find two great support groups on FB and I continue to learn new things every day and I can share, ask questions and help others too with what I have learned and also realize I am NOT the ONLY ONE going through this either. If you are struggling and or just need some additional support please just send me a message or comment and I can share with you the groups that I have found with you. I do know that I shared with you about one of these groups in an earlier post. Again you are not alone and it is going to be ok and it is ok to ask for help! Blessings to you all!

Things Are A Changing

Like my title says things are changing and it seems so fast too. I have so many thoughts going through my mind throughout the day about this and that oh and I should do this too. It is so hard at times to keep them all straight. This is why I try to stay as busy as I can when I am at work so that I am not bombarded with all my thoughts and concerns about my mom. But then I come home and need to be a mom and a wife and try really hard to stay in that roll too with out my thoughts drifting to my mom as well. Well I get done what I need to for the family, my job and then I will let my thoughts of what I need to take care of for my mom come through and it’s like a flood gate opened up. So I remind myself to take one thought at a time and handle it the best way I can or know how too. So first up in the way of things is getting my mother’s assets figured out. Yep sounds easy right? You would think so yourself…well it is not that easy to take care. So I will line things up for you all first taxes filed. Check, but come to find out we didn’t have everything we needed…so contact the business who did her last years taxes…this requires a trip an hour away with POA in hand and then I get her last years taxes, Check. Then we realized we need her mortgage information so I go looking in her filing system which was good since this was what she did before retiring. No information at all except an old interest statement. So phone call to this bank and was told they changed names and I have nothing with this information as to when this happened. So I asked if I could email them my POA which I then did, but after several holds and a few can you hold again I was told that I needed to come in person with said POA in hand and ID then they will give me the mortgage information. Guess what too, this bank is not a local bank it is over two hours away so road trip is in the works. Then well since we are trying to get our ducks in a row on preplanning my mothers funeral as well. So one trip, two things hopefully taken care very soon just to make sure her assets are in order. Easy right?
Throughout all of this happening I have been a little down, worried, sad, you name it I am sure I have felt it. I was looking around Facebook yea I know, but as I was looking a group just popped up, don’t you just just love that when that happens? I sure do. So I came upon this great group called Miss Norma’s Caregivers Retreat. I tell you it’s like my own little support group. There are so many similar stories to ours with those who have loved ones with dementia too. This group was started by the son and daughter-in-law of Driving Miss Norma who passed away on her terms in September of 2016. Their adventures where recorded on Driving Miss Norma’s page on Facebook and they wrote a book about their adventures too. It’s a great read I have the book and have read the book. I just love this group of supporters you can be yourself and share your story along with questions and know you are not alone. Oh, and it not just those with dementia it’s all types of ailments and mainly it’s the caregivers just needing that additional hand and to know you are not alone. If you need a great support group this group is for you. Check them out. It is a private group so you ask to join the group. Minor inconvenience for a great group of caregivers!

This is the groups photo and only used to show you what the group looks like when you are looking for the group.

Today Was A Good Day

Like I said in the last post things have been going so fast and trying to plan so much and and and, but today was a GOOD day!!!

With everything that has been happening and what I have been trying to prepare, take care and and and… I took today as a day to just be. Do you really know how hard that is for someone that has been trying to finish things or to get things taken care of that this is? This is a HARD thing to do is just be! I would catch myself starting to think about well I can do this and that, but said ok no today is for to just be. So my youngest is having his birthday in a few days, but today he decided that we needed to involve his Nana. So we completed what each of us had to do today before going to see Nana. So as we are getting a cake at the store close by we are going over what we need to get and I ask would you like ice cream to go with cake? He was like sure and we see little ice cream containers that has peanut butter and he opted for this since he knew that his Nana loves peanut butter. He was thinking of her for this whole get together. It melted my heart to see this coming from him about how much he cared for his Nana.

So we got to have a good visit with Nana and enjoy pizza, cake, ice cream and oh so many laughs.

Today Was A Good Day!!!

This Was a GOOD Day!

In The Fast Lane It Seems

It’s been awhile since I last posted, but as the title says I or I should say we have been in the fast lane so it seems. Things seem to be changing everyday. I sometimes don’t know which way I should go and or what I should do next. It seems so uncertain from day to day. Working on our list of things to take care of to help keep mom comfortable and at her home she loves even tho at times she doesn’t realize it’s her home. Things are just moving to fast so it seems.

I know Mother’s Day is right around the corner and I am thinking in the back of my mind will this be the last one that my mom will remember me or even be here. This goes along with my last post of not thinking to far into the future. I just try to think about each day as it comes, but tonight as I type this I am thinking about my mom’s doctors appointment tomorrow what will come from this appointment, what is going to change for her, how am I going to be able to help her and all that jazz. These are things that are on my mind.

Some good things have been happening too. Over the past month I have been able to have some lunches with my mom and family. We got to spend Easter together too. With this extra time I got to spend with her I got to hear a few things from her past which seems at times is where she seems to be and for now she knows me and her grandkids too. She loves her family. She told me that she loved me the other day and was very proud of me and I truly saw it in her eyes. I can’t explain that feeling that I saw it was like looking into someone’s soul and truly seeing them at their most vulnerable moment.

So tomorrow like I said is her next appointment with the Neurologist and I am not sure what is going to happen. I know I have to plan several hours in advance to make sure I can get mom there on time with all that goes into making sure she is ready on time. These are just things you have to do so that the day goes a smoothly has it can go. So you hope. Please don’t think I am complaining, I am not I, am just learning how to navigate thru what I am seeing thru the lens of Dementia.

Fast Track into a fog…not knowing what is on the other side.

I thank you for taking the time to read my posts. I hope it helps you in some way or another. This has helped me with getting my feelings out and almost like therapy for me. I would love to hear from you too. Anyone else going through similar things or have anything they would love to share no judgment here just support and to know you are not alone. Blessings to you all and have a Blessed night.

A Day of Looking Ahead

Looking ahead I really don’t want to look that far ahead. But on days that you are not sure what is the best way to handle things in any way shape or form that’s what we seem to do “Look Ahead”. I see days that my mom won’t know who I am any more or know how to get dressed, etc… I hope and pray that this won’t happen, but on days like today you keep “Looking Ahead”. Why is it so hard to for us to handle this turn of events…WHY!!! It seems that I am the adult and she is the child, but I DON’T want to treat her like one! WHY??? I know things happen for a reason I truly believe this thru and thru or I wouldn’t be here today myself! But I am and God has a plan I just wish He would give me more of an insight into His plan that would be so nice, but life isn’t nice at times. It is mess, colorful, tangled, etc… it is “Looking Ahead” to the future not just soooo far into the future just one day, even hours, minutes or seconds into the future so that you don’t go worrying about things you don’t have any control over just be there when you can and keep those memories close and those “Looking Ahead” times closer!

I saw this poem and just had to share with you all.

How One Phone Call Can Change Your Day

Let me just say How One Phone Call Can Change Your Day for the BETTER will be my response for TODAY.

Let me just say things seem to be changing every day for the BETTER, but not for the most of the days. But I won’t go into that right now. Let’s talk about my BETTER change for THIS day!

Today I received a call from my mom just out of the blue asking about “How did I enjoy yesterday?” I in turn told her I really enjoyed myself and seeing family I haven’t been able to spend time with in a very long time. Then mom said, “That she to enjoyed herself and that she didn’t have anything else to talk about.” We chatted a little bite more about this and that and then we said our goodbyes and that was it. I got off the phone and needed to share this with the family that we spend our time with yesterday I was so happy to share this news! She remembered this event from yesterday!!! It’s like when your kids get an A+ on a test. It’s BIG news!!!

Like I also said earlier things have been changing and not for the better it has seemed for a few weeks into months it all seems to blend together. You know when you are dealing with issues when you have most of your senses they seem small, but when these similar issues come up when you are dealing with not all of your senses functioning things seem so so so BIG especially with phone calls, internet, online, etc… these are not fun.

Speaking of phone calls one almost ruined my moms insurance coverage. My mom did everything right too. She received a call from a company asking her about her insurance and the first thing she mentioned was she has dementia which was great and the call should have ended, but it didn’t. Just by speaking over the phone to my mother they where able to change her insurance. YES I KNOW RIGHT!!! She did everything right she said she has dementia! It took me so many calls later, days later and even then a few weeks later when we thought all was good one more thing came up later. A friend contacted the company that called my mom and they were nice and all, but the friend wanted this call recorded and it to be stated and to be brought up in a staff meeting that as soon as someone says they have DEMENTIA the call should stop and nothing else should be said… period!!! In turn the person from the company said she sounded fine. YES, she is FINE, but has DEMENTIA which in turn can affect different ways of thinking, understanding, etc… the call should have stopped and nothing else should have happened! This was finally resolved and a BIG learning lesson for myself.

On another note phone calls for making changes to accounts, online accounts, etc… is so different in so many ways. Another learning lesson for myself as well. I did only lose it once on one of the companies that I was dealing with which I think speaks volumes with the amount of phone calls I have made over these past few months. I understand its your job and I totally understand that you can’t give me that personal information, but if I can’t understand you while I am speaking to you now and all I am asking for is the list of information you need from me so that I can get put onto that account emailed to me and you tell me you can’t send me an email. WHAT THE &%? Yes, I understand these companies can’t put me on those accounts without permission from the account holder. I get it I understand security, privacy, etc… but it is so frustrating that I have to go thru this and do you know that it seems this POA I have as well doesn’t seem to mean anything to so many.

To wrap things up for today on a more of a positive note I will classify these other issues as minor and yes I am going to call them minor bumps on this journey of Looking Thru the Lens of Dementia they will continue to be my Learning Curves as I am along on this journey only looking thru this lens, but when I get to have a call from my mom asking me about how I enjoyed myself yesterday those are the calls I will remember forever those are the calls that matter and those are the calls that will bring glimmer’s of LIGHT thru the darkness of this thing we call dementia!

Glimmer’s of Light Thru this darkness we call dementia.

WOW What A Ride…

I am referring to a roller coaster which I don’t care for my self personally. But this whole dementia thing is so much like a roller coaster up one day down another. That is what it has been recently. Things seem to be changing a lot more quickly then what I or my mother expected.

Recent things that I have been working on have been trying to get in home care help, changing essentials so I can help to take care of them and along with also just being a daughter.

How do you be a caregiver and a family member a daughter all at the same time? I’ve been thinking about this at the same time as I am working on taking care of things for my mom.

I tear up every once and awhile while talking to my mom at that time I can see in her eyes that she doesn’t like this at all, not having control any more it bothers her I know it does. I try very hard not to hover/mother her it’s a learning curve BIG time for me!

At times you feel so alone, but your not. I have family, friends, church, etc… that are there for me. But if anyone as gone through anything similar knows what I mean. God and prayer is my best friend for without them I wouldn’t be able to do this at all!

My hope is by sharing my journey Looking Thru the Lens of Dementia will help someone else to let them know that you are not alone in this journey. Even though your journey may be slightly different it has its similarities. Blessings to those who are all to familiar with this memory taking disease.

What a wild ride we are on!

A Day of Making Sure All is Well

Today was a day that I knew I needed to be on the phone with company support to change ID’s and updating passwords. It took me most of the afternoon into the early evening. Now I LOVE my mom with all my heart and would do this day over again if I needed to don’t get me wrong, but boy am I tired! Who knew doing all this which didn’t seem like much would make you tired.

On the a good note all has been updated and I am aware of what ID’s and passwords are now along with being contacts for things as well. I really feel for those who are on support I am sure they have heard it all too. A HUGE THANK YOU TO TECHNICAL SUPPORT! They made it so easy to take care of what I needed to take care and make sure that my mom was all set and didn’t need to worry about anything at least for awhile.

We are setting things up for my mom to make it a little easier on her from meds, to house work, etc… My mom told me that I am good at this and that I should offer support to others to show them the ropes. You know that at times I wish there was something out there that would spell things out like ok you look here for help for assistants with home care, it would be a good idea to do this for medications and it would be a good idea to make sure you have all these items together for future reference. A girl can dream, right? Who knows I might do something like this you just never know.

Putting the technical things aside today it was a good day spent with my mom and we had lunch and talked and got things DONE!

Blessings to you all!!!

My Special Snow Heart