Writing is the greatest stress release for me. For this reason you may have noticed several posts on my mom having Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Her correct diagnosis is Dementia. The bottom line is that the result is the same—you forget.
Mom was just diagnosed a year ago with mild dementia. Unfortunately in the past 12 months she has had 4 falls with probable concussions each time. This I am told is what has accelerated the progression. Just one year ago we made the decision for her to move to Fairhope to live with us. She was excited. We were excited. If you read my last post you already know it did not last but a little over 4 months. She had a hospital stay and then moved to assisted living. When assisted living told me she no longer qualified and her doctor suggested we consider hospice I brought her home agin. Not until we brought her home did I realized she needed someone in her room as a caregiver 24/7. Less than 4 weeks later we realize I was not able to give her what she now required – skilled nursing.
Putting a parent into skilled nursing is one of the most difficult and painful decisions one can make. Especially when family members question the decision, refuse to be involved in the process and disassociate themselves. Caregiving at this level is hard and different from taking a parent to doctor appointments, shopping or errands for them. Ask any caregiver. End of life puts everything at another level.
On November 9th she went into a rehab hospital where and she is still there. She has declined so much since the day she was admitted. This breaks my heart. Prior to rehab she was in Thomas Hospital and we had long conversations. We laughed as she told me her thoughts regarding each family member. I’m so glad I wrote these things down as she shared them. We also cried together that she was not coming back to my home where she said was the best place she had ever lived.
Today we saw a new side of this disease. Though she has forgotten so many things and most other family members today she forgot Todd and me. We told her our names and she couldn’t say our names. She forgot how to talk. (garbled and slurred) She forgot how to use utensils. I fed her lunch. She forgot how to turn pages in a photo album.
A nurse told me she is sleeping much more which is a natural progression of Dementia.
We visited her for 3 hours and it still didn’t feel like enough. I wish she could come home with us.
If you are reading this and think about my mom (Dorothy Garrett) please pray she will get in to a facility called Westminster. We are waiting for a bed to open. It is closer to me but more important is the best facility on the Eastern Shore. She has a visit 5 days a week and the distance would be so much easier for us.
What God is teaching me…Servanthood, Compassion, Mercy, Love and to work hard while you can so that you can provide for those you love when they need your help.