Thursday, June 28, 2012

We'd love to have more like her...

Today, like any day, had both happy and sad. My daughter, Jessie, and my grandsons made the trip up to see Mom with me and she was so happy to see them! She saw me first and was quite excited, just like the other day, but then she noticed the other visitors.

The funniest thing happened after we took a walk while they were getting things ready to play noodle ball. We had Mom settled in a chair ready to play and she looked up and saw Jessie. Now, she had already seen Jessie and talked to her but it was like she was seeing her again for the first time. She was so excited and smiling! I think she actually was confused for a moment thinking it was an additional family member coming to visit. Jessie's comment, "Yes, we all look alike." :)

The sad side was that one of the residents, a woman much younger than Mom but who was already in a wheelchair and pretty much uncommunicative when Mom moved in, is in the process of passing. She may, at this point, have already passed. Beth, the activities person, and Tina, felt she wouldn't make it through the night.

It's sad when the residents pass on and at the same time you can't help but feel relief for them that their journey has ended. I've watched over this last year as many have progressed from walking, talking and enjoying activities to sitting huddled over and uncommunicative to finally passing on.

Through it all, Mom continues to bop around like she's not 96 years old! I looked at Beth today after our conversation about the other resident and told her that Mom is going to outlive us all. She said, "We'd love to have more like her!"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Oh my goodness! Putting her in the assisted living facility has made her healthier!

This may sound really strange but when I first brought Mom to live with me, there were times when I thought she was at death’s door.  I would call my brother, whom she had lived with for 24 years, and he knew exactly what I was talking about.

Fast forward to the present, after spending a year living with me, and now a year living in the ALF and again, OH MY GOODNESS!  I swear Mom is going to outlive us all!

I drove up for my visit today and when she saw me, she got all excited and held out her hands to hug me.  I helped her up from the couch and she held on to me, telling another resident, “This is my daughter.  She’s mine… well, and my husband’s too.”  J

We walked around outside for awhile and sat in chairs in the sun while she exclaimed over the blue sky and how much she loved it and told me about the plantings and she and Daddy had done part of it and other men had helped with the rest.  She talked and talked and some of it actually made sense although it was all wrong – but she thought it was and I just went along with it.

The days aren’t always so clear.  Some days she doesn’t know me at all but not often.  She usually recognizes my face although she can’t come up with a name for me or anyone else in her family.  Some days she doesn’t recognize the family (in pictures) and sometimes she does.  I don’t know until I arrive.

Physically, however, she is thriving.  The only issue we see is that her ankles swell now and then, typically when Tina, her regular aide, and Beth, the activities person, have been off for a day or two.  I think she sits and sleeps on those days.  Other than that, their meals are obviously working wonders – and they should because their menus are all about nutritious meals for the digestive systems of seniors.  That care definitely shows on Mom!

Back to the mental part though.  Mom still has everything packed into her dresser, ready to move at a moment’s notice.  Not that she wants to, it seems, she now says she doesn’t know when they will come in and tell her she has to leave.  I assure her that they don’t want her to leave and that the family knows where she is so all is good.

It’s always fun to see what she has decided to put on her dresser.  It is the only place she will display anything and what is there changes from time to time.  I quite often take a picture and share it with my family on Facebook so they can see who rose to the top that day.  Here’s today’s picture – note that Jesus is sitting in the tray from her false teeth container…  the funny side of the mind!