Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Back to Normal

First visit with my mother following our cruise.  I took a selection of post cards to tell her about the trip, figuring that eventually I will make a selection of the best photos to show her.  She didn't seem to remember I had been gone when she opened the door, but then she did and, of course, it took many retellings but that was OK.  We had things to talk about.  And she laughed a lot when I told her about Walt getting left in the bathroom of the bus.

But the best part was going to lunch.  Robert joined us.  He is a regular at her normal table but came in late today, as did we, so we were at a different table.  Her whole demeanor changed when he arrived.  She was back in flirty mode again.  She has always needed a man in her life to flirt with. The two of them are good for each other, he can't hear much and both of them have dementia, so they speak the same language.  Robert's dementia was particularly bad today but somehow they were able to enjoy a conversation. I was amazed that she greeted him by name.  I didn't know she knew ANYONE at Atria by name.

While they were chatting, I was talking with Carol, a woman I hadn't met before, but who has been there not quite a year and says that "Mildred is my favorite person here."

Loretta came in while we were lunching. Carol told me I should see Loretta and my mother trading barbs when they are together.  I told her that I had and that they were even better when they had a little wine with their meal.  Loretta is starting to get that 'Atria look' that all the older people with dementia seem to get (my mother included) where they have completely lost interest in their appearance.  In addition to wandering around looking for a friend to eat with, I noticed that she had not brushed her hair and her clothes were "askew."  My mother is frequently like that when we go to eat.  It seems a good way to tell the ones with dementia from the ones without is to check their hair.  Robert's normally well coiffed white hair stood up in back like Alfalfa's.

But all in all it was a good visit.  I dreaded getting back into the Atria routine, but it wasn't at all depressing, and she desperately needed underwear washed.  I don't know what she did in my absence.  She had told me she would wash things by hand, but doesn't remember now whether she did or not.

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