Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Thursday, March 24, 2016


I came across one of her photo albums yesterday and transferred about 50 pictures into a little 4x6 size album, one picture per page.  What a great idea.  She looked through it and then again and then again.  She must have looked through it 6 times, each time seeing it as something new.  There is one picture of her and Fred in there that apparently she doesn't like and each time she pointed to it and said she didn't like it.

I also included a picture of the mobile home and pictures of the living room and den and the first two times through she would stop at that picture and ask what it was.  The third time shes looked at it and said "I think I lived here once."

The funniest thing, though, was that the very last picture I included was the one I took of her with Jeri last week.  She had been commenting on how young everyone looked and how old they are now and when she came to that picture she said "she still looks the same, though."

Anyway, it was a great idea and actually kept her busy for half an hour!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Visit with Jeri

I notice that noise is starting to be a problem for her.  She always is very irritated in the dining room because everyone is talking.  I ask her if she thought they should sit there silently and says says, "well...YES!"

We spent time with her with Jeri after lunch and at one point she called out "Will you please STOP TALKING so I can understand you."  Jeri talks very fast and I think her constant patter, which I thought would be good for my mother, was just too much for her.

It's difficult to remember what is "too much" for her any more.

Jeri said that frustrating thing about her is that she mostly talks about how she never sees her any more, when Jeri is sitting right there in front of her

And her hair.  My god her hair.  Jeri now has short hair for the first time in her life and every time my mother looked away from her and then looked back again, it was as if she was seeing her for the first time.  I can't remember how many times she asked "when did you get your hair cut?"  Sometimes she likes it, sometimes she hates it, one time she said she didn't want to be seen in public with her, another time she thought it was cute.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Her Main Problem

I told my mother that her problem is that she looks and acts so well, nobody believes she is 97 years old!  97! Five years older than Nancy Reagan, But she stands straight, has all of her teeth, walks without assistance.  Yes, she has lines on her face, but not all that many.

And that's her problem.  I expect her to act the way she looks even though I know she is almost 100 and I probably should make more allowances for her than I do.

My visit with her on Tuesday was brief, 30 min vs. the hour I usually spend, because I as on my way to the hospital to work.  But it was one of her "distracted" days.  She really didn't seem interested in anything and even the things she says all the time were kind of like playing a record, not with any feeling behind them.  Again she asks who those cute little girls are in the picture on her cabinet.  She never, ever remembers who they are. I tried to let her know "what I've been doing that's exciting," which she wants to know every time but she never listened, just looked out the window or at her fingernails and asked me what I've been doing that's exciting.  She's always had perfectly manicured nails and Tuesday she had taken off some of the polish on some of her nails and just kept looking at them and picking at them and complaining that she had no nail polish (which she does...she often puts polish on her nails while we talk).  Even news of Jeri's impending visit didn't seem to excite her much.  She just sighed and said "well, it will be nice to see the kids..."  Usually Jeri's impending visits are the one things that makes her sparkle.

But she's 97 and she's in surprisingly good condition for someone who's 97.  I need to keep remembering that.