Many of you may know that I’ve been taking care of my mother, Stella, from afar, for about twenty years and that she came to live with us about four years ago.
She was still doing great for most of those years. Until last fall, when she began a rapid decline from intermittent light dementia to full late phase Alzheimer’s. She will be 88 on Sunday. She had a very full life with a handsome husband, three boys, interesting work, lots of travel, and painting her art. We had an unforgettable party for her 80th birthday. I had hoped to have one more, but it is now too late. Just a cake and candles with Rick and I. Perhaps I can pulverize a piece of cake in the blender for her… I’ll leave out the candles!
I foresaw some of this and was able to renovate the lower floor of my home to accommodate a wheelchair while enlarging a half bath into a full bath with threshold-free shower. This has turned out to have been very helpful.
What I didn’t expect, was that it would be necessary for me to live with her in these rooms, about 24 hours per day. She has to be continuously attended to prevent falling out of her hospital bed, and to help stand her up and down, up and down– which she wants to do all day long. As well as bathroom help (embarrassing) and hand-feeding her.
I am not complaining, it is an honor to help her, as she did for me in my early years. And she was a marvelous woman who I enjoyed immensely.
But I just wanted to let my readers and friends know why my blogging has slowed down to less than one post a month!
Alzheimer’s is an insidious disease, taking bits and pieces of the mind away, in fits and starts, then finally, making the muscles forget what they are supposed to do. I know many of you are going through a similar crisis with your loved ones. My heart goes out to you.
Many thanks to the researchers and doctors studying the disease, the lovely caregivers at Savannah Hospice, Lenore, Valerie, Rick and whoever gives care to loved ones in their time of need.