This morning I heard on the news that studies are showing that trouble sleeping and taking frequent naps may be signs that you will develop Alzheimers later in life. Oh me. Just what I needed, another reason to not sleep very well thus leading to more naps. There's something wrong with that cycle. I'm already so paranoid about getting it or having it and doing what Mom is doing. Geez.
Our whole lives we hear that when we get older, our parents become like our children and we reverse roles. Every time I take mom to what I call "dementia daycare" I am reminded how true that is. I went to pick her up to take her yesterday and as has become the norm with anyone but Daddy, she was quite resistant about going with me. Oh, I know not to take it personal - it's one of the many things you learn through this process. I know she has no clue where she's going and can't remember she was there yesterday or last week or the week before that. It's just Daddy. It doesn't matter what is going on, Mama wants to be with Daddy every second of every day. He is her security blanket. But regardless, we were able to coax her into the car and off she and I went.
The entire ride to dementia daycare is the same each time. "Where is your Daddy going?"... "Does your Daddy know I'm with you?"... "I can't find my lipstick" (although I've bought her a dozen tubes:)..."I don't understand why we're doing this."... "Where are we going?"..."Where's my lipstick?".. "What are we doing?" ... "I'm so proud to have you for a daughter" .. "You need on some lipstick" and the list of commonalities goes on. I always try to remember the Hospice suggestion of one or two word responses so there's a lot of yeps and nopes in our conversation but it works.
Then we arrive at dementia daycare, the Harbor at Twin Lakes, an amazing place, and I am each time reminded of taking Chase to his first daycare experience at about 2 years old. I coax her out of the car and in the door by telling her whatever I have to tell her (I still feel guilty at all the little white lies you have to tell your parent during this phase) but you do what you have to do. She never remembers having been there before. Then we get in and the wonderful ladies (just like Chase's wonderful teachers years ago) coax her on in the door, get her distracted, while I sneak out the door..... all the while listening to her through the door asking where I am or where Daddy is and they're coaxing her over to have a cup of coffee or read the paper (like coaxing Chase to play with his toys).
And much like taking Chase to daycare, the picking up part is the fun part. She is so excited to see you and acts like she can't believe you knew where she was. Oh yes, Mama, we know where you are, we are reminded hour by hour. We won't forget. Love you Mama.
Mom and Dad in the fall of 2010.