Positive stories for Christmas.

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I was hoping there might be people here who would be able to give some positive feedback about their elderly relatives. I know most of us are looking for support re problems we are having, but not all elderly people are difficult and make our lives awful.

So even if no one joins me, I'd at least like to give tribute to my wonderful mother who will be 93 December 15. She has dementia, just lost my father in October, and lives in assisted living. However, she is one of the most positive, kind and undemanding people I know.

She was the one who raised her 3 children because my dad was a traveling salesman and gone a lot of the time. Because of her, my brothers and I have a very good relationship. I see my mom 2-3 times a week and my brothers take turns seeing her about once a week (they work full time and have over an hour's drive). We don't argue over my mom's care and even though I put in more time with her, I do not resent it in the least.

She is always happy and upbeat. Losing my father was difficult for her, but I suppose the dementia has, in some ways, made it easier. Sometimes she forgets he's dead and thinks he's in the hospital, but one time she told me she was okay because he had traveled so much that she just pretends he's on another trip.

I usually take her out for lunch and then to the library or maybe just for a drive and she will keep repeating, "that looks familiar." When I call her in the morning to ask if she'd like to go out, she always says enthusiastically, "yes!" When we are walking together from or to her room she will tell me how nice things are and it's so quiet "because everyone is old." But she isn't complaining because she is smiling and it's her little joke.

It wasn't this way in the beginning because I was the one who had expectations. I was upset because she would hide her used Depends instead of throwing them in the covered container I bought just for that purpose!!! I was irritated because she kept repeating herself or she would have to keep her purse with her no matter where we went.

Then I stopped trying to get her to do things the "right" way and started going along with "her" way. I realized I was embarrassing her when I got after her for hiding the Depends so I quit lecturing and quietly threw them away myself. I also made sure the staff was aware and asked them to check when they cleaned and things are much better now. She can take her purse wherever she wants. Who cares. It's way more important to her that she has it and for whatever reason provides her some security. Yes, she repeats herself a lot and she also doesn't hear very well. So what. I smile at her and respond as though whatever she says is fine with me.

I know I'm very fortunate and not all parents or relatives are like this. My father was a nice person, but much more difficult so I totally understand the people who are upset, discouraged, tired, etc. However, I also needed to say that there are also people like my mom.

When I take her back to her room, I always hug her and tell her I love her and she does the same. Then I will tell her I'm going and I'll remind her of when I'm coming to see her again. She has this huge smile and she'll lift both arms in the air and say, "thank you, thank you." I'm so blessed.


You are blessed, TheirDaughter. Thank you for writing this. Having good family and outside help is a blessing that we all should have. :) I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. I know your mother will love whatever you plan.
What a nice idea for a discussion. My Mom has some dementia and suffered a brain stem stroke. She was once very active and always on the go. You could not get her to sit down! She could barely sit through a movie in the movie theater. It has been very hard for her being confined in a wheelchair and having to let others do things for her but one blessing is her relationship with my daughter . My daughter has a genetic syndrome that is similar to Down's -for lack of a better description. She is 16 but developmentally much younger. My daughter just loves to go on the computer and play preschool games and she loves to have someone sit with her and watch her but I don't always have the patience or the time but my mom , this woman who couldn't sit still most of her life, just loves to sit with my daughter and watch her play on the computer. She is so good with her. And seems to enjoy the computer games herself. ( ISpy is a favorite -they both love looking for the hidden items). It just warms my heart !! It's funny because my grandma had Alzheimer's ( spelling) years ago( she has since passed , rest in peace) and when we would visit her in the NH when my daughter was about 3 my grandma always remembered who my daughter was. And she would be so much calmer when my daughter was there. She would say "there is nothing wrong with this child" and then she would look at my husband and say "who are you?". Loved my grandma/Busha so much and love my Mom /my daughter's Nana so much. And , of course, love my daughter so very much!!
Mishka thank you so much for sharing that. I know it can be difficult to focus on the positives when so many things are going wrong. But we are also missing a lot when we forget to enjoy the good things. I loved what you had to say and I hope more people will do the same.
Oh, Their Daughter,you are very sweet. And you sound like a wonderful daughter --what you said about "stopping doing things the 'right way' and doing it their way" reminds me so much of a parent with a child with special needs. You are indeed blessed and your mom so much so as well! And me , too!!

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