When the Dementia person says "thank you".

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Caregiving for my mother for that last 1.5 years is the hardest thing I have done (juggling with full-time job, husband, and my life what we have left of it).

Though this morning when I was making breakfast for my 96-yr old mom and she asked how she got to our house (for millionth time), I took a deep breath, gave the abbreviated version what transpired over the last 2 plus years and how we got her from not being able to sit up on her own or to walk to standing and being able to wash and dry her hands and using a walker to get from her wheel chair to the bathroom or to sit outside on the deck and return to her chair.)

She teared up and said, "Thank you." You were always good to me.

That's when I am happy she is here and not in a NH. I know then in the end, I will miss her like crazy and will probably remember the non-dementia mom, but will be satisfied that we helped her to the best of our ability, that she was happy and in familiar surroundings, with family and loved until God has her in his Home.

LastOne

11 Comments

It is kind of sad that no one has responded to this. I feel envious, because I don't recall my mother ever saying thank you. I wondered if that was true for other people here on the board. We give so much and get a lot of criticism and guilt, but no thank you's. You are lucky to have such a sweet mom, LastOne.
My mom and her hubby were always thankful I was there to care for them. Mom would tell me almost nightly how thankful she was that I was there. Her hubby, last thing he would say each night before he went to bed is thank you. It is those times that help get us through the difficult times.
Hi JessieBelle,

LastOne here. Your words and thoughts are very kind. Thank you. Most days my mom can say thank you for things, but there are others not so good. Her good moments are about 10-20% of the time, so when a good moment comes around it is very welcome.

On the morning of the 4th, right now, she is crying in bed and feeling bad again. Maybe a non-relative caregiver can handle that emotionally, but I don't do very well with that. My mom is living at our house and we are basically stuck here 96 to 98% of the time. That is 4 to 6 hours a week.

I don't want to get off-topic, so just again will say, thank you for your very kind response, your thoughts are uplifting to me.
JessieBelle, I need to correct my post and say that the 4 to 6 hours/week is the time we have away from home, but I didn't post it that way -- sorry I didn't proof my note very well before I sent it. LastOne.
Dear GladImHere,

Last one here. Thank you for your thoughts also. Your mom and her husband sounded very appreciative of your time and care you gave to them. That is a gift.
Hi again, JessieBelle,

LastOne with another thought for you. I'm sure in your mom's heart and soul she knew the sacrifices you gave up for her. Are you still caring for you mom?

The ravages of the the disease upon their brain is brutal to not only those who have the disease, but the loved ones caring for them - especially when one is a direct relative (son/daughter). You are kind to your mother by caring for her and I hope you have family who assist you. Best regards--

LastOne, I am still caring for my mother. I've been living with her at her house now for 5.5 years. She believes it is the daughter's place to care for parents when they get older. (I'm not sure where she got this belief, since neither she nor her sisters cared for her father when he got older.) Because she expects it, it is like I am doing the job I'm supposed to be doing.

This is probably why I find it so heartwarming to read about a parent who appreciates the caregiving child. I know that those good times give you a boost in your spirits. I hope her tears are replaced by a smile today.
To all the care takers in this world, God-bless you and may he give you the strength and understanding loving heart and guidance to help and care for your loved one. I too, was the care taker of my Loving, mother who past just 8 months ago, at the age of just turning 84 yrs old. She to had dementia. The years went on it got more and more intense , more things to do for her, the questions that she'd ask over and over again within minutes apart used to make me so upset not with her but the illness. The worrying about her on a daily bases seemed like it was consuming my life. But through it all remembering my mom's "Thank you-s, her hugs when I left her and the kisses of Hello and Good-byes that were always given makes me realize what a wonderful women and friend I was blessed with and how thankful I was to have my mother teach me that caring for her was another way of her teaching me what loving unconditional is really all about and when it gets hard and frustrating and you're tired Ask God to give you the strength and patience to help the one in need.
My mother doesn't speak much any more, but she is very loving.
Every night when I tuck my Mom in kiss her good night and tell her I'll see you in the morning she says "oh good night and thank you".. Every night no fail...

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