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Not really a question, just sharing.


Hi, hope everyone is ok on this Mother’s day, which I bet can be fraught for a lot of us.


I visited my Grandma today after several weeks of avoiding going. She’s a lot weaker, more tired, conversations more work, patience is much reduced, anxiety levels higher. I admit I avoided going as I was worried about facing her decline, and when I went, my fears were confirmed. Every time I visit her, I come back feeling awful. While I’m there I try to be bright and breezy and I do manage to make her smile, but it really feels like shaking a shiny toy in front of her face: not much help at all. A few minutes of smiles and then it’s back to being anxious. Where’s my son? Why aren’t the nurses here? Where’s my son, they aren’t coming...


I try asking her questions about who the other ladies are, or about old times. But I’m kind of awful at it and run out of things to say to her or ask her about.


I took her for a wheelchair walk in the warm sunshine today but it ended up being just another lesson for me about how little she can actually enjoy anymore. She was worried the whole time and just wanted to go back despite my talking to her and stopping to kiss her or touch her face to say it’s ok, you’re safe.


She's in constant discomfort or worry or a sort of empty daze. Her only respite is when a family member or staff member is right next to her “singing and dancing” to entertain her.


God what’s it all about anyway?


Love to everyone here today


xo

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Hazel,

You are an angel for visiting. I know it isn’t easy, but you went anyway. You treated her as you want to be treated.

I know now it’s hard to sort out the emotions. Please keep going, keep loving her, keep by her side.

Your kindness is appreciated. You are helping your grandmother, the nurses, and even the strangers you meet on this forum.

It may feel like there isn’t so much good in the world, but by visiting and caring, you prove to the rest of us .... that there still is goodness in the world. Thank you for sharing your story. But most of all, generally,

Thank you!

Please keep up the good work, even when it seems hopeless. We all (on this forum) have been there.
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I was the only grandchild that visited my grandma. My brothers did not go to see her. I loved her dearly and will never regret it.

Follow your heart. My neighbor could not go see her grandpa suffer. It hurt her too much. He understood. She chose to remember him as he was before his decline.

It’s your choice. You are a caring person or you would not have reached out. So I have complete faith in you that you will figure this out. Hugs!
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Please keep visiting her. She needs the contact. You will be glad someday that you took the time.

Bring activities, photo albums, art projects, checkers, cards, (conversational “props”) items that distract and redirect her attention. Ask her for advice. Ask her to tell you her stories. Identify her favorite song and play it on your phone. Learn your family history. Encourage her to talk about the memories that make her happy. Create a book for yourself (and family) focused on her recollections.

See if you can find topics that make her smile and laugh. (If she is grouchy it will take extra work, but it will pay off).

My grandmother liked to talk about an old boyfriend that she had as a teenager. Although she only had four or five stories about him, her eyes would sparkle when she recalled him, so we would ask her about him repeatedly (to make her happy).
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Hazelthebunny, love the name BTW, your original post got me to thinking about my dad. He’s in memory care, a small unit with about 25 people, only 3 men. Dads dementia is such that he’s pretty much just in the moment. He’s on some calming meds but not a zombie by any means. Dad was always very social and talkative and still is, but now his stories are quite delusional. I sometimes hear threads of long term memories and can prompt him into a good story for a bit.

The thing that fascinates me is how calm and happy he seems. I’ve learned to get into his reality and don’t correct him or argue. But all around dad are these frantic, paranoid old ladies. They’re very sad, scared, someone’s always trying to get them and so forth. I’m long distance so I’m only there every few weeks but when I show up I get mobbed by the gals in memory care. (I’m a 64 year old man BTW)

Sometimes I’ll sit with the memory care gang for awhile, tell them I’ll fix whatever it is, go run the bad guys/girls off etc. and always chasing down personal belongings all over the damn place. My dad carries his stuff all over, leaves it hither and yon as do most of the others. But to look at old pictures or really visit dad I take him out to the Fancy Big Lobby. He’s been there over a year but it’s always the first time he’s seen it. Grand piano, fireplace, fish tank.....

After dealing with my folks and dementia (Mom died last Year) and being around nursing homes it sometimes seems that when the cognizance switch turns off it’s like roulette: Where will the ball hit.... happy or sad. Or, as some suggest, the former personalities present themselves in dementia.

i just don’t know.
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Aww MidKid, I'm sorry you had a bummer of a MD. Hope you at the very least got to relax a bit with your feet up, with everyone off on their own errands! And hey, congratulations on your daughter finishing up her medical training! that's great news :-)

Edited to add: what are you reading these days? I'm rereading the Game of Thrones series. Always looking for suggestions!
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Margaret, you're right, I'm trying for a conversation like we used to be able to have, and I'm feeling disappointed with something that isn't Grandma's or anybody's fault, it's just the new reality.
Maybe reading to her would help... although she has a very short attention span. Still, it would relieve me of this imagined pressure that I have to be interesting! I'll see if I can dig up old copies of This England, that was always a favourite.
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I have a really hard time visiting with mother because she'd really rather I be somebody, anybody else in the family.

DH was out of town and so my family elected to do Mother's Day next week so he can be here. Also, my daughters can then relax and go see their MIL's if they want and not have to worry about fussing me.

So--my 'day' would be over by 3 pm! Long time to sit alone and contemplate my belly button.

At mother's to pass some time, I actually got her ancient laptop tp fire up and showed her some homes I am looking at. (we'll be hopefully downsizing in the next 18 months and I have been looking at homes). This she found fascinating and fun. She has no clue how to turn on her laptop and I don't know why she even has it, but she enjoyed 'surfing' for homes.

A couple of other family had stopped by the day before, and I heard all about that....and she was HOPING that her favorite ggrands, "THE TWINS" came by. Doubtful, as they live quite a ways away and she only sees them a couple times a year at family gatherings, but at 3 she was still hopeful.


(sigh) One more MD down. Who knows how many more to go. Funny, at church, how many women hugged me and said quietly in my ear 'I hate mother's day too". I've never been vocal about it, just smile, smile, smile--but truth be told, it's a truly depressing 'holiday' that needs to die.

DH texted me about 11 pm and said he had to fly to another city on an emergency, what a pain his job is, etc. I didn't respond. So he adds another text saying he hoped the kids gave me a nice MD. He has held firm to the 'no gift, no acknowledging me' on MD because 'I' am not his mother.

Whatever. I took a long nap and now I'm wide awake, but it's now MONDAY and so I will read for a while and go back to sleep and won't have to think about this for another year.

Hopefully next year my daughter & family will move back home after being gone for 6 years doing internship, residency and fellowships.

My 'golden years' are "rust". Everything is seizing up due to arthritis. Didn't plan for that!
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I think you are trying for a conversation with someone who can't hold up their end of it. One suggestion is to read to her, preferably something she will have heard before. 'The Sermon on the Mount' (Mathew chapters 5, 6 & 7) is a good start, even if she isn't religious. Another is to play music to her, one old song at a time, and then talk about the song. Do it again next time, perhaps sing along. Take pictures of her son, and talk about him and his life. 'Bright and breezy' really isn't necessary, just be relaxed company.
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2. Relentless?
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Like my mom is always saying, “It’s hell getting old!” What about these ‘golden years’ we hear about, huh? It’s more like, geeeez, I don’t even have the words to describe it anymore. What word would you use instead of golden?

I’ll take a shot at it,

1. Unpredictable

Who has the second word?
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