Mother is 91, has a BIMS score of 6 (severe cognitive impairment). She's in memory care, and has lost most of her short-term memory, and is down to a small amount of her long-term memory as well. Once in a while, she'll have an episode where she'll say something totally delusional, but she knows us still.
She fell recently and fractured her elbow in 2 places. She's experienced a couple of complications (edema, cellulitis), and is having quite a bit of discomfort. They're attending to her well, though. She's in a wonderful facility.
My thing at the moment is that until the past few weeks, she's done a lot of walking every day. She hates being alone in her room, so she cruises the hallways, shadowing the staff (to their consternation). But I'm sure her heart must be pretty strong. She says she is certain she'll live to 100. She's just stubborn enough to do that. But I don't think her mind will last that long.
We go once a week to spend 90 minutes with her. She is very sweet (went the opposite way to some dementia patients), and I love that part, but it is exhausting to go each week unless I have some thematic something to show her. I've brought old family photos, pictures from trips we took as a family when I was growing up, photos of her life with Daddy, etc., etc.
I'm running out of things to do or show. My situation isn't grave, and doesn't come close to being burnout. Just bewildering, frustrating and sad. She was a good mom - I think she had the same mood disorder as I do. Not always kind, but never abusive. And then there were the days when I'd come downstairs and she'd greet me with a cheery "Hi, Pretty Girl!" Those were priceless times.
I guess I'm not looking as much for advice as I am just to give voice to the deep sigh I have dwelling in my chest, remembering that tomorrow is Sunday yet again, and I'l have to come up with something to chat about once we get done with discussing the chapel service that morning (she watches on closed circuit in the common area with others). My husband and I live a fairly mundane existence, and whatever is not mundane, we wouldn't discuss with her, because it's not always positive. And she doesn't remember what happened that week, naturally.
So, anyway, here goes: Sigh.