I think this is more of a vent/rant than request for answers, but I'm frustrated today. I've been reading here for exactly three years, since Mama's ALZ diagnosis. I can't begin to convey my gratitude for all the help and encouragement you all have given me. I don't think I have this in my profile: I'm a part time long distance caregiver, half the month up close and personal, the other half away which I cherish as respite.
I usually know better: Don't tell her future plans until the day before. But the church where she's been a member for 65 years is having a special ticketed event for the pastor, a banquet in early September. She hadn't been to church in a few months (long story, it involves pulling hens teeth!), two weeks ago someone told her about it in passing (literally, we were at the pharmacy and bumped into another member), and Mama said she'd like to go. Repeatedly. She also griped about how no one bothered to call her, wasn't she a good enough member, etc. The following Sunday, I got her to church, my cousin ensured I could purchase Mama a ticket, and she offered to hold it to ensure it doesn't get misplaced, since she and her husband will be taking Mama.
Since then, no matter what, the banquet has become a major topic of conversation every day. Several times a day. "Is it tomorrow? When is it? Where is the ticket? When is the date? What time is it? How will I get there?" I thought I could quell these with what I call a "job aid", a large type one pager, with the date and time, where the ticket is, and who's her ride. I even programmed her Alexa to answer if she asks "When is the church banquet?" Maybe that's where I went wrong. Now it's more "When is September? Is it tomorrow? What if I miss my ride?" I tell her to read the paper and ask Alexa which gets her hot mad.
The kicker: She got up yesterday, thinking the banquet was today. She was adamant that I didn't understand, who wrote the paper, I could be wrong, we need to call the church and my cousin, and was really agitated to a level I've rarely seen. (Yay for ALZ changes.) She cried, I cried, then she settled down and took a nap, slept through dinner time, and I let her. I took a post dinner nap, and when I got up at 10:30pm to check on her, she was fully dressed in the living room, "waiting for her ride to the banquet." And mad as all get out when I ushered her back to her bedroom to undress and go back to bed. To be honest, she was mad when I tried to explain that no church banquet would be held at midnight during the week, and there was no way my cousin was coming if it were! LOL
I reworded the job aid to say "The banquet is NEXT MONTH. It is not today.", adding I and my cousin "will make sure you don't miss it." But I know, like the sky is blue and grass is green, that likely won't help. She always was analytical, curious, independent, self-sufficient, and a bit obsessive/compulsive. She could also be cutting, dismissive, and derisive, and I learned over my lifetime to not allow that, to not accept it from her, uphold my boundaries for my own self care. I think ALZ has dialed that all up to 11. This morning, she said the solution is that she "just won't go at all, how about that?" Whew, she tires me out.
Do I keep or toss the job aid? Any rewording suggestions? I'll take any ideas for how to help/divert/distract her and keep my sanity!