I will be leaving for Christmas for about 7 days... the longest I have ever been gone from Mom. How do I prepare her? - AgingCare.com

I will be leaving for Christmas for about 7 days... the longest I have ever been gone from Mom. How do I prepare her?

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She is 93, has a certain amount of dementia, and they are putting her back on Cymbalta because her restless legs keep her awake and moving at night... and it also takes care of the pain she has in her hip due to a hip surgery some two years ago. I'm saying all this to say she will be more out of it now and less lucid right at a time when I leave to visit my Airforce son and his family, whom we haven't seen in over a year.... and my precious three granddaughters.

Is it worth putting up a calender showing her how the days tick off before I return. She may not remember the calendar once I'm gone, but perhaps it will remind the nurses/aides to tell her everyday how long before I return. Is this a good plan?

Oh, where would I be without you'all!!!

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My cousin had no concept of time or understanding of a calendar. She made no sense of it, though liked the pictures of the kittens on it.

I would have the staff tell her you will be returning soon. Hopefully, she will do well on Cymbalta. It really has helped my cousin.
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Jocelyne, Have yourself a Merry little Christmas!
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The perception of time, day and seasons seems to be among the first things that go. My mother wondered why I didn't put my laundry out on the line to dry ... it was January and there was 3 or 4 feet of snow everywhere which she could see from her window.
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The calendar won't make sense. Please do NOT call her daily, it only aggravates the separation anxiety. Let the aides be her company, let her focus on them. This is what works for my sister in a group home.
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The calendar could be pro or con. Your Mom might understand the number of days and be comfortable with it.... or it would scare her knowing it will take a certain number of days before you return. Or she wouldn't even understand what is a calendar.

When it came to visiting my Mom, I use to go every afternoon or in the evening but then I started to cut back to every other day. My Mom didn't even notice.
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The ability to comprehend time was one of the first things to go with my mother, telling her minutes, hours and days has no real meaning to her. I would just have the aides remind her that you are away for a few days and will be back "soon", and that they will take care of her until then. Leave it to the caregivers to add more detail to that if they feel she needs it. Kind of like explaining to a toddler when Santa will arrive ;)
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