When I ask, she just shrugs. Mom had a stroke 4 yrs. ago which slurred her speech, slowed her step, and started limiting her short term memory. Now she seems to mix up everything and drs. say her dementia will go down hill faster now. What I'm wondering is if she is thinking about anything when she stares out the window or just into space. It's very sad to watch her just sitting there. It's getting harder to engage her with activities or even trying to get her remember something from the past. I'm hoping she's at least reliving some of her childhood and not just being an empty vessel. Does anybody know??

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My sister had a poster, back in the 70s this was, with the caption "sometimes I sits and thinks… and sometimes I just sits."

Wholly inapplicable to my sister, in fact, who is one of the most industrious people I know. But never mind that. She liked this poster, and, more to the point, so did my mother who, moreover, went on to quote it habitually as a little jolly aside.

I sometimes offer her nowadays the proverbial "penny for her thoughts" and she usually (if she hears me!) quips that they're not worth the penny. So I can share your sadness at wondering if she's getting any satisfaction or contentment from whatever is on her mind. But how can we ever know?

If your mother is just sitting there, letting the spool run on rather than actively thinking, then let her be your guide: if she seems unhappy, comfort her; if she seems content, just let her know you're there.

I know it's impossible not to fret that we could be letting priceless memories go uncollected, maybe missing our last chance for important answers, or failing to encourage maximum quality of life as we should; but in the end we can only do our best. And if your best helps your mother to peace of mind, that's pretty good. It's a watching brief - "they also serve, who only stand and wait…"
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daughter64, just a thought, is there a senior day care nearby... maybe your Mom misses being around people her own age.

My parents are always grumbling about being bored, but they choose to remain in their own home by themselves. How I wished they would have chosen to be in a retirement community with so many different things going on, and new best friends to be made. I can't be their cruise director because I am still in the work force.
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Yes, we can receive it, as many times as we fall in danger of sick or death provided it be not during the same illness or thinking about passed.
When we become grievously ill, we will ask for the family or friend or priest to receive the last Sacraments.
We call last Sacraments, those which the sick person receives at the moment of death; these are Absolution, Viaticum and Extreme Unction.
It is a duty for us to counsel our parents, when they are in danger of death, to receive the priest & to accept with piety the last help of religion.
Hope, Faith, Charity,
We prepare for Viaticum & Extreme Unction… website lot of information.

Wish u all to receive Sacrament of Matrimony well, their of grace, that is, without mortal sin.

Heart of Jesus, have pity on us.
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I would try some music. What type did you like before?

I have witnessed how music can have such an impact on many of the residents with dementia at my cousin's assisted living facility. I have seen them sitting, with their heads tilted back, eyes closed and faces at total peace as they listened to heartfelt music. Old time slave songs seem to be their favorites. They are fortunate to have very good singers come and perform live at their facility. Some just sit in the visitor room and enjoy the music. It seems to bring even the ones who are non-verbal much enjoyment.

You might also try something that may feel good to her, such as a soft feeling scarf or blanket. Her sense of touch might be intact.

I try to figure out what others are thinking too, when they can't tell you. I have to believe they can be reached with some things. I hope they don't feel despair. Blessing to you and your mom.
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I'm not sure anyone would know except her. She could be said and not want to talk about it. Maybe getting her into a better atmosphere would help (if you had the time)? Maybe some music would help? ... not sure... after so much time has passed, there's only so much you can do. Just keep giving her love and let her know how much you love her (I'm sure she knows, but it doesn't hurt to keep telling her with her memory). You're a wonderful daughter. Let us know how it's going... Blessings to you and your mom.
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