Alzheimer’s and the Pirate

Alzheimer’s and the Pirate

March 6, 2011

by Lori La Bey of Alzheimer’s Speaks & Senior Lifestyle Trends

I normally would not refer to my Mother as a Pirate, but today she was giving me the “Pirate Look.”  Now you have to remember Mom is in her very end stages of the Alzheimer’s disease.  She lives in a nursing home where all her needs are met in a very loving fashion.  She isn’t able to speak much, but on a good day she might say three words.  On a really good day, those words actually make sense in the conversation at hand.  When she is having a fantastic day, those words are in a sentence that makes sense. 

As you can probably tell, my expectations have had to change in order to find the simple pleasures that still exist.

Today was the “Pirate Look.”  Mom sat as I visited with one eye open and the other closed.  As I chatted away rubbing lotion on her arms and looking at her, I just kept thinking she needs a patch for that eye!  Flashes of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow kept popping up in my mind making me smile.  Of course I couldn’t find a picture of Johnny Depp with a patch but hopefully you get the picture.


Johnny Depp as Pirate Jack Sparrow

The point is, it’s about focusing on the little things.  The things we all overlook when life gets busy.

 I said to Mom, “Are you being a Pirate today?”  She didn’t respond.   I decided to keep jabbering and in a light hearted voice said, “You know with that one eye closed Mom, you look like a Pirate”

In a brief moment Mom then let out a light giggle, opened the other eye, and looked square into my eyes.  In a second, the moment was gone. Both eyes closed and she went back to resting.  I continued to massage her arms with a smile plastered to my face.

The moment might be gone physically, but it is captured in my mind forever.

4 Replies to “Alzheimer’s and the Pirate”

  1. OMG! That so reminds me of the things I used to say to my mom! For me, a very very good day was her saying one word towards the end. I learned that it worked best for my sanity and who knows what effect it may have had for her if I just babbled away to her like it was a two way conversation. Yeah, I remember the eyes closing too.

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