Dementia – Celebrating Life – Every Moment We Get

Celebrating Life Every Moment We Get

 great on of grandma laughing w hat onI apologize for not wishing each of you a marvelous New Year in 2014.  

Please know I have sent blessings out to each of you for a fantastic new year.

I just have been a bit busier with my own family over the holiday season.

This year, like three years ago I applied to sign my Mother up for hospice.    For those of you who are new to following the blog, mom has been in her end stages of dementia for the past four years, has been in a nursing for 12 years and has memory problems for over 30 years.  Three years she had a medical change…  She started having tremors.   Back then I applied for hospice services for her too.  She was approved.  Given her condition improved during the hospice period, she was released from the service, yet continued in similar condition and continued on in her end stages of Alzheimer’s.

Just before Thanksgiving this past November, mom had a grand-mall seizure, another significant medical change.  Given this change and her being more withdrawn and sleepy, I decided there was nothing to loose by applying again for hospice.  Mom was approved.  I was thrilled she would get additional one and one services:  pastoral, music therapy, massage, additional personal cares, social worker, RN and more.  So far, mom has been responsive at times to some of the services: smiles, giggles, a twinkle in the eye and even a shimmy to the music.  Each of these are huge signs of connection.  I know if compared to a “normal everyday conversation” you have with your friends and family, theses signs appear minimal at best.  To that I say, compare moms responses to that of a small child.  The times a child smiles at you, tries to say a word, giggles or gives you eye contact.  In these situations we celebrate.

Why Is It That When A Person Is

Older Or Ill In These Situations

We No Longer Celebrate Life? 

This is a question I never have understood the response I see.  Even though mom is responding, there are still many more times she sleeps, is unable to give eye contact, or respond with one word, giggle or show body movement.  In fact, I’ve found she seems to be responding more to my daughter than me.  Some people ask me if I’m upset by this, but in truth I”m thrilled when she responds to anyone.  I take joy in each and every moment shared with me.

New Year’s Baby – A Time For Celebration!

erin cash lexi grandma all smiling me mom danielle listening to the chicken dance cardfrom tom and maureen

Mom Turned 86 this New Years Day. 

For 2 1/2 hours mom was pretty alert – eyes open, smiles and giggles and even some one liners and out-and-out laughter.  This was a huge gift for all of us.  Normally mom can’t stay awake more than 10-20 minutes at a time.  What a precious time we all had with her.

Happy Birthday Mom!

tom maureen mom all smiling 2 erin sarah grandma and kids 3

Next time you are with someone with dementia no matter what stage they are in, I recommend you stop thinking about what has changed or what you have lost.

Instead, Start Looking For What Is The Same. 

What are the precious things you still can share with one another? I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find if you chose to look.

danielle steve grandma tired grandma laughing hard a=eating chipps dip brownies

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