Lately, I have needed to lay out outfits for Mom a bit more, perhaps pull out clean underwear or pajamas.
Today though, after I pulled out fresh clothes and left her to change, she called me back. She needed help with getting her turtleneck on. It felt confusing– where did her head and arms go? So I helped Mom put on her shirt and pants. She fixed her own hair though I had to help a bit with the hairband sunce she wanted it in a ponytail. Then, I made sure she had a snack to bring along, found her purse and off we went for her doctor’s appointment.
The experience felt normal I suppose based on having helped enough young kids change their clothes. But it’s an odd kind of normal.
April 16, 2014 at 7:46 am
I remember this same thing with my husband, Anthony, the shock that he couldn’t remember how to get dressed etc. Do you have a contingency plan in case your mother deteriorates fast? Sorry if that is a presumptuous question but for us it was a series of shocks – sending you a whole lot of empathetic love. Julie
April 16, 2014 at 7:47 am
Off to bed but will check you out in morning!
April 16, 2014 at 11:30 am
Familiar we often find Mum with back to front clothes
April 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm
As you have already found out, “normal” is a relative term. You seem to have a good attitude, that will go a long way towards helping you on your caregiving journey.
April 16, 2014 at 5:58 pm
It is a strange new normal. I do have you and your mom in my prayers.
April 16, 2014 at 6:50 pm
You seem to be doing a good job of taking things in stride. Putting on and taking off clothes can be stressful for those with Alzheimer’s (and their caregivers!)
April 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm
My father-in-law doesn’t want help, but he’ll only change his clothes every four days or so if I don’t bug him. It’s hard to know how independent I should let him be.
April 17, 2014 at 12:39 am
So many things become a delicate balance as our parents develop serious issues. It sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job–as my husband’s grandmother used to say “Angels can do no more.” If you haven’t, check out Carol Bursack’s blogs http://www.mindingourelders.com, http://www.mindingoureldersblogs.com, She had years of experience with dementia and is highly regarded. 2 thoughts that were helpful to me: 1. If it isn’t threatening life and limb, let it go (obviously with time there will be less and less you can let go). 2. The airplane advice, which you’ve already decided to embrace–basically, “Take care of yourself first before assisting others.” From what I gather, your sister isn’t in a position to help; smart of to you hire help.
Holding good thoughts–wishing you well
April 17, 2014 at 8:01 pm
Even though my husband and I did not have children, he’s told me lately how caring for his 90 year old mother with Alzheimer’s makes him feel the same emotions as if she was his child. It is not uncomfortable for him to dress and bath her because of the very deep love he is experiencing, much like the caring you are doing for your mom with patience, humor and love.