Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Your Mother is Fine, But She Has Dementia

I don't know when I became fully aware of it, but at some point, I became my mothers caregiver. It is not a role I would have chosen, by any means. I do not have pets, children or anything else that could make my life more chaotic... that has always been my choice. But something changed when I felt I no longer had that choice or freedom - it's called Dementia. When I first found out my mother had dementia with the onset of Alzheimer's, I just dealt with it. It was what it was & back then not too much was known about this awful disease.
Ten years ago, I was in the social workers office checking in my mothers clothes & tagging them to admit her into her first nursing home. I was very emotional & fighting back the tears, my mother was NEVER going to go to a nursing home. I was separating her blouses from her sweaters & slacks, when the social worker told me that my mother made a remarkable recovery from her pulmonary embolectomy (a major surgery) & may appear to be fine, but she is in the beginning stages of Dementia!!! 
I didn't even fully understand what that meant. I am not a doctor, but I am learning about this disease by living through it & dealing with it the only way I know how... by being there, being supportive, asking a lot of questions, interjecting humor at the most inopportune moments & being the squeaky wheel at the facility. And of course by singing & playing cards with my mother, that's what we do.

My mother & I have always had a close relationship, other than during my rebellious teenage years. We usually "got" each other. We knew where we were both coming from, she was always very supportive & allowed me to be different, but was a bit overprotective & neurotic. We have always spoken our minds & have a very honest & VERY direct way of speaking to each other. The tables have now turned & I have become "the parent" & Mama is now "my child"

I decided to share my experiences as a caregiver with you in this blog & hopefully help some of you as I use it as part of MY therapy. I know many of you can relate to similar experiences & I want you to know that you are NOT alone!

She loves to sing, so there will be a lot of videos from "Anna with a Z" & she is still one helluva singer! Music is powerful & thankfully it can & does change her mood... & mine.  

Thanks for joining me on my roller coaster & please spread the word & follow us on our ride...


  1. Very heavy, thank you for sharing, stay strong I know it's hard, my family is being affected also, but you have to be strong for your mama and for your own well being..

  2. Thanks for your feedback & good luck with your situation. Laughter really is the best medicine & helps us all get through it. It's very rewarding to get feedback especially from those that are in similar situations. Check back & please spread the word.