Later Stages

Dementia Robbed My Mom of Being The Grandma She Wanted To Be

April 21, 2018


Dementia robbed my mom of being the grandma that she wanted to be. Dementia did not allow my mom to be the grandma that she looked forward to becoming. My mom was in her prime time of being a grandma when she got robbed by Dementia.

I'm sure that any grandma looks forward to this time in their life. It's the time where they can spoil their grandkids, play with them, and then send their grandchildren home with their parents. I've heard on many occasions how being a grandparent is so fun. I feel sad that my mom never got to experience the true experience of being a grandparent in full capacity.

I feel even sadder that my mom's grandchildren never got to experience the true grandma that my mom wanted to be.




My mom tried with all her might, to be a great grandma, to her grand children. She was more with it, and was able to do a little more for her first and second grandchildren. As the years went on, the real grandma in her, slowly drifted away, day by day, year by year.

I remember my mom feeling guilty all the time because she couldn't be the grandma she wanted to be. She vented to me many times about her guilt and frustration that something was holding her back. I had no idea at this time why my mom couldn't be the grandma that she wanted to be. To be honest, we didn't understand her or understand why she couldn't do more.

Anyone experiencing this same thing or anything similar in life, please remember:


Do Your Best, That's All That Matters!


Doing Your Best is Enough!


You Are Enough!

If I could go back in time, I would tell those exact words to my mom and hug her tight.

This has been a lesson to me and my brothers, that Dementia gives many LIMITATIONS in life. Being a grandparent is one of those limitations, unfortunately.



Activities

Cindy Turned 61 Years Old in March!

April 17, 2018

I did a quick birthday makeover on Cindy. I put some blush, mascara, and lipstick on her. It was time to PaRtY! She gave her makeover a thumbs up. :) 
We decided last minute to invite family and friends to come together to celebrate Cindy! We figured this might be the last time where she can get out and do something like this. Some hadn't seen her since before her diagnosis of FTD.


We watched the movie " The Greatest Showman". Cindy has loved to watch movies and loves music, so we thought this movie would be fun for her to watch.

Here are a few pictures of Cindy's birthday party fun!


Cindy's son and Cindy's grandchildren
Cindy and her son, Jon.
Cindy and her best friend from elementary school.
Cindy and her two sisters.
Cindy, & Cindy's son, Jon's family.
Cindy's two kids, Cindy's nephew, and Cindy's two nieces.

Thank you to all who came to her birthday party & gave her gifts.

Thank you to all who have supported our mom throughout her life!!

I wasn't able to get a picture of everyone who was there. I'm sorry to those of you who I missed! We missed those who couldn't come, too!

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"It's my birthday!

No, it's not!

I still look good though!"

- Perm by Bruno Mars



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I've listened to this song by Bruno Mars many times because my mom loves Bruno Mars. I never really listened to the words too well, before. I heard this song on my mom's birthday and it reminded me of my mom.

My mom didn't know it was her birthday, she didn't know what a birthday was, but she still looked good though!




Cindy is the one in the pink coat, near the front, with her hat on.

Caregiving

Our Dementia Story About Bringing Lightness Into Darkness

March 29, 2018



I have come to learn that through the years going through dementia you will continually have jaw dropping moments. You will think to yourself over and over "Did I just really see that?", or "Did I just really hear that?". The moments can break your heart, make you laugh, or a combination of those two.

Within the last year, or so, that my mom was still living in her home, I received a call from her. She told me that her power went out. I don't remember the conversation word for word. I think I had to guess that her power was out from how she was trying to explain it to me. I told her that I'd come right over. I wanted to make sure she was okay.

There were TWO eye opening moments when I arrived at her home. Two things that I did not expect.

1.

I arrived at my mom's home and used my key to unlock my mom's door. I opened the door to find my mom sitting on her couch in pitch darkness. She was just sitting there staring forward.

When the power goes out people usually run to find a flashlight or they light a candle. My mom did not do that. Her dementia didn't allow her to do that. I did it for her. I got a flashlight out, that was already located in the room she was in, and turned it on.

2.

My mom had been watching tv when the power went out. That's what my mom would always be doing. I had the flashlight on that brought light to the darkness. My mom all the sudden picked up the tv remote, and kept trying to turn on the tv. She kept trying to press the on button. She tried to do it harder with a squinted face. She did this over and over again. It took us awhile to convince her it wasn't going to work because the power was out. This was eye opening to me because even though the power was out,  it didn't register to her, that the tv wouldn't work.

I checked with the power company and the power wasn't going to come on for a few hours. I convinced my mom that she should probably just go to bed. I got her ready for bed. She had a battery operated lantern by her couch (bed). I'll leave the couch bed for another story one day.

She awoke to her power back on the next morning.

The lesson I learned from this day is .  .  .  .  .


I learned this day that many times there are people out there sitting/ living in darkness, and they need some help to bring light into their world.


Help bring lightness into someone's darkness today!

Visit someone, reach out to someone, be kind to someone, give a smile to someone, give a hug to someone, compliment someone, and there's so many more ways to do this. This will make a difference in their life!

Tips & Tricks

Ways How We Cut My Mom's Hair - Frontotemporal Dementia

March 26, 2018



I recently noticed that my mom's hair was getting harder to comb, and it was harder to wash her hair with it being longer.  It was time for another haircut!

I scheduled Paul's & Natalie's FTD Haircutting/Beauty Services to come cut my mom's hair. Okay, so we really don't have a business named that, but if we did, maybe, we would name it that.

We grabbed the scissors, combs, and hair ties! We headed over to assisted living to cut my mom's hair.

I designated my husband, Paul, early on to be my mom's hairdresser. He has helped cut my mom's hair every time she's needed her haircut since her diagnosis with FTD. He always just trims her hair up, and it's easy for him to do. We decided early on that it would just be easier to trim her hair ourselves, instead of taking her somewhere, to get her hair cut. 

My mom has the Behavioral Variant of FTD, so we have learned early on that sometimes it is hard to take her out in public. She can say stuff that is not filtered about others, she can laugh at others, and sometimes it is just easier to do stuff on our own, than to deal with the Behavioral Variant behaviors, that my mom has.



Here are some helpful tips that might come in handy, if you are wanting to cut your loved ones hair to save time, money, and your sanity - (and if you want to pay for someone to cut your loved ones hair, I wouldn't blame you for wanting to do that, instead, to save your sanity.)

1. The first thing we did was search on YouTube something similar to "how to cut hair yourself". We had no idea how to cut hair. This was very helpful and gave us ideas on how to cut hair. This is the video that Paul watched to give him simple hair cutting ideas. It has over 1.5 million views, so I think everyone is getting simple hair cutting ideas from this video.

2. All you really need is wet hair, scissors, a comb, hair ties, a towel, a chair, a head holding still, and some patience.

3. Anyone that is familiar with FTD knows that time is valuable. 10 minutes or less is a must for cutting hair with Dementia (that is in my opinion only). My mom would rather be doing something else than to be sitting still getting her hair cut. Time is of the essence when it comes to dementia, and cutting hair.
And voilĂ ..... My mom had trimmed hair in 10 minutes or less!
Check out our other hair cutting posts that we have documented during my mom's FTD diagnosis below.

Haircut Time

Haircut Time - Take Two (Pictures are included)

As always, my prayers and thoughts go out to everyone who is dealing with Dementia in their life right now! It is such a hard thing to watch and go through! 

The Beginning Stages

Dementia Note Written By My Mom in 2008

March 13, 2018



I have found many notes that my mom wrote prior to her dementia diagnosis. She would write her frustrations down sometimes.


This note above was written in the year 2008. My mom was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia in 2014. This shows that she was struggling for many years, and not understanding what was wrong with her.

These are just some of the signs of Dementia and a sign that something might not be right.

I share this in hopes that this helps other learn about this disease, and to help shed light on what goes on in someone's mind who is going through this.

Caregiving

The One Year Mark Living At Assisted Living

February 20, 2018


Today marks the one year mark that our mom has lived at a memory care assisted living! I'm not quite sure if I'm suppose to celebrate, feel sad, smile, or cry about it.

As I reflect on this, I feel like I can only be positive on this 1 year anniversary mark! Here are the reasons why I feel positive, happy, & thankful about this 1 year mark:

◦  I feel so much better about the idea of assisted living now, then I did a year ago.

◦  We have been able to receive needed respite.

◦  Our mom has not complained about being at assisted living. Not even once. I feel this is simply a miracle.

◦  I no longer worry on a daily basis if our mom is safe or not.

  Our mom feels safer, cared for, and fits right in.

  Our mom's day is filled with many activities and entertainment. More than I could ever do for her.

◦  and   there's   so   much   more.

With FTD, there are so many negatives. On this 1 year mark, I choose to see the positive! The positive is what will help us get through it all!

We still have our mom with us, and we can still create memories together!


Caregiving

Last Minute Doctor Appointment

February 07, 2018


We had a last minute doctor appointment yesterday. The doctor wanted to follow up with my mom, in order to give refills on prescriptions.

Everything went well. My mom was happy to go to the doctors. She wasn't sure the reasoning why we would be going to the doctor, but she was willing to go happily.

It was time for her to get prescription refills, & bloodwork done. The appointment went smoothly.

The lady who was taking my mom's blood asked my mom to sign her initials on some paperwork. She handed the clipboard to my mom. My mom stared at it for awhile. She didn't know what to do. I took the clipboard from her, and helped initial and sign for her. My mom laughed, and watched me sign and initial the papers. As I was doing that, my mom asked me what I was writing.

It's just nice to see a smile on my mom's face when she goes to the doctor.

The beginning process of FTD my mom had anger and was in denial that anything was wrong with her. She is now past that stage, and now she goes peacefully because she has no idea why we are going to the doctor's office.

Here is a video below, from yesterday, to show how we never know how our conversations will go with my mom because of what she says or does. She was wearing ear plugs when we went to pick her up at 3:30PM. She has a habit of wearing ear plugs every night. This is one habit that she has held onto. This was the first time that I've ever noticed that she forgot to take her earplugs out, when she woke up in the morning.

Smiling & Laughing is the Best Medicine!

Smile & Laugh Away Today and Everyday!



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