Our Support Series

Here is where we look at various situations where we have found individuals and families struggle to find answers to help them, providing information that can help with future difficult descisions! Here is a previous case study;

It started with the conversation I was dreading…

My Step-Dad had asked to speak privately with me, and I knew that nothing good ever starts out that way. This was my Mother’s third marriage and this time to a dear sweet man who cared about everyone and lived every day to the fullest. Her world and mine was better with him in it. He had even asked me for permission to marry my Mother before they got married. Now, this private conversation would be the day that dementia went from being an unpleasant concept to a whole family roller coaster ride in the dark. He told me that he was worried. His mind was playing tricks on him, something wasn’t right sometimes and he didn’t know what would come next, but he wanted me to know that something bad was going on. He was worried that one day, he wouldn’t be able to take care of my Mom and that bothered him to the point of tears. Yes, he was worried about her. What do you say in this situation? Being a Nursing Home Administrator, I knew the trajectory of the various forms of dementia, and I was pretty sure this is what we were talking about. I had direct contact with these diseases every day, but THIS was family and nothing can prepare you for that. I stumbled on the words that I would repeat hundreds of times to him over the coming years, “We will make this work. Mom will get what she needs and you will be with people who know you and love you – I think that is about as good as it gets.” It took another 7 years for his dementia to progress to where Mom couldn’t manage him in their home. He had started collecting Phillips head screwdrivers and hiding them in the glove box of the truck, and also taking perfectly good vacuum cleaners apart. He would take the trash to the dump in the truck and then call to get directions to get back home. (It’s ok to laugh-humor with love attached is a necessary part of dealing with dementia.) The vacuum rebuilds or getting lost were not the biggest problem, but napping during the day and wanting to stay up all night playing board games and cards with Mom left her exhausted. So after considering options and with much anxiety all around, they moved into Edenton – she went into Independent Living and he moved into Memory Care at Blossom Place. We all could visit with him and he was helped to have the best day possible every day until the disease won. My Mom was able to spend as much time with him every day as they wanted, and also maintain other relationships with friends. “We will make this work, and you will be with people who know you and love you.”

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