A personal blog...

...chronicling the dementia adventures of...

...Girl and

The Other Girl...

...sharing hilarious and 

heartbreaking moments

of life...

 

...with our mom who has vascular dementia.

 

2018 Walk to End Alzheimer's

Oh yeah, we totally won it! Team Stumped Town Dementia rocking the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer's I am so proud of our friends and family - those who walked and/or donated to the 2018 Walk To End Alzheimer's. Team Stumped Town Dementia made a grand showing, and raised a whooping $1,942! Which is 194% of our initial $1,000 goal! And I'm pretty sure we will hit $2k as I know some of Mom's besties have sent checks not yet reflected in our total. Plus, it was fun. Although, we think there should be more alcoholical beverages offered on the walk (as of now there's none - a clear oversight), we still donned our newly printed Stumped Town Dementia t-shirts at our pre-walk mimosas get-together and too

The Transition and an Addendum

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." ~ Socrates Like Socrates before her, Mom has been building on the new quite nicely during this transition. While I've been tripped up fighting to let go of the old life, she has accepted and adapted to her new home and companions with minimal amounts of anxiety and sadness. For me, the first two weeks of memory care life has been two steps forward, one step back. Some days I'm a pathetic mess of "Well, geez, if I'm no longer Mom's care giver then who the hell am I?" But the emotional rollercoaster is beginning to slow down and smooth out as I figure out how to remain Mom's care partner in

My Aftermath

I thought I'd feel freedom. I thought I'd careen scattershot through my days carefree and reckless, wild to flex long-lost social muscles, excited to exercise laziness and lounge around all day. Instead, I miss her. I miss them both. Moving Mom has reopened the wounds of losing Dad. I move through a one-house ghost town, slogging through the chore of catching up on all the things that fell by the wayside during move prep. I drag a heaviness around as I lurch through my day - when I enter each room specters flit before my eyes of times past - when Mom and Dad lived in Mom and Dad's house. As I sort bills at their dining room table the sounds of family dinners echo faintly. As I walk through t

Don't cry for Mom, Argentina.

She's doing just fine. We moved Mom to her new memory care home on Monday. With the help of all the boys we could muster, we did the entire move and room set up while Mom was at Thelma's Place that day ("You deserve a break today!"). We took a plain room with a lovely view of the gardens... ...and turned it into a homey oasis with a lovely view of the gardens! The Other Girl reserved the honor of being the one to take Mom to her new home, and I was (Cowardly Lion) relieved to hand over the task. They arrived in the late afternoon, with The Other Girl leaving after dinner. It was an awkward exit as the staff didn't seem to have much of a plan, but it came off without tears, at least for Mom.

Shock and, ah... wait, what?

It's been four weeks since I blurted out to The Other Girl, "I can't do this anymore." Things have moved quickly since then - Mom moves to her new home next week. I have spent the last few days inventorying what she'll need, making purchases, packing clothes/pictures/personal items, signing papers, measuring the apartment, meeting more of the staff and residents as I've bustled in and out of the memory care facility. All things I expected. I've had moments of sadness, doubt, melancholy - which I also expected as a daughter transitioning from 24/7 care to part-time; moving her dementia mother out of her home and into an unfamiliar atmosphere, surrounded by strangers. But what I didn't expect

How to choose a memory care facility.

By someone who's got no clue as to what she's doing. I actually began touring memory care facility in the spring of 2017. We had just gone through a terrible 3-week bout of anxiety that had The Other Girl and I ready to push Mom off the nearest cliff, or dump her on the porch of a not-too-close! fire department with a "Will you be my care giver?" tag attached to her lapel. It was pretty bad and we were about ready to call it quits when the newly prescribed buspirone started kicking in; Mom's suffocating air of tragedy was gradually replaced with typical amounts of tragedy, and The Other Girl and I found fresh resolve to continue our 24/7 care partner journey. But that made me realize that so

It's been fun storming the castle, but...

...it's time for a change. A couple of Saturdays ago I cried myself to sleep. I cried because Mom's increased progression has coincided with my decline of care giving prowess. In the last few weeks I have snapped, I have mocked, I have YELLED - at HER - my lovely, ornery, crazy-pants mother. My patience has not just waned, it is depleted. My frustration is not of the moment anymore, it is an all-day thermal nuclear rocket, barely doused into submission. In the last month (more times than I care to admit) I've gone to bed hating myself, knowing a stranger would have had more compassion and understanding for Mom that day than I was able to muster. What preceded Saturday night's crying jag was

Stumped Town Dementia

featured on...

Here & Now

NPR

May 2020

Open Caregiving

August 2020

When They Forget

Podcast

September 2020

Alzheimer's Society UK

March 2018

AlzAuthors

July 2019

Ro & Steve

June 2019

Being Patient

December 2018

Family Caregiver Alliance

September 2018

Alzheimer's Society UK

August 2018

The Caregiver Space

September 2018

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