- Mom: “Dad needs to do work in his office.”
Kay: “The boys moved dad’s office to the apartment two months ago. Should we make sure the printer has enough ink?”
- Mom: “I need to go get my winter coats.”
Kay: “I just saw some coats in the entry closet. Let’s see if your winter coat is in there.”
We have made these trips, gathered the items they requested, but they don’t remember.
Sometimes, my mom would ask if I would take them to their town house to stay overnight, I then share with my mom that “Dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I’m worried about you having to help him alone.”
Telling her this seems to immediately sink in. She knows he has good days and bad days. To almost every question she poses to him he will respond “I don’t remember.” He has yelled at her in public and she has had to have others help her get him back to their apartment — she knows something is wrong with my dad. At their town home, she is alone but at the retirement community she has many around her who can help if dad needs assistance.
Over the summer, I had to rush to the town house to meet the police. My parents broke into their own home, then they called the police to report a break-in. The police would not leave until I arrived and they could speak with me. My parents willingly jumped into my car for a ride back to the retirement community.
I’m thankful that telling this to my mom registers. I wonder if it’s that I can better communicate on her terms by smiling and patiently answering her questions. It could just be that her own survival mechanisms are still intact and she is aware of her own fear. Soothed.