I’ve become a little obsessed with trying to figure out what and why things stick in my Mom’s brain. My Dad has Alzheimer’s and my Mom has Vascular Dementia. My parents have changed in different ways.
My Dad is much quieter, even solemn now. He was the prankster in the family growing up. Now, he will obsessively pick at lint on the couch or floor, and when he finds trash ANYWHERE he picks it up and will throw it away.
My Mom is more talkative and fills time by reading things or sharing a story about the things in her surroundings. Her stories don’t jive with my reality, but they are tethered to things that did occur in the past.
My Mom has transformed the events leading up to their transition into Assisted Living. Today, She was wondering what year it was that they picked this specific unit and was pleased with their luck in getting one that let them watch the lobby entrance. She felt this place was much better than the prior apartment they had — the one we worked so hard to manage their transition out of and into this apartment.
I remember walking into the apartment with my Dad for the first time. I had to blink vigorously to keep the tears in my eyes. My Dad fully understood what was happening and I watched as his shoulders slumped a little when he looked around the empty apartment. My Mom joined us and complained about every feature the Executive Director mentioned when listing the positive attributes of the apartment.
At the time, I would never have believed that in 5 months, I’d be sitting with my mother who would be saying how lucky they were to get this apartment. Transformed.