Mom would never dance if she lived with me.

I have an ongoing battle that rages on in my brain about where mom should be. I wonder if we should have moved her in with us, but recognize that caring for my parents has already overshadowed some major segments of my life. I want to do what’s right by her, but also want to be a parent that’s available to my children. Since I was a teen, my mom had told us she never wanted to live with us or be a burden. Now that she has dementia and my dad is gone, I move through an ongoing cycle of joy, grief, frustration, guilt, and overwhelm.

We took time finding the right place for mom after recognizing the community that she was in wasn’t the best place for her and her changing needs. My mom’s primary care assistant told me about the gentleman that comes in to visit and that always dances with my mom. WHAT?

My mom was not a dancer and I was thrilled to see her get up and dance. That is something that would never happen if she lived with us. I continue to talk myself through why we made this choice and why it’s the right decision for mom. It was fun to see my mom dance. Revisited.

10 thoughts on “Mom would never dance if she lived with me.

  1. Lovely. Your mum moves like she has danced before. We used to take my dad to a musical afternoon for people with dementia. It was amazing how people who could barely utter a coherent sentence could sing along, knowing all the words to the songs. I was astonished that dad knew the words to all the Jim Reeves songs – I don’t remember him ever listening to Jim Reeves, or singing.
    A nearby care home brought a bus load of people and one lady simply could not sit still. As soon as the musicians started she’d be up, dancing round the room on her own. She was so happy and made others happy too when they saw her enjoyment.
    You will treasure that little clip for many years.

  2. Great post Kate. My mum still taps her feet and we talk about her dancing with me in her dressing gown when I came home from classes at a Victor Sylvester dance studio, just a few years ago. Maureen and i are always dancing in the kitchen and aim to get back into the swing of things with others very soon. She promises she will even let me lead one of these days.

  3. Your post is very inspiring! Everyday, my clients ask if they are being selfish when they think of moving their parent(s) to a residential facility. I try to explain to them that beyond a point, they may be unable to give them the maximum level of care and stimulation that they need. As family, we always feel like we know what’s best or how best to love our family members. This post is so wonderful…I am so glad you found a place that will tap into your mom’s remaining capacities and maximize them. She looks like she is having a great time! Big hug for her 🙂

  4. My mom did live with us for 2 months and it was awful on so many levels. For her and for us. She is now in an assisted living facility, and I finally felt good about her being there. No guilt after my weekly visits. That is until yesterday, when my husband visited with me for the first time since she has been there. He didn’t say anything but his actions somehow made me feel like we had dumped her there. So I understand all too well the guilt that rears its head every so often.

    1. Thank you for sharing! I do know that other people’s comments and my perception of what they think can trigger the guilt. They also aren’t walking in our shoes.

      You are a great daughter. Your mom is lucky to have you.

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