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.

Music and Dementia

Music soothes the savage beast. For my parents, it engages their minds and brings forth happy memories.

I stopped by to visit my parents and I couldn’t find them at their retirement community. When I went to ask if someone saw them get in a cab, I was told “No, they are at the OctoberFest celebration.”

They had forgotten I was going to come by for a visit and were sitting at a table watching the band play  traditional OctoberFest songs. Growing up, my parents didn’t listen to much music unless they were playing it together on a piano. I still can see my dad’s hand-written notes on the dashboard of both car’s restricting radio use if my mom was in the car.

Half-way through the concert, my mom starts clapping and is singing along with one of the tunes. She then starts to talk about when they lived in Germany. Music is reported to improved the memory of those with dementia. It was a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

As I sat watching the band, I wondered what type of band would I be enjoying in my 80’s?  At 48, I still love electronic dance music and thanks to XM, it’s on in my car without fail. Humored.