Is keeping Mom at home the right choice?

homesweethomeI know how often I second-guessed the choice of where my Mom lived. My siblings and I often discussed how we could better use the money being spent on their care community that never seemed to be the right fit for them once their dementia really changed their thinking and behavior.

Now that I work with families who are usually not in the metro-DC area and want someone to help their loved one who is still living in their home, I wonder when is it the right time to consider moving them into a community.

In general, the earlier the move for someone with cognitive issues, the better. They can make friends, find activities they enjoy, and benefit from the social activities that can keep the cognitive decline at bay by staying engaged.

However, I understanding viewing the move from their beloved home as a major issue that most older adults decline and often fight against.

I battled with myself the last year of Mom’s life. Should we move her into our home, even though she made it clear over decades that she never wanted to live with one of her children? I knew it would be a major ask of my family to move her into our home. She would have needed someone at the home to help her when we were working. I realized later that she also would not have had the benefit of all of the activities for engagement within the community. I wish I could have played out both options and reported back to you.

Every family needs to make the best choice for your circumstances. Please know that the fact that you are involved and engaged is more than most adults with dementia receive. Many families detach, others fight over the choices, and for dozens of other reasons, their loved ones don’t have the benefits of an advocate who is watching out for them. Weigh your options but be satisfied that you are making the best decision you can with the information you have right now. Considered. 

Your Nephew was Honored for Work at his School

While my sister was here, my son was confirmed in church. My sister picked up my parents that Sunday morning and brought them to the service.

In addition to a regular Sunday service (with the usual prayers, hymns and a sermon), there were three special items for the confirmands (the word used by the church to refer to the teenagers being confirmed). One was a video of a “rap” they performed about the Ten Commandments. My son was in it and we pointed him out since he was wearing a beard, sunglasses and a big robe. In it, he rapped that you should “Respect your mama and your papa and um, don’t kill people.” It was funny and strange, and it elicited some chuckles from the congregation.  Apparently, he was assigned numbers 6 and 7 and that was how he got those two together to “rap.”

Next they did a segment called “Are you smarter than a confirmand?” It went on for a while and we all had trouble even answering some of the simpler questions. The pastor shared that all the kids knew these answers and in their game show version, our son was the big winner. (Whoo-Hoo)

At the end of the service, the pastor calls up the parents and the confirmands and does a blessing over each announcing their passage and welcoming them as members of the church. My husband and I left the pew and went to the pulpit to participate in this portion of the service.

When the service was over, we took some pictures, including some with my parents, and then my sister drove them back home.

Today my sister tells me that, upon her arrival home several days later, she received a letter from our parents that they wrote on that very same Sunday evening, sharing with her that they went to an event that morning where our son was “honored for doing work at his school.”

They’d already forgotten where it was, what it was for, or that my sister was even there. Recorded.