What Are We Going To Do With Mom? A series of posts on caring for a loved one with Dementia/Alzheimer’s

What are we going to do with mom?  That was the question asked over and over after dad passed away.  Mom had dementia/early Alzheimer’s.   The live in caregiver was excellent, but way too expensive.  Several of my siblings thought an “assisted living facility” would be great…we could visit her, she would have activities, she could meet others, she would get her meds, get her accidents cleaned up, they could deal with the trillion questions, keep her calm, and on and on. So it was decided…we found a lovely ALF nearby.  The deposit was made, and mom would be moved in within a few days.

But something happened in my heart….it was a deep grieving…something didn’t feel right. Mom had five children…and this was the  best we could do?  No guilt trip on anyone here.  All five of us had careers and families, but I had to deal with my own conscience.  I explained to my husband that I needed some thinking time. I ended up at a local beachside, Victorian bed and breakfast (no packing, no clothes, no toothbrush…). A quick run to local pharmacy supplied me with a few essentials, and as I headed for the cash register I grabbed a journal.  Entering my 3rd floor room (the only one that  they had vacant on a  last minute notice in April),  I was delighted to find a private balcony with a gulf front view. I had arrived just in time to stand on the balcony  and watch the sunset…I breathed in deeply of the fresh salt air.  No T.V. tonight I decided, just the cd playing music in the background, a teapot, a teacup, warm cookies, a blank journal, and my Bible.

Opening the journal…it occurred to me to write mom a letter.  A letter she would never read…but I was pretending that she would. After all, everything appeared “pretend” to me at the moment.  I had entered a no time zone…and I began writing.