Archive | January 2015

Girls of All Ages Have Drama

I read a great article (Mean Girls in the Retirement Home)  recently, and it got me thinking…

I didn’t witness out-and-out bullying at the two assisted living communities where my mom lived, but I definitely saw that there was a pecking order, with those who were still mentally sharp shunning those who were cognitively compromised. I used to worry about Mom being mistreated as her dementia advanced. So, first off, I’m thankful that we got her out of that dynamic and that she now lives in a homelike environment too small for cliques.

But I had noticed the last couple of times I visited that they’d moved the chairs in the TV room, separating Mom from her chatterbox friend Georgia… and that Miss Chatterbox (or, as Mom calls her, Miss Know-It-All) seemed quiet and sullen. The article got me to wondering if there had been some kind of Mean Girl drama. So when I took Mom to get her nails done yesterday, I asked her about it.

“Well,” she said. “I heard her talking about me and I didn’t like the way she described me, and I told her so.” The offending piece of description was something like “she does her own thing and doesn’t care about anybody else,” and Mom said “If that’s what she thinks of me, I don’t see how I can be friends with her.”

No one who knew my mom pre-dementia would ever describe her as someone who doesn’t care about others. She’s always been one of the kindest, most giving, most nurturing people I have ever known. So I can understand how being described in that way would sting. But I can also understand why Georgia, who appears to constantly need someone to listen to her and validate her, might be hurt if Mom started tuning her out so that she could focus on her crossword puzzles. Aside from the staff, my mom is the only person there capable of making intelligent conversation… so I suspect Georgia might be sorry she’s burned that bridge.

We never do outgrow the drama, do we? LOL Well, hopefully it will soon be water under the bridge.

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No News Is Good News

It’s been very quiet on this blog because there’s been nothing significant to report, and for that I am grateful. Mom is still feeling good, getting around well with her walker, enjoying the company at the care home.

She spent a couple days with me at Thanksgiving and a couple days with me at Christmas. We attended the early Christmas Eve service at her church, drove around looking at Christmas lights and then had a quiet dinner together at my place. Christmas Day we slept late, had brunch with a friend, then opened our stockings. She watched holiday movies on TV while I cooked our Christmas dinner, and after that we opened the presents around my little tree.

tree

In short, it was a perfectly normal holiday. At the start of 2014, I would hardly have dared to hope that such a thing would be possible again. Quiet and low-key as it was, every minute was a treasure.

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, as I look to the year ahead, I realize that I need to take advantage of the “break” her current state of wellbeing affords me and focus on my own health and career while I can.

So it may continue to be a bit quiet here, but no news is good news.