Just a quick message-----went to visit Mimi today----I was there on my own---
When I arrived she was in her room, sitting in her chair, the TV not on----
( on Sunday's, they only have church activities and every other week something else is going on..)-----But she recognized me when I walked in-----and we had a very pleasant visit.
She did not say one word to me about " I want to go home. Take me home now. I don't need to be here, they aren't doing anything for me----take me home right now."
Now, it was the usual, repetative round of conversation-- you know, the broken record, but that is completely fine!
I find it curious that she was so calm and "chill" with me, and never mentioned going home. My mom has not had a visit in the past two weeks that the entire conversation didn't consist of the above " I wanna go home" rounds.
I turned the TV on when i left in hopes that it would at least be some "sound" in her room, I hate to think of her sitting there in silence. She doesn't really follow what is on TV--but its at least noise.
So anyway---good visit today-------Hope you all had a great weekend!
I agree with Gemini, music is more soothing than TV. There is so much violence and loud music etc. that upsets patients that music or a book on tape, might be more soothing for Mimi than TV. I think the reason that she doesn't mention going home to you is that she thinks your Mom, her daughter, would react to it more than you. Enjoy your time with her!
I am glad you had a good visit with Mimi. I wish I knew why different people get different responses on different days. Sometimes there is no rhymn nor reason to the response you get. For three days last week Mom was a sobbing basket case wanting to go home. Thursday dawned with her laughing and joking and the world was fine for a couple of days. Saturday afternoon whe was back in her depression but when I called her tonight she was fine. I have tried to find a time line with causes and effects but it is nonexistant. My minds doesn't work like Mom's so I can't figure it out. All I can tell you is to be thankful for the good times. They are definitely a blessing. Then battle your way through the bad times the best you can. The hope is that the good times will return soon. Again... Glad you had a nice visit.....
I agree - be glad she was OK and not worried or upset, and as long as she is doing well, don't worry about TV or other background noise.
As a 'golden oldie" I recall the days when every house or apartment was NOT filled with synthetic sound. We got home from school and did not turn on a radio, there was no TV. If anyone wanted music, they sang or played the harmonica, zither, or piano.
If you wanted a good story, you read a book. Yes, I know your Mimi can't follow a story line any more, but not on TV either.
Silence is golden - remember that? Sitting in a quiet room looking out of the window and admiring the trees and flowers, or watching people go by, is a fine way to spend time. If she gets lonlely, she may discover the activities and new freinds available there.
Well, I guess my only thought on the music, is that she doesn't know how to turn on a radio or a CD player----she never has. We could probably put a note beside it, and tell her what button to push.
BUt she wasn't watching the outdoors----she was watching the back of her door to her room---she wasn't even facing the window.
I guess it bothers me b/c she has always liked to have a TV on----She likes the noise, even when she has no clue what is on. She will watch golf---even though she has no idea what they are doing----or that she even likes golf!! LOL
Don't get me wrong----I am happy we had a nice visit---Just posting my thoughts on the visit itself---and how like Deb said----wonder why we all sometimes get different responses----so strange.
And I don't think the AL has any issues with TV---Each little separate "section" has its own sitting area with a TV, that is always on----and most of the residents have one in their rooms. I just think that she didn't tun it on----and it makes me sad enough to think of her up there all alone, and sad, and not wanting to be there----and somehow I find comfort in thinking that she is at least sitting there with a TV on----somehow that seems more like the Mimi I know---who always had something on at home---no matter what. But I know she isn't that person anymore----but it still seems sad to think of her sitting there----all by herself----without the comfort of sound.
Then put a note beside her door to remind the med tech to turn on the TV in the AM and turn it back off when they give last meds. There are such notes all over the facility mom and dad are in. From "Please don't turn off the light at night" to "Please turn on the tv in the morning". It's just little reminders to the staff and they seem to comply.
Mom and Dad also have problems with electronics. Dad gave up trying years ago but Mom still tries. I have found CDs on the turn table which explained why she couldn't listen to her CDs. I called to tell her what channel to turn the TV to in order to watch her favorite TV program and she punched the channel on the phone instead of the TV remote and laid the phone down complaining that it didn't work. Eventually one of them will put the phone back on the cradle which hangs it up and I can call back and try again. Even battery changes on their hearing aids is an impossible task now. Now they usually just pick up a paper or a magazine and read.... forgetting what they are reading before they are done. Yes it is sad but there is no way to bring them back to where we want them to be. So we leave little notes for the staff in hopes that it helps.
I had a dear Great Aunt with ALZ. She was very aware of what was happening to her and she told me something that has stuck with me through my grandmother, my dad, and now my mom. She told me that she didn't know what she didn't know and only I would know that she didn't know so it would be harder on me than it was on her. She was very wise in her confusion.
Just thought you all might find this interesting----
I saw my Mimi again this weekend---this time I went with my Mom---and Mimi was REALLY good!
When we got there---she was sitting in the lobby with her little "buddy"----another lady from her "section"---they are divided into different living halls----its hard to explain---b/c that makes it sound very "nursing-home" like--and it's not. But anyway-----they were just sitting there chatting away like two old friends!
Mom and I sat there and talked to them for over an hour-----and when we left I told MOm that she needs to STOP beating herself up---Mimi has really I think accepted the fact that she is there to stay. They were going to have a family come for a sing-a-long last nite, and Mimi was looking forward to that.
It just seems like MOm is really down on herself every single time she goes to see Mimi ( which is 3-4 times a week)---and it really made me feel good to see Mimi for myself----AND to see that even though Mom was with me, it was not a bad visit. I had been wondering if she was doing what she used to do, which would be Mimi would act completely different with my Mom than anyone else----but as I said, it was a nice visit.
I have read some of you have been having a hard time with your loved ones lately----and I know, I dont always speak up and say anything, I don't have much advice to offer---BUt I read your posts, and you are always in my thoughts and prayers.
sometimes our own personal guilt is a lot worse than the reality of the situation. Mimi may be adjusting better than your Mom. Or Mimi may be reacting differently to your Mom than other. I am glad you went with your Mom. At least it was a good visit for all of you and perhaps it will start the healing process for you Mom. I hope it continues o go well.
your experiences are always valuable to others. It's just nice to know that others are going through the same thing and how they deal with it. you never know when the towel or hershey bar will be the answer.
It is also hard to see your mother in a nursing home. I knew in my head that this was the place for Mom to be, but my heart couldn't accept it. I felt that, as a child, I was failing my mother. And I am a social worker, by degree so I should know better!
The other thing is that it may hurt your Mom to see Mimi happy there. She may feel that's wrong of her to be so settled and happy. It may bother her that she has settled in. She may want Mimi to want to come home and to be miserable, because that continues to justify her need of her daughter....just a thought.
Do you think your Mom is suffereing from a slight case of depression and could use some meds?
I am glad that you were happy with how Mimi was feeling. It's good that she is accepting her new "home." It makes her day to day life much easier to bear if she settles into the routine......
And deb is right. Your insidght is just as important as mine or Debs' or anyone elses.....
I am sure you are both right. And probably even more correct to the aspect that Mom might WANT her to not accept her new home.
My sister was here this afternoon, and she told me after Mom got home on Saturday, from our afternoon visit that Mom broke down in tears, and my sister had no idea what was wrong. And she told her that she misses her "Mom that she used to have"----and I feel bad----I miss my old Mimi----my friend and my sweet, loving Grandmother---But we haven't had THAT Mimi in 10 years. and I guess the "finality" of her being placed in the AL facility is maybe what Mom is dealing with now. Maybe she is just now mourning the "loss" of her Mom??? I have been dealing w/ that for the last couple of years-----realizing I could no longer pick up the phone and call Mimi and have a "real" chat, to expect her to "understand and sooth my tears" when I just needed a shoulder-----and maybe it IS the fact that my Mom is just NOW coming to terms with that.
I think I have said that due to the experience I had when I lost my Grandaddy (Mimi's husband)---I have learned to face my feelings and not hold them back----which is why I guess I have been trying to accept this for the last couple of years-----and maybe Mom is just now facing the reality.
At one point, Mom was on some anti depressants---but to be honest--I am not certain if she is now or not. Mom had thyroid cancer---and so she has no Thyroid, and its regulated by her meds----so there is a possibility that that could be part of her feelings--she may need a med adjustment there, to help compensate---does that make sense?
Thanks again for your thoughts----I appreciate them very much. I miss my Mimi and i hate this whole disease and process for everyone----but what can we do, except grin and bear it?
The thyroid issue made perfect sence Tracie. Hormonal imbalances can do all sorts of strange things to our thought processes. It might be worth a bit of blood work to be sure.
Mostly you are probably dead on target with thinking that your Mom is dealing with her loss. The move to AL could have been the moment that your Mom realized she had lost the Mom she knew. I know it was for me. As I-Bake said my training lets my brain know it was the right decision but the daughter in me grieves for my Mom and wants her back home, smiling, and cooking in her kitchen.
Just be there for your Mom and help her with her reality. You seem to be very in tune with your emotions. Not everybody is that way and many need a helping hand to get through the rough spots in life. You seem to be doing that for your Mom and I am sure she is appreciative. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers...
Traci, If your Mom hasn't had her thyroid checked in the last 6 months, it's time. I have mine done every 6 months. Just another gift of being a woman in my mother's family. It would probably be a good idea to have a general check up and get your Mom some "happy pills" to help with this rough time in her life. There is nothing wrong with having some help to get you through these patches until you feel better...been ther done that, got the T shirt.....
I don't think that your Mom has actually accepted the fact that HER Mom isn't going to come back to her as HER MOM. And that is a sad and scary thing to face-I know. I lost my mom to this. When you do realise it, it just knocks you to your knees. All of a sudden you are an orphan - so to speak- and you are responsible for your parent. Plus you have to face the fact that she is only going to get worse and you watch the mother of your life slip away from you. and it is one of the hardest things you have ever had to do. So hold her hand and pat her back and cry together....
you are in my prayers....