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Old 07-19-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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Unhappy Learning from mistakes

I took my Grandkids to see Mom yesterday...........can't do that anymore. She loves them dearly but she can't take them in her AL facility any longer. They are 6 and 9 yrs old. They are well behaved sweet children. They could not touch ANYTHING in her apartment. Not even books. Not her teddy bear that they bought her for Valentines Day. They wanted to hear their voices on the "chip" that says "We love you Grandma" Love so and so. Nope, they could break it.
So we moved out into the very large area "family room" for visitors. Didn't go well there either. She didn't have much to say to them, only complained that her leg was hurting and she should go back to her place. I took crayons and coloring books for them. Thank goodness. Took "hot wheels". Nope, they might scratch the table........its a marble like substance. Geezzzzz.
By the look in her eyes, I'm not sure at times that she knew who they were. You know that blank stare. My grandson had to go potty. He ask me, "when can we go Grandma? I don't want to be here". I explained to them after we left that Grandma was having a bad day. They said they knew.
Oh well, I tried. I will let her see them when they are here with me. One at a time.
It is what it is...................breaks my heart. I should have known better. I just needed to try one more time.
Chris

 
Old 07-19-2008, 12:25 PM   #2
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Re: Learning from mistakes

I think the saddest thing I heard from my youngest was when she said "I don't remember Nanna as normal" whereas my other two have vague memories of the 'good' nanna.

All the bad things that happened have overtaken all their good memories. That's the REALLY sad thing y'know? I understand why my youngest doesn't have any good ones, but the other two ... well, she had a lot to do with my son (being the only grandson out of 9 granddaughters) and he still visits her, but she's nice again now, although he said the other day she still get's mad for no reason but hasn't got the energy to hit, spit and bite anymore. The nanna he remembers was full of hugs, story telling and healthy treats! Our middle one has a few nice memories, but the ugly'ness of Dementia has overtaken those, she's got more bad memories than good.

Let the little ones remember their grandmother as lovely, nice and pleasant. Don't let them have any bad memories ..

It's just so sad .....
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:08 PM   #3
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Re: Learning from mistakes

One minute I think, "I'm not going to let them see this Grandma anymore". Then the next day, I've changed my mind. My Mom was a young Great Grandma, so some of our kids remember the sweet, funny, full of hugs and lets do art projects Grandma. Those are the GreatGrandkids who are sad. The younger ones don't know the difference.
Mom has never been one to hit,bite or spit.....yet. She is just sweet to me. I guess the kids just got on her nerves.
I try not to get upset over the things that I cannot change. Its hard because she asks for them constantly. I guess I'll fib about this also. Change the subject. Whatever it takes.
I know everyone goes through this, as we are. It just made me sad for her. My sister said "I don't think you'll happy you did this". She was RIGHT......
Dang.......that left a bad taste in my mouth. LOL
Chris

 
Old 07-19-2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Learning from mistakes

I can understand very well what you're going through. My two boys, who are not boys any longer, (they are men...I better start thinking of them that way) and are 26 and 21 years of age.

They even have a hard time seeing their Grandmother the way she is now. My mom is very sweet to them, but they are not used to Nana acting strange and saying such bizarre; off the wall stuff.

I prepare them before they visit, which isn't too often as they have very busy schedules, that Nana will probably say this and that. The boys are so good in the fact that even though it's tough for them to see her, they try to just go along with what is being said.

So I can only imagine how your little ones are so confused. Bless their hearts and good luck to you.

 
Old 07-19-2008, 05:20 PM   #5
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Re: Learning from mistakes

Chris.......I hope you decide to try again. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she does know those kids! Each visit is so different...and if this is a relatively new environment for your Mom...there are so many things for her to adjust to. Remember...she realizes it isn't HER house...lots of different things...rules...schedules...caretakers. ..for her to get used to. All of this while somehow realizing she's loosing the battle.

It's so hard...I do know...but there will come a time that your grandchildren will bring smiles and soft memories of little ones to your Mom. I'm sure they are very much aware of all the changes (besides location) of their Grandma. Life gives us so many occasions to learn...often not easy ones for any of us...and perhaps this is a lesson in compassion. Kids are so smart! What I hear you saying is that your Mom played an important part of their lives...I'm sure they are still an important part of HERS...she just didn't know how to show them that particular day.

I see children once in a while at the Alz. Home where my Mom is...they often bring great joy to other "clients". Maybe wait a while...and don't push the kids if they don't want to go...but unfortunately, this has become a new chapter in their lives.

I'm so sorry you have to all go thru this...I'll keep you in my thoughts....Pam

 
Old 07-19-2008, 05:38 PM   #6
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Re: Learning from mistakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by gemini1961 View Post
I think the saddest thing I heard from my youngest was when she said "I don't remember Nanna as normal" whereas my other two have vague memories of the 'good' nanna.

I had something else I wanted to share....

A few years ago, the grand daughter of my HS Art Teacher became a student of mine! She looked just like her...and was so talented! Her Grandma had been living with her family for several years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She was the oldest of 4 kids and had spent the last 5 years being very involved with her care. We swapped stories of taking care of our loved ones...and laughed and cried together many times. I realized she knew little of the wonderful woman her Grandmother had been! My goal was to help her know this woman.

One story I shared with her was about soon after I graduated (the 60's!) her Grandma had found out I was visiting my Az. sister who was a jewelry maker...she gathered together several little bottles of enamel sand and wanted me to take them to her...knowing she'd be able to make a beautiful cloisonne "something". I worked with my sister and made a beautiful pendant with a butterfly hovering over a daisy.

It was 2004...and here was my favorite teacher's grand daughter! She loved butterflies...I mean LOVED butterflies! How perfect to give her that silver pendant! Life can hold some wonderful gifts!...............Pam

 
Old 07-19-2008, 05:49 PM   #7
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Re: Learning from mistakes

Pam, Mom has been in AL for 16 months. The kids have been there quite a few times. Mom is declining faster now. She is in year 8 to 9 with ALZ. Not sure what stage. It changes. Depending on the day. She is 82.
They know I am there alot. Can't do the things we used to do as much. I'm looking after Grandma. They do understand that she is sick and old. [their words] and she is my Mom. And "she needs you. Right Gram"? They know.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Just let it happen I guess. If I take them there I think it will be better just one at a time.
You are so right about the other residents loving the kids. When I am there visiting Mom, and a child is there, they are all smiles. Yesterday one lady ask my Granddaughter if she could touch her hair. "Sure" she said. Her face got red and she smiled, my little girl is very shy. This lady was so happy just to touch her hair. So sweet and sad.
Chris

 
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