Many times my 97 year old Mama would wake up in the middle of the night insisting that all lights be turned on, or sometimes she just wants to keep her door wide open. At other times she says she had to leave because she’ll open her store.
Her caregiver would convince her to go back to sleep because it was still dark and morning was still hours away.
Then my Mama would get mad because she did not want to get back to sleep.
For hours she would be wide awake. And so her caregiver would also be wide awake.
This goes on every now and then… until one night, while she was in the middle of her anger, I said, “let’s sing Dios te Salve.” “Dios te Salve” is the Spanish version of “Hail Mary.”
It’s always a struggle when it’s time to bathe my Mama. She has all sorts of excuses not to take a bath. She refuses and refuses until I run out of patience. She would say she just took a bath a while ago.
Knowing that she has dementia I can’t insist that she hasn’t had one yet.
And so this goes on everyday until…
One morning when she woke up, I said ” you have lizard’s pooh on your head, let’s wash your hair.” To my surprise she got up quickly and off we went to the bathroom.
Since she has dementia, she doesn’t remember that I use this piece of conversation everyday.
It’s a great relief to have discovered this style.
I woke up this morning at 5:45 and I saw my mom at the dining table being fed by her caregiver. My mom noticed me coming out from my room, and with a sweet smile, she greeted me, “GOOD MORNING DAHLIN” (that’s good morning darling). I replied with a sweet smile too, “GOOD MORNING MA.”
It’s very heartwarming to be greeted early morning by a 97 year old mother who has dementia and never forgets to call me ‘dahlin’. She then said “Come on let’s eat.” I said “thank you. ”
After her breakfast, it’s her routine to get out of the house to catch some sunlight and fresh air. Her caregiver will transfer her to her wheel chair and off they go. She will then take a look at the plants and fruit-bearing trees outside the house while being wheeled. She finds pleasure in these plants with admiration for the beauty of the flowers and the fruits.
My mom is being home-cared and this will be for the rest of her life. Home-caring for the elders is the gist of this blog. I will be sharing how to home-care aging parents with minimal stress.