Before I start, I wanted to share something about mom. She LOVES water. She finds every excuse to wash dishes and hunts for things to wash. If she can’t find anything to wash, she washes her hands. She will rest her elbows on the sink and let the water cascade over her fingers as if she is playing. It could take her 2 minutes to wash a coffee cup or a spoon. Although I sometimes feel bad about her doing ALL the dishes, it gives her something to do – something she enjoys immensely.
This weekend was good for her! She seemed to have a burst of energy that included some unsolicited laundry, an invitation to go out to lunch (which never happens) and a couple of conversations initiated by her. The best was that she sat for a few minutes watching a movie and laughed at one of the funny parts – ok, let’s be really serious – she never watches TV nor can she keep up with anything on the screen. Imagine our surprise when the chuckle came from her chair! We went out for a meal and she handled her food by herself including mashed potatoes and cole slaw which she normally turns her nose up at.
So am I bewildered – you bet. I would love it if she could be like this most of the time instead of simply just being there without reflex or emotion or opinion. I read in some of my research that for folks her age with dementia, her senses are not only loosing their sharpness, she is losing her ability to process what she sees, hears, tastes, and even what she feels. That is probably why she gets no pleasure out of watching television – she can’t keep up.
So, we move much more slowly. We give her time to put her shoes on or go to the restroom one more time. I shared mom’s little victories from the weekend with my sisters. It was nice to be able to tell them she is doing well. Still lots of work ahead to make sure she is comfortable and feels secure. We have to make sure she gets lots of opportunities to play in the water.