My computer is in being repaired this week. I seem to have bit of a virus .
So today I will be repeating an old post that is dear to my heart.
If you have someone in your life that has Alzheimer's I hope this can help you deal with the trials and tribulations.
But might I add there are some lovely moments too.
It is all how you deal with it.
I also wanted to thank all the people that commented on this post. I was so touched by all the stories and it made me feel like I was not alone.
You all touched my heart!
They were all beautiful stories.
These are lost photos of my mother.
She was a Raven Haired Beauty.
Look how she sits with her ankles crossed.
Well let me say they have put me in quite a tizzy!
It reminds me of what a beautiful vibrant women she was.
I know she would not like this photo of her. Especially because it was showing too much skin.
I love this picture it shows the era. I would say it was early '50s
She was such a lady. All the women wanted to be her.
So did I.
Excuse me while I lament over my beautiful mother.
This will not be my usual blog post today. I am sorry I am just hoping this will help someone who’s loved one has Alzheimer disease.
The other day my Dad pulls out a box of slides that we had never seen before. Heidi and I started looking under one of these lights that dentist use. (That only my Dad would have, that will be a story for another day). And there were all these beautiful pictures of my mother. I believe they are right after my Dad and Mom got married. I would say they are from around 1950 to 1952. It was like winning the lottery for us.
Heidi quickly got them put on disks because we wanted to see them.
When I saw them I cried. And I have not stopped crying since. I remember her beauty. Not that I forgot. But memories started flooding by like I remember she use to wear a French Twist in her hair. She was so glamorous. I remember when she had it cut off. She stepped out of the car and I started crying and shouting “That’s not my mommy” and ran into the house. She of coarse started to laugh.
There are also so many regrets that came flooding by. That I could not contain myself. I had to have a talk with my Dad and discuss all those regrets. He eased my mind. I forgot how my father could do that for me like he use to in the old days. He can be very gruff but he also has a very soft side to him. We cried together.
I remember her cute little pert nose. I remember in the nursing home saying to my father. How she still looked so pretty with her cute little nose.
She suffered in her last months but we as a family were all there for her because we all adored her. She was the center of our family. She is what kept us all together.
Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that robbed her of her words. I believe she knew us all in the end but she just could not verbalize it. We where her voice.
If you have a family member that is suffering from this disease get help. We went to classes to learn the do's and don’ts of how to speak to a person with Alzheimer’s.
Here are some things we learned. I hope they help.
* Come to the someone with Alzheimer’s peacefully – Do not startle them. Prepare your heart and spirit. Be present.
* Talking isn’t the only way to communicate. My mother use to hit my father’s knuckles in a funny little love way. Or she would do this funny little popping noise with her mouth.
* Always introduce yourself; never ask “Do you remember me?”
* People watch, gossip with them, do anything that interest them. Even after my mother couldn’t remember who I was she liked to people watch. We’d sit side by side and I would comment on someone’s strange hair or how big my butt was – I would say anything that I could bring a smile to her face. That is one thing I could do was make my mother laugh.
* Smile for god sake!! Don’t go into see them and acting all serious. Or another thing don’t start yelling at them!!! Most of them can hear you….
* Don’t try to make them remember you or someone else. It frightens them because they can't remember. The important thing is that you remember them.
* Still go and see them. I have heard people say "Why should I go and see them, They do not know who I am?" Because like I said before...You know them. You don't want to have any regrets.
* Use short sentences. If you have to ask them questions make sure they are yes or no questions.
* Never talk about them in front of them. They know what you are saying. All you are doing is scaring them.
* Whatever happens - Don’t take it personally. Remember their brains are going flooky!
* Read to them or tell them a story.
* If they are interested watch TV with them. I remember watching Peter, Paul and Mary special on PBS. Also the Laurence Welk show. She liked to hear music. She loved that. She loved to go to the sing alongs. She never sang but she would give me the knuckle and look at me with that smile and I knew she loved it. Music is one of the last things that Alzheimer patients can enjoy.
* Look past the lack of expression, continue to talk to the person you’ve always known that is still in there.
* It is OK to start to grieve even if they are still alive. I know I started early grieving for my mother. I lost her a long time before she finally left this earth. It is a very slow goodbye.
* Be happy for those moments of clarity. There will be moments when they all of a sudden speak your name in a clear sentence. The last words I heard my mother say to me were “I love you” I was coming in to visit and I just leaned down and kissed her and I said “I love my mommy” And she kissed me back and said those words right back to me. (In a very perky way, freaked me out a little) Can’t get much better than that….She died a week later...
I hope this will help someone who’s loved one has Alzheimer’s.
I also show you these photo's because I wanted to show you how a disease can rob a person of all there senses. She was educated women , She was a Artist, Personel Directer for a Department Store, Wife, Sister, Aunt, Grandmother. And my Mother. NO ONE IS IMMUNED TO IT.
This is my art this week.
This is a very important fight for me. Both my Grandmothers had Alzheimers. One started when she was 55 she died when she was 68. The other when she was 80 and she died when she was 89. My mother started in her 60's and died when she was 72. My Aunt started in her early 60's and died just last year at 76. It is a long journey.
Please give donation's to the Alzheimer's Association. Tell them Heather Foust sent you!
Lots of love to everyone this week.