Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cool Change

We were invited to our neighbor's for coffee this morning. I put Mom in her wheelchair and wheeled her down there (they live 2 houses away). We got her wheelchair up the stairs and into the house. We were there for about an hour and a half and Mom seemed to really enjoy herself. Afterward she said that she felt 'stupid' because she couldn't participate in the conversation. I told her that she shouldn't worry because everyone there is wonderful, and in reality, Mom did really well! It was fun. She always does well around others, but I think she avoids people because she feels 'stupid'. I wish I could do more to convince her that this is just not true. She needs the social interaction, in fact she seems to thrive when around others.

Our weather has turned cooler today. It's in the upper 60s today; it's a nice change.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer

We have had the most amazing, beautiful stretch of weather. It has been in the upper 70s low 80s with low humidity. Today Mom and I went for a drive, bought some ice cream and then went to a local lake to people-watch. Mom was ready to get out of the house and the perfect weather helped convince her to go. She's still not sleeping through the night though. She's getting up and walking a bit more and doesn't seem to be in such excruciating pain.

My strawberries are blooming and a few of the blossoms are turning into strawberries. I can't wait. I'm not expecting a huge crop but it's still fun. My neighbor has tomatoes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I've added a ribbon from caring.com to my blog. Click on the ribbon and you can add it to your blog too. Caring.com will donate money to the Alzheimer's Association, $10 I think, for every blog that displays the ribbon. You can personalize the ribbon with the name of your loved one either to honor or memorialize them.

Our string of beautiful weather continues. It could not be better; 70s and sunny with a lovely cool breeze. I always get sad this time of year as we approach the summer solstice. I love summer and the long days. But the solstice reminds me that the days, which have been steadily getting longer, will now start to shorten. Pooh. I know, winter is still a long way off.

Tonight we had pulled pork which my neighbor made. It was sooooo good. I have to get the recipe. She is an amazing cook and baker.

Mom had a good day today. She and Terri made ginger cookies. Terri said Mom mixed the ingredients and helped her roll the dough into balls. These are things that Mom likes to do and I'm glad that Terri did this with her. She has been sundowning lately. I've found that keeping her occupied either by playing a game with her or listening to music helps. We still can't get her to leave the house. She seems to want to stay where it is safe. I'd like to get her out for a walk.

Me? I'm doing OK. A little tired because Mom hasn't been sleeping through the night, but OK.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Today I left Mom for a couple hours on her own while I dashed to a caregiver support group. The support group was useful even though only one other caregiver showed up. It really shows me just how much I have learned about ALZ and being a caregiver as I was able to offer this person all sorts of support. Mom had an accident while she was home alone so the days of leaving her alone are over. She was very recalcitrant about clean up too. She was yelling at me. Now she is dozing in her chair, something that is becoming even more commonplace. The caregivers have reported it too. The doctor feels that this is due to progression of the disease. One interesting thing that came up in the support group was that research has shown that many Alz patients have experienced a head injury at some point after age 50 and that this trauma might be tied to the onset on Alz. Mom fell in the garage when she tripped over the cord of some Christmas lights that she had taken off the bushes. She definitely hit her head because it was all bloodied and bruised. I'm just curious if others have LO's who had fallen prior to the onset.

I love the new blog list feature of blogger. It's great! I can see which of my favorite blogs have been updated recently.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mom is getting used to her lift chair. At first she was anxious about the lift part, but it sure takes a load off my back now not to have to lift her out of her chair. Today we went to have her hair cut and styled. It went well, though she did complain a little about having to leave the house.

I remember reading this article, the End of Cheap Oil?, in National Geographic in 2004. It became reality pretty quickly didn't it? I find it fascinating. Gas is at $3.99 here in the Twin Cities.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pet Humor


My cats would never put up with this. I found these pictures on a knitting blog and I find them so humorous. I love the picture of the cat in the beret. Annie, do you think you could branch out into pet berets and fezes?

Mom's new chair arrived today and she seems to like it very much. So far she has no problem working it. And it allows her to put her feet up which is good. All in all, I'm glad I finally made this purchase. I think I'll use Mom's stimulus check to pay for it.

At the same time the chair arrived, the guy came to fix the washer. It was leaking water. I didn't notice but our guardian angel Terri did. She is a godsend.

Saturday is the caregiver support group for the study that I am participating in. I'm planning to attend. I hope Mom can stay alone for that time.

My sister told me about this story on NPR about Alzheimer's patients volunteering at a school. This is fascinating to me. I like how it makes them feel like they have a purpose and I wonder if Mom would like to do something like this.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's been a beautiful day today. Mom is doing well for the most part. She had a new afternoon caregiver. When the woman arrived Mom said she knew her and asked her for a kiss. But throughout the afternoon she kept asking the woman if it was time for her to leave yet. Tonight we sat out on the patio and enjoyed the cool breezes and setting sun. Then Mom came in and played the piano for me.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yesterday I received a bouquet of flowers from Mom for my birthday and I couldn't figure out how she ordered them. When they arrived she had this big Cheshire cat grin on her face. I opened the card and it said "Happy Birthday Love Mom". How did she do that? Well it turns out that my wonderful sister ordered them and put Mom's name on them. She called Mom to let her know that she had done this and Mom remembered. This disease never ceases to amaze me. My sister didn't want my mom to feel like she had forgotten my birthday. Isn't that sweet?

I bought a lift chair for Mom today. Finally. She's needed one for awhile. This is a petite chair so it should be perfect for our petite Mom. It is to be delivered on Thursday. I had to choose an alternate color, called celery, because the blue one was out of stock. The celery should be fine though. I hope that it helps Mom and improves her ability to get in and out of her chair.

I had to buy another new tire for the car. There was a piece of metal lodged in the tread and according to the guy at the tire store, the tire couldn't be repaired. I've never had a flat tire in my life and now suddenly I've had two. Talk about bad luck.

Mom has been napping a lot. I think she's bored.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The home care agency that we use was sold to a larger national chain called LivHome. I have to admit that I'm a little nervous about this change even though they've assured me that we will keep the same caregivers. According to them our service should improve because the case managers are certified geriatric care managers. Time will tell.

Today I finally was able to see Mom interact with the physical therapist and she truly seems to enjoy it! They do exercises and practice playing catch. The only problem is with Mom's mobility. We seem to have pinpointed where some of her pain originates; the right knee and the left hip. I emailed Mom's doc and she said that at our next appointment we can evaluate narcotic pain relievers for her. She is concerned about them interacting with her other meds. I can appreciate her concern as I only want what is best for Mom. But I also don't want her to experience pain when she walks.

It has been overcast and it rained quite heavily this evening. Mom had a busy day today between the caregivers, the nurses from the home care agency and our house cleaner who all showed up today. She was up at 3:00 AM this morning, ready to go. Today she didn't get to nap so maybe she will sleep through the night.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

We have had lovely weather this weekend. And our lilacs are just coming into bloom. It's going to smell wonderful in Mom's den soon.

Today I caught our kitties napping together on Mom's bed. Olivia seems much more willing to make friends than Lily, though Lily probably remembers that Olivia's feelings can quickly change and soon she is chasing her around the house or swatting her with her claws.

Mom has been sleeping through the night for the last few nights. I hope it continues. I'm much better able to care for her when I've had a good night of sleep.