Friday, May 27, 2011

Expectations in Alzheimer's

It can be hard for me to plan a visit to see my mother, because I never know what to expect. I prefer that she is having a good day and is happy to see me. Unfortunately, I am often greeted with Cranky Mommy. For some reason, I seem to bring that side out in her.

I have learned to keep my phone stocked with pictures from my garden, as I can usually distract her with those. I have learned to expect other women to come join us, as they are also lonely for attention from other people. I have learned to be prepared to make up a quick reason for escape at a crucial moment, to leave Mom in a good mood but to also prevent her from trying to walk out with me.

I have had to learn to let go of expectations with my mother and to just take each moment as it comes. Alzheimer's is tricky and unpredictable. I have to take this roller coaster ride in stride, because I know what is coming later on down the road. It just feels weird for so much to have changed in such a short time. Six months ago, both of my parents were relatively fine and at home. I knew what to expect when I came home. And now each trip is an adventure into the unknown with them both.


  1. I was thinking about this sentence: "I have had to learn to let go of expectations with my mother and to just take each moment as it comes."

    It struck me that maybe if we all had that same attitude regarding everyone in our lives, we might be much happier people. Thanks for the food for thought!

  2. have you heard of where like your garden...quilts tell the story!! ((hugs)) you are a bright lite in your family!

    ((hugs)) thank you for sharing a most intimate glimpse of your heart

  3. You've had such a stressful and life-changing year. It is hard enough to see one parent faltering, but for both of them to be in such difficult situations must be enormously taxing. You are handling yourself incredibly well--you must have a great inner strength. ♥

  4. Alzheimer's is definitely a leap into the unexpected. I worked with Alzheimer's patients a few years ago and it was always an adventure. Stay strong and hold on tight.

  5. My grandma had Alzheimer's disease and it was hard to visit, especially when she no longer knew who I was. It is hard to adjust your expectations to how someone who has been there your whole life should have and would have behaved if disease hadn't clouded their memories. A beautiful blog!


  6. I haven't had to deal with anyone with Alzheimers but I did take care of an individual with a TBI who had antero-amnesia and was epileptic. In many ways he was like an alzheimers patient...thinking he was still a freshman in high school, thinking he was 14, didn't remember my name from one moment to the next, was happy with me one moment and ready to attack me the next. When you mentioned having to take a moment at a time and let go of your took me back to that time I worked with him. Sometimes, that can be hard to do...especially when you try to make each moment the best possible moment you can with where they are at.

    Many hugs to you as you go through this with your Mom, I know for certain that can not be easy.

    Cheers, Jenn.

  7. I'm spending the weekend at my mom's house taking care of my grandmother while my mom is out and about enjoying the holiday weekend. I'm happy to give her the much-needed and deserved break, but it's getting increasingly hard to be around my grandmother. She can't communicate at all and it's hard not to be resentful.

    Alzheimer's sucks.