Flowers

I can’t go in to see E; all long-term care facilities are on lockdown. Only medically necessary visits allowed. I can’t visit her, but I can brighten her day. A local grocer had large bunches of flowers for $5. They were half price 3-7 pm on Friday. I bought six bunches. A friend and I…

Getting Her Hair Washed

I came home from a trip two days ago and it was clear E’s hair had not been washed in at least two weeks. When I asked E about going to a salon to get it washed, she replied, “I don’t give a sh** about my hair!” Well then! I quickly dropped that topic!

Here is what I did to deal with the situation.

Instructions Not Needed

I was talking with my daughter and remembering how I handled a trip with E a while ago. It involved a hotel stay…. We had arrived in our hotel after a long day of packing up her room for the move to her new home and then driving 6 hours. Check in had taken a…

Be Present

“Be present.” “Be in the moment.” We’ve heard these phrases. As in “learn to be present with those around you instead of on your device” and “be in the moment without regrets of yesterday or fear of tomorrow.” Dealing with a person who has dementia has made this so clear to me! Be present! Enjoy…

Priceless

I had a wonderful day with E! After fighting for a year to get family to let her live near me, she moved here in July. The transfer was hard at first. New apartment, new town, new staff, new friends, new routine. Then she broke her arm. The move is what she wanted, but it…

Vegetarian Is More Than “No Meat”

Vegetarian does not just mean “take away the meat.” It seems the cook at the Assisted Living did not understand this…or didn’t care. A sweet woman named Bobbie lives at the same Assisted Living my mom lives. They are great friends. They work puzzles and attend church together. They eat together. They can be seen…

Not All Who Wander Need Memory Care

A man named John lives at the Assisted Living where my mom lives. He has dementia. I’d been told he is moving soon to a smaller group home. The AL says John has started to “wander” a bit, and they were saying he has to go to memory care. I’m not sure that what he’s doing is wandering, neither is his family.

Yesterday John was on the sidewalk again. Here is how I helped to gently coax him back inside.

Dear Musician Friends

Dear Musician friends, I’ve heard many of you play. I’ve been to your performances. You are very talented. You must practice often. I know you do. Sometimes you practice for an hour or more each day. Sometimes you practice alone, sometimes with a few other musicians. Have you considered spending time one day each month…

A Lovely Day

Today was a lovely day. I’m visiting my loved one at the assisted living. I’ve been here since Thursday. I stay in a guest room on site, so I get to do life with Marie. (That’s not her real name to protect her privacy. All names have been changed.) I had lunch and dinner with…