Today on the blog, we hear from Cher as she "alzhmires" her mother, Dori, this World Alzheimer's Month. Here is their story:
Tell us a little bit about your loved one with dementia? What are some things they enjoy doing?
I'm very close to my mom and visit as often as I can. She lives in a wonderful LTC facility and is very content! She really doesn't know that she doesn't know and is usually happy and content! She still recognizes me and says my name on occasion - that happy smile and greeting when I arrive still melts my heart!! My mom was always very organized, to the point of being obsessive compulsive - she still loves to sort things - I bring in sectioned containers and she sorts popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, jewelry, etc. and she likes to fold also and has a basket of bright coloured washcloths to fold and sort! She loves music and likes to participate in programs from a distance! My mom loves ‘babies’ and has her own Alzheimer’s doll that she loves to hold & cuddle!
What impact has dementia had on both of you?
I would say for my mom, she is more content than she has ever been! I work in LTC & have dealt with many types of dementia, both good & bad! It’s nice to be able to visit my mom at her facility & just be the daughter - it is so simple to please her & make her happy - I love every moment I spend with her & these times are precious!! We totally live in the moment during our visits! She doesn’t speak a whole lot any more but when she comes out with something like, “you’re so cute” melts my heart ❤️ We laugh at simple little things and hugs go a long way!!!
What would you tell other families who also experience dementia?
If you’ve met one person with dementia, you’ve only met one person with dementia!! Each person can be so different - there are many common characteristics but each person presents so different! I am so thankful that my mom is happy and content!! But those rare moments that she’s angry or upset, it’s hard not to take personal but we have to remember that it’s the disease and not the person! It’s best if we can always remember who our loved one was & that they are still there, deep inside!! ❤️
How will you be celebrating World Alzheimer's Month and your loved one with dementia?
By embracing my mom with so much love & be participating in the many Alzheimer’s coffee breaks!!!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I have a special passion for those with dementia, long before my mother was diagnosed .... I have a dementia studies diploma and love working with those with dementia. Never expected to have it in my own family but has made me even more compassionate especially at work because I always thing “what if this was my mom?” It’s hard walking that line if working in the field & living it also but I choose to visit my mom over an hour away, 1-2 times per week & always smile - hard to say goodbye sometimes but she has great staff watching over her so I take comfort knowing that & knowing she won’t remember being sad or saying goodbye! Alzheimer’s is a sad, unforgiving disease but I still have my mom & she’s not suffering at all - she’s happy and content and that’s huge!! I love, admire & respect my mom so much! She was an awesome mother who had a lot of struggles! Its my turn now to give it back!! ❤️❤️
Thank you Cher and Dori for sharing your story. If you have a story you would like to share about a loved one you "Alzhmire" fill out this form. Happy World Alzheimer's Month!