Momma’s sense of time and space are shot to…well you know the rest of that saying. She called me last night stating she was bored. She announced she had not done one single thing all day.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, our loved ones cannot discern days of the week, month, or year. They cannot recall activities from earlier in the day, and this can cause frustration. They begin to feel lonely or bored. Momma can flip from being lonely to being bored in a skinny New York minute.
The day Momma announced she had not “done one single thing all day” was a Sunday. In actuality, Momma had been dressed and served breakfast by my sister upon her arrival to Momma’s assisted living, and then Momma attended church. After church, she had lunch. All this had totally left Momma’s mind, and she was feeling bored.
Realize what your loved ones describe as their activities of the day (or lack thereof) might not be entirely accurate. In THEIR mind it is 100% true, so don’t ever argue with them. Before you pass judgement on the quality of care your loved one is receiving, remember you might not have the entire story.
My reaction to Momma was to agree that some days are boring. I exaggerated my day to say I had been super lazy and watched television most of the day. (None of that statement was true, but I didn’t care.) She agreed that it is good to have a lazy day once in a while.
I hung up from the phone call wishing Momma wasn’t feeling bored, but that was a situation I could not correct at that moment. I did help her smile, and that is what my caregiving journey is all about.
Carol Howell is a Certified Dementia Specialist and Endorsed Life Coach with an emphasis on Creative Music Experiences. After her husband’s closed-head injury in 1996 and her mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in 2006, Carol began her study of the brain and the various forms of dementia that exist. Through her not-for profit company, Senior Life Journeys, she is actively involved in the lives of individuals who are caregiving for a loved-one with dementia as she helps them develop caregiving techniques. Carol’s latest book, Let’s Talk Dementia-A Caregiver’s Guide, is an Amazon #1 Best Seller, and it is an easy to read guide for caregivers of individuals with dementia. She also wrote the best seller If My Body Is A Temple, Why Am I Eating Doughnuts? It tells of the amazing miracle that caused her to lose 100 pounds. You can follow her blog—Something to Ponder—at www.seniorlifejourneys.com.