I was in the kitchen preparing a hot drink for Momma. She had just entered the shower and was comfortably seated preparing to have her morning shower. As I was heating the water, I noticed the shower water had not started. I thought this strange, but I waited a minute more. Still no sound of running water. I returned to check on Momma.
Opening the shower curtain, I asked, “Momma is everything OK?” She was looking at her hands with a questioning look. She held two bars of soap and a bottle of liquid soap. Her response made my entire being feel sick.
“What do I do with this?” Her question startled me, but I remained calm.
“You know, Momma, you don’t need these, but the liquid soap will work well with your bath scrungy,” I said as I took away the bars of soap.
She then quickly remembered and said, “I swear, my brain leaves me sometimes. I know what I’m doing, now.”
These moments of confusion are frightening for me, but they are also frightening for Momma. Because she realizes what is going on in her brain. It is important that I respond with a calm voice and a kind answer. If I had raised my voice at Momma, or made her feel less of a person because she could not remember what to do in the shower, I would have only succeeded in making a bad situation worse.
Momma knows she has dementia. She knows it is Alzheimer’s type dementia. She knows she is getting worse. I want to do everything possible to make life good, relaxed, and as stress-free as possible. A smile, a warm touch, and a calm demeanor go a long way in making life good for any person on the planet. This is even more true when that person has dementia.
Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.