When you're not used to dementia, how do you know what either looks like?
Maybe I should say lowering my expectations has helped me get through this. Finding joy in those rare moments when Gummy remembers a name is how I'm rolling. If she smiles, it's a win. If she doesn't remember or doesn't smile it's not a loss. It's a time to look for something else to put on the joy list.
Being out among people going about their normal lives is good for extroverted Gummy. She slips into autopilot. She's doing something normal too. I can see her energy level rise.
Sometimes I take her out of memory care in a wheel chair and she walks back in. Not always. Positive energy isn't enough to make her stop forgetting how to walk. Positive energy can't help her remember. But it can stop dementia from draining her in any given moment. It can help her find her smile.
Being left alone in her confusion drains her.
Watching life and laughter recharges her, especially when she's the one getting a hug or kiss.
If Gummy's outing goes poorly, therein the problems lie. Then getting her back to a comfortable place is paramount. Thank the heavens her comfortable place has become her room at memory care.
When she returns she at first doesn't know this place. It's been going on a year, and she doesn't recognize the building from outside.
Now where are we?
Am I getting out of the car? Nobody told me.
What is this place?
You're not dumping me here, are you?
I haven't seen you in so long!
It hasn't been that long, Gummy!
What are you talking about? It's been at least ten years!
Spoiling a child is a bad idea. I don't see the downside to spoiling someone with dementia.
Seize the day?
Hah. Seize the moments. Seize the nanoseconds. Seize whatever you can find despite the fact that we're laughing while the enemy is at the gate.
The castle is under siege, but you can eat whatever you want until the dragon fire gets to this room! I mean this side of the room. How about this chair?
There's less space to maneuver in now, but we tuck our feet up under us. I've been writing by hand lately, so the tendon problem with my middle finger is flaring up again. It reminds me how to deal with dementia once more. I don't think Gummy has forgotten that part yet. Even if she does, I've got her back.